Good sleep is one of the 4 essentials to good health - along with a nutritious diet, regular physical activity, and emotional wellness. So what's the big deal if you don't sleep enough (6-8 hours) or have interrupted sleep?
Unfortunately, sleep deficit can:
Weaken your immune function
Impair your memory and concentration
Lead to mood disorders like depression
Accelerate the ageing process, by interfering with growth hormone production
Contribute to diabetes, high BP, and obesity
To restore your sleep, there are several natural approaches you can try - here are my TOP 10:
1. Sleep in complete darkness - even a tiny amount of light from an alarm clock or night light can pose a problem.
2. Keep the temperature in your bedroom to no more than 22 deg celsius.
3. Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs), as they can disrupt the production of melatonin and serotonin (important sleep hormones). EMFs include lamps, electrical cords, mobile phones, cordless phones, wireless routers, main power meter (if on outside wall of bedroom).
4. Reserve your bed for sleeping... I know , I know, call me the fun police! I'm referring to IPADS, IPHONES, LAPTOPS, TVs as they stimulate the brain, are a light source, and a source of EMFs.
5. Get to bed by 10pm - your adrenals (stress glands) do most of their recharging between 11pm-1am and your gall bladder dumps toxins in this time period also.
6. Try to go to sleep and wake at the same time each day, including weekends to establish a pattern or sleep rhythm.
7. An aromatherapy bath (I recommend Secret Scent Aromatherapy by Sharen Turner), deep breathing, meditation, and stretching are good pre-bed routines that can induce a state of relaxation.
8. Keep a journal of your thoughts, concerns etc so your mind doesn't feel the need to analyse, process, worry at bedtime.
9. Caution with caffeine - some people do not metabolise it efficiently so may experience it's effects long after consumption.
10. Have your adrenals and hormonal health assessed by your Naturopath.
If you need help determining which aspect of your sleep is out of balance ie initiation, circadian rhythm, sleep maintenance, day time sleepiness, please contact Christine for a Sleep Health Questionnaire.
Night, night, sleep tight...