We spend on average 1/3 of our lives asleep. To busy people this may seem like a waste of precious time; and often when we are running on a tight schedule, sleep is the first thing to be sacrificed. Sleep is vital for all aspects of our health and wellbeing however telling someone to ‘get more sleep’ is easier said than done. Finding it difficult to fall asleep, waking during the night, or waking up feeling tired is common, however it is not normal. A good night’s sleep can do a world of good, and it should be attainable for everyone. Here are our Naturopathic secrets to a good night’s sleep.
1. Turn off the lights!
While checking your emails, browsing social media or watching TV may feel relaxing, the light omitted from electrical devices may be disrupting your sleep. Exposing your eyes to artificial light disrupts the production of melatonin – our sleep hormone, interrupting our natural sleep-wake cycle. If you find it hard to fall asleep a night, you may want to consider reducing your exposure to light. Make the bedroom a device-free zone, so you are not tempted to look at your phone, and invest in an alarm clock for the morning.
2. Magnesium, magnesium, magnesium
Magnesium is well known for its role in providing strength to bones, teeth and promoting healthy muscles, however it also regulates our nervous system. When we are stressed, our bodies need more magnesium, which may explain why when many people are stressed they suffer from insomnia, a common symptom of magnesium deficiency. Caffeine, drugs and nutrient-deficient soil means many New Zealander’s are suffering from low levels of magnesium, and this could be contributing to a poor night’s sleep. If you are looking to boost your magnesium intake, the best food sources of include seaweed, almonds, cashews and green vegetables however you can also supplement magnesium, or rub it directly onto your skin.