I tend to have a habit of reading everything I can about the latest development in medicine, science and research to learn and understand how I can be healthy, full of energy and happy every day.
I would like to share one thing with you, to help you to live a healthier life: sleep. When I say ‘sleep’ I mean the quality and the science of sleeping.
Sleep is vital as it can support recovery from a long day of work. Sleep helps you detox by removing old cells and replaces them with fresh, energised cells. Toxins are removed from the liver which supports healthy muscle growth and can also remove waste from the brain helping memory so our brains can problem solve certain situations from the day.
Sleep is important, we can see that as it is present in animals across the world, including insects and marine animals. Wildlife follows a daily circadian rhythm, but humans seem to have reprogrammed their pattern.
We go to bed too late, wake up too early and we expose our eyes to the blue light on mobile phones before we sleep. People tend to overeat before bed and keep lights on, which can have an impact on how quickly one can fall asleep.
Time and time again I have witnessed this first hand, so I have devised a few ideas that will improve sleeping patterns for the long term.
People don’t have to be perfect as we all have flaws, so if you occasionally make a mistake, don’t feel guilty! All we need is to achieve 90% of good sleep – more attainable than you think! Here’s how it can be accomplished:
Sleep in complete darkness, pitch black!
If your room has any form of clarity such as you can see your hand, that means that your brain will not work as it should. There is a gland deep inside your brain called the pituitary gland that requires darkness to work. This gland controls a lot of important functions, such as metabolism, growth, sexual maturation, reproduction, blood pressure and other vital physical functions and processes.
Men are hot and women are cool
I know that every generalisation is wrong, but check this one out with your besties and you will see that this is true! Adjustments must be made here. I tend to give my partner more layers on her side of the bed and mine less, but even in this way I often wake up sweating on the odd occasion!
Have a routine, even Superman needs to sleep!
Routines make us sleep better – that’s a FACT! Our bodies are designed for routine and whatever you try to curve that, it will come with a price. So, if you read Hal Elrod’s book and want to wake up every day at 5:50 am, this is an excellent idea. However, be prepared to go to bed earlier you are not a robot!
Have your meals before 8 pm
Who doesn’t like eating a huge amount of pasta? Or mashed potatoes? Maybe bread with butter and coffee even if you arrived late from work?
I don’t know about you, but I am a lost cause for carbohydrates: I love carbs. During winter if I have a pizza ready to bake in the oven, I put a radioactive sign at my kitchen’s door saying: Chernobyl, do not enter!
Sometimes I allow myself to do have the odd naughty treat and eat a large amount of food late, but I pay for it the next day by feeling as if I have low energy, grumpy and experience mood swings!
For two weeks, try to re-train your body to sleep with an empty stomach, write to me to let me know the results. It’s shocking, isn’t it? Your stomach starts to reduce, you feel and sleep better and you wake up feeling like you can take on the world!
Ingest less sugar!
I just can’t go to bed without a mug of herbal teas such as camomile, anis or peppermint nestled in my hands. Science tells us that some tea infusions can help relax and calm the mind. Sugar is the enemy! Try to have less sugar in your diet before bedtime, and you'll sleep better. There are occasions where one may want a spoonful of honey in lemon water, which is soothing when you're ill. If you’re able to cut out sugar before bedtime, you should.
Re-train your brain to think positively
You might come from a family where you had a mother who might have educated you to avoid conflict. You may have developed to think correctly and be able to create a set of feelings that will nurture your wellbeing and self-esteem. If so then that’s great! Consider yourself very lucky.
Should this not be the case, don’t worry you are part of a large portion of the population that haven’t yet trained your brain in this way. However, creating the right mindset is key in achieving success with regards to sleeping as well as your personal and professional life as well.
All you need to do is write down a set of scenes that would make you happy. Whether it be imagining yourself well-dressed, enjoying good weather or even surrounded by people that you love. Just focus your mind to see yourself confident and becoming someone who can achieve whatever you want.
During this meditation, you can add other things that are important to you, be specific with details and be kind and generous with yourself. Make sure you are creating positive and realistic images in your mind, so you don't feel the goal is unattainable afterward.
Sex? Yes Please!
It’s fantastic to have a moment of intimacy and pleasure with someone whom you love and admire. I certainly think so, and enjoying sex during our night routine can release high levels of oxytocin and prolactin which helps us to sleep better, so why not take part?
Exercise, exercise and more exercise!
