How to Improve Sleep

Many people who come into the clinic suffer with difficulty sleeping. Sleep is vital to optimum health and wellbeing and can easily be disrupted by hormonal changes, stress or anxiety. There are a few things you can do to aid your sleep.

1. Switch off all technology at least 2 hours before bed. This is really important and one that many people don’t think of. The light emitted from televisions, mobile phones and tablets can disrupt the brain’s production of melatonin – the hormone required for sleep.

2. Eat pumpkin seeds. Full of magnesium, these seeds help our muscles to relax and support the pineal gland, which produces melatonin.

3. Have a bath. Enjoying a warm bath a couple of hours before bedtime can aid sleep. After getting out of a warm bath, your body temperature drops and tells your body it is time for rest. Boost the relaxing power of your bath with some Epsom salts, which are high in magnesium for muscle relaxation.

4. Eat protein. Eat protein regularly throughout the day in the form of chicken, fish, beans and seeds to keep energy and blood levels stable. Having a small snack an hour before bed can stop blood sugar levels from plummeting overnight, which can cause you to wake up.

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5. Address your emotional and physical health. In the Traditional Chinese Medicine body clock, different times of the day and night are related to different organs of the body. For example, if you frequently wake up between 3am and 5am, this is when your Lung energy is most active. The lungs relate to sadness, grief and loss, as well as physical conditions related to respiration.

Other things you can try are guided meditation, gentle exercise and reading. Lavender essential oil is wonderful for aiding sleep and many people have also reported great benefits from the Neal’s Yard Night Time oil blend. Just place a few drops on a tissue and place on your pillow (don’t apply straight to your pillowcase). Alternatively add to a difffuser and leave on while you sleep.