6 tips to help you get a good night's sleep

May 01, 2017

6 tips to help you get a good night's sleep

By Nina-Kingsford Smith

Sleep. We all need it and our bodies love it, but sometimes getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. Thankfully, there’s something called ‘sleep hygiene’ which can help tremendously with both sleep quality and quantity. The notion behind sleep hygiene essentially centres on setting a good routine around sleep, including small habits and triggers that tell your brain ‘okay it’s time to settle down for the night’.

As someone who’s struggled with sleep for most of their life, implementing sleep hygiene has been a huge game changer for me! Here are some ways you can implement sleep hygiene into your life.

1. Have a cup of tea

Tea is magnificent isn’t it? It’s like a warming hug in a mug, which is a perfect way to end the day. Opting for a tea that promotes sleep and relaxation is even better, and make sure the tea you have doesn’t contain caffeine or you might be up for hours! Also try not to drink tea too close to bedtime (aim for an hour or two before bed), to avoid needing to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

2. Establish other relaxing bedtime routines

Other than having a cuppa, your routine could include things as simple as having a warm shower and brushing your teeth. These sorts of behaviours are great signals for your body that it’s time to slow down and rest for the night.

3. Eat wisely

Certain foods may help or hinder your sleep. Foods that contain constituents that promote sleep, like magnesium and tryptophan, include almonds, bananas, milk and turkey. Try to steer clear of anything that’ll stimulate your mind or place an extra load on your digestive system, including caffeine, alcohol, heavy oily meals and refined sugars.

4. Turn off your phone

At least an hour or two before bed, switch your phone off. You’ve likely heard that the ‘blue light’ emitted by electronics isn’t the best thing at nighttime. This type of light throws off your circadian rhythm (aka your natural body clock). Switching your phone off before bed (as well as laptop, iPad, etc) will give your brain a better chance to prepare itself for sleep…and also wont keep it as stimulated with distractions like social media!

6. Have regular sleep times

Try to get up and go to bed around the same time each day as it helps get your body into a set rhythm. Also try to be in bed well before midnight – it’s often said that one hour of sleep before midnight is equivalent to two hours after midnight – whether this is a myth or not is debated, but regardless it sounds like a smart idea to me! As handy as it’d be, however, you unfortunately can’t force yourself to sleep – if you’re in bed and can’t get to sleep, go to another darkened room and do something restful or sit quietly for five to ten minutes, then try going back to bed once you feel sleepy.

6. Make your room comfortable

Make sure that your bedroom, especially your bed, is enticing and comfortable to be in. Ensure that your room is quiet and dark, including standby lights as these lights signal to your brain that it’s time to be awake rather than asleep. If it’s hard to get your room dark enough, try wearing an eye mask.

Sweet dreams!

Do you have any tips that help you get a restful sleep?

 

Author Profile

Nina Kingford-Smith
www.ninakingsfordsmith.com.au

Nina is a nutrition student who’s passionate about food and and has experienced the powerful role that it plays in health – from changing her eating habits to dealing with her own health issues. These experiences have made her extremely passionate about the importance of nourishing our bodies, minds and lives with wholesome food, and she loves to share that passion with like-minded people.



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