8 Daily Tips to Improve your Quality of Sleep
Achieving good quality sleep is something we all strive for, who wouldn’t want to wake up feeling rested and energized ready to tackle the day ahead.
However, I know all too well that this is easier said than done. Over time I have realised that it is the decisions we make on our diet and lifestyle habits during the day that set us up for a night of good quality sleep that we all strive for. So, if you are wanting to improve the quality of your sleep, read on and find out how I help women overhaul their daily habits to set themselves up for a nigh of uninterrupted sleep.
How much sleep do you need?
Firstly, it’s important to identify how much sleep you need to wake feeling refreshed. We are all different and so is the number of hours of sleep we need, some of us need 8 hours or more whilst some only need 6 to wake ready for the day. Work backwards from the time you need to wake up each morning and ensure you begin your evening routine at least one hour before you want to be asleep to get the right number of hours for you.
Not being able to get to sleep easily or waking frequently during the night is the first sign that some level of stress has crept into your daily life – and unfortunately this is a double-edged sword:
Sleep is interrupted when our adrenal hormones are unbalanced due to stressors in your life
But we need enough sleep to help reduce stress in the body – so what is really going on? Let’s find out more…..
The science bit
Lack of good quality sleep will increase your levels of cortisol (our stress hormone), exacerbating PCOS symptoms and increasing insulin resistance. Cortisol isn’t so much the bad guy if it follows this typical daily rhyth
m: it should be high in the morning after waking ready to start the day and it reduces as the day goes on, reaching a low point as you go to sleep. However, if you are lacking in sleep, you can end up with raised cortisol levels throughout the day and into the evening making it more difficult to get to sleep.
The vicious cycle of poor-quality sleep
The vicious cycle of stress and sleep is as follows-
Stressed = Prolonged, High levels of cortisol
High cortisol = Triggers survival mode, increases insulin resistance
Survival mode = Lack of deep, restorative sleep due to being on high alert
Lack of deep sleep = Struggle to get out of the bed in the mornings, even after eight-hours and not feeling refreshed. Causing more stress on the body, increasing insulin resistance and sugar cravings, energy lows triggering a desire for caffeine and/or sugar to boost energy levels and the cycle goes around and around.
Top Sleep Tips
So, take a moment to recognise what’s going on in your day and make an effort to address the factors that are causing regular stress and the knock on effect of raised cortisol levels. Making daytime changes can lead to a calm evening and getting into bed feeling relaxed and able to sleep:
Keep blood sugar low
Take a magnesium supplement
Drink water regularly throughout the day to stay hydrated
Avoid the use of caffeine at least 5 hours before bed
Do some daily activity so your whole body has moved
Go outdoors and feel the calming benefits of being in nature
Find what helps you relax; yoga, meditation, relaxing music, reading
There you have it, small steps we can all take daily to set ourselves up for a good quality nights sleep.
I wish I had found this information when I was trying to conceive and if like me, you want to know more about how you can tailor your diet to maximise your chances of a healthy pregnancy – book a free 30 minute Intro Call with me. No pressure, I promise.