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How to improve your sleep

One of the most common complaints with clients is that they would like better quality sleep and that they are not waking up feeling refreshed, instead waking up feeling as if they have not slept a wink all night.

A good nights sleep, not only getting a certain amount of sleep, but the quality of sleep that we get is vital to our health in so many aspects. It has been shown numerous times that not getting the 7-8 hours of sleep per night can lead to excess weight gain and obesity as a study published by the National Institutes of Health states that poor sleep quality leads to decreased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and increased levels of the hunger hormone Ghrelin leading to overeating.

A study in Sciences Journal also shows how a lack of sleep and decreased sleep quality affects our both short and long term memory, concentration and cognition.

In order to combat this and help get a more restful nights sleep here are 6 tip to help you wake feeling refreshed.

Take a Magnesium supplement before bed

The mineral magnesium has many uses within the body such as to help your muscles recover after a long training session, has been used to help treat ADHD, leg cramps, depression, diabetes, migraines and PMS. Especially if you've trained in the afternoon/ at night, a magnesium supplement before bed will further help your muscles repair and regenerate overnight so you won't wake up the next morning aching from your gym session. Magnesium has also been shown to help moderate the fight or flight response so helps to reduce stress and calms the mind while also helping to reduce chronic pain.

Have an epsom salt bath

I challenge you to take a epsom salt bath at night just before bed then not have an amazing sleep. Epson Salt or Magnesium Sulphate is yes just another form of magnesium, however, as it is getting soaked directly through the skin straight to the muscles and joints and not having to be broken down by the body's systems on it's way to the muscles, it will not only get to the affected areas quicker but also a larger amount of the mineral will be able to be absorbed through your skin and to the areas that need it the most.

The setting and temperature of the room

Ever woken up in summer in a sweat with all the sheets kicked off, or conversely woken up the middle of winter freezing. Having the room at a comfortable temperature before you go to bed will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. An hour or so before you go to bed, turn the lights off, make sure that you have enough blankets and doonas and maybe put a candle on to get a nice scent happening in the room.

Put your phone in another room on silent

Having your phone right beside your bed is an almost certainty to that as soon as you wake up you are going to look at it, or to look at it during the night. If you wake during the night to go to the bathroom, I know the temptation to quickly check the phone before going back to sleep, but even having that small exposure to the blue light that phone screens emit will hinder not only the amount of time it takes you to get back to sleep but then affect your sleep quality and getting that Deep sleep for the remainder of the night. Instead, put have the blue light filter on your phone at night (or preferably all the time) and have your phone in another room. If you can't do that as you need it for your alarm in the morning, have it all the way on the other side of the room. This way you are less likely to look at it during the night or first thing in the morning and will also help you get out of bed as you can't snooze as you physically need to get out of bed to get your phone.

Eat at least 2-3 hours before bed

Especially if you experience things like heartburn, reflux or any digestive complaints, going to bed on a full stomach is going to hinder your getting to sleep. If you make sure to eat at least 2 hours before bed to avoid feeling sick when you lay down. If you are getting home from work and eating late, having a lighter meal at night and then a glass of ginger or peppermint tea afterwards helps to settle any bloating or discomfort that you may feel.

Chamomile tea

For years Chamomile tea has been know to be a natural remedy to reduce inflammation, PMS and muscle spasms, decrease anxiety and stress and reduce insomnia. The calming effects of the tea can be mainly contributed to the antioxidant called apigenin, which is found in abundance in the ancient herb. If you get home from work after a particularly stressful day, after your dinner have a cup of this tea and it will help you to unwind and relax and fall asleep instead of staying awake half the night stewing over what happened that day.

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