As we all know, restful sleep influences our quality of life in a general way. However, we notice that more and more people are suffering from sleep problems. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to change that fact, and have a better sleep !
What is a good restful sleep?
Sleep is your rest period. However, this is also the time during which your body is working a lot. Indeed, your brain, your heart and your muscles will take this moment to repair themselves and renew their cells. They also sort most of the information collected during the day.
The deeper and better the sleep is, the more effective your body will be in this “self-healing” or “cell renewal process”.
Every week, try to go to bed before midnight, your sleep will be more effective.
1/ Our tips to have a better sleep
- The diet rules
To sleep well, it is really important not to lie down during digestion. Otherwise, it would disturb it. This is why you must go to bed at least 2 hours after your last meal. In general, we must eat a lighter supper.
Food families are also essential to sleep better. On one hand, foods rich in tryptophan (external amino acid) will help release melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Legumes on the other hand, such as lentils, chickpeas, beans, are excellent. They can also been cooked with fresh onions or fresh coriander for example.
For your summer salads, seeds (squash, sesame, sunflower, etc.) are an ally of slumber. Delicious cashew nuts (unsalted, unroasted) are still a rich source of good fats. The only thing you have to be careful when you consume them, is to know when to stop! Their effects are only beneficial is they are eaten with moderation, especially in the evening.
Finally, some fruits such as mango, dates or bananas will help you to have a better sleep. Of course, same as for nuts, less is the quantity eaten, better it is, due to their high glycemic index.
To fully benefit of these foods consumption, it is important to hydrate between meals.
Drink small amounts of water regularly during the day.
Consume fruits & vegetables full of water (melon, watermelon, cucumber)
- The importance of relaxation activities
Meditation, breathing exercises or self-hypnosis are techniques which allow you to have a better sleep. The main objective will be to release tensions and to control your thoughts, so you could fall asleep quickly. Before going to bed, make sure to finish all your tasks, so you wouldn’t have to get up afterwards. Sit in a comfortable lying position. You can also create a calm atmosphere depending on what you like (music, candles, incense, etc.).
Breathing exercises are recommended for everyone but they will help those who find it difficult to relax. Indeed, focusing on your breath is a simple way to relax your mind. For convenience, place your hands on your stomach and feel your organs working while you are breathing. This will help you focusing.
Meditation and self-hypnosis will be for people who are accustomed to center themselves or internalizing their thoughts. Indeed, it requires a lot of focusing to relax each part of his body and to try to visualize each muscle. If you do so, you will feel your energy rising and circulate from your feet to your head. This will trigger a sleep-friendly process of well-being.
If your mind is too busy with ideas, opt for reading.
This allows you to focus on something else and tire your eyes which will gradually close.
2/ Traps to avoid
- The harmful influence of heavy foods for digestion
As seen previously, it is important to eat a light dinner, avoiding as much as you can excesses of sugar and fat. Indeed, fat and fries will require a lot of energy to digest. Excess sugar will cause a peak insulin. As a result, hyperglycaemia induced will be followed after a few hours of hypoglycaemia. This will wake you up hungry during the night and therefore will not be beneficial for a quality sleep.
Then red meat is very heavy to digest at night. It is really essential to limit quantities of it. Red meat will create more acids in your body to effectively digest it. It may change your acid-base balance in the short term. Prefer lean meats (chicken or turkey) for your last meal.
Consumption of chocolate (black one) can encourage slumber (thanks to tryptophan). However, you should consume only a small amount of it (1 or 2 squares). Indeed, too much chocolate will raise the excitants level in your body, due to theobromine contained in it. In the same vein, tea and caffeine will have similar effects on wakefulness levels.
If you are used to drink something before sleeping,
prefer herbal tea (with valerian or linden flowers)
Unlike what many people think, alcohol is THE enemy of a good night sleep. Even if it causes periods of falling asleep, it is not a good quality slumber. This is due to its dehydrating effect. It will force your body to draw in its water supplies during the night, and thus will wake up when they are over.
Finally, spices are generally not recommended before bedtime. This is because they will warm your body temperature during digestion. This then prevents the body from being able to rest completely.
- Know how to keep away distractions
One of the most harmful distractions is the cell phone. Indeed, being on your smartphone before going to bed prevent from falling asleep. Your body will stay focused, even if you want to sleep.
Likewise, watching a TV show or a movie causes similar effects. To counter them, keep your eyes away from the screen and let the lights on. This makes it less tiring for your eyes and your brain. Indeed, your eyes must already produce a effort by focusing on a screen. If you are in a very dark room, the contrast of light may disrupt them even more.
Then, it is not recommended to do a exercise too late at night. If you are used to it, or may have no choice, end your workout with a calm period of at least 15 minutes. This is an opportunity to do some breathing exercises on soothing music. Get used to go to bed on fixed hours. If you work from home, avoid doing it in your bed, this is part of sleep education. Thus, your body can more easily associate this place with slumber, and not with an activity requiring wakefulness.
If you start yawning multiple times, it’s time to go to bed!
A sleep cycle is ready to begin.
If you fight against this cycle, the next one will arrive 1:30 hour later (one cycle)
You’re now ready to finish your day gently and enjoy a good restful sleep! To continue in the same way, do not hesitate to follow our advices as soon as you wake up, by creating your healthy morning routine.
“Your Future depends on your dreams. So have a better SLEEP!”