By Rachael Finch founder www.bodybyfinch.com
Sleep is the golden chain that ties all of our health together. If we get a decent night under the sheets our body can repair and restore itself as necessary and we’ll be more likely to wake feeling refreshed. Since having babies my sleep patterns have definitely changed and are a lot more disturbed, so it’s actually more important for me than ever to ensure I’m doing my best to set up for a relaxing night.
Check out my tips below:
What’s on your plate before bed?
If I eat and drink stimulating ingredients like chocolate, chili, coffee/black tea, or high sugar food like dates or fruit right before bed, my body is more likely to stay awake processing these. These types of foods are still beneficial for the body, but I try to consume them during the day so my body starts to wind down toward the evening.
Timing is everything
Also, I try to eat my last meal at least 2-3 hours before bed. This way my body isn’t disturbed by digesting food as I’m trying to fall asleep and stay calm. If I’m really hungry I’ll have a very light snack such as some veggie sticks with hummus. Try to plan your meals so that you don’t get into bed feeling full!
Light has a profound effect on our sleep. During the day, light stimulates the brain and body, making us feel awake, alert and energised. Light exposure at night also stimulates these feelings and it can heavily affect the quality of our sleep. To get the most from your time in bed, blackout your bedroom as best you can. I have heavy, light blocking curtains in my room which are heavy and block every speck of light, even during the day!
Put down the bottle
Drinking too close to bedtime (all types of drinks – and especially alcohol) will only keep you awake at night. No-one likes midnight dashes to the bathroom… Have a think about limiting the liquids you’re consuming before bed. I try to drink the bulk of my fluids throughout the day when the sun is up, then finish my last drink at least an hour or two before bed. My body is less disturbed and more inclined to repair and restore.
Noises and notifications can also affect the quality of our sleep. If you’re a mama or new parent you’ll totally get what I mean. While it’s not possible 100% of the time, the goal is to limit all external noise to enable your body to rest as best as possible. I turn my phone on flight mode take it out of the room at bedtime. If I’m sleeping in a hotel, I’ll ask for earplugs.
Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day can have a wonderful effect on your sleep and ultimately your energy throughout the day. When you wake at the same time every day you stabilise your circadian rhythm – the fancy name for your body clock! I find when I wake early at the same time I am more alert, focused, and start my day in a much calmer state. No matter when you plan to go to bed or wake, ensure you are getting at least 7-8 hours for optimum wellbeing.
I don’t like sleeping with technology in my room and if I do happen to have my phone with me, it’s on flight mode. Digital devices can only disturb our brain with flickering lights or notifications we just don’t need to know about at 2 am. I also ask Misha to turn his phone to flight mode too, as annoying as it may be, everyone is happy when we wake from a delicious, deep sleep.