Sleep is really important for our health. When we are sleeping our body is in repair and detoxifying mode. Our bodies need this rest time to rebuild from the day and to work on detoxification and healing. Lack of sleep also impacts our immune system, impairing it's ability to work well. With cold and flu season coming up we need to make sure our immune system is in tip-top shape!
Unfortunately sleep is usually the first thing we begin sacrificing when we start to overfill our plates and we need more time. This is of course a natural thing but it is going to continue to make it difficult to achieve your goals and finish your to-do list when you are running on such little sleep.
Here are my tips to get you a better nights sleep, check out this infographic to see a great illustration of the importance of sleep!
Drink an Herbal Tea
I love my sleepy time tea that I found at Jaydancin’s a while back. It is made locally with organic nettle, chamomile, lavender and peppermint. These herbs help to calm the nervous system helping you to fall asleep faster and be more restful! You can find lots of great blends in the grocery store that are made from high quality ingredients designed to improve sleep.
Take a Detox Bath
A “detox bath” is super simple and can do wonders for your sleep. Have a nice warm bath and add in about 2 cups of Epsom salts, and ½ a cup of baking soda. This is so relaxing, Epsom salts have minerals including magnesium that is very relaxing helping your achieve greater sleep!
Consider Essential Oils
If you’re not a tea drinker or you’re looking for something to add to your bath, consider calming essential oils. I love lavender, but there are many oils that can help with relaxation and sleep including bergamot and ylang ylang. Add some to your relaxing bath, or use a diffuser to help improve your sleep!
Turn Down the Lights
Turning down your light to only a dim lighting can help your body get back into the rhythm of sleeping when it is dark. This is a natural state for our bodies and with so much industrial lighting and all the lights in our home we confuse our bodies. The body is designed to begin shutting down when the sun does down, but when we keep bright lights on into the night it can be a challenge for our bodies to know it is time to wind down. Consider using candlelight to further the relaxing and reduce your exposure to computes and cell phone.
Decaf After Noon
If you’re a coffee drinker, avoid having coffee after noon, especially if you’re a troubled sleeper. This goes for all caffeinated drinks including energy drinks and tea (black, green). Caffeine is a stimulant and although some people are more sensitive to it than others, caffeine fires up our nervous system and increase cortisol release increasing stress and reducing our ability to sleep well.
Depending on why you can't sleep you might want to consider supplementation. If you struggle to sleep because of headaches or restlessness, perhaps you would benefit from a magnesium supplement, this one is my favourite. Of course you should consider contacting a holistic nutritionist to help get to the root of your problem with sleeping, but I find that after an evening Zumba class I benefit from taking a magnesium supplement to help me relax a little faster making my sleep more restful. Other supplements might be an herbal remedy like valerian root or even melatonin if you find yourself dealing with shirt work or a largely varying schedule.
Are you a sound sleeper? What do you do to ensure a restful nights sleep?
Amanda is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist out of Southwest Middlesex, and London ON. She works with clients to help them achieve their health and wellness goals!
Follow me on Instagram!