Goodnight, sleep tight!
Or, for many, goodnight – stay up all night.
According to a report done by Statistics Canada in 2017, more than 50% of women have trouble getting to, or staying asleep. Throw in the stress that comes along with a global pandemic, and these numbers are on the rise.
While finding falling asleep challenging is relatively common, Holistic Nutritionist Andrea Donsky is sharing her all-natural ways to make this a struggle of the past.
- Consume Tryptophan. Tryptophan helps create serotonin and melatonin in our bodies. Tryptophan can be found in foods such as turkey, beef, walnuts, eggs, chocolate and pumpkin seeds. If none of the above help, give ZenBev a whirl. It’s made with European pumpkin seeds that are scientifically proven to help you fall asleep.
- Magnesium. Magnesium is known as the calming mineral. Stress depletes magnesium from our bodies, and when magnesium is depleted, we feel more stress and it affects our sleep. I recommend New Roots’ Magnesium Bisglycinate Plus. Magnesium is also found in every day foods such as avocados, kale, cashews, almonds, artichokes and bananas.
- Chamomile, Passion Flower and Lavender teas are great to have an hour before bed.
- Coconut water is filled with potassium, which aids with sleep.
- Turmeric relieves anxiety and is a great sleep aid. I recommend Healthy Crunch’s Golden Turmeric Instant Latte. Just scoop out 3 TBSPs, mix it with warm coconut milk or water, and enjoy!
- Lettuce Tea – relaxes us because it has magnesium, but also has a chemical called Lactucarium (say that 10 times fast!), containing mild sedative properties. Take out 4 leaves, put them into boiling water and let them steam for 15 minutes. Add in honey, stir in some mint and drink it before bed.
- Sunshine! Sunshine helps our bodies make serotonin, so getting enough will in turn help you sleep
- Diffuse essential oils
- Take a warm bath
- Read an old-fashioned paper book
- Set yourself up for sleep success by shutting out all external light
Now that we’ve gone through what to do, it’s time to talk about what not to do.
- Turn off your devices at least one hour prior to going to sleep. Screens emit blue light, which keeps us awake. It also stops us from releasing melatonin. I recommend purchasing a pair of blue light-blocking glasses.
- Put down the wine glass! Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it’ll make you wake up throughout the night. It also suppresses your REM sleep.
- Coffee – for the most part, stop drinking it after 5pm. Some of us can metabolize caffeine quickly, and some can’t. If you’re really struggling, stop drinking or eating anything with caffeine at least 6 hours before going to sleep.
- Don’t go to bed on a full stomach. You’ll toss and turn all night, and this can even lead to nightmares.
- Contrary to popular belief, you can workout in the evenings. However, if you’re sensitive to the adrenaline rush that comes from exercise, stick to restorative fitness at night – such as yoga or stretching – and do anything hardcore earlier in the day.
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