Personal coaching expert Christine Hansen offers tips to help you sleep well.
Sleep is like a stubborn mule. It has a mind of its own. You can wish for it to come as much as you want, but in the end you will never be able to control it.
Even sleeping pills will provide you with a faded version of the real deal – at best.
But what you can do is optimize your body and mind to welcome sleep and drift into beautiful slumber.
The internet is full of generic tips and magic formulas, but the truth is that your sleep is as unique to you as your fingerprint.
On top of that there are so many factors that can inhibit sleep that you are not aware of. So this article is going to focus on five sneaky and underestimated opponents of sleep that are often overlooked.
- Hot baths can be counterproductive:
So many lists of tips will tell you to have a hot bath before going to bed. Whilst this is true in essence, you have to be aware of the following:
Having a hot bath and then immediately going to bed may keep you awake! There are two reasons for this.
- a) If the bath is too hot it will raise your blood pressure after you get out. This will leave you with the feeling of a racing heart. And that is not going to make it easier for you to fall asleep, on the contrary.
- b) In general baths are advised for the following reason:
You sleep better when your body is cooling down.
So if you take a hot bath and your body is then cooling down that will automatically make you sleepy and help you to pass out a lot more quickly.
Yet, if your bath is too close to going to bed it might have the opposite effect. Your body temperature will keep rising. Hence it will be more difficult for you to relax and fall asleep.
As a consequence I’d suggest keeping bath time 1-2 hours before going to bed. Watch your body and find out your optimal bath time.
- Food combining:
Making digestion unnecessarily difficult is going to keep you awake at night. Food is broken down in different areas and at different times. So here are some key points to keep in mind when choosing a sleep friendly diet.
- Try to eat fruit only in the morning. There is a lot of fructose and glucose in fruit which will have your insulin levels rise. This also increases cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone, and that makes it difficult to relax and sleep
- Have more complex foods for lunch, as they take longer to digest. Examples are all kinds of starches, such as pasta, potatoes or bread. Try to separate those from protein though, such as meat, as that is more digestive friendly.
- In the evening you can have more concentrated foods rich in protein, like some meat with vegetables.