FOOD & PHILOSOPHY: sleep like a pro / 10 natural ways to get better sleep
Have trouble dozing of at night? These easy, safe and all natural tricks will get you to dreamland in no time
1) Drink tart cherry juice. It’s full of Tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to serotonin, which then converts to melatonin. So a lot of converting but what is it good for? Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. By evening time and when it gets dark your body will (normally) start producing more melatonin. As we get older the production of melatonin will slowly drop, therefor it might cause us to sleep less.
2) Make a lavender sachet and tuck it under your pillow or put a couple drops of essential lavender oil on your pillow. Studies have showed that lavender creates a sense of drowsiness.
3) Take a Magnesium supplement. Magnesium is a vital mineral, and yet most of us (due to poor diet) are lacking it. Magnesium plays a huge role in the functioning of GABA receptors, which is the primary neurotransmitter that calms your central nervous system. Taking a magnesium supplement won’t necessarily make you drift off to sleep, but you need GABA to be able to sleep well.
4) Lemon Balm and Chamomile tea:
-2 tablespoons of dried lemon balm, or 8-10 tablespoons of fresh lemon balm
-2 teaspoons dried chamomile
-Honey to taste (optional)
-8 ounces of fresh water
both Lemon Balm and Chamomile are known for their sedative effects.
5) Drink Valerian tea before going to bed, I drink the Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra Tea which I really like. You could also make your own drink, watch the video below for a good recipe and some extra information on valerian.
6) Eat a banana 30 minutes before going to bed. Bananas contain tryptophan (see tart cherry juice), potassium and magnesium (see above), which are muscle relaxants.
7) Do some yoga, yoga can calm the mind and relieve tension from the body. Since we live in a high pace environment it’s hard to stop our brain at the end of the day, yoga (or other forms of meditation) can help with this. I would also suggest following a mindfulness course.
8) Try to eat your last meal at least 3 hours before you go to bed. If your stomach is still digesting tons of food it might prevent you from falling asleep.
9) exercise daily! I would suggest not doing it right before going to bed though, since exercise increases your energy levels and instead of feeling sleepy it might cause you to feel like you can conquer the world (which sounds great, unless you have to get up early in the morning). Don’t expect immediate results either, studies have shown that exercising daily will improve sleep after several weeks/months. So exercise won’t have an immediate effect on sleep. Sleep however does have an immediate effect on exercise: a bad night will likely cause you to work out less or give up your workout completely that day.
10) Make some white noise. while random, inconsistent noise will keep you awake at night and complete silence will make you feel trapped and anxious, white noise will help you sleep. White noise can mask the inconsistent noises that may appear during the night, therefor decreasing the chances of you waking up because of some rain that hits your window, a neighbor taking the stairs or a dripping faucet. You can turn on a fan or buy a special designed white noise machine to help you sleep.
Some book recommendations: