Do not eat too late as the digestive process can interfere with deep restorative sleep. A high carbohydrate bedtime snack can be useful if you eat dinner very early. Focus on something small like a banana or an apple.
Coffee has a half life of between five and six hours, which means the body will take between five and six hours to eliminate half of the caffeine you have consumed. So a good rule is to stop drinking coffee at about 2pm if you plan to sleep restfully from 10pm.
Calcium and Magnesium are soothing minerals and can help you achieve a good night’s sleep. Focus on calcium and magnesium rich foods at dinner time, or supplement with up to 400 mg of calcium and 330 mg of magnesium about and hour before bedtime. If you are very anxious, try 500 mg of magnesium.
Essential Fatty acids (DFAs) are critical for the structure and functioning of all cell membranes especially in our fatty brains. They are believed to be intricately involved in our sleep patterns, with animal studies indicating that the pineal glad contains a high percentage of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which is a long chain omega 3 EFA. Ensuring that you are getting optimum amounts of these special fatty acids may help you get back into a good sleeping pattern. Click here to buy some good quality essential fatty acids supplements.
Your body enjoys a proper sleep routine so go to sleep and get up at the same time every day to establish this sleep pattern. Ensure that your bedroom is uncluttered and peaceful. It should be a haven, not a stress den.
If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again, then go back to bed. If lack of sleep is persistent and affecting your daily life, make an appointment to see your GP.
Find out about Sleepio, a digital programme that helps people overcome sleep problems.
Keep a notebook on your bedside table to record thoughts that run round your head during the night. Its easier to keep your mind calm and relaxed when you know that you have jotted down your plans for the next day on paper.
Stop using all forms of technology (including your smartphone) at least two hours before bedtime as the light from these devices interferes with melatonin production.
Picture yourself reclining on a deskchair, under a palm tree somewhere in the Maldives or Caribbean. You’ve just had a delicious lunch with a loved one a the beachside restaurant. Now you have nothing to do but lie back and relax. Imagine the sweep and retreat of the calm sea, matching the flow of your breath. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, smell the salty tang of the sea air and watch the white sailboats glide elegantly from one end of the bay to the other.
Meditate! Meditation is wonderful in creating a calm relaxed state. Visit www.meditainment.com to discover a wonderful array of guided meditations which will gently help you release any tensions leaving you feeling calm and relaxed. Each meditation lasts around 20 minutes so a great way to take well deserved time out, and here is also one there to aid falling asleep.
Tap it out! Tapping is based on the principles of acupuncture, but thankfully it doesn’t require any needles. Practitioner Gary Craig recommends gently tapping your fingertips on different areas of your body in the sequence to feel immediate benefits:
- Top of the head
- Beginning of the eyebrow
- Side of the eye
- Under the eye
- Under the nose
- Chin point
- Beginning of the collar bone
- Under the arm.
Childhood home visualisation – bring to mind your childhood home. Picture yourself wandering around it, exploring each room in turn and trying to remember as many details as you can. What was the decoration, furniture and atmosphere in each room? Which room did you spend the most time in, and what did you do in them. Which were your favourite rooms and why? What are your memories of Christmas as a child?
Have a cuddle! The hormone oxytocin is produced when we have skin to skin contact with others. This hormone has been linked to helping us bond, relax and sleep, so make cuddling up with your loved ones part of your wind-down ritual.
Stay in the present and make it a mindful experience by focussing on every detail of how it feels to be close to someone you care about – what you feel, smell and see during those moments.
Invest in your bed. Make it a place you love to retreat to. Spend time trying out all of the mattresses in the store, and choose the one you don’t want to get up from. Splurge on silky pillowcases and cosy duvets in natural fabrics – cool linen in summer, combed cotton in winter.
Further Resources That Can Help Improve Sleep
Click on the links below to access additional resources that can help with improving sleep and insomnia*
- Insomnia Hypnosis Pack – contains 5 deeply relaxing hypnosis sessions tails gently off at the end to allow you to slip into delicious, rejuvenating sleep.
- Hypnotherapy for Sleep Problems – A range of hypnotherapy audio’s to help you drift off.
- Go to Sleep by Sarah Plater
- Why we Sleep by Matthew Walker
- The Sleep Book by Guy Meadows
*This links divert to external websites, and we earn a small commission on any sale. These commissions can help fund Mind Calm being able to offer reduced rates for therapy or free therapy sessions for those in need.