How to improve sleep

Sleep is important for all aspects of our health. This is the time when your body gets to recover from the day, repair muscles and support the immune system. Sleep can help reduce both the risk and the severity of depression and anxiety disorders and is also crucial for our brain in terms of memory, creativity and decision-making.

When it comes to mental health, good sleep can also improve emotional resilience, helping individuals to cope with stress and life’s challenges better.

For hormone health, sleep influences various hormones that are linked to cravings and satiety. Lack of sleep can increase food cravings, which is one of the reasons why you might reach for a sugary snack after a night of poor sleep. Lack of sleep has also been linked to weight gain and obesity.

Inadequate sleep can lead to a wide range of health issues, both in the short term and long term, and should therefore be prioritised to optimise your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

Here are some strategies to help you get better sleep:

  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Engage in calming activities before bedtime, such as reading, taking a warm bath, practise deep breathing or stretching.
  • Make your sleep environment comfortable: Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. The ideal temperature is around 19 degrees. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows – you spend a third of your life in bed so make sure it’s cosy.
  • Reduce blue light from technology: The blue light emitted by mobile phones, laptops and TVs can interfere with your sleep. Try to avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime, invest in some blue light-blocking glasses or turn off the blue light on your phone.
  • Avoid eating 3 hours before going to bed: Eating to close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep and effect your blood sugar balance causing you to wake up throughout the night.
  • Reduce/avoid alcohol: Although alcohol can help you falling asleep, it can cause sleep disturbances throughout the night.
  • Get regular exercise: Engage in regular physical activity but try to finish exercising a few hours before bedtime and schedule any high-intensity training in the morning. Opt for more calming exercising in the evening such as yoga or Pilates.
  • Manage stress: High-stress levels can make it difficult to sleep. Try stress-reduction techniques like meditation, walking or taking a bath.
  • Limit liquid intake before bed: To avoid waking up to use the bathroom, try to limit your liquid intake in the evening and stop drinking 1-2 hours before sleeping.
  • Exposure yourself to daylight in the morning: Exposure to natural light in the morning can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Spend time outside in the morning if possible.

Remember that improving sleep habits can take time and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s essential to find a routine that suits your individual schedule and consistency is key.

Drop me a message if you have any questions as I would love to hear from you. I offer free 20 minute consultations where we can chat about your health goals and any symptoms you experience that you would like to address through personalised nutritional therapy.

Ellen Sorlen

Founder and Owner of Nourish with Ellen

I’m Ellen, a fully qualified, insured and registered nutritional therapist with over 200 clinical hours. I strongly believe we need to nourish our bodies to flourish as individuals. Balance and moderation are the keys to a happy and healthy life and this is something I value and make sure are applied to the work I do with my clients.

Nutrition is so much more than just the food we eat, it’s about how we eat, our relationship with food but also with ourselves. It’s about lifestyle choices, mindset and purpose.My mission is to find what works for YOU and your individual circumstances. Get in touch to find out how I can help you take control over your health.

Connect with me