When it comes to self-care, although a facial can be nice, most of us really need to get back to basics
and I would put better sleep quality at the top of the priority list, alongside hydration and moving
your body of course.
Unfortunately, so many of us are walking around like zombies with chronic long -term sleep
deprivation, and the result is impacting on our mental and physical health. Several factors contribute to sleep disruption including overstimulation from screen usage, chronic stress, overconsumption of caffeinated drinks, and medical conditions.
The reality is these all lead to both short- and long-term adverse health consequences.
A non-systematic review designed to focus on the myriad of parameters that cause sleep disruption,
showed that poor sleep was associated with increased over stimulation of the sympathetic nervous
system and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, metabolic effects, changes in circadian rhythms,
and proinflammatory responses.
In otherwise healthy adults, short-term consequences include increased stress responsivity, somatic
pain, reduced quality of life, emotional distress and mood disorders, and cognitive, memory, and
performance deficits .
Long-term consequences of sleep disruption in otherwise healthy individuals include hypertension,
dyslipidaemia, cardiovascular disease, weight-related issues, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes
mellitus, and colorectal cancer .
As a rule of thumb, a good sleep routine is the key to ensuring you give yourself the best possible
opportunity for catching those ZZZ’s and win at life the next day!
Here are some tips which can be incorporated into a zen like nightly wind down routine to help send
you into dreamland quicker and stay asleep for longer:
1. Avoid blue-light exposure from screens (phones, laptops, Netflix – Yes Netflix) at least 1-2
hours before bed. Grab a book or listen to a podcast in that last hour to give your natural
melatonin a chance to set your circadian rhythm. If you must be on a screen right up to bed
time, consider investing in some blue-light filter reading glasses. Melatonin is not just
important for our sleep, it’s also involved in managing immune function, blood pressure
and cortisol levels .
2. Aim to be in bed by 10pm at the latest. Now, I know this is not always going to be the case.
The reason its important though, is because for your body to repair and clear toxins it needs
to hit that sweet spot of deeper restorative sleep around midnight to do so.
3. Exercise: Moving your body particularly if you’ve had a stressful day helps to clear excess
cortisol which means you get to stay asleep longer throughout the night. It doesnt need to
be HIIT, or a crazy spin class, just 30 mins of walking will do the trick.
4. Enjoy a sleepy time tea like Little Wilding Co.’s I NEED A MOMENT or HIBERNATE AND CHILL
which includes adrenal loving and nervous system soothing herbs such as Licorice,
Chamomile, Siberian Ginseng, and Skullcap, and herbs to lull you into a blissful night’s sleep
such as Passionflower, Lavender and Valerian.
5. Get onto a good magnesium supplement preferably in an easily absorbable form such as
Magnesium Citrate as research has shown that a dose of 500 mg daily improved insomnia
2.Healthline Article, “Melatonin: Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Dosage”, R. Link, Sept 14, 2018
3. Sleep Foundation. Org: How Magnesium can Help you sleep, E. Chahine, May 20, 2021
By Emily Vidler, Integrated Practitioner see more from Emily on https://www.instagram.com/the_wholistic_picture/ and website https://www.passionflowernaturopathy.com.au/