If you have a young family, like we do, you will know that a good nights sleep is paramount. Ok, we don't always get a full nights sleep and a full nights sleep is rare. But what we eat and drink can effect on how well we sleep. If we follow these simple steps we can be sure that we are doing what we can to get a good nights sleep. I found these tips on BBC Good Food.
Food and Drink to Avoid
There are some food and drinks that you should avoid if you want a healthy nights sleep. If you cut the following out 2 - 3 hours before bedtime the better:
- Carbonated drinks containing caffeine
- Black or green tea as they contain caffeine
- Avoid eating too late or too close to bedtime. If you go to bed feeling full you are more likely to have a disturbed night due to heartburn or indigestion.
- Wine, cheese and chocolate can cause the brain to be over stimulated
Food and Drinks to Help Sleep
Now we know what we should try and avoid let me tell you what can help you get a good nights sleep. These following foods and drinks can help aid a good nights sleep:
- Eating a snack which is rich in carbohydrates, such as cereal or porridge it will help your body to relax.
- A cup of warm milk, yes this really does help, it is not just an old wives tale! Mix this with a malt drink and you are well on your way to relaxation!
- Change your regular black tea for a herbal alternative, such as peppermint or chamomile. There are even sleep specific teas which are full of herbs to help you relax. These are my favourite drinks to take to bed!
Food and drink play a huge part in not just our day but also our night and changing what we eat and drink in the evening will certainly help. However there are other ways that you can ensure that you get a good nights sleep. They are:
- A good routine! Yes I am a true believer in the fact that if we and our body has a good daily routine we function so much better. If you get into a good bedtime routine of going to bed at roughly the same time each night, reading in bed instead of watching television or being on your phone or tablet, your body will appreciate it and you will get a better nights sleep.
- Get out in the day. If you are getting out in the fresh air during the day and exercising your body will be ready for a good nights sleep.
- A comfortable room. I truly do believe that it is important to have a relaxing environment in your bedroom. This goes from decor to the all important bed! Relaxing colours on your wall will instantly create a calming environment that is ideal for a good nights sleep. Then we move to the bed, having comfortable, well fitting bedding is so important. There is nothing more annoying than sheets which do not fit properly. This will inevitably lead to a restless night. Having good quality, soft bedding is so important. You want to create your own little night time heaven and you really do need to feel comfortable in your bed. This leads me to the next part, the bed itself. Having a comfortable bed not only allows you a good nights sleep but with the right mattress you can keep the correct posture through out the night. We currently have a memory foam sprung mattress from Bedstar the online bed supplier, and I have found that it has helped no end with my back pain during the night! Having a memory foam spring mattress ensures that I am able to rest my back and am able to get a good nights sleep so that I am ready for the following day. Running around after 3 children and 2 dogs and a husband keeps me on my toes! A memory foam mattress may not be for you so whether you have a memory foam one or a sprung coil one, it needs to be comfortable for you!
- Relaxing fragrances. Lavender has so many different benefit but helping to relax and aid restful sleep is just one of them. Add a few drops of lavender oil to your pillow case and allow the aromas to help you drift off!
You can also find more help and tips at the Sleep Foundation and The Sleep Council they will be able to help you with more tips, they have videos to watch and can direct you to further sites.
I hope that these tips help you to improve your sleep and if you have a lack of sleep due to little ones, remember that it does get better, believe me it does!
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post