Sleep is one of the most important parts of a happy and healthy life, and studies say that we aren't getting enough of it!
Here are some simple ways to help you get to sleep at night that have worked for me.
1) Box breathing (4 seconds in - 4-second hold - 4 seconds out) through the nostrils
This is one of the most effective ways to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) Not only will this calm you down and lower your heart rate, but you will find this will give your mind something to focus on that will allow your body to fall asleep, similar to old trick of counting sheep.
2) Take a cold shower
The body is required to be at a certain cool body temperature before it is able to sleep, whilst this isn't the most appealing option for some, this trick will you speed up that cool body temperature requirement allowing for a faster process to fall asleep.
3) Increase your magnesium intake
Magnesium maintains healthy levels of GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) which is a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation which benefits sleep. Research indicates supplemental magnesium can improve sleep and sleep quality.
If you don't like supplements, here are some foods high in magnesium:
- Dark chocolate
- Dark leafy greens (Kale, spinach, and collard greens)
- Nuts (almonds, brazil nuts, and cashews)
- Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans, and soybeans)
I know which one I prefer!
Write down all the ideas, thoughts, and to-dos bouncing around in your head. Getting this information out of your head and on paper works wonders to ease a busy mind. Top tip: Write down 3 things you are grateful for extra points!
5) Eliminate screen time 60 minutes before bed
Our screens emit a light that's called blue light, this light tricks that brain into thinking the sun is still up. Blue light blocks melatonin production (A hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles). Also, get the phone out of the bedroom!
6) Commit to a regular sleep pattern
Setting a certain sleep and wake-up time gives our body a chance to synchronize its circadian rythme (internal sleep-wake cycle) setting our body up to know when to fall asleep and when to wake up.
7) Exercise during the day
Exercise can increase the duration and quality of sleep by boosting the production of serotonin (The happy hormone) in the brain and decreasing cortisol (The stress hormone) Exercising in the mornings is proven to be better at improving sleep than the afternoon.
I wish you a restful nights sleep.
Thank you for reading.