Female, 40-something and exhausted?
A new study by Australian sleep researchers has found women suffer almost twice as much from the negative effects of sleep disorders than men. Whether it is hormonal fluctuations, financial worries, social media or young children, there’s plenty keeping the 40 plus up at night.
WelleCo’s Dr Simone Laubscher PhD has been there. Here she gives us her tips for sleeping tight and reclaiming our much-needed energy.
Introduce sleep-enhancing herbs
I have found that when herbs valerian, skullcap and hops are combined, they work brilliantly at fighting insomnia, calming anxiety and help to re-set your body clock so you get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. I find these herbs in the form of a warm, soothing tea work best, which is why I made them the basis of our WelleCo Sleep Welle Fortified Calming Tea.
Get the temperature and mood right
A room that is too hot or too cold will affect your quality of sleep so take a little time to make sure the temperature of your bedroom is right for you. Our WelleCo Sleep Welle Calming Mist is infused with essential Australian oils like lavender, vetiver and chamomile, that help reduce tension and anxiety. Spritz in the air and on pillows – Elle Macpherson recommends it also for in-flight when she needs to get some sleep.
Check your TCM Energetic Body Clock
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) not only does each organ have a physical component but also an emotional component too. For example the liver is associated with the emotions of anger, frustration and rage. The lungs are associated with grief and sadness. So if you feel you’re physically in balance maybe your emotional side needs a little nourishment due to unresolved issues. As per the diagram, if you tend to always wake up between 1-3am or 3-5am for example, you may need liver or lung support. Taking an organic wholefood supplement such as THE SUPER ELIXIR bioavailable supergreens will give your organs the nutrition they need to function at optimum levels.
Pay attention to what you eat and drink 2-3 hours before you go to bed
Loading up on caffeine, sugar or any high GI foods or drinks will stimulate the body and reduce sleep quality. Protein is the best before you sleep so if you need a snack choose protein rich foods like organic yogurt, nuts. A protein enriched drink before bed is best as it is easy for the body to digest. A plant-based source like almond milk or NOURISHING PROTEIN will provide your body with the essential amino acids it needs to rejuvenate and repair itself and the tryptophan levels will help promote a sense of calm.
Do a ‘brain-dump’ before you sleep
When any client of mine (myself included) has trouble sleeping, I get them to leave a notebook next to their bed. Draw a line down the middle and at the top of one side write ‘Things I can change’ and the top of the other side ‘Things I can’t change’. We often spend hours lying awake at night marinating about things that are totally out of our control, this is a wonderful exercise to let a lot of that go.
Include physical activity into your daily routine
Regular physical activity can promote better, deeper sleep. Find the time of day that works well for you. You may find if you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too energized to fall asleep. Or you may find this helps you to feel exhausted and to fall asleep more quickly.
If you travel a lot and tend to battle with jet lag or suffer from everyday insomnia tendencies, melatonin is great to help induce a state of relaxation and to bring about sleep faster. Melatonin is not a drug and is not addictive so you can take 3mg before bed and another 3mg if you wake up. You will always know when you have had too much melatonin because you will wake up feeling groggy.
Limit daytime siestas
As tired as you may be during the day, try to limit daytime naps as research shows that this will make your insomnia worse. You also don’t get the same physiological health benefits when you sleep in the day.
This sounds obvious but you would be surprised how many people are sleeping on the wrong mattresses and pillows. Everyone’s spinal curvature is unique and this affects you from the base of your skull right down to your tailbone. The bed you sleep on has a massive impact on your sleep quality and therefore on your entire health and wellbeing.