Lack of sleep affects us both mentally and physically. A poor night’s sleep taxes our adrenal hormones leaving us unable to concentrate, craving the wrong foods and physically drained. It also creates a vicious cycle where a good night’s sleep becomes harder to achieve. The long-term effects of broken or very little sleep are catastrophic.
If you struggle with getting or staying asleep here are the top tips I give my clients to help them get a good nights sleep.
1. Balance your blood sugar. If you tend to wake up in the middle of the night and you are wide awake chances are your blood sugar hit so low your body had to produce adrenalin to stop you from going into a coma! That adrenalin hit, keeps you alive but it also keeps you awake too. The best way to balance your blood sugar is to eat protein at every meal and snack and eat some protein before you go to bed to avoid that sudden dip in the middle of the night. You can sign up below to get a handy cheat sheet on how to balance your blood sugar.
2. If your problem is struggling to get off to sleep then there is a different approach that will work for you. Chances are your thoughts are racing, all your life’s worries pop into your head when you are trying to sleep. In this case you need a good dose of magnesium oil – this comes in spray and you can pop it on the soles of your feet at night to help ease your worries at bedtime. Make this nightly ritual and you’ll soon see the difference. Another tip for those whose worries keep them from falling asleep is to try 5HTP. This is the precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that helps us to feel happy and relaxed. Make sure that the brand of 5HTP you use has the co-factors – zinc and B6 in it. If it doesn’t it may not work effectively if you are slightly deficient in either of these nutrients.
3. The last tip is for those that wake during the night. This one of my all-time favourite supplements. It is called Neuralactin and is by a company called Bionutri. It contains L-theanine which helps you to relax and feel content by promoting GABA in the brain. However, the key ingredient in this is hydrolysed casein. This helps with solid sleep. Using this each night can help you reach deep sleep, the kind where you don’t surface during the night at all. The casein has been hydrolysed meaning it is also fine for those on a casein/dairy-free diet.
PS. Of course you should exercise good sleep hygiene too – make your room as dark as possible, with no lights on – including stand-by lights from televisions, etc. Whatever you do, don’t look at your mobile phone or tablet at bedtime or if you wake in the night. The light emitted from those gadgets is one sure way to wake your brain up!