How to get good quality sleep

Tips for good sleeping habits _ London naturopathy & medical herbalism

Good sleeping habits

Chronic sleep loss and poor quality sleep are associated with an increase in inflammatory markers and a weak immune response. When we sleep our body fabricates the famous cytokines necessary to combat pathogens and adapt the immune response.

Getting enough quality sleep is the key to good health.

We all know about the efficacy of a bedtime routine, we do it for our children, but we tend to forget to do it for ourselves.

Here are a few ideas to incorporate into your own routine to sleep better at night, naturally :

  1. Prepare a warm bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil or take a warm shower with a comfy gown waiting outside.
  2. Try a meditation app or plan some quiet time on your own.
  3. Avoid screens before bedtime (yes the phone counts).
  4. Swap caffeinated drinks for herbal teas. Some herbs such as chamomile, lime tree, passion flower or valerian help with getting to sleep and staying asleep. Herbal teas enhance the quality of sleep you get.
  5. Go for a walk in the fresh air everyday. Even if you are working from home, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a 20 minute walk to breathe, stretch your body and see some daylight! Your circadian rhythm needs it. Have you tried barefoot walking on the grass?
  6. Maintaining a regular sleep routine and avoiding daytime naps can make a big difference to how you feel and the strength of your immune system.
  7. Some food also promote sleep. Nuts are a good source of the hormone melatonin that regulates your internal clock and prepares your body for sleep. Some fruits such as kiwi are full of minerals, antioxidants and rich in serotonin. Going for magnesium rich foods may also improve your sleep quality when eaten before bed.
  8. Avoid big heavy meals and alcohol before bedtime as it decreases the natural production of melatonin and leads to disrupted sleep patterns.

There are many strategies you can use to promote good sleep, including making some changes to your diet, establishing a night time routine, drinking herbal teas or exercising. Do not hesitate to contact your naturopath if you would like to find out more and most importantly what works for YOUR body.

Getting enough sleep is very important for your health. It is generally recommended that you get between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, and many of us struggle to get enough. Look after yourself, protect your health and wellbeing by working on your sleep patterns. Your body will thank you.

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