REST EASY – Eden’s guide to a good night’s sleep
As September heralds in the autumn, in a sense the changing season brings forth a fresh start – a new year if you like. It’s the beginning of the academic calendar, and as such a return to routine. So how as a family can you help yourself with that routine? A good night’s sleep for all is essential. But often, that is easier said than done.
Sleeping through is something that should come naturally to us all. It is something that as a newborn we learn to do once we manage to separate the need for food from the need for sleep – this is something baby (and the exhausted parents) can often need help with, and a good maternity nurse can be a lifeline in this situation.
It maybe that your little one has settled beautifully and is in a great night-time routine, but even the best baby sleepers can go on to have problems later. Night Nannies can help with this aspect of an infant or child’s routine.
As adults however, night-time sleep can be erratic. Life style factors play a big part. Pressures, worries and stress, have all been known to take their toll and show themselves as insomnia.
Perhaps a Personal Assistant could help you manage your workload and address your work/life balance, or perhaps Eden can help you find a Life Coach before insomnia begins to affect your health and happiness.
First, it should be noted that a lack of sleep can appear as a direct result of various health problems, and, if you recognise any symptoms please do visit your GP. Perhaps sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome are the cause? Visiting a sleep specialist could help. A sleep study can be performed in order to confirm the diagnosis and recommend the adequate treatment solution.
The good news is, there are plenty of natural ways to help reduce stress and anxiety and equip you with strategies for better sleep, which in turn will help with health and happiness.
1) Spending time in natural surroundings, whether it’s at city parks, in forests or at the beach has been shown to have specific health and wellbeing benefits, and lead to a better night’s sleep.
2) Promote sleep by making sure you eat carbs for dinner. Food such as potatoes for the last meal of the day deliver amino acids that will trigger Melatonin, the sleep hormone.
3) Reduce the amount of artificial light around you because it disrupts the body’s melatonin production. Not only the lighting in your home, but that which comes from the many electronic devices and screens that today that we are all so accustomed to.
4) A cool and dark bedroom is one way of guaranteeing a better night’s sleep. When the temperature of the body decreases, the onset of sleep is stimulated. The darkness stimulates the production of melatonin and promotes a restful sleep as well.
5) Yoga, meditation and deep breathing can all help manage the stress that occurs throughout the day and lead to a better night.
6) Physical exercise is essential for maintaining general health and it can really help with insomnia, especially when performed in the open outdoors.
7) A wind-down Routine is essential to aiding relaxation and putting you in the right frame of mind for a good night’s sleep. Having dinner at a sensible hour, giving your body time to digest the food, enjoying a warm bath all prior to bed, are all signals your body can recognise as time to shut down for the night. You may like to try something like the Lavender and loveage candle (Jo Malone, £42). Its calming effect can help ease anxiety. Jomalone.co.uk
8) If you need to, try reading – obviously not a thriller or a book that will leave you agitated, but something you enjoy that will help your eyes become heavy.
9) Quality of sleep can be improved with the help of natural remedies. Some supplements may help such as Magnesium and Green Tea for their calming effects and Taurine, which reduces cortisol and can help induce the onset of sleep.
10) Listening to music can help. But not just any music. Michael Tyrrell, an author and composer has produced Wholetones, a healing frequency music project which by working on a cellular level helps restore the body’s circadian rhythm and consequently improves sleep and wellbeing.