Top 5 Ways to Tackle Insomnia
Wakefulness at night has become the new norm; some surveys reveal up to two thirds of us are sleep-deprived. However, getting enough shut-eye is vital for regenerating our bodies and minds. As a nutritionist, I believe it’s important to maximise our full potential as individuals and if lack of sleep is getting in the way, I want help you to do something about it. Therefore, I’ve pulled together the Top 5 Ways to tackle insomnia for you to try tonight. Read on and sleep well.
1. Tweak your diet
Certain foods can hinder a good nights’ sleep; for example, those that are difficult to digest, are spicy or spike blood sugar levels. Therefore, avoiding these food groups before bed could help you drift off. Conversely, consuming foods high in tryptophan, such as turkey, milk and oats in the evening may aid sleep. This is because tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which in turn enhances production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Other key nutrients you might what to try consuming before bed include magnesium and potassium, as explained by Dr Axe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3vaI15ICQg
2. Get moving in the morning
Exercise can induce a restful night’s sleep as it raises levels of serotonin. However, exercise can also raise levels of the stress hormone cortisol; something that you don’t want at night. Therefore, try to schedule your sweat session for earlier in the day as opposed to the evening. Lunch time yoga class, or hard core morning HIIT; the choice is yours!
3. Switch off
Turn off the TV, put your phone away and close down your laptop around 30 minutes to an hour before you go to bed; the blue light emitted from these devices can mess with our bodies’ production of melatonin. Instead of gazing at a screen, use this time for relaxing activities such as reading or having a bath.
4. Seek some sun
Exposure to sunlight during the day can help regulate our hormones and circadian rhythm, making it more likely we’ll fall asleep easily at night. Try to take a morning walk or nip out on your lunch break to get the natural boost your body needs to fall and stay asleep at the right time.
5. Rethink your room
Sleep experts suggest that certain environments can inhibit a good nights’ rest. Subtle things like pastel coloured walls and linen, a cool temperature, and a clutter-free space will help create a calming environment that’s conducive to sleep.
Insomnia is being described as a modern-day health epidemic; it effects over half the population and has both acute and chronic implications. However, the fact that it’s very much linked to our lifestyles means we also have the power to tackle the problem. Try the above ideas next time you struggle to sleep and experience for yourself how effective they can be.