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Sleep Hygiene tips & techniques

to help you to GET to sleep and STAY asleep

  • Avoid eating dinner after 8pm. Eating causes a release of cortisol, which can stimulate you.
  • Calming teas can be drunk an hour before bedtime. These include Night time tea, Chamomile, Lemon balm, Hops, Valerian, or Sleepytime tea.
  • Burn lavender (100% essential oil) in an oil burner or vaporizer.
  • Use low or dim lights after dinner. Dim your main lights if you can, or use lamps, or the range hood light in your kitchen.
  • For at least a half hour before bed only be exposed to ‘red’ light rather that ‘blue’ light that comes from TV, phone or computer screens. These blue lights trick your brain into thinking it is still daylight, so you don’t produce melatonin (the hormone that helps you to sleep).
    • Install F.lux onto your PC or laptop to cut out the blue light. It will adjust your screen to an orange light so that your brain still thinks its nighttime if you using it at night. http://justgetflux.com/
  • Take time to stretch, listen to relaxing music, have a bath, do a puzzle, read a book or anything else you find relaxing.
  • Blue or natural light in the morning to helps you wake.  Open you curtains a bit before going to bed so natural light comes through in the morning.
  • Ensure that your bedroom is dark and cool. Around 18-20 degrees.
  • Take 5 minutes of time out, focus on your breathing. Stretch before bed.
  • Bed: ideally no later than 10.30-11.00. Staying up past 11.00pm increases your cortisol levels and inhibits your melatonin production.
  • Sleep in until 7-9am when possible. This will help to rejuvenate your adrenal hormones.
  • Turn your phone off or onto airplane mode at night to lower the electromagnetic radiation that disturbs your sleep.
  • Cover the light of your alarm clock with a towel to eliminate the radiant light.
  • TheHeadspace” app for your phone is a great guided 10 minute meditation that will relax you before bedtime.
  • The “Breathing Zone” app for you phone will help relax your breath and nervous system before bed. Set it at 4.5-5 breathes per minute (or whatever is comfortable for you), and spend 10 minutes following the breathing prompts.

 

  • Avoid alcohol. Although it can assist with sleep onset, it prevents you from getting into a deep sleep, which means you will wake through the night, and wake very unrefreshed.