7 Simple Things That Can Help You Sleep Like a Baby.
Get to sleep before 11pm
Circadian rhythm is like a body clock which tells you when to sleep, rise and eat. Your body starts to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone) at around 9pm to start to get you ready for bed. Research also shows that the body will only produce certain hormones during the night and only if you are asleep (so if you are awake, your body will miss out on much-needed hormones, which will affect your health).
Also, from a Chinese medicine perspective, your body goes into ‘repair’ mode at night and it will only do a good job of it if you are asleep. Getting to sleep before 11pm helps ensure that you benefit from the melatonin your body has produced and that your body repairs your gall bladder and your liver (two organs critical to your sleep).
Have a routine
Go to bed at night and get up in the morning at the same times every day. Your body likes routine when it comes to sleep. If you going to bed and rising at different times every day, your body cannot get into a circadian rhythm routine for stable sleep patterns. It’s one of the key reasons why shift worker health suffers – they just can’t get into a routine.
Develop your sleep routine and stick to it.
Avoid screen time just before bed
This means no phone, tablet or TV for 30 minutes before bed. The blue light is just too stimulating for your brain and eyes and disrupts your body’s melatonin production. Better to read a good old-fashioned book.
Make sure your bedroom is cool
Your body temperature must drop for you to sleep well and deeply. High room temperatures or electric blankets make it difficult for your body to achieve the right temperature for sleep. The ideal temperature for your bedroom is around 17 degrees. Your body reaches its lowest temperature at around 4:30am. Then your body releases hormones in the morning to warm you up so you wake up.
Make sure your bedroom is dark
Again, circadian rhythm says that you sleep when it’s dark and you are awake when it’s not. Too much light in the bedroom can confuse your body about when it should sleep.
Soak your feet in hot water
If your problem is getting to sleep in the first place, try this time-honoured Chinese medicine technique: soak your feet in hot (just comfortably hot) water for 5 minutes immediately before climbing into bed. You can even add a teaspoon of Epsom salts to the water to help relax you.
Eat more dark foods
In Chinese medicine, people with good quality and abundant blood flow through their heart and liver will sleep much better. In fact, most the people with sleep issues we see in our clinic have this exact problem. If your heart and liver are ‘grounded’ by good blood flow you can fall asleep quickly and stay asleep.
Dark foods are blood building foods and include beetroot, plums, carrots, red meat, red beans, egg yolks, etc… Eating more of these foods will help build your blood levels in your heart and liver.
The other obvious tip is to not have any caffeine after 3pm.
Try these simple techniques at home to improve your sleep.