5 Top Tips for Gaining the Most Health Benefits from Your Sleep
How are you doing?
Can you believe it’s February this week?!
I'm bringing you part four of my top tips and tricks for detoxing your body, whether you’re feeling the overindulgence of the festivities of December going on or whether you’re just using January as an amazing kick-start to get your skin glowing, get your digestion improving and get your body and mind feeling really clear and focused as you go into 2017.
I’m not talking quick fixes here; that is so out of date. I am literally talking about things you can do that are natural, gentle and effortless ways to detox your skin, your gut, your mind, and help you to really get the benefits of things like water and sleep as part of your routine to help you cleanse your system and to rejuvenate, from the inside out.
Let’s get started!
We are talking about my top tips for sleep and of course the benefits of sleep when it comes to detoxing your body, rejuvenating your body and then also just allowing yourself to cleanse and heal if you need to as well.
Why am I talking about sleep when I’m talking about cleansing your system? What you will find is that sleep has such an incredible role in our healing and recovery from injury, illness, our immune system; it is when our body has time to recover. Actually what we tend to find is with the erratic routines that we have every day nowadays, that we tend to go to bed maybe at different times each day, that we tend to have to wake up earlier than we’re ready, and we find that we have these routines that literally throw our bodies out of whack. Our hormones, our regulators and everything that helps us to heal overnight while we’re asleep don’t get to work to their full potential to help you to heal, to rejuvenate, to recover, repair, anything that needs repairing.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the human growth hormone? That is a hormone that is naturally produced in our pituitary gland which starts to secrete and become activated when we’ve been asleep for two to three hours, between the hours of around 11:00pm to 02:00am in my understanding. This is where we start with the problem - what happens is sometimes people don’t get to bed till 11:00pm and sometimes later, so they’re missing out on that vital window where our human growth hormone is naturally at its peak which is what helps us literally to rejuvenate, it helps us to heal, it helps with our digestion, it helps us to repair muscles, it also helps with weight loss and our metabolism. It’s incredibly powerful at helping us to heal and stay healthy but because we’re not always getting that peak and flow of it, we’re finding that more and more people are struggling with things like weight, struggling with soft tissue injuries in the human tissue, and vital organs that struggle to work efficiently as well, as well as a suppressed immune system.
However, there are some great things you can do with sleep. I’m not here to talk about the human growth hormone; I’m here to keep it simple because that’s what I’m all about!
There are some amazing things you can do! Before I move on to my top tips, to help you really make sure you are regulating yourself efficiently.
Go to bed at the same time every night even on the weekend as well. Keep that time for you and for your sleep and make sure it gives you a good couple of hours to be asleep in order for the peak time to be there rather than just going to bed at that time between 11:00 and 02:00. Try going to bed at 10:00 or 10:30 or something like that and give yourself time to be asleep for the peak of the human growth hormone to kick in.
Give yourself a detox from reality TV or any TV that involves news, horror, or stimulates the imagination in those kinds of ways. This is because you may watch these things just before going to bed or even throughout the day, you will actually find that your mind, your concentration, your focus is overstimulated. Then when it comes to going to bed to sleep, you may find that you actually struggle to get to sleep or your mind feels really busy. And there’s also the effect that reality TV and news and things like that, they have an effect of lowering your vibration, especially if it’s negative news which is pretty much what tends to overwhelm the news nowadays. If there’s something like that, if you can’t avoid it at all, just allow yourself a window of at least an hour before you go to bed where you can just take yourself off the TV. Turn it off and do something quietly like reading a book and if possible even away from your phone or any other technology as well.
It’s worth bearing in mind the role that magnesium plays in our health and also in our sleep cycles as well. It’s well noted that lack of magnesium can lead to various things and insomnia is one of them. Unfortunately, we struggle to get things like magnesium and other vital nutrients from our food as much as we would have done years ago. This is because the soil is so much more depleted than it used to be, so it won’t have the nutrients for the vegetables and fruits to be able to take from it. Also, because of the way food is stored nowadays and processed, it depletes some of these vital nutrients that we need. Magnesium plays a massive role in our body. It helps with breathing, circulation, brain function, cardiovascular health, it helps with blood pressure, and it helps with sleep, muscle cramps and numerous things like that.
If you suspect you may be experiencing some kind of magnesium deficiency, I would recommend that you get yourself topped up on some magnesium-rich foods. Make them as healthily and organically sourced as possible and as fresh as possible. We’re talking things like pulses - beans, seeds, and nuts. Mackerel and other oily fish tend to be quite rich in magnesium as well. Dark leafy greens are fantastic sources of magnesium. You can top yourself up naturally in that way and you may also want to consider some kind of magnesium supplement.
This is an interesting one to do with sleep again. If you are somebody who does struggle to get to sleep or struggles to wake up in the morning, then it might be worth looking into something like a light blocking app or a sleep blindfold. This will just allow you to block out the light but it’s also an opportunity for you to wake up gently by introducing some artificial light into your room so you’re ready to wake up at the time that you desire to wake up.
If you’re somebody who really struggles to wake up in the morning because it’s dark like it is in the winter months, that might be something for you. Also, if you’re somebody who struggles to get to sleep when it’s light in the evening and just struggles to sleep full stop, then you might find that using some kind of night blindfold or night mask will really help you to block that light out or to gently wake yourself up in the morning, so you can get yourself into a really healthy routine of allowing you to get a good restful period of sleep then waking up refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to face the day.
Create a workout routine that will help you to sleep. I don’t mean going for a run right before you go to bed! What I mean is possibly using some gentle stretches, things like a childs pose stretch or roll down or maybe even a shoulder bridge (all pilates moves). Something like that that will allow your body to gently unwind and relax and mould into either the bed, if you’re doing them on the bed, or just unwind on the floor before you go to bed. That will help everything to slow down and allow your muscles to elongate, allow your mind, your breathing, your heart rate to gently slow down and ease down, and allow you to move into an incredibly relaxed state. There are some other ways you can also do this - with meditation and also hypnosis. Any of the ladies who listen to my hypnosis at night, you might find how easily that helps you to drop off sleep and how much deeper your sleep may be when you listen to something like that as well!
Caffeine. Lots of us find that we are in some way addicted to caffeine. We generally have coffee or tea, both of which contain caffeine. The key thing is caffeine can be okay when it’s used or consumed appropriately, not in an addictive form but maybe used in combination with exercise because it really does help with fat-burning if you combine caffeine and exercise together. But what normally happens is most people will get to 02:00 o’clock or 03:00 o’clock in the afternoon and feel that mid-afternoon lull of energy and the first thing they think is to grab a coffee or tea to pick themselves back up. Well, it does do that job, but it also leaves you feeling wired for the rest of the day which stops you from getting an efficient night’s sleep, or feeling ready for sleep at an earlier time, if you’re planning on allowing yourself that period of time to allow the human growth hormone to kick in which means going to bed a little bit earlier.
If you want to be ready for going to bead earlier, then I would avoid caffeine in the afternoon, and also maybe even try something a little bit different towards the end of the day like a camomile tea or fennel tea, something that helps to promote cleansing the system but also to calm your nervous system down. By doing that you will allow yourself to move into a really good sleep phase, ready to recharge, to rejuvenate, and allow your body to cleanse or rid itself of anything that it needs to heal itself from.
These are my five top tips for maximising the benefits of sleep to detox your body! I love to hear from you to let me know how these tips are working for you, so drop me a comment or join us in our Ultimate Health Facebook community and let me know in there!
Have a great week!