As darkness approaches, a hormone called melatonin is released by the pineal gland located deep inside our brain. Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone and it can also help fight inflammation and switch off oxidation. We compromise our melatonin secretion by exposing ourselves to unnatural light and light (blue light) coming from our smartphones and electronic devices. Using these devices before bedtime can reduce the amount of melatonin released by over 50 per cent according to several studies, resulting in poor quality sleep. Even if you fall asleep straight away the quality of your sleep is impaired as you loose significant amounts of deep restorative sleep REM. You will feel much more tired the following day and possibly for several days afterwards.

Try to get as much natural light first thing in the morning and as little as possible in the evening in order to get your circadian rhythm in sync. Morning light is blue light and energizes and refreshes. Evening light is red light and induces melatonin production. Think of campfires and candlelight.

1. No caffeine after noon. Remember Green Tea contains caffeine.

2. No technology 60-90 minutes before bedtime.

3. Remove all screens from the bedroom. Even your TV!

4. Buy an old fashioned alarm clock. Do not use your phone.

5. Have black out blinds or lining on your curtains if they are not thick.

6. Exercise earlier in the day even walk in the morning is good.

7. Try not to eat after 7pm.

8. Buy a red night light.

9. Avoid any vigorous activity 3 hours before bed.

10. De clutter your bedroom and keep the temperature moderate.

A final word about alcohol. After a bad day or a stressful day in the office it is easy to grab a beer or have a large glass of wine. I get it.   Because alcohol is a sedative we think we are getting a good nights sleep and our stress has melted away. Instead, it disrupts our sleep blocking out deep restorative REM sleep and the body is unable to repair the damage of the stressors of the day resulting in more stress. If you want a good nights sleep, as well as the above tips, try reducing or even eliminating your alcohol intake and see the difference.

Take that first step to ditching that stress and leading a healthy life.

Valerie Green Health Coach

+353 (0)86 0473959 [email protected]

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