Sleep the elixir of life but sometimes so hard for us to achieve. We need sleep for our mind and body. Lack of sleep has an impact on both mood and concentration. When we are tired we are more likely to turn to caffeine and sugar to get us through the day. Long term sleep deprivation has been shown to increase risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
You have probably heard previously that 8 hours is the magic number for sleep, but this is not always true, some people require more and some people less, you can tell how much you need simply by how you feel day to day, however you do want to be sleeping generally over 6 hours a night. Babies, children and teenagers are different, they all need more sleep than adults to enable their growth and development.
What is stopping us?
Sleep can be affected by many different things ranging from pain, stress and anxiety, peri menopause and menopause, babies and children, certain medications, caring for others. There are some sleep stoppers beyond our control but sleep can also be impacted by our lifestyle and the choices we make during the day and evening, we are here to help you make the right sleep choices to feel more rested!
Create a sleep drive
Through the day we want to help facilitate our sleep drive to help get that decent nights sleep we all crave, this involves helping our circadian rhythm along (your natural sleep - cycle). Creating our sleep drive involves many things but where possible starting your day by getting outside and exposing yourself to natural daylight is a good place to start. Exercise helps increase that sleep drive, by tiring your body out and releasing tension from your body, it will also make you feel more energised in the day. There is not one specific exercise do what makes your mind and body feel good. There are so many free tutorials available and even 10 minutes a day of exercise is beneficial. If you do nothing else try and fit in some daily fast paced walking. Yoga is great not only to stretch your body but also to relax your mind. Our bodies like routine so try your best to go to bed and get up at a similar time each day.
The power of the bath
Studies have shown that taking a hot bath 90 minutes before you want to go to sleep, the reason for this is a bath raises your body cores temperature and then your body temperatures drops before bed which is a sign to your body to sleep. Baths are also the perfect place to destress and get some time out from our busy lives.
What we offer
Here at CS Holistic Approach HQ we are passionate about sleep and are always developing products to relax you and increase those precious sleep hours. Take a look at our wellbeing sprays https://www.csholisticapproach.com/product-page-rs23h/well-being-spray-collection the sleep spray is perfect to spray around your room and on your pillow. Our sleepy head bath salts are perfect for that wind down pre bedtime bath https://www.csholisticapproach.com/product-page-rs23h/holistic-bath-salts.
Our healing sleep crystals are perfect to create a sense of calm and serenity in your bedroom https://www.csholisticapproach.com/product-page-rs23h/crystal-healing-collection-by-caroline-snowling
Many of us love a coffee or two which is absolutely fine and go and enjoy that coffee, it is when we drink copious amounts of coffee (or other high caffeine drinks) and when we drink it late in the day that it can become a problem. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system - causing that burst of energy, can be great in the morning, not so great when you want to sleep. Did you know that different people process caffeine differently, for some of us it can be processed in 3 hours but for others it can take up to 10 hours! That afternoon coffee can really still impact our sleep later. Best advice enjoy your coffee in the morning.
We want to create the best sleep environment for ourselves so do take a look at your bedroom, the perfect temperature is 16 - 18C (60 - 65F). Our bodies like the dark, this is when we release melatonin, light can stop us sleeping and can also impact on the quality of our sleep. First simple thing is to take a look at your curtains and blinds, are they keeping the light out. If possible invest in black out blinds, alternatively use a sleep mask. Don't forget light from alarm clocks or standby lights - cover them up. Blue light interruptions our production of melatonin, so try and take a screen break before bed, an hour is perfect but if that is too much, then try at least 30 minutes of screen time, not only will help with the blue light exposure but also will let your mind calm down. Do also take a look at your pillows and mattress, uncomfortable mattresses can really affect our sleep. Clutter in your bedroom can actually affect your sleep and increase anxiety so do try and make some time for tidy up and create that sense of calm.
Naps really can be a good thing to do, particularly if say you have a baby and you know you simply cannot get that uninterrupted sleep that you yearn for. Try and plan your naps before 3pm, keep them to 20 minutes so you don't fall into a deep sleep but still gain the benefits of more energy, if you cannot nap then even lying on the bed or sofa listening to a meditation or soothing playlist can still help energise you.
Food and Supplements
There is not one food that will make you sleep but there are some foods that can improve sleep. Kiwifruit is packed full of potassium, vitamins C and E and has been found for some people to improve sleep. There are some studies that have found sleep benefits for people who drink tart cherry juice. Chamomile tea in the evening won't guarantee sleep but it is very good to feel calmer, why not enjoy a cup in the bath. Magnesium is found in nuts, wholegrains, fish and green vegetables it is great for your nerve and muscle functions. Magnesium supplements have been shown to help encourage sleep and are also very useful if you are suffering from restless leg syndrome.