Phone: 01564 33 99 55 Email: hello@andreabayles.co.uk
Andrea Bayles Nutritional Therapist
ND, Dip Nutr, Dip Herb, MBANT, MURHP, MCNHC

Tools and Tips for a Good Night's Sleep!

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Your bed!

Make sure that your bed and bedroom are comfortable-neither too hot nor too cold, as quiet as possible, and that your mattress is neither too firm nor too soft.

Avoiding stimulants.

It is really important for you to avoid stimulants such as tea and coffee in the evenings. The half-life of caffeine in other words, how long it takes for your body to metabolise 50% of it is about 6 hours. So if you drink a cup of coffee containing 150mg of caffeine in it at 3pm, by 9pm around 75mg of caffeine will still be in your system. Drink chamomile, valerian and lemon balm teas.

Alcohol

Don't be tempted to have a nightcap alcohol is also a stimulant and tends to impair sleep during the second half of the night as well as reducing sleep time overall. As a results, many people find that after drinking alcohol, they wake up very early and don't feel refreshed upon waking.

Boost your melatonin production

In the evening eat foods containing high amounts of tryptophan, which the body can then convert to melatonin. Tryptophan is contained in fish, turkey, cottage cheese and eggs. Consumption of carbohydrate alongside these foods can increase our absorption of them so eat a couple of oatcakes to help digest well. Conversion of tryptophan to melatonin requires Vitamin B6 and Magnesium.

Eat lightly

Avoid eating large meals in the evening especially hot, spicy foods which are stimulating. The process of digesting food does the opposite of relaxing to our body our circulatory system moves more blood to the digestive tract, our stomach secretes more gastric acid, our pancreas produces digestive enzymes and the muscles around the intestines contract. Lots going on!

Exercise

Exercise during the day can help, but not during the evening as it increases the output of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Ideally choose gentle exercise for evening such as yoga, swimming or walking.

Get regular

Adopt a regular bedtime and waking up time, even at weekends. Going to bed at the same time is one way of relaxing the body and telling the brain that it is time to sleep.

Darkness

Darken the room use blackout blinds or curtains if necessary, because the darkness will help to stimulate the release of melatonin.

Ditch the TV!

Don't watch TV; read and exciting book or surf the internet/emails before bed and don't work in your bedroom.

Relax

Have a warm bath with lavender aromatherapy oil before bed to help you wind down and relax. If you are worried or anxious about something, write it down before going to bed and decide to deal with it in the morning

Relaxation exercises during the day can help, such as meditation, yoga and tai chi relaxation tapes. Additionally there are now many 'Apps' for meditation and relaxation on the market.

If you can't get off to sleep, don't lie there fretting about it and panic. Getting wound up by not sleeping will make it less likely that you will nod off. Read or listen to soft music if you cannot sleep and try again when you feel tired.

Good night!!

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  • "Andrea at Natural Solutions is my first port of call when my body is not functioning the way I want it to. Unfortunately I live too far away to see her for face to face consultations but by talking to her on Skype she always seems to come up with a solution. I have used her for my children and my husband as well and her support has always been fantastic. When my husband went through complications after a medical procedure she sorted him out with supplements and suggestions of how to deal with it, which made it all more manageable. Great service, Andrea! Many thanks. "Ancki Danby, Southampton