Last week, I went to the Belmodo Fit Summit at David Lloyd and learned a lot at the info session from Goedele Leyssen. She’s a yogateacher and holistic nutritionalist and gave lots of practical tips on how to sleep better and improve the quality of your sleep.
The best way to improve your sleep quality is by following these tips:
- No alcohol (alcohol makes you fall asleep faster but decreases the quality of sleep, you’ll sleep less deep)
- Coffee/icetea/green tea contains caffein and makes you struggle to fall asleep. If you insist on drinking one of these products, make sure to do it before 3 p.m.
- Decrease the amount of sugar you eat. It brings you out of balance and might cause problems.
- Move 30 to 40 minutes a day to improve the quality of your sleep and fall asleep faster
- Dim the lights to go to bed. Do not use a smartphone or computer before bed. You need the lights to dim in the evening so your body will produce melatonin, the sleeping hormone.
- Use lavender to calm yourself. Use some drops of essential oil on the bottom of your feet. Make sure not to buy the lavander with fragrance.
- Lay down on your right side. This will make sure you breathe through your left nostril, which activates the right side of your brain. On the right side of your brain, you activate your creative side, the relaxing side. Triggering the left would mean activating thinking, the rational part. You don’t want that while trying to sleep.
- Go to bed around the same time every night.
A good routine:
Examples to use in your bedtime routine are:
- Take a hot bath. This will make you relax and decrease your body temperature afterwards. A lower body temperature is necessary to go to sleep. Make sure the temperature in your bedroom is around 17/18 degrees Celsius.
- Use lavender in your bath.
- Drink some tea: herbal tea, chamomile tea, lavender tea or valerian tea. The valerian tea is well known to help you sleep.
- Take care of your feet. Use cold water to lower your body temperature. Make sure to give your feet a little massage.
- Do some yoga, stretching or breathing exercises before you go to bed.
- Write down your to do’s for the next day so you can clear your mind and go to sleep.
- Use a gratitude jar or write down your worries and throw them away. The last thought before you go to bed, influences the quality of your sleep.
What about a powernap during the day?
A powernap is okay if you didn’t have enough sleep during the night. But only IF you sleep for maximum 30 minutes. This way you’ll wake up right before the deep sleep comes and you can increase your productivity! Sleeping longer will make you lazy and dull.
Food is a very important factor that influences the quality of your sleep as well. Make sure to check out Goedele’s book “Mood Food” for more information on that.