Five tips for a better nights sleep with Caz
This month Sleep Awareness Week shines the light on how much sleep we need, and how little some of us are getting at the moment. Here are five tips for a better nights sleep...
Sleep disruptions come in all shapes and sizes and, of course, all have different routes to mend and manage them.
- Have difficulty falling asleep
- Wake up and have difficulty getting back to sleep
- Wake up multiple times to urinate
- No matter how much sleep you get, you still feel tired
It may seem utterly boring, but good food and a good nights sleep are the best medicine you can have, so let’s get into a few simple things you can do for a restful sleep.
1. Remove as much light as possible
You’ve heard of circadian rhythms – simply speaking, this is our body’s natural 24 hour cyclical clock. When people refer to their body clock, this is what they’re referring to.
Even low levels of light can reeeaaallly mess with it. This includes phones, computers, kindles and the annoying street light outside your window.
Avoid blue light exposure from screens for AT LEAST one hour before bed. This is where your trusty book comes in handy or a shower before bed. An eye mask worn in bed will be a dream if you struggle to remove light from your surroundings.
2. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday
Following the same logic of the circadian rhythm, your body likes order and routine. Roughly following the same sleep/wake schedule will do wonders.
Which leads us to our next tip…
3. Exercise for a good night’s sleep
You don’t need to run a marathon or do a high intensity work out for it to be called exercise. Even a 30 minute moderately paced walk will cut the mustard. If you can leave the house for a breath of fresh air, I encourage you to do so – even if it’s just around the block.
Other forms of movement that will get the blood pumping:
- Skipping rope
- Yoga (there is so much online!)
4. Manage stress and calm the mind
When we are stressed, our incredibly clever hormones MAKE US FEEL GOOD, so that we can get through the stress! This phenomenon is shown when we finally have down time from our busy schedule and completely crash and feel awful, but feel good when we’re in the thick of things.
Stressors are many and varied, but in order to reduce a cortisol spike at night that will disrupt your sleep, try the following:
- Leave work thoughts for work hours
- Place a drop of lavender oil on your wrists or on your pillow
- Listen to a yoga nidra or sleep meditation in bed
- Have a shower or bath before bed
For further tips on dealing with stress please have a look at Developing a Daily Ritual.
5. What to do when there is not enough sleep in the world
This is the time to contact your GP or preferred health professional.
If you are sleeping long hours and not feeling rested, it may be time speak with your GP to organise a mental health plan as this can be a sign of depression.
If upon waking, you feel groggy and it takes a while to get going this can also be a sign that your gut is having a hard time! Sub out the black coffee first thing for a hot water with lemon as a first step.
The tips you already know, but need to have someone tell you
- Don’t drink coffee or caffeinated drinks from mid-late afternoon onwards
- Avoid sugary foods close to bed
- Don’t work where you sleep and if you must, do what you can to make it feel separate)
- Go to bed at a reasonable hour (before midnight unless you’re a shift worker
Happy sleeping everyone.
ABOUT CAZ BUTLERCaz Butler is a Chinese medicine practitioner in Melbourne who adores women’s health and mental health. Her passion is to bring joy to body literacy. She believes that education and open communication around health and our bodies is a social and political responsibility.
You can find her on Instagram at @caz.butler_tcm.dr
Caz wears our OBUS Botanica Dress - Coming Soon