Claire Brooks - Sleeping = Healing
"Sleeping = Healing" - Claire Brooks - Naturopathic Nutritionist
"Getting a good night’s sleep is an effortless technique to create longevity and health. Deep rest during the night helps you fight stress, maintain a healthy weight, and keeps your energy levels high. Timing your sleep is like timing an investment in the stock market – it doesn’t matter how much you invest, it matters when you invest."
Kulreet Chaudhary, M.D.
WHY THIS TOPIC?
Bed time - Some of us love it (ME 😊 for one) whilst some of us dread it!
The importance of sleep is somewhat overlooked, considering it is the time when our mind and bodies are regenerating from the stress of the day! Ultimately, we are healing. As I am sure you are aware, the duration and quality of sleep varies from person to person, however, there are a few tips that can benefit us all.
The best time to be catching some ZZZZ’s is between 10pm and 2am as this is when the magic happens, chemicals circulate the blood that strengthen the immune system and the Liver and Gallbladder start to regulate qi, process emotions, balance hormones and detoxify. During deep sleep, your body works to repair muscle, organs, and other cells – who doesn’t need this?!
Many of the population are working long hours, possibly shift work, high levels of stress all of which disturb sleep. There is no better remedy than a good deep sleep at these optimal times, I guarantee you will experience a clearer head, have more energy and you definitely won’t be craving that stodgy breakfast or need that coffee to wake you up.
Unfortunately, modern day stresses of life, work, families, illness and parenting result in poor sleep cycles. If possible and I quote ‘if possible’ a power nap would do wonders in the day and ensure you are in bed all tucked up at a reasonable time, I promise the impact will be far less the next day! There are many great studies on how having a nap can re-charge our cells and improve cognitive function! Overall, making us more productive!
DID YOU KNOW…
- Our bodies naturally crave 40% more carbohydrates the next day after a poor sleep or missing these critical hours of resting?!?
- Coffee reduces blood flow to the brain by 40%
BENEFITS OF FOCUSING ON THIS AREA
Did you know the average person may spend more than 26 years of their life sleeping? Getting enough restorative sleep helps you:
- Stay healthier & happier
- Live longer
- Perform at your best
- Manage weight
- Be more productive
Claire's Top Tips!
1. Switch off the house wifi for the night & stop using electronics 1 hour before sleep
Be aware of blue light emitted from electronics down regulating your melatonin, stressful content affecting hormones and rest before bed all impacting sleep quality. We live in an age where phones, laptops, and TVs are abundant, learning when to put them down will leave us more rested for the mornings. Tune out early and take advantage of screen filters or special glasses which block blue light.
2. Do not eat within 3 hours of going to bed
Our bodies need to rest and digest, what we eat and when we eat has an affect on both getting off to sleep and the quality of sleep. Avoiding caffeine from 3pm, spicy foods before bed and generally not consuming food in general for 2 hours before bed will positively impact your sleep.
3. Sleep in a dark room with a cool temperature, preferably after a bath
A hot bath with Epsom salts/magnesium flakes for 20 minutes is a great way to induce sleep, ensure to shut out any light sources and use curtains to block external light until it’s morning. Although not always possible, try to cool your bedroom down to 65F.
4. Exercise regularly
30 minutes of activity, even if it’s light, every day can make sure that you’re better prepared for a good night’s rest. (Just don’t exercise too late as this will elevate your metabolism, which can make it more difficult to get to sleep)
5. Go to bed at the same time every night, even on weekends
If you really struggle with sleep it is worth going to bed at the same time with half hour either side, staying in tune with your circadian rhythm is key, basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It's also known as your sleep/wake cycle.
6. Essential oils and CBD
Lavender, vetiver and serenity are fantastic essential oils for calming a stimulated mind, allowing the mind and body to slow down, relax and fall asleep.
Cannabinoids (CBD) are non psychoactive and has beneficial sedative affects, there are a number of compounds that aid in a deep relaxed state of mind and a good quality sleep.