December… nearly the end of the year and is the busiest month so can tend to leave us all feeling a little burnt out, with all the parties and family engagements it’s important to take the time to relax and wind down!
We don’t realise how important sleep is scientists are starting to understand WHY we need to sleep…… The body has something called the lymph that helps to remove any ‘rubbish’ from the cells in our bodies, the brain doesn’t. SO when we sleep the housekeepers come in and can give the brains cells a really good clean so we are firing on all cylinders when we wake up. It has been shown that the brain cleans twice as fast when we are asleep compared to when we are awake!
At this time of year we tend to suspend normal behaviour and ask a lot of our bodies, we do things we wouldn’t normally do and the knock on effect is that we end up exhausted, stressed, miserable and the Christmas season doesn’t sparkle at all.
Here are some little helpers…
People I speak to have trouble getting to sleep when they get home, this is understandable if you are all giddy and over stimulated you will need sometime to calm down, your body to switch of the stimulating hormones and switch on the sleep hormones. This is when to ditch all electrics, scientists even feel that e-books can be too stimulating, get out a book. Have a chamomile tea and if you are hungry a banana will help you to sleep longer because it contains tryptophan which helps to make serotonin and this helps to make melatonin our sleep hormone. Other foods high in tryptophan are avocado, walnuts, hummus, persimmons, fish and it is everywhere at the moment……turkey!!!!
If you are going out for dinner don’t eat too much, and I know this is hard because it is not always in your control but try to eat earlier rather than later, if your body is still digesting a full tummy at midnight it is going to be less inclined to sleep! Don’t have a coffee at the end of your meal, have a mint tea to help digest. And try to avoid the cheese board too, the proteins in cheese can take a while to digest and this may keep you awake!
Alcohol is more of a sleep disrupter, if you have had a good drink you may fall into a lovely deep sleep but then wake up 2-3 hours later dehydrated and feeling a bit rubbish, so moderate the booze! and keep hydrated!
Magnesium is a great sleep aid you can get from almonds, greens, beans, seafood and wholegrains. You can also absorb magnesium through the skin so try epsom salt baths, very relaxing and a great way to get your magnesium! Calcium found in dairy, kale, broccoli, collard greens. B vitamins (B6 in particular) found in meat, dairy, greens, eggs, fish, whole grains. If you are really going for it this Christmas I would supplement with a good B complex to help your nerves! Also lettuce would be a good thing to snack on as it contains lactucarium which has a sedative effect.. you could also try to make this as a tea, by brewing a few lettuce leaves and mint to sip before sleep..
Other things to consider would be meditation, massaging with lavender oil or get an oil burner for your room, use herbs like lavender or sage.
Make sure you take the time to unwind properly and real during this crazy time.
Happy Christmas. x