Everything feels (and looks) better after a good night’s sleep, right? Our moods, our skin, our energy … but for many of us, getting a good night’s sleep can be elusive. Whether you take ages to fall asleep, wake several times during the night, or crash into bed only to wake around 4am and then never get back to sleep again, here are some practical tips and food advice to have you sleeping like a baby tonight.
Firstly, turn off you phone! So many of us go to bed with our phones, tablets and laptops but the blue light from your device suppresses the production of melatonin more than any other type of light. Melatonin is important as it helps control your sleep and wake cycles so get used to an old-fashioned book again as reading a story, just like when we were small children, stops you thinking about the day and helps us to fall asleep.
Add tryptophan to your diet
Tryptophan is an amino acid found in certain foods which, when eaten, converts to our happy hormone, serotonin; it’s serotonin that helps us to not only feel calmer and happier but is also important for sleep as it is needed to make melatonin. Adding foods such as chicken, turkey, walnuts and pumpkin seeds to your diet will boost your serotonin levels. We’re loving this delicious Raw Walnut Butter and Raw Pumpkin Seed Butter, they make a great serotonin-boosting alternative to peanut butter.
Make time to chill
Because many of us are always ‘on the go’, we’ve forgotten how to relax properly. Even watching TV these days involves checking Facebook at the same time! Drinking a mug of herbal tea about an hour before bed, such as chamomile or even a loose-leaf blend like Sleep-deep, gives a signal to your body that you are starting to relax and you’re ready for bed.
Load up on leafy greens
Make sure you’re getting enough magnesium, which is the body’s natural relaxer. Signs like a twitchy eye, cramps or restless legs can be a sign that you haven’t got enough magnesium in your diet, so make sure you are chomping down on your green veg (such as spinach and kale). Alternatively try boosting your juices or smoothies with this Organic Kale Powder or stash a bag of Almonds or Almond Butter in your drawer at work – both are great sources of magnesium.
Written for We Heart Living