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9 Foods that can improve your sleep   

17 Jun 2020
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9 Foods that can improve your sleep

Last week we brought you 3 top tips for better sleep, and now we're back with 9 foods that can improve your sleep. With many of us being out of our usual routines, and stressing about the state of the world, our sleep may be taking a hit. Getting a good nights sleep is essential for your overall wellbeing. Short-term effects of sleep deprivation are linked to issues with concentration, memory, and judgement. In the long-term, sleep deprivation has been linked to a plethora of illnesses, both mental and physical.

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So why does diet help?

Firstly, our bodies contain a neurotransmitter called tryptophan which modulates sleep. There are some foods that naturally contain this, and eating them about an hour before you go to bed can really help you to fall asleep, and improve sleep quality. Furthermore, one major cause of insomnia is anxiety. Including more magnesium in your diet can relax your body and mind, helping you to fall asleep and sleep better. 

So here is our list of the top 9 foods to improve your sleep.

1. Walnuts and almonds

These nuts are an excellent source of magnesium and melatonin - the sleep hormone!

2. Turkey

Turkey contains high levels of tryptophan, as well as plenty of protein which is also beneficial for falling asleep.

3. Kiwi

Kiwi contains a high level of antioxidants, so when eaten regularly it can improve both sleep quality and the amount of sleep we get. 

4. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is high in tryptophan, as well as having a high protein content. 

5. Dates

Dates are an excellent source of melatonin, which helps to lull your body into a sleepy state.

6. Bananas

Bananas are a great pre-bedtime snack, containing magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan.

7. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea calms the mind and eases anxiety, eliciting drowsiness.

8. Fatty fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are high in vitamin B6 which encourages the production of melatonin.

9. Milk

Not only is milk packed with tryptophan, it contains high levels of calcium which also helps us to drift off.

As well as including these foods in your diet for better sleep, it is also best to avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and processed carbs such as white bread and pasta, particularly after 6pm. 

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3 Tips for a better nights sleep   

10 Jun 2020

3 Tips for a Better Nights Sleep

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With many of us being out of our usual routines, and stressing about the state of the world, our sleep may be taking a hit. Getting a good nights sleep is essential for your overall wellbeing. Short-term effects of sleep deprivation are linked to issues with concentration, memory, and judgement. In the long-term, sleep deprivation has been linked to a plethora of illnesses, both mental and physical. These days we see a wide range of products available to help us to sleep better - from special pillows, mattresses, and duvets, to essential oils, to apps, to technology products. Who knows what we can trust anymore? 

Here are our top, tried and tested methods to improve your sleep:

1. Keep your bedroom for sleeping only. Working or other activities in your room can affect the way your brain reacts to being in the bedroom. If it's just for sleep then your brain knows it's time to go to sleep when you head in there.

2. Try to maintain a regular routine. Keeping to the same (or similar) sleep and wake up times each day should help. 

3. Minimise general blue light exposure before bed. 

Other things may help you personally, everyone is different. If sleep deprivation is affecting your life, sometimes the only thing to do is get to the root of the problem. The NHS backs an online sleep cognitive behavioral therapy course called Sleepio, which is a great way to do this and is free in many parts of the country. 

Happy snoozing!

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5 Tips to take care of your mental health in isolation   

05 Jun 2020

5 Tips to take care of your mental health in isolation

 

During these challenging times, it's just as important to take care of your mental health as it is to look after your physical health. For those who are isolating, or simply distancing from others, this can be challenging. It's understandable. But there are a few things you can do to boost your mood and maintain your wellbeing.

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1. Don't cut yourself off

Just because you can't spend time with your loved ones, doesn't mean that you're alone. Keeping in touch helps to boost oxytocin levels, so schedule some Facetime with your nearest and dearest.

2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Healthy eating and exercise can also boost your mood. Try to stay active and hydrated, and spend time in the sunshine if possible.

3. Smile!

The simple act of smiling can boost mood-improving neurotransmitters, increasing levels of serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. Even better if you smile at somebody else and they smile back.

4. Download a meditation app

Meditation can be incredible for boosting your mood, and as an added bonus it also helps to strengthen the immune system!

5. Recovery breathing

Set aside 10 minutes per day for recovery breathing to keep your cortisol levels at bay. Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth with a steady count. A longer out breath helps to dispel excess co2, which also helps to reduce excess cortisol. 

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