A Harvard study claimed:
“lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury.”
The report also mentioned that sleep deprivation could lead to health problems and even early mortality.
Here are the top reasons why people barely get enough sleep:
- They couldn’t shut their mind (watching and browsing on social media)
- Running through the list of to-dos
- Had to get work done
- Their kids kept them up
7 –9 hours of sleep a night is a recommendation not just to function, but to thrive in your life. I bet you can’t focus well with less.
Because SLEEP – just didn’t happen!
Don’t fret, because I got you covered! Let me share with you my top tips to help you achieve GOOD sleep with a few simple bedtime ritual tips and foods to add to your diet.
Follow these tips, especially if you find yourself tossing and turning at night, counting sheep to get a little shut-eye.
Develop a bedtime ritual
What is your bedtime ritual?
You need time to shift into sleep mode, so start to wind down before bed. Switch off electronic devices, as the light stimulates wakefulness, and avoid activities that can cause excitement or anxiety. Instead, try relaxing activities like meditation or a warm bath.
Avoid the sleep thieves
When cortisol is high, melatonin is low. Melatonin is needed for sleep. There are a few things that keep your cortisol levels up, predominately is caffeine (that’s usually coffee, tea, and certain sodas). If you are severely fatigued and can’t live without your coffee, chances are you need to stop drinking it as it has played havoc with your circadian system and needs to normalize. Go cold turkey or wean yourself off with the help of green tea (less caffeine). I have done it and even one of my clients managed to get from 6-8 cups to 0 with amazing benefits. Your cortisol should decrease during the afternoons, so if you drink coffee at that time it will counterbalance the natural cycle.
Don’t force it
Sometimes you just can’t fall asleep and forcing will only stress you out. Instead, go into another room and do something relaxing, like reading, until you feel ready to sleep. Another one is to try using essential oil – lavender is my favorite or listens to Endel which is a great app with soundscapes that help me to sleep where I meditate and do breathing exercises.
Something on your mind? Try to leave it behind before bed. Meditate, write in a journal, or do what you can to resolve the issue before you start your bedtime ritual.
Right food, right times
We all can agree that healthy food will help your digestive system to function better and allow for better health and weight and ultimately help your sleep. Prefer organic food, lots of healthy veggies and fruits, quality protein from sustainable sources, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, and good carbs such as pulses, unrefined grains. Here are some specific foods to help you with your much-needed shut-eye:
Chamomile is commonly known as a mild tranquilizer or sleep inducer. It has calming effects that may decrease anxiety and initiate sleep. Some chamomile tea can be a great idea before heading to bed to unwind, relax and de-stress.
Pistachios are not only tasty, but they are a jackpot for sleep. They are jampacked with magnesium, protein, and vitamin B6, which have a major role in inducing sleep. Consuming a healthy amount of pistachios before going to bed will knock you out like nothing else. You can eat them raw or add them to a glass of warm milk. However, more than one ounce of pistachios will have a reverse effect on your body; eat in moderation to avoid exacerbating your sleep issues.
Kiwis contain serotonin, a brain chemical that helps regulate your sleep cycle. Many people take serotonin supplements to help with sleep, but wouldn’t you rather eat something that tastes delicious to get the same effect? Not only do kiwis contain serotonin, but they also may boost your sleep abilities due to their levels of vitamin C and carotenoids which reduce inflammation. When I feel that I may not be able to sleep at night, I eat 2 kiwi and they usually do the job.
Tart cherry juice
Tart cherry juice contains high levels of melatonin that regulate your internal clock and send signals for your body to get ready to sleep. A study conducted by Louisiana State University found that insomniacs who drank tart cherry juice increased their sleep time by 90 minutes!
This fruit is a powerhouse of magnesium and potassium, which serve as natural sleep aids for your body. If you are feeling wide awake late into the night, try a banana to get yourself to sleep. You can even whip yourself up a thick sugar-free banana shake before you go to bed. Bananas are high-glycemic fruits, so try adding in some protein or good fat with that shake so sugar levels don’t skyrocket into the night. Some of my favorites are coconut oil or almond butter, but you get to pick!
Walnuts contain tryptophan, which helps produce melatonin and serotonin in the body and improve the quality of our sleep by regulating the sleep cycles. The University of Texas even found that walnuts contain their own source of melatonin, which may help you fall asleep faster.
A cup of roasted pumpkin seeds contains around 649 mg of magnesium, which is nearly double the daily recommendation of the National Health Institute. Magnesium supports deep, restorative sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA (a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep). Magnesium deficiencies are associated with heightened stress and anxiety, which of course lead to less sleep, so these pumpkin seeds have many benefits.
No need to keep searching for the magical solution to get more sleep! Try my top bedtime ritual, tips and add these foods to your bedtime routine to get your body on the right path to sound sleep and in general, avoid the over-the-counter sleep aid.
I would love to learn your story and help you too!
If you want to improve your sleep, weight or other health issues, I can help you to get fast, long-term results! Together we work on improving your stress, fatigue, exhaustion, and chronic illness. Together we work deeply to overcome digestive issues which are often the root cause of many other health concerns. Doing so, you can improve your sleep and you can stop worrying about getting worse health issues. If you think that you have no willpower or no time, I will provide you with resources to help you become healthier without spending too much time or effort!
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