I have always been a good sleeper but when I've got a lot on it can start to wear away at the edges. I also find that now TV is so "on-demand" it's easy to get caught up in a TV show without realising the time. Having a good routine helps me massively.
Many of us struggle to sleep and we all know how hard it is to do life when sleep deprived (especially if you're a parent). But sleep problems also effects our hormones. It increases our insulin resistance making both men and women more likely to eat the wrong stuff and get diabetes. But for women imbalanced insulin can also result in increased oestrogen and increase the potential for you to get things like fibroids and endometriosis. Here is my favourite tips to get a regular sleep pattern.
- Set a bed time alarm. I have an alarm on my phone which goes off at 9.30pm each night and if I hit snooze it goes off at 10pm again. It's a reminder that I should start getting ready for bed and aim to be in it by 10.
- Once that alarm goes off turn off all screens, stop using your phone and either dim the lights or switch over to pure candle light. In the summer months when the sun is still up at 9 I draw the curtains and have a black out curtain in my bed room to totally exclude light. By excluding light the pineal gland is stimulated to release melatonin. If this makes no difference after a week you might want to try taking 2.5ml of Vitex agnus castus (1:1) each day as it will help melatonin production.
- Bed time fibre. I used to wake up around 5am every morning feeling hungry. I don't know if this is a common problem but I was interested to hear that eating fibre rich food has been shown to help with sleep on the TV documentary because I find the same thing. Before bed I have a couple teaspoons of psyllium husk blend by Pukka in a glass of water. I find that it keeps me hydrated and I don't end up needing to pee or wake up hungry. It's a perfect way to snack before bed.
- Get an old fashioned non-smart alarm clock. This allows you to set your morning alarm and leave your phone in another room over night. That way you neither fall asleep or wake up by looking at it.
- Use Relaxio, an app that allows you to mix your own background noise from effects like streams, birds and even a bustling cafe. You can tell it how long you want it to play for before it switches off too.