Exercising is a must, especially if you work in an office environment then I urge you, it is time. If you do not like gyms and any other form of exercise, try to do more walking.
Walking is an exercise that is often underestimated plus you can walk with your friends and family and that special person in your life as a moment of bonding. During your walks, you can get a lot done like running errands if you walk instead of using the car or different modes of public transport. Experts say that 10,000 steps a day is the minimum recommended number of steps to ensure you have increased your heart rate, stretched your body and mind. It's also easily tracked on smartphones and there are useful apps you can utilise to count your steps.
Avoid toxic social media and films that may energise you
Watching certain videos, reading negative articles, can release adrenaline and cortisol in your bloodstream which can make it difficult to fall asleep. Once you eventually manage to drop off, the quality of your sleep will tend to be poor, making you feel more tired and less productive the following day.
Not that long ago I watched a film on a Friday night called Sicario and I could not fall asleep till quite late because that film disturbed me so much, and I had to work on the Saturday. So, you can imagine how I felt the following day!
Self-affirmation is when you truly want to change and you believe in what you are doing, experts say it is proven that thinking positively can produce a great result in our lives, so why not start encouraging yourself today?
Your bedroom is your temple
Keep your bedroom tidy and clean. Having your bedroom and bedding clean, getting used to making your bed should be one of the first things you do in the morning. Make it a habit. Keep your bedroom clean, organized and smelling pleasant as upon entry you’ll find it is a pleasure, as well as relaxing to spend time in your room. Sine becoming more rigid in my routine with this, my quality of sleep is much better and yours can be too!
I know it’s a bit weird to talk about poop and pee, but it is so important and many of us disregard this natural bodily function, but it is vital to understand the importance of this.
During the night your body is getting rid of toxins, but if the body still full of toxins where do they go? Think of it this way: if the trashcan is full, and you have no place to put the new trash, what would you do? Leave the rubbish all over your kitchen? No, you would put the rubbish in bags and place them outside. During the night, unattended rubbish attracts rats, flies, cockroaches, and other wild foraging animals. Your body is not too different. By keeping toxins inside of us this attracts diseases, accelerates aging, creates wrinkles, headaches, migraines, gaining weight, high blood pressure being just a small example. So, make sure that you’re going to the toilet at least 3 times per day for you’ll be feeling better. Let your body do what it’s got to do!
Noisy environment? No problem!
You should consider adding sound insulation in the windows and door of your bedroom or maybe moving home to a calmer and quieter place, as sounds can disrupt our sleep cycle which can prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep. To start, you could get yourself a pair of noise-canceling headphones or earbuds to help cancel out those intrusive sounds. Once you get used to having those little rubbers on your ears, no more noisy nights!
So “No” to alcohol and drugs
If you require an alcoholic drink, or to take pills to help you to sleep, I hate to say it but you might have an addiction. Once you’re in it, it can be incredibly difficult to get out. You could keep track of how many nights you used addictive substances to sleep. Should you find that it is more than 2 or 3 times in a month, you already know the answer.
If you feel that you are in trouble, do not hesitate to book a call with me, but I will likely recommend you to go to a doctor or a psychologist for extra support.
Sleeping in a good quality bed
All of these ideas are surrounding how to improve your sleeping, which is based on changing daily habits and creating a new lifestyle. This tip will impact your funds, but there is no other way.
Buying a good quality mattress, a good quality pillow and comfortable cotton sheets do cost money. Thanks to the mass production of materials, nowadays you can get a decent quality set, mattress, pillow and comfortable sheets on a budget! I recently researched the better the quality the more expensive, up to £3000 at least, but this would be worth it.
It is a lot of money; however, you don’t have to buy everything in one go, buy pillows and cases and duvets separately, but the mattress is the most important one. There are even payment options these days to pay in instalments with 0% interest.
You will also have to understand what suits you better, a hard, firm, soft or super-soft mattress, everyone reacts differently. Depending on the type of mattress, you like the most, but a good quality mattress is mandatory!
Sleeping and meditation apps
You can request my relaxation audio to help you to sleep. There are plenty of options to help your sleep using meditation so this is a no-brainer! Just send me an email to: email@example.com and I will send to you a complimentary gift as a thank you.
Tune in to an online stretching class before bedtime, it might be a great option to increase your wellbeing and relaxation and clear your mind.
Did you know that you can book a sleeping training session with Gustavo that can be done over the phone? This will include breathing techniques to slow down your mind, visualising positivity and focussing on your breathing which also helps you to sleep.