Sleep is when we get to reset – like rebooting the computer each day. When we sleep we embed the things we learned that day – new language, skills, thoughts, memories etc. Without the night’s back up of good deep sleep, we don’t secure these new inputs as readily.
The liver directs what happens through the night as it goes through its process of detoxification but our night time hormone melatonin, is like the chairman of the board and without it, nothing can commence. Sleep is dictated by the circadian rhythms of day/night and our hormonal cycle including melatonin, serotonin and cortisol are closely aligned.
Want to feel instantly awake each morning? Bathe your eyes in bright daylight for a few moments, this will suppress your melatonin levels that are making you feel less than refreshed and increase your serotonin. Result – instant alertness.
Biochemically there are many things going on in sleep:
The best time for sleep is when the sun and the birds have gone to bed! It is in the dark that our melatonin rises and prepares our body for sleep. Our body wants to sleep between the hours of 9pm and 4.30am. As dawn breaks our cortisol rises as does our serotonin, this rouses our body from sleep to wakefulness.
In this episode we cover things like napping, should we nap, when to nap and how to deal with not sleeping and even shift work.
Is it ok to snack before bedtime?
For some of us, a light snack will help maintain blood glucose levels and help us get to sleep and stay asleep. Avoid eating sugary snacks, stimulants like caffeine, cacao, refined sugar, these won’t help you sleep.
Certain herbals like chamomile tea will help to induce sleep and if you struggle with getting to sleep, enjoy a cup half an hour before hopping into bed. If you want to sleep deeply all through the night, avoid that glass of wine in the evening, enjoy it earlier in the evening if you want but not after dinner or within 3hrs of getting into bed.
Good sleep health includes creating an inductive space for sleep;
If you struggle with getting to sleep, prepare for sleep prior to going to bed with lowered lighting, sleepy time tea, routines around bedtime.
For your body to be able to sleep and support your liver during the night you need a ready supply of zinc, B vitamins, magnesium, selenium amongst others. These are found in nuts, seeds, whole foods, flesh based foods, fresh vegetables.
What you eat, drink, think, do during the day will affect how you sleep each night.
or a fresh summer salad:
Tossed lightly and drizzled with a blend of apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Add chopped cucumber, celery, red capsicum, toss again.
Optional salad seed blend seasoning.
add turmeric, cumin, pepper, sea salt to taste and mix well.