• alimenta nutrition

5 steps to better sleep

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

What feels better than to wake up in the morning feeling fully rested?! Remember that first full night of sleep we had when babies/toddlers slept through the night? We felt so full of energy ready to tackle the day. These days getting a full night’s sleep has got so much easier with older children actually sleeping in. Sleep is something we start paying attention to when it actually becomes an issue. Was it all the herbal tea I had before bed? Was is the charger on the bedroom corner that was lit all night? Was the room too hot or cold?

There are a number of reasons that contributes to sleep disturbances.

Our Sleep has significant impacts on our;

- physical development (vital for growing body and brain)

- emotional regulation (did I wake up with a bad mood?)

- cognitive performance (academic performance!)

- improve athletic performance and reduced risk of injury (most important for me!)

Overall, it is an essential component of our health and wellness.

To help us achieve good quality sleep, following are the 5 Steps of Sleep Hygiene.

1. Minimise liquid consumption (alcohol, teas, water) 2 hours prior to going to bed to minimise toilet stops during the sleep.

2. Ensure your bedroom is dark and clutter free (no charging devices in the bedroom!)

3. Check the temperature of your bedroom, the optimal temperature is around 18 degrees.

4. Stop exposure to blue light-emitting devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops) 1 hour prior to your bedtime to lessen the cognitive stimulation. **

5. Go to bed and wake up at the same time if possible, to regulate the circadian rhythm.

These are simple practical ideas to get a good quality sleep, however if suffering from chronic stress, insomnia, hot flushes, indigestion and other chronic conditions, it may be time to look further into the underlying causes of sleep disturbances such as hormone imbalances or dysregulation of HPA (Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis.

*Sleep and Athletic Performance PMID 29135639

** Effects of smartphone use with and without blue light at night in healthy adults: A randomized, double-blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled comparison PMID 28017916

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