Having trouble snoozing? Feel like you’ve tried everything?
Fear not we’ve complied some expert advice on the more unusual ways to help you achieve a sweet slumber.
Drink some cherry juice
Forget that warm milk! Cherry juice is what you should be taking with you to bed, explains Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com. “Cherries naturally contain melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that activates certain chemical receptors in the brain which help you to switch off and relax. Try a cherry concentrate after your evening meal.”
Turn to Mother Nature
“Magnesium is known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’ and can help to relax our muscles, which therefore creates a better sleep,” says nutritionist, Cassandra Barns. “Many of us live hectic, stressful lives, and are more exposed to environmental and food toxins, which can make us more prone to a magnesium deficiency. Try to include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, whole grains and bananas in your diet, which are all rich in magnesium. Alternatively, make sure you’re getting your daily dose by taking a supplement such as, Natures Plus KalmAssure Magnesium Powder (£24.50, www.naturesplus.co.uk), These are easy to absorb and easily delivered to the tissues so you may notice a difference after just 3 months”
Splash your face
You might think that it’s a great way to wake up your skin and prepare yourself for the day ahead but submerging your face in cold water is also a lesser-known way to help you sleep. The cold water can trigger a natural reaction called ‘Mammalian Dive Reflex’ that can lower the heart rate and blood pressure, which resets your nervous system making you refreshed and relaxed for bed.
Forget 3 2 1…
Learn the 478 breathing technique. This yoga inspired breathing can help you fall asleep in as quick as 60 seconds as it acts as a natural sedative for the nervous system. You can get a similar effect through blowing bubbles!
Sweet smelling snooze
There is a reason you always feel relaxed in spas, and it probably has something to do with the smell you’re breathing in. Certain scents like lavender can be incredibly relaxing, Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar explains: “Try using aromatherapy oils such as bergamot, lavender, roman chamomile and marjoram in a warm bath, just before bed. A few drops of lavender oil on your pillow at bedtime can also help.”
Turn down the temperature
Normally you can wait to snuggle under your duvet after a cold day out, but that may not be the best way to get off to sleep. A colder room can actually promote a better sleep than a warm one, with the optimum temperature being between 15 and 20 degrees.
But keep your tootsies warm
Although it might not be for everyone, but wearing socks at night might make the difference between an average night sleep and a great one! A Swiss study found that keeping your hands and feet warm were the key to quick sleep. Carnation’s Silver Socks (£12, firstaidfast.co.uk) are an ideal option as the silver keeps your feet at a constantly comfortable temperature as well as irradiating any foot odour.
- For more heath advice see Yours magazine, out every fortnight, on a Tuesday.