Having enough sleep on a regular basis is vital for health. The occasional bad night won’t do too much harm, we all have those now and then, but prolonged disturbed sleep or sleep deprivation takes its toll on health.
Here are some pointers to help.
- Have a bedtime routine and stick to it. If you have a herb tea, clean your teeth, get into bed, read a bit, at the same time each night, your body knows it’s time to relax and go to sleep.
- Don’t watch TV in bed. Or look at a computer, ipad or mobile phone in the hour before bed. These appliances all emit blue light, which keeps you awake. Turn them off and forget about them until the morning.
- Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible. Melatonin is produced during darkness, a hormone essential for our hormone system to function properly, and without it our natural body rhythms are disturbed. Many illnesses are associated with disturbances in melatonin function. Don’t have a digital alarm that emits light. Have a tiny plug-in nightlight outside the bedroom to find the bathroom in the dark.
- Exercise can help you get good quality sleep but it must be done on a regular basis. Avoid vigorous exercise too near bedtime as it’s stimulating.
- Finish drinking alcohol early in the evening as, although it might put you to sleep, you can be fairly certain it will also cause you to wake at some strange hour of the night.
- Eat enough protein at dinner time. High carb meals can cause your adrenals to kick in and wake you up in the night as they strive to balance blood sugar levels.