5 Tips for better sleep

5 Tips for better sleep

We have come to learn a lot about sleep, it's importance, benefits and how to "do it better" in recent years.

 

This short guide is just a basic round up of some simple and proven strategies that we have found to have great impact when it comes to better sleep. 

TIP 1: Pre Bed - Things to avoid

  • Artificial Lightavoiding or limiting artificial light (bluelight) 2-3 hours before bed can support melatonin production.
  • Strenuous Exercise - this naturally increases adrenaline, cortisol and endorphins. these hormones are excitatory.
  • Caffeine - caffeine is a stimulant.
  • Stress - in the form of something work related, an argument or even watching something that is distressing on tv
  • Fluid Consumption - consider reducing fluid consumption in the lead up to bed to avoid waking for the bathroom in the night

TIP 2: Pre Bed - Things to try

  • Wear Blue Light Blocking Glassesin the 2-3 hours pre bed means that you can continue to work on screens, with less impacts on melatonin production.
  • Dim the lights - make your home darker in the evenings to reflect the change in natural light outside.
  • Un-plug - from screens & work at least 45-60 mins before getting into your bed. it's important to take time whilst we are awake to switch off.
  • Read - in your bed for 15 mins before lights out 

TIP 3: Pre Bed Fuel

Consuming certain foods in the lead up to bed can promote the production of critical sleep chemicals in the brain and also enhance repair and muscle growth.

  • Protein - Consuming protein in the lead up to bed can support muscle growth & repair.
  • Carbohydrates - Despite popular belief, carbs can be a great option 60-90 mins prior to bed. carbohydrate can help transfer tryptophan across the blood brain barrier where it can be turned into melatonin.
Pairing smart carb options with protein can double the benefits.

    TIP 4: Pre Bed Supplements 

    • Magnesium - Helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
    • Tart Cherry - Natural food source of melatonin
    • Ashwaghanda - Decreases cortisol & promotes calm.
    • Valerian - Promotes calm in sleep stage 1 leading to a deeper sleep in subsequent stages.
    • L-Theanine - Elevate your levels of GABA, dopamine and serotonin, which promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety levels.

    TIP 5: Improve Sleep Environment

    • Room Temperature - Your room should be cool, keeping windows open (even in winter) can help with fresh air flow.
    • Bedding - Use natural fibers like 100% cotton & wash all sheets at least once a week.
    • Scents - Certain essential oils (lavender & bergamot to name a few) can promote calm and lead to better sleep
    • Noise - Noise isn't inherently bad, some can be reassuring & calm white noise can help.  Loud infrequent noises like sirens or arguing will disrupt sleep.
    • Light - Your room should be as dark as possible (consider black out blinds if needed)  & you should expose yourself to as much natural daylight as possible during the day.
    • Nasal Strips - Wearing nasal strips can promote oxygen intake whilst decreasing mouth breathing.

    It's worth knowing that there is no one single "key" to better health & performance. training, fuel and recovery are all intrinsically linked and need to be prioritised.

     

    These 3 key elements contribute to long terms health & performance results, happiness and a clear and positive mindset.