4 Tips for Better Health in 2020
So now 2020 is well and truly under way, maybe you have decided that you are going to make some changes for better health this year. Over the next 4 weeks I will be discussing the top 4 areas that I consider are most important for good health. Guaranteed you know them already, but it’s always good to be reminded. Today I’m tackling No 1. So read on – these tips, once followed, will have you feeling better in no time!
Everything feels better after a good night’s sleep right? We all know that if we have a problem and end up ruminating on it during the night, keeping us awake, we feel terrible the next day. This is just an example of how lack of sleep for one night can impact your sense of well-being. So, if you’re not getting enough sleep, or enough good quality sleep, on a regular basis your health is going to be impacted. I treat insomnia in the clinic regularly and it’s amazing the transformation in clients who start sleeping better after only a couple of weeks, sometimes even days!
"Dogs don't suffer from sleep problems - in fact they can sleep up to 17 hours a day!"
Here are the most important things you need to know:
The number one piece of advice I give to clients to help them get to sleep is to turn off your digital devices at night - and I mean to completely shut them down. Digital devices interfere with our melatonin levels, making it difficult to fall asleep. So if you are wondering why you are lying awaking, having just been on Facebook or Instagram for 2 hours before going to bed, this could be why! Digital devices are also highly mentally stimulating (and addictive), which is the opposite frame of mind you want to be in going to bed. You want to be relaxed going to bed, not all hyped up! So, turn those digital devices off, at least 2 hours before bedtime.
Another piece of advice I give clients, is to create a routine before bedtime. Qi (or life-force in Chinese Medicine) loves routine, as the body-mind knows what’s going to happen. The body-mind doesn’t really like surprises. Creating a routine can help prepare your body and mind for sleep and help get you into relaxed state, which of course is going to help you get to sleep quicker. So start creating your own individual bedtime routine and stick to it each night.
Drinking lots of fluids before bedtime will guarantee you wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, disturbing your sleep. Sometimes people can find that they can’t get back to sleep after this. My advice to clients is to ensure that you are staying well hydrated throughout the day and ease off on fluids in the evening time. This will make sure that you aren’t woken up in the middle of the night needing to use the bathroom and you will get a better night’s sleep.
Stimulants interfere with your sleep as they play havoc with your body, thinking it is getting ready to run around the block! I advise my clients to avoid stimulating foods and drinks, as these also interfere with your sleep. The main culprits are: sugar, coffee (or anything containing caffeine), tea and chocolate. Alcohol is also not a good idea, as it disrupts sleep, as do greasy food and junk foods. Eating too late is also a big no-no, as this means that the digestive system is over-working at a time when it should be slowing down and resting. A good rule of thumb is to eat at least 3 hours before going to bed if possible, so this means no late night snacks!