TOOLS TO PREVENT BAD SLEEP
In last week's blog, we went over four different strategies in order for you to change the way you think about sleep, to change your mindset and, ultimately, to help you sleep better. You can read more about this HERE.
Now before you find yourself in a situation where you have a bad night's sleep, there are things you can do. Prevention is the key. Watch the following video or read the full blog below for more...
The tips that I'm going to give you today are linked to what you eat, to your nutrition. Before we get started, full disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor am I a nutritionist. Before you apply any of the tips I will give you, please see your doctor or a registered dietician. My good friend Tricia Silverman, for example, is amazing and could take a closer look at your nutrition and tell you if you suffer from any nutritional deficiencies. Check her out HERE.
The first thing that I want to mention is GABA. Your brain naturally produces this amino acid. It's called the gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABA for short. This neurotransmitter also works as a calming agent and allows your mind to completely disengage from being awake (the wakeful state) so that you can enter the sleeping state. GABA sends chemicals through the brain to the nervous system. It also regulates the communication between all your brain cells. Its role, mainly, is to reduce the activity of the neurons in your nerve cells and therefore, reduce nervousness and anxiety.
The main area where GABA is involved is in the posterior hypothalamus. Neuron stimulation is known to contribute to wakefulness. When your hypothalamus is very active, that's when you are awake. GABA reduces the amount of activity in the back of your hypothalamus, which contributes to inducing sleep because you are not “as awake” anymore.
How can you introduce more GABA into your diet? Eating foods that are rich in probiotics such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, yogurt or kefir, for example, helps increase your GABA levels. Also, consider adding a good Multi Strain Probiotic to your daily regimen. Other foods are a good source of GABA: fish and shellfish, beans and lentils, sprouted whole grains - especially brown rice - potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, peas, spinach, berries...
Another really helpful thing for sleep is Valerian root. This root has been known to calm you down and support restful sleep. Where can we find that? It's not very common. Well, I love Traditional Medicinal teas because they have amazing products, including the Nighty Night Extra tea. It contains Valerian root and is the perfect substitute for an evening snack!
While we're talking about snacking, another thing that may help prevent bad sleep is to avoid snacking at night. When you eat, your brain goes into digestion mode, and during that time, you can't fall asleep. Ideally, you want to stop eating two hours prior to going to bed. Stop drinking fluids at that time as well. It's good to drink a lot of water during the day, but it might disrupt your night of sleep if you drink immediately before going to bed.
Of course, as a lot of you know, a thing that might help prevent bad sleep is physical exercise. Yoga, meditation... Simply moving your body actually helps you get a better sleep. Have you ever found that when you get a good workout in, you get a good night's sleep afterwards? I still teach 4 fitness classes per week for the City of White Rock (you can register HERE) and I like going to Lotus Pedal too. That's where I love to participate in yoga and in my husband’s spin class. Check out Lotus Pedal's website HERE.
You can (and should!) also reduce your screen time at night. At least one hour prior to going to sleep, turn off all your screens, because that may contribute as well to a disrupted sleep.
The last thing I want to share with you today is something almost everybody has heard of: Melatonin. Melatonin is present in many different things. For example, Bremner's cherry juice, or tart cherry. Goji berries have a high melatonin content as well. Milk, eggs, salmon and nuts are also very good sources of melatonin.
All of these tricks will hopefully help you sleep better!
We've went over a lot of things that you can do to prevent bad sleep, but next time, we'll be talking about DURING your sleep. I'll be giving you tools to stop tossing and turning.
See you next time!
OOPS, YOU JUST ATE A COOKIE!
You might as well eat the whole box, right? Your day is ruined anyways!
Tired of yo-yo diets and feeling like you are constantly depriving yourself? Download your copy of Nathalie's Health Guide with 27 Tips for a Vibrant Life.
The Guide includes:
- 27 Simple and Practical Applications for a Vibrant Life
- Following the 6 Layers of your Brain That Need to Be Addressed in Order to Shift Your Mindset
- Powerful Questions to Implement Your Knowledge
Check out some of my previous blog posts...
Anxiety, Weight Gain & Other Results of Sleep Deprivation
The 5 Stages of a Sleep Cycle
Sleep Inertia, Snoozing, Napping & Dreaming