Improve your sleep dramatically with these simple hacks
Each one of us have gone through a phase where we are supremely exhausted but our brain is still racing a million miles an hour. All we want to do is sleep, but the body refuses to calm down. We lie in bed, eyes closed, and sleep seems beyond reach.
Melatonin is a chemical in your body that is responsible for regulating your sleep cycles and making you sleep. Your pineal gland is responsible for producing melatonin. Each night your body produces melatonin to promote a peaceful and restful sleep. Studies have shown that this (melatonin) gradually decreases as we age, which may explain why toddlers and youth require more sleep at night than adults.
You can help regulate your sleep and promote more relaxed, restful sleep by helping your body produce melatonin when you need it. If you are having trouble sleeping, try a few of these tips before you turn to medication.
1. Say “no” to electronic devices and gadgets:
The blue light produced by your phones, laptops, TVs, and tablets may be counteracting your body’s attempts to produce melatonin. Instead of checking your phone or social media accounts before going to bed, try reading, journaling, or even colouring. These activities are much less stimulating than electronic devices, allowing your brain to start shutting down and encouraging your body to start producing melatonin for the night ahead.
2. Drink chamomile tea:
Chamomile tea actually actually contains an antioxidant called 'apigenin'. Drink a warm cup of it in the evening to help your body relax, de-stress, and prepare for restful sleep.
3. Shower or take a relaxing bath:
Warm water relaxes tense muscles and refreshes your mind. According to research by Loughborough University in Leicester, the relaxing effect of taking a bath before going to bed helps increase the production of melatonin in your body. It reduces the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, allowing the body to produce melatonin instead. (put a couple of drops of lavender oil in the bath for a deeper relaxation)
4. Block all sources of light:
Pull all the curtains, shut all the blinds, turn off all the lights. Make your room completely dark. Even the smallest amount of light can disrupt your sleeping and melatonin production. Blocking out all the light sources will significantly boost the melatonin in your body, help regulate your sleeping patterns and promote deep sleep so that you wake you up happy and well rested. (Remember :No gadgets 30 mins before sleep).
5. Focus on your diet:
Your diet plays a huge role in your body’s sleeping habits. Studies have shown that reducing or eliminating caffeine and processed foods positively impact your amount and quality of sleep. Avoid going to bed on a very empty or very full stomach; both can leave your body focused on processes other than sleep. A warm cup of tea just before bed can help calm hunger pangs without overtaxing your body. Foods like salmon and avocados help with the secretion of melatonin and aids relaxation.
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Yours in health and wellness,