Is sleep for wimps?

Proper rest and sleep are as important for your physical and emotional well-being as good nutrition and adequate exercise. Lack of sleep, both in quality and quantity, create an uphill battle in so many different ways.

Far from being in any way a badge of honour in an already overtired society, sleep deprivation may be sabotaging your health and negatively impact your energy, judgement, concentration, memory, mood, motivation, resilience to stress, weight, immunity and hormonal health.

Here is what you can do during the day to get a good night sleep:

1. Get some morning light to set your circadian rhythm. Avoid wearing sunglasses to get as much natural light as possible.

2. Avoid blue light by turning off phones and laptops at least 90 minutes before bedtime. Consider investing in special blue light suppressing glasses, install a blue light lowering app (f.lux or Twilight) or use the night-time mode if you have to use electronic devices late at night.

3. Go to bed at the same time every day, aiming for 7-9 hours sleep. Engage in non-stimulating/relaxing activities that do not involve screens (e.g. warm bath or meditation).

4. Reduce your caffeine intake after 12pm. After then, switch to decaf or use relaxing herbal teas such as chamomile, valerian or lemon balm.

5. Balance your blood sugar and eat foods that promote sleep. Reduce starchy carbs (bread, rice, pasta) and sugar. Consume foods that regulate melatonin 2 hours before bed such as turkey, chicken, salmon, cod, milk, cheese, eggs, tofu, green leafy vegetables, spinach, pumpkin/ sesame/ sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, peanut, walnuts, bananas, kiwis, avocado, brown rice and oats.

Still having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? Get in touch with Christelle, a local Registered Nutritional Therapist at:

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