BEAUTYCALYPSE

Good Night! 7 Sleep Killers, 13 Natural Vegetarian Remedies and 1 Countdown For My Healthy Sleep Quest (#5)

Do you feel worn out as the days get shorter? Can’t fall asleep at night? Feel tired in the morning? Let’s change that! 

good-night-sweet-dreamsYours Truly has often made the mistake of trying to carve as much time out of a short autumn day, and ended up wide awake in the dead of night, the next day being totally wrecked, and the next, and the next…

clock-without-hands

The clock without hands… What is your favourite time for going to bed? When do you start feeling sleepy (and then chase it away) in the evening?

If you are here since the beginnings, you might remember my first “real” post on BEAUTYCALYPSE that inspired me to try and adopt a healthier sleeping routine, somewhat grounded in TCM beliefs and personal experience. To try twice, that is.

To sum it up, apart from a few days when the sleep schedule failed, I’ve been pretty happy with it. Life is a happier place when you’re well rested!
So here is what I’ve learned and what makes my life so much easier now that the summer is leaving…

DREAMING MY LIFE…

I actually love to sleep.
Before falling asleep, I ask my subconscious for solutions or for inspiration, just pushing it towards helping me solve my everyday problems. This is by no means an esoteric quirk, it’s pretty much backed up by La Science. But sleep can do so much more!

During sleep hours, our bodies recover, we become more prone to stress, our blood pressure gets normalised; and people with weight problems are best advised to pay attention to a good sleeping routine as we burn fat while we sleep (and lack of sleep wrecks havoc with hormones that regulate our appetite, gosh).

Unknowingly, we sometimes sabotage a good sleep.
And thus, we endanger our good shape and our precious health, too.

SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF SLEEP

1. Not having a sleep schedule aka going to bed another time every day
2. Sleeping until late on weekends
3. Going to bed with all your worries, work problems, arguments etc.
4. Reading blood-curling thrillers in bed or watching movies, favourite tv shows etc. until late
5. Having a glass of wine, beer, scotch… before going to bed
6. Drinking coffee, black/green/white tea or cola & Co. in the afternoon
7. Sleeping in a very warm bedroom

dont-take-work-to-bed

This, dear children, is work. Work does not belong into bed.

scary-books

Don’t read, or watch, or play anything scary, unless it’s all you read, watch and play (then you’re most likely immune – do you have a zombie teddy bear? I would totally dig one!)

Does any of those Seven Sins of Sleep apply to you?
Repent! Repent!
Help is here with a simple recipe of a…

…SLEEP COUNTDOWN:

Approx. 8 hours until bedtime – the last cuppa of coffeinated beverage is drank.
After this hour, no more coffee, black or green tea, cola, or energy drinks. Coffeine will stay in your system for hours to come, and will not only keep you awake but also wake you up in the middle of the night (coffeine is diuretic = loo alert).

booze-time-before-bedtime

4-6 hours until bedtime – for booze it’s now or never (aka tomorrow).

About 4 hours until bedtime – no booze! Alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, but in reality, your sleep is going to be ruined.
Also: loo alert.

3 hours until bedtime – the last moment to eat something, but choose wisely!
Snack on light, healthy, delicious sleep-enhancing foods (view list below).

1 hour – get ready for the next day, prep your clothes, your bag, papers, whatever you’ll need.
Set the alarm clock.
The feeling of being prepared will help you unwind.

foam-bath-with-sparkles-lavender

Lavender foam bath. With glitter! 

30 minutes – after time for your personal hygiene, try relaxing yoga asanas.
Or a nice, relaxing foam bath. Not too warm though, because this will ruin your skin.

city-night-city-lights

And this is exactly where the curtains get into the game!

10 minutesair the room well, then close your windows and, most importantly, the curtains.
Light wakes us up naturally, so if you plan to sleep well past sunrise, dark curtains are a must.
If you like, add a little natural aromatherapy to your bedroom using good quality, organic essential oil(s) of your choice.
I use beautiful glas jars filled with dried organic lavender. Orange blossoms, rosemary, thyme, ylang-ylang and rose help unwind, too.
But FFS: don’t ever use air fresheners or perfume!
The best temperature in a sleeping room is around 16°C (60°F).

5 minutes – treat yourself to a little meditation excercise.
Lay on your back and relax your muscles – consciously.
Practice a soothing breathing technique (count to four breathing in, count to six holding your breath, count to six breathing out and count to four before breathing in again), imagine how healing energies fill your body when you breathe in, and how anything bad or toxic leaves your system when you breathe out.
This simple and short meditation, properly exercised, will tune you in for a relaxing sleep and make you wake up more refreshed, guaranteed!

Lift off turn off your electronic devices. In fact, getting the flight mode on is the best idea since our mobile phones serve a double-duty as alarm clocks as well. Extra trick for your alarm clock app: pick a nice wake-up sound. Mine is chirping birds – it’s soft yet always gets me up.
Better than any standard, atrocious ringing from hell that used to give me the shock of my life each morning!

13 HEAVENLY FOODS FOR BETTER SLEEP

Research shows that tryptophan, an amino acid our body needs for serotonine production, helps promote sleep.
Tryptophan sources in food are:

1) delicious edamame soybeans,
2) sesame seeds/tahin,
3) sunflower seeds,
4) oats,
5) chickpeas,
6) pure chocolate,
7) rice,
8) potatoes,  
9) banana.
Non plant-based options include:
10) Parmeggiano,
11) Cheddar cheese,
12) salmon,  
13) eggs.

banana-with-bitter-chocolate-sauce-and-vegan-marshmallows

Banana, roasted vegan marshmallows, bitter chocolate topping. Can it get any better?

These offer a nice selection of ingredients for a light, healthy, sleep-supporting dinner, amirite?
My fave “sleep well” dinner menu – edamame beans with sea salt for starters; oven-baked potato chips (aka fries) with a tahin-based dip and chickpea “meatball” bites; hot cocoa with rice milk.

Calcium and magnesium promote healthy sleep also.
Try to cover your needs by eating healthily during the day rather than relaying on pills.

Good night, Adventurers! 😉

What will you dream of tonight?
DO TELL! xoxo

 

18 replies »

  1. I have sleep issues often. My worst offenders from your list are no sleep schedule and going to bed with worries. I really should do something to get a handle on those. And I gotta tell you, that banana treat sure looks good!! Celeste 🙂

    • and it does good!
      I think that a meditation practice, whether religiously motivated or not, is good help.
      we unwind, we are able to see life’s challenges as just that, challenges; more wisely, more light-heartedly.
      and so we are able to sleep the “sleep of the just”. because we are tuned back in with the scheme of things, after the turmoils of the day.
      and I think that the food listed is so delicious, I make 9 out of 10 dinners using these products! 😀

  2. Oh this is wonderful. As someone who has suffered quite a bit with sleep issues over the years, this is much appreciated especially as there is so much hooey out there over what to do and not do. I love G’s response as well! 🙂

    • jayne has a nice idea in the comments here 🙂
      G is witty as always.

      thanks for dropping by 😉 so cool to get back and see my favourite guests stopped by!

  3. Extra tip; read this post again 2 hours before bedtime because it is soothing and makes one feel sleepy and content 😉 I have no idea why but when the apples are harvested, I love a bowl of fresh organic apples by my bedside. The aroma is heavenly.