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Tips for a good snooze

In my previous blog on 15.1.20 I wrote about why sleep is so important and all the awesome stuff that happens not only when we sleep but also as a result of a good nights sleep. Now I’d like to share with some practical, effective and natural strategies to help you optimise your sleep many of which I have tried and tested:

- Limit/avoid alcohol, sugar, stimulants especially 2-3hrs before bed.

- Consistent bed time and wake time. Bed before 10pm.

- Essential oils in a diffuser, massage oil and or pillow/room spray. Lavender is my go to.

- Don’t go to bed hungry or dehydrated.

- Don’t go to bed on a row. Deal with everything as it comes rather than let it fester.

- Brain dump before bed.

- Mindfulness. Breath work. Meditation.

- Warm bath (add epsom salts for extra relaxation).

- Look at your mattress and bedding.

- Make your bed every morning so it looks inviting when we get into it in the evening and helps you go into wind down mode. Create a sanctuary.

- Limit phone time/blue light stimulus (incl social media - it shuts down your already lowering melatonin as you get older).

- Read a book or magazine.

- Note what wakes you up/keeps you up - it may need your attention (eg hot flush, family/job stress, gut issues? What are you going to do about it?)

- Cool your room - get a fan or sleep on one of those cooling pads for mattress or pillow.

- Weighted blanket.

- Set boundaries with children that are age appropriate if need.

- Move daily and nourish your body with nutrient dense, real food.

- Rotate calming support like valerian, lavender, chamomile, glycine, tulsi, melatonin, 5-HPT, passionflower, Californian poppy, jujube, magnesium, l-theanine, magnolia as advised by a natural health care provider.

- Get your hormones checked - swinging hormones in midlife (and post pregnancy) can affect your neurotransmitters like GABA or serotonin and bring on night sweats, thyroid change etc; also, melatonin declines with age and is affected by oestrogen, cortisol and inflammation changes.

- Be OK with the odd bad night sleep here and there.

- Be intentional, strategic and consistent with your plan - good sleep patterns don’t just happen by chance.

Happy snoozing!

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