Top tips for getting a good night’s sleep

 children sleepingA guest post by Oxyfit

Just one restless night can disrupt your whole working week. Tossing and turning in the small hours of the morning will leave you feeling groggy and exhausted by the time you get to your 9am meeting.

Although insomnia can be brought on by a number of different factors such a stress, depression and the menopause, there are some things you can do to control it. From monitoring your diet, to deep breathing exercises, we cover the the best techniques to get a full eight hours of sleep each night.

1. Natural Remedies

Plant and herb extracts have been used to help remedy sleep patterns for hundreds of years. The most common natural sleep aid is lavender. Just add a couple of drops of essential oil to your pillows or have a lavender candle burning in your bedroom before bedtime to help you drift off into a peaceful slumber.

Hops (most commonly used in beer production) has also been linked to assisting sleep. The female flowers of the plant have a calming effect on the body and has been widely used as a mild sedative to anxiety and insomnia. It’s recommended to take 30 to 120 milligrams before getting under the covers.

Another supplement which is widely used to help insomnia is Melatonin. The hormone, that controls your body’s sleep pattern, have been linked to naturally inducing sleep however there is some controversy on how much should be taken. There is concern that too high a dose could lead to toxicity and raise the risk of depression and infertility. It is recommended that dosage start off as low as possible – 0.3 milligrams just before bedtime.

One relatively new treatment for insomnia is oxygen therapy. The simple process of breathing in oxygen-enriched air from a portable canister could destress, relax your mind and help you drift off into a deep slumber.

2. Relaxation Techniques

Stress is one of the most common triggers of insomnia. Work worries, money problems or just a busy lifestyle can keep your mind awake all night. It’s important that you train your mind to switch off once your body is tired and relaxation techniques such as visualisation and deep breathing exercises are one of the most effective ways to increase your sleep time.

Yoga combines deep breathing, meditation and stretching all into one and is a brilliant way to help de-stress before bedtime. A recent Harvard study found that daily yoga classes for eight weeks helped improve people’s total sleep time and the time it took them to fall into a deep sleep.

3. Diet

There’s no denying that what we eat has a direct impact on how we sleep, but thankfully a few small changes can make all the difference when it comes to getting your 40 winks.

Cutting out caffeine is the best way to make a sleep-friendly diet, but if you just can’t bare to say goodbye to your morning latte, try to not have coffee after lunchtime. Look out for hidden sources of caffeine too, like chocolate, cough and cold medicines and some multivitamins.

Try increase the amount of magnesium-rich food in your diet. Magnesium is a natural sedative and if you are deficient in it, you might suffer from constipation, muscle cramps, anxiety and irritability. Include lots of legumes and seeds, dark leafy green vegetables, wheat bran, almonds and whole grains to give your body a magnesium boost.

Disclosure: this is a partnered post and has written by Oxyfit

3 Comments

  1. MsXpat
    August 11, 2013 / 11:28 PM

    I wish I could sleep peaceful like that. In my case its my kids that wake me up. One teething, irritable baby and one part-time co-sleeping toddler. I needs zzzzz

  2. surender
    January 4, 2014 / 7:04 AM

    Nice topic!!!! thanks for sharing this, A dark, cool and quiet room can be very relaxing and is the best place to get appropriate rest and good night sleep.Fix a particular habit that relaxes you just before you retreat to bed.

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