I’ve been working with sleep problems for over 25 yrs as well as once having terrible problems myself!
Here are my top 5 reasons why my patients and clients suffer from poor sleep:
- No breakfast – not eating breakfast within 30mins of getting up or eating too late after getting up (more than an hour) suppresses the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and causes the body to produce the stress hormones. People who don’t eat breakfast never feel like eating it either so it’s a vicious cycle. Break the cycle by starting small – a handful of almonds, toast with nut butter, or a small bowl of natural, full-fat yoghurt with chopped nuts and honey. Make sure that you include a source of protein which helps to optimise melatonin production.
- Dehydration – creates restless muscles and ‘scratchy’ sleep. Aim to drink 2-3 litres/day
- Lack of rest – pushing yourself relentlessly throughout the day overstimulates your nervous system leading to that night time ‘tired but wired’ feeling. Take 3-5 min breaks every 90mins throughout the day – stop, move, breathe, close your eyes, eat something nourishing, pray or meditate, get away from technology. Your sleep will be deeper and more restful
- Technology overload before bedtime –overloads the ‘working memory’ of the brain and leads to ‘noisy’ sleep. Aim for 60-90mins technology-free before bed
- Emotional baggage – write your worries down before bedtime, practise gratitude (think of the small positive things that happened in your day as you drift off to sleep), let go, let go, let go…
Practise all or at least 2 or 3 of these tips every day for the next 21 days to notice lasting benefits.
These tips are taken from my book ‘Tired But Wired’ (Souvenir Press Ltd., June 2010).