Coming off amitriptyline means my sleep is all on me now. Before I came off it, I researched all I could on sleep, wading through copious number of research reports and trying to get to the nitty gritty of the most helpful things I could implement.
These are they! I have more to share tomorrow – I thought I’d do them in increments of five as I only give myself twenty minutes each morning to write in this journal.
1. Sort Out Your Circadian Rhythm
There are many ways to do this and I am still learning, but this is the biggest and most helpful thing you can do to improve your sleep. I will share more in further posts, but this includes things like setting an alarm and getting up at the same time every morning. I’d go one step further and say the earlier the better, but that’s up to you! And going to bed at the same time each night. Using light to your advantage. For example, using bright lights to wake you up in the morning and orange lights for evening use.
As I say, this is a huge topic and fascinating to learn about. I’ll share a bit more tomorrow a give you a few more things to do to enhance the sleeping power of your circadian rhythms.
2. Move, Move, Move…and Move Some More
Exercise is incredibly important and feeds into your circadian rhythms. The best time to exercise is morning or early evening. I do both. A long early morning walk with the dog tells my body it’s morning, and even after a rough night, a walk refreshes me and energises me for the day ahead. I go to the gym in the evenings, although not every evening.
I also weight train three times a week and swim once a week. I have a goal to learn yoga with Gary a couple of times a week but not for another few weeks.
What I also do is simply try to keep active throughout the day. One reason for not replacing my dryer is so that I need to be up and on my feet to hang the washing up to dry…and then take it down and put it away.
Small thing, I know. But I’m learning that lots of small adds up to some big!
I aim to walk 10, 000 steps at a day and these days average between 13,000 and 16,000. This is massive for me considering I used to average about 3,000!
3. Eat Your Last Meal of the Day Early
When I say meal, I mean anything other than water. Allow your body to digest before you go to bed, and decrease its active jobs during rest. This allows it to get on with its important job of repair and regeneration.
Digestion is a daytime activity.
Repair and regeneration is a nighttime one.
And they struggle to happen together.
I eat my main meal at about five. Then I try not to eat anything at all after that.
Do I always succeed? No, of course not! This is still quite a new skill for me and after years of snacking at night, it is a hard habit to change.
What I can say though, is that I don’t snack mindlessly anymore, and often I don’t snack at all.
Again, slowly slowly…I’m moving in the right direction and so can you!
4. Take Some Sour Cherry Juice at Nighttime
This is an unusual, little known tip (at least, I didn’t know about it!) but it works a treat. I have mine at dinner time with my meal and I have it with fizzy water. It is an acquired taste but it definitely gets better the more you drink it.
It is as it says on the bottle – sour – but in its sourness it is also very refreshing.
And it works.
I have definitely seen an improvement in my ability to get to sleep using it compared with not using it.
5. Take a Magnesium Bath
I buy Epsom salts from the supermarket and add my own blend of essential oils – Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot and Chamomile.
Each night, about an hour before bed, I light some candles, pop on an Audible book or a YouTube video (my iPad is on night-mode – orange lights people!) and I relax in my gorgeous smelling bath. The oils help to relax whilst the magnesium helps with falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer, reducing nighttime awakenings, and increasing levels of naturally circulating melatonin.
Soaking in a magnesium bath is a wonderful way to indicate to my body that it is nighttime and bedtime is just round the corner, feeding into the whole circadian rhythm thing.
I hope these tips help you to get a better night’s sleep. I have five more for you tomorrow 🙂
2 thoughts on “Five Ways to Improve Your Sleep”
Yes! I find those days I get lots of fresh air and exercise help me sleep so much better.
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Fresh air is like some miracle cure isn’t it? I should have listened to the wisdom of the adults in my youth 🙂