5 steps to super sleep
With the clock change earlier this week we’ve been contemplating 5 steps to super sleep. Sleep is so important for the body to rejuvenate and sleep deprivation can lead to inflammation. From both a lifestyle and wellbeing perspective there are steps you can take right now to stop poor snoozing in its tracks. We can’t guarantee you a perfect night’s sleep, but sometimes just taking time to wind down and embrace a little calm is a huge step towards good sleep hygiene.
Get in tune with your circadian rhythm
Autumn and winter are a time of change for your circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm controls when we feel alert and when we produce melatonin to go to sleep. We ideally need bright light exposure during the day, and to avoid light in the evening to know the difference between night and day, or else we will start to feel sluggish and tired during the day and may struggle to fall asleep at night. Getting some movement into your day is a great way to enjoy those daylight hours too!
If you’re struggling to get outside to get your daylight exposure take a look at our, we’re made to move, blog to find some ideas on how to get outdoors and stay active.
Supplement your sleep
- Magnesium can be really helpful in getting restful sleep at night. Read our previous supplement blog to find out more about which type of magnesium to take.
- Chamomile tea is also an excellent way to help the body relax and prepare to rest. One of our favourites is the Bird and Blend ‘Deck Chair Dreaming’ Tea. Lemon Balm is another excellent herb to use as a tea in the evening to promote sleep.
- Melatonin is another natural supplement that can be used if you have difficulty getting to sleep.
Keep it cosy
Making your sleeping space cosy and calm is a really simple hack for most of us. Clothes building up on the chair, paperwork that’s migrated from other parts of the house, piles of clean washing building up, it’s ever so easy for your space to become less than calm! Think about having an ‘autumn clean’ and getting your room clean, tidy and ready for cosy evenings. We love to have a few candles (the battery powered ones are safest in a sleep space in case you fall asleep with them on) to pop on in the evening while we unwind, blankets make their way back to end of the bed for warmth, blue light blocker glasses, windows ajar for fresh air, a little speaker for low volume sleepy music, and a good book.
We love Find Your Birds for blue light blocker glasses, sustainable and B-Corp registered. Sleep Fruits is our fave Spotify playlist for peaceful background sleep inducing tunes.
Foods for sleep
Make your evening meal full of fresh vegetables, seeds, nuts and healthy fats such as avocados and lean protein such as wild salmon. These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals all essential for restful sleep and rejuvenation overnight, whilst not being a ‘heavy load’ on your digestive system just before bed. Try and eat your last meal of the day early in the evening.
Avoid eating late at night, but if you do have a snack, cashew nuts are a good source of magnesium so eat a small handful of these (note - not the roasted, salted ones). Not consuming alcohol within 3hrs of going to bed can also be helpful in getting a good night's sleep.
Our Peppermint and Strawberry Bars contain cashew nuts making a healthy dessert with the added benefit of a small dose of magnesium! Almonds also contain magnesium (see our Vanilla Bites and Macaroons which contain no cacao (caffeine).
The scent of sleep
There’s no doubt that for many of us aromatherapy can be a huge help in both getting unwound from our busy days, and getting ready for sleep. There are a huge range of products out there that claim to help with making you sleepy and we think that these can really help create the right atmosphere for a good night’s sleep. From sleep pillow spray to lavender scented Epsom Salts, the list is pretty long, but which ones work? There are essential oils that contain certain chemical constituents that activate the body's natural sleep hormones including melatonin. Here are a few of the most powerful essential molecules known to aid sleep.
Lavender, Neroli, Rose, Jasmin, Sandalwood, Ylang-ylang
These can be found in many different products but here are a few of our favourites.
Take a hot Epsom Salt/Soda aromatherapy bath. Raising your body temperature before bed helps induce sleep. A hot bath also relaxes muscles. Add 1-2 cups Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate absorbed through the skin is very relaxing), ½ to 1 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate is alkalizing to a stressed-out, acidic body), and 10 drops of lavender oil (helps lower cortisol).