Today we want to talk about one of the most neglected aspects of taking care of our health and well-being: sleep. We tend not to give importance to getting a good night's rest and believe that we can do anything, but... did you know that sleep is one of the 4 fundamental pillars of health? Diet, movement and stress management are the ones we pay most attention to, but what about sleep?
To stop normalising the fact that we are exhausted, we want to give you some tips and habits to introduce in your routine and improve the quality of your sleep. You will see how it reflects on your wellbeing!
Sleep hygiene: What is it?
We use the term "sleep hygiene" to describe a series of practices and behaviours that promote healthy, quality sleep. Sleep hygiene includes habits such as establishing a regular sleep routine, maintaining an appropriate sleep environment - comfortable, dark, quiet and cool - avoiding stimulants before bedtime - such as caffeine or nicotine - limiting exposure to screens before bedtime, and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise. Sleep hygiene is important to promote adequate and restful sleep, as well as to prevent sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnoea.
False sleep myths
There are many home remedies to help you fall asleep or false myths that we would like to debunk today:
Alcohol helps you rest better
Not so: alcohol interferes with sleep quality by suppressing the REM sleep phase, which can result in a feeling of drowsiness and difficulties in concentration and performance the next day. In addition, alcohol can cause sleep fragmentation, resulting in frequent awakenings throughout the night. Therefore, while alcohol may generate an initial feeling of drowsiness, it does not promote restful sleep.
Eating too much will make me sleep better
A high intake of food before going to sleep affects us more negatively than we think. It is advisable to avoid heavy, high-fat or spicy foods before going to bed, as they can hinder digestion and disturb sleep. The digestive system is affected and metabolism increases, which results in discomfort and digestive disturbances. This makes it difficult to fall asleep and can cause discomfort during the night.
Sleep can be regained
We've all said, "I'll catch up on sleep tomorrow". Well, although this practice is commonly known, it is not at all advisable.
An unbalanced sleep routine, such as going to bed and getting up at different times every day, can disrupt the body's circadian rhythm and make it difficult to maintain sleep. This can lead to daytime sleepiness, lack of energy and difficulty concentrating.
3 Habits to follow to improve your rest
Eat an early dinner to avoid heaviness
Eating dinner early improves digestion and avoids problems such as heartburn and indigestion, maintains stable energy levels and allows better absorption of nutrients. Not only that, but eating an early dinner has also been shown to help with weight management.
Introduce sleep-aiding foods into your diet
Some foods have relaxing properties or the presence of certain nutrients that promote sleep. Here is a list of some of them:
- Bananas: Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, which help relax muscles and promote feelings of sleepiness.
- Milk: Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid precursor of serotonin and melatonin, hormones that regulate sleep. A glass of warm milk before bed can be comforting and promote restful sleep.
- Almonds: Almonds are a good source of magnesium, which helps relax muscles and nerves. They also contain tryptophan and melatonin, which promote sleep.
- Kiwi: Kiwifruit is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and serotonin, which can help regulate the sleep cycle. In addition, its fibre content can contribute to healthy digestion before bedtime.
- Chamomile: Although it is not a food itself, chamomile tea has sedative and relaxing properties. You can take it before going to bed, it will help you relax.
- Turkey: Turkey is a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps promote the production of serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters that influence sleep.
- Whole grains: Whole grains such as oats, brown rice and whole wheat contain complex carbohydrates that can help boost serotonin levels and promote restful sleep.
Remember that everyone is unique and may react differently to foods, so it's important to listen to your body and find out which foods work best for you to get a good night's sleep.
Build your own sleep ritual
Establish a combination of habits to follow before you go to sleep, for example:
Stop using screens 2 hours before bedtime.
Set a dim light in your bedroom
Activate Ma Moments "Good Sleep" essential oil.
Help yourself with MiraLab's Mira Essential supplements.
Drink a relaxing herbal tea