9 tips for a good night sleep

Have you ever been so tired that all you want to do is sleep but you can't, no matter how much you try? You know it is important but you just can't fall asleep and you know you are going to pay for it in the morning when you wake up with puffy eyes from a limited nights rest.

There’s nights when you start to fall asleep but then something wakes you up and your left staring at the ceiling, or thinking about something you have to do the next day. Every noise sounds loud and all of the sudden you start seeing the sun coming through the curtains and you sink into the pillow thinking another night passes that wasn’t restful. This is an all too common feeling for many Australians with an estimated 1.2 million Australians having some type of sleeping difficulties.

A lack of sleep can lead to a number of health issues from high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression and relationship problems. It is estimated that there is a massive $6.2 billion financial cost for sleep disorders in Australia.

The Importance of a good night sleep

Sleep is important as it can help regulate and maintain a healthy weight, help you function clearly and concentrate, make you happy, extend your life, keep the immune system strong and help regenerate and restore the body. Below I have come up with 9 tips that may help you have a restful sleep.

9 TIPS FOR A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP

Avoid Stimulants

Stimulants are substances that increase activity in the brain which may impact on a good night’s sleep. It is best to avoid stimulants 3-4 hours before bed which include- caffeine, black tea, soft drinks, chocolate, drugs and alcohol.

Avoid eating before bed

Eating before bed decreases the quality of your sleep as your digestive system works to try and break down your food. Try to stop eating at least 2 hours before bed.

Decrease activity to start the relaxation process.

Exercise can keep you awake, so avoid exercise 3-4 hours before bed. 2 hour before bed try to avoid the tvand the computer screen as this stimulates the brain and can impact on your sleep. Do not work or study just before bed as it can stimulate the brain and keep you awake. Any activity done an hour before sleep should be relaxing and could include reading, having a bath or doing something that helps relax you taking your mind away from the stresses of the day.

Exercise throughout the day

Exercising through the day helps the body with general health and stress release, aiding the body for a more restful sleep. Try to get 30 minutes a day!! Even walking around the block will have some benefit.

Have a regular bed time if possible

Keep to a set bed time if possible. This will ensure a routine which the body will get use to.

Increase Magnesium foods to help relax the body

Magnesium has many health benefits on the body, one is to relax the body from stresses. Magnesium foods include- almonds, cashews, (found in health food shops), avocado, beans, lentils, figs, molasses, banana, whole grains, kelp, seeds and eggs.

Deep breathing

Deep breathing helps calm the central nervous system down. Practicing deep breathing while in bed trying to fall asleep, is a great way to kick start the relaxation and hopefully sleeping processes. A great breathing technique is to get into a comfortable position you don’t mind sleeping in and start to take large deep breaths so your stomach is moving. Continue doing this breathing while you clear your head of the mind chatter.

Herbs

Enjoying a nice herbal tea can help warm you up and calm the body down for a relaxing night’s sleep. Try Suzanna’s Natural Life Relax and Unwind Herbal tea blend to help prepare the body for a restful sleep.

Aromatherapy oils

Roman chamomile and lavender are both very relaxing essential oils for calming the body down. You can either add them into a bath before bed, put a couple of drops into your hands and rub your hands together to create friction then place your hands to your face and breathe in, make a spray with aromatherapy oils to spray onto the pillow, or add a few drops to a tissue and place near your pillow for you to breathe in.