Tips to Sleep Better

How are you sleeping? Do you find yourself struggling to sleep at night, are you rolling around in bed trying to drift off to sleep? Or are you waking up in the middle of the night?

 

Sleep is such a crucial part of living a healthy lifestyle and managing your PCOS. While you are sleeping, your body is working is still working, it working to maintain your physical health and support healthy brain function.

 

It is likely that you can notice the difference in days when you sleep well, to the days that you do not sleep very well, you are more likely to be irritable, sleepy, tired, distracted, short-tempered, you may also have a bigger appetite. Research shows that sleep deficiency is a very serious problem, it can cause instant problems (such as a car crash), but it can also cause chronic health problems.

 

 

Tips on How to Sleep Better

 

Food

 

While there is no meal timing, research does suggest foods you should eat and avoid before bed.

Sleep Promoters

 

Research has found eating foods that contain Tryptophan can help with sleep. Tryptophan is found in foods such as Turkey, and it is said to release serotonin helping you sleep.

 

Combine some wholegrains with a protein source like turkey, eggs. The carbohydrate-containing foods help the tryptophan-rich foods get absorbed by the brain.

 

Magnificent Magnesium. Magnesium has many roles in the body. You can find magnesium in dark leafy greens, avocados, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

 

Consuming enough magnesium can help with sleep and insomnia. The way in which magnesium aids with sleep is, it regulates neurotransmitters, which send signals throughout the nervous system and brain. Furthermore, it also regulates the hormone melatonin, which deals with our daily sleep-wake cycles.

 

Opt for Cherries. If you are looking for a sweet treat or snack before bed choose cherries. While they are a low GI fruit, which means they will increase your blood sugar levels, they are also said to be one of the few natural sources of melatonin, a hormone your body produces that’s often recommended as a sleep aid.

 




Sleep Stealers

 

Stop Drinking Caffeine at night

 

Research has shown that caffeine produces insomnia. A study found that it reduces slow-wave sleep in the early part of the sleep cycle and can reduce rapid eye movement (REM) sleep later in the cycle. Caffeine raises your cortisol levels, and therefore it is recommended that you avoid drinking caffeine after 11 or 12 o'clock as this can affect your sleep. Researchers found that consuming high doses late in the evening can increase the time taken to fall asleep.

No to  high-fat foods

Avoid eating high-fat foods such as fried food or dairy before bed.  Fat takes a long time to digest, this will, in turn, keep your body awake while as a

 

Nutrient Deficiencies

 

Nutrient deficiencies can also cause sleep difficulties. The research into vitamins and minerals and there effect on sleep is not certain as they are not drugs. However, it is suggested that B Vitamins are believed to help sleep. Niacin is also known as vitamin B3, is believed to beneficial in imporving sleep. It is said that low Niacin levels can disrupt the working of brain neurons, in turn affecting the sleep-wake cycle. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) may also help with sleep as it is involved in the synthesis of melatonin (through serotonin). Also, Vitamin B12 has also been shown to aid in sleep. A deficiency in vitamin B12 has been associated with insomnia and therefore supplementing with B12 can help.

 

Magnesium has also been associated with insomnia. Magnesium supplementation has been linked to improved sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep onset latency, early morning awakening. Moreover, a symptom of magnesium deficiency is leg cramps, and this often disrupts sleep. Furthermore, zinc has also been linked to improved sleep.

 

Wake Up Early

 

By waking up early, you are ensuring you expend enough energy to feel tired at night. You may think this is too difficult, however, what I have also noticed from experience is that earlier I wake up the more tired I get and I can't wait till I get in my bed. As a way to adjust your sleep schedule aim to wake up even 15 minutes before you usually do and then gradually increase it. Do not make significant large changes, for example if you wake up at 8 don't attempt to try and wake up at 6, instead aim to wake up at 7:45, make small incremental changes that can allow your body to adjust.

 

Stick to a Sleep Schedule

 

Ensure you wake up and going to bed at the same time. What I have noticed is when I wake up at the same time I am always tried at the same time every night and therefore aim to go to bed. Once you wake up and go to bed at the same time every day your body adapts to this and it becomes its sleeping schedule.

Only Use your Bed as a Place to Sleep

Don't let your body associate the bed with anything else other than a place to sleep at night. If you are constantly laying in your body while texting, watching TV or doing work, your body will stop associating it as a place of sleep. Researchers have associated the use of technology with sleep problems.

 

The blue light emitted by screens on mobile phones, tablets, and televisions restrict the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle. Most people use some type of gadget an hour before they go to bed and therefore the decrease in melatonin caused by this blue light reduces melatonin making it harder to sleep.

 

Have something to eat if you are hungry

 

It is important you go to bed when your blood sugar levels are stable. If blood sugar levels are too low (below 50 at night), adrenaline, , cortisol, glucagon and growth hormones increase, which can all of stimulate the brain, making it more difficult to sleep.

 

Herbs

 

The most widely recommended herb that helps to induce sleep is Valerian. It is suggested that the Valerian root is used as a mild sedative. Taken as a supplement, valerian reduces the amount of time it takes to fall into a deep sleep.

 

Exercise

 

Exercising in the afternoon or later in the day can promote sleep. It is suggested that because exercise raises your body’s temperature, but then decreases it, it somewhat signals to your body to start shifting into sleep mode.

 

Hot Baths

 

Having hot baths increases your body temperature helping to induce sleep. It is suggested tat the warm water helps through loosening up stiff joints and relaxing muscles.

 




Sleep in a dark room

Making sure you block all lights can help with sleep. Your body is programmed to sleep when it's dark, therefore by sleeping in a completely dark room,  you can ensure you that your body knows it is time to sleep.

 

Wear a sleep mask and ear muffs

If you find it hard to block all light coming into the bedroom wear a sleep mask this will ensure all light is blocked. However, if you struggle to sleep as a result noise, purchase some ear muffs which cancel noise.

 

Play some relaxing music

 

You can give playing some relaxing music a go if you struggle to sleep. Several studies suggest playing some calming music can help. It is recommended that when choosing music for bed, you opt for music that has a soft and steady sound, avoid music an upbeat tempo. I have noticed that listening to this type of music soothes and relaxes me, helping me switch off and go to sleep.

 

Yoga Poses

 

Undertaking some yoga poses can help with sleep. Yoga can be an approach which helps you promote inner calmness. Yoga poses can help bring relaxation before bed.

 

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