Whether you are suffering from an anxious mind, the side-effects of prescription meds or a chronic condition (such as IBD or arthritis) good sleep can often be hard to achieve!It can often seem like your mind is racing and the harder you try, the more difficult nodding off seems to be. Since sleep is such a common problem, today I'm sharing my top tips for a perfect night sleep.
1. Use a night time spray. Many people favour lavender sprays but I prefer to use a Magnesium night spray before my head hits the pillow. Magnesium can help with everything from anxiety to joint pain- and deficiency is more common than you think. I go into detail about Magnesium on my top supplements for gut health post but Magnesium can help relax your mind and any muscle spasms before you nod off.
2. Get Appy. There are many apps designed to help with the art of relaxing. I use the Calm app. Simply select your favourite relaxing sound, chose a guided meditation and then pop your earphones in! There's also special meditation programme designed for improving sleep.
3. Track your sleep. If you are feeling tired after a good night sleep, it might be worth considering the quality of your sleep. I use my IFit Watch to measure my sleep activity: it tells you the ratio of light to deep sleep and how many times you wake up during the night!This device is really helpful at getting to the bottom of your sleep problem. I always make sure I get my 8 hours but when I started tracking it; I couldn't believe how many times I was waking up in the middle of the night! (For more info see my blog on the best health gadgets)
4.Soak in the bath. Baths are proven to relax you- throw in some Epsom Salts to ease joint pain and help with relaxation.
5.Go Herbal. Chamomile Tea can be a great replacement for coffee and tea. It helps you unwind before bed without any caffeine!
6. Light a Candle before bed. Lighting a candle before bed helps wind the body down; since you're not being kept awake by bright light. Another tip is to change your phone settings to a dimmer light to replicate this tip.
7. Get everything off your chest. Keep a journal next to your bed to help record your thoughts- if your mind is racing then keeping a note of your feelings can really help! It may also be worth jotting down any recurring dreams to get to the bottom of your emotions.
8.Eat protein-rich foods to help your body release sleep-inducing hormones. Think good quality chicken and turkey. Omega rich foods (such as fish) may also help with joint pains and brain activity.
9. Exercise. If a run around the block is off the cards, try gentle yoga stretches (Youtube has some great tutorials for relaxation yoga
Follow these tips and you'll be fast asleep before you know it!
Jenna Farmer blogs about healthy living over at www.abalancedbelly.co.uk
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