We’ve all heard it - the better you sleep the more energy you will have during the day. In this blog I will explain why and give you easy to achieve tips to help improve your sleep patterns and habits.
During the night, as we sleep our bodies are healing and regenerating, which:
- decreases inflammation
- regulates and strengthens your immune system
- balances your hormones and metabolism
- repairs tissue and skin
All of this making it easier to make good food decisions and eat healthier, decreasing the cravings that could lead us to eat food high in sugar and saturated fats.
In Chinese medicine there are two main types of insomnia:
- Head Blood Deficiency - Trouble falling asleep
- Kidney Yin Deficiency - Waking up multiple times (as few as 2 and as much as 5 or more), and may not be able to fall back to sleep
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine treat the root cause of disease, so the first step to getting rid of insomnia is to change your diet which creates healthy blood and yin.
3 Quick Tips for a good night’s sleep:
1. Food choices:
For dinner eat a good balance meal of starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, yams, squash). This prevents blood sugar from dropping during the night which will prevent you from waking due to a blood sugar crash.
Eat 2 hours before bed. If you tend to wake up between 2 - 4 AM, have a light snack before bed, making sure to have a starchy vegetable with a healthy fat source and a small amount of protein.
How is your caffeine intake? Try only consuming caffeine in the morning, or stopping caffeine.
Avoid alcohol, it disrupts sleep.
2. Manage stress before bed:
Do you wake up many times during the night and you can’t go back to sleep? The body releases Cortisol when we are stressed which is the awake hormone. Melatonin must be released to keep us asleep at night. Managing stress throughout the day and at night before bed is very important in regulating your sleep.
Avoid fighting with family, watching stress inducing movies, working before bed, and intense exercise.
Introduce relaxing activities before bed, like meditating, listening to music or reading.
3. Avoid blue light exposure:
Blue light comes from the computer, phone, TV and other electronic screen devices.
If these are a must for you, there are options like getting red tinted glasses, screen covers for the computer and using the nighttime setting on your phone.
Keep technology out of the bedroom, charge your phone in another room and turn off your TV.
Keep your room as dark as possible
Block out light
Wear eye mask
Wear ear plugs
Get a sound machine
Keep the room cool
- The body naturally heats up during the night and will wake you up when you get hot.
Make a bedtime routine!
***And a quick fix for waking up tired***
If you wake up tired it means that Cortisol (the awake hormone) is not being released optimally. A quick fix for this is to get outside as soon as you get up to induce your Cortisol hormone to get going. A short walk is all that is needed.
Connect with me if you would like help and support gaining more energy, changing your sleeping patterns and curing your insomnia.