Sleep is crucial to our wellbeing. There's no question about that. However, we know from first hand experience that it can sometimes be a struggle to get a good night's sleep. We asked Nutritionist Sophia Francesca for her top tips on how to get the perfect 8 hours kip. Over to Sophie…
Sleep is and has always been an essential function and time to reset our bodies and our brains. It helps our muscles to recover and restore after workouts and consistent regular sleep helps our bodies defend against illnesses and disease.The time of rest allows our brain to work through the day's emotions, events and feelings and process this information from our short term to long term memory. Tip 1 - Limit screens at least 1-2 hours before bed:
Artificial blue light from TV and mobile screens can significantly suppress melatonin, which is the hormone needed for good quality restful sleep. I like to wear blue light blocking glasses once the sun has set, which block out all artificial/blue light. Check out the brand Blu Blox. I also recommend clients change the settings on their phones and laptops so that the blue light is filtered out when the sun sets.Tip 2 - Find your wind down bedtime routine:
Find something that helps you to relax before bed. This could be a 10 minute meditation, a gentle yoga flow, or reading an enjoyable book (not the news!). We want to try and calm the mind before we hit the hay.Tip 3 - Consider a high quality magnesium supplement:
Magnesium is a wonderful mineral that helps us to relax and can support restful sleep. However, we are often depleted in magnesium due to our busy lives, and our unfortunately depleted soils. You can either take a high quality magnesium supplement (I like the brand Wild Nutrition), or use a magnesium spray before bed (check out Better You Magnesium Sleep Spray).
Blackout blinds are a must to keep out light, particularly any artificial light from street lights. Make sure you are wearing something cool and comfortable too. Asquith’s bamboo clothing is breathable, antibacterial and super soft, making it the perfect fabric to wear in bed (keep your eyes peeled for their bamboo nightwear launching very soon).Tip 5 - Last meal at least 2 hours before bed:
We don't want to be digesting food just before we sleep as isn't in line with the natural circadian rhythms of the body. Food can signal wakefulness in the brain and interfere with your ability to fall asleep naturally and well.Tip 6 - Try a warm bath or warm shower before bed:
Research has found that taking a hot bath or shower about 90 minutes before bed could help people fall asleep more quickly. The hot water helps to change your core body temperature so that you go to bed with a lower temperature. A drop in temperature helps to signal to your body that it's time for bed.