13 Dec Article: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
Sleep is a trending topic in the health world and for good reason. Poor sleep can impact your brain function and immune system, cause weight gain and increase the risk of chronic disease; and it seems that plenty of people are struggling to get restful shut-eye, with 63% of Aussies trying to improve their sleep.
A good night’s rest starts with a good evening routine, so here are my tried and tested tips for preparing your mind and body for a peaceful slumber.
Plan Your Dinner.
The connection between food, energy and sleep has been well documented and when it comes to getting some solid shut-eye, it’s important to eat foods that are going to support this.
Prepare a dinner that includes a portion of protein to stabilise your blood sugar levels, a portion of good fat to balance out your hormones and support your liver health and a range of brassica vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and kale. A great dinner option is salmon because it’s rich in vitamin B6 and protein.
It’s important to switch off your phone, laptop and TV a few hours before you plan to jump into bed. As a guide, I aim to shut these devices down by 8pm. The blue light that’s emitted from these screens has been proven to slow your production of melatonin, the hormone that tells your body it’s time to sleep.
As your bedtime approaches, take a few minutes to focus on your breathing and take the yoga pose, viparati karani. This pose helps to calm your nervous system, is suitable for all fitness levels and can be done in your bedroom. Simply lie on the floor and put your legs up against the wall, making an ‘L’ shape with your body.
Taking 30mg of zinc before bed can help send you into a deeper, more restful sleep. If you’re still struggling to sleep, speak to your health practitioner about a melatonin supplement.
Once you have your evening routine down-pat, it could be time to look at how to improve your energy throughout the day.
Sepel is passionate about taking a balanced approach when it comes to food. Jess believes we need to give up ‘diets’ to overhaul our relationship with food and advocates for moderation, mindfulness at meals and healthy body image.
Jessica Sepel, Founder of JSHealth, author of two best-selling books and accredited nutritionist – article 30.06.19, nib.com.au