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  • Pam Clark

Snooze fest


The power of a good night's kip!

I bought the sprogs some festive themed woolly wumffa socks the other day... so little Red is wandering about with 2 wee snowmen on her toes whilst "Mr-I'm-12-now-Mum" was looking resplendent in his fuffy red jobs - not too old to like a comfy foot it seems!

It is the time of year to be cosy and bright and all things Hygge, to steal a Scandi term.

But it is also a really good time to put some deposits in the bank of sleep.

Why - what's the point with all this shut eye I hear you ask?

Well sleep has been shown to:

Support weight loss - not just cos you cant eat whilst you sleep!

Reduce inflammatory response

Improve insulin response and thus support good blood sugar balance

Balance hormones - are you listening peri-menopause peeps?

Support immune system - cheerio colds!

Improve brain function - as any sleep deprived new parent can testify!

Support healthy aging...

So how can we set ourselves up well for a good night of heavy Zeds?

1. Eat well during the day. Balance those pesky blood sugars by avoiding the beige carbs, highly refined sugars and snacks.

2. Snack well: Only if you're hungry - but adding in a protein rich snack will not only balance those blood sugars but also keep you fuller for longer. Examples include oatcakes and cheese, hummus and crudites, a plain yoghurt and berries - yum!

3. Eat regularly - as I often say -the body is like a small child - it likes to know what's coming. Where you can, eat at a similar time and in a similar way (i.e, not a tiny tottie lunch and humungous dinner one day and the reverse the next), that way the body gets familiar with the levels of insulin required- insulin is the hormone that helps to manage blood sugar and we want to avoid these peaks and troughs.

4. Eat your greens - not just because foods like Kale, spinach and the like are high in Magnesium and B-vits which are good for balancing our energies but a diet that is rich in colourful veg is great for feeding the good bacteria in our gut - happy gut=happy bod

5. Bin, or reduce the booze and caffeine - empty energy and both can increase our stress response - which is def not helpful for catching the sleep bus to Bo-Bo land.

Other add on's?

Well I'm a fiend if I don't have any Epsom (Magnesium) Salts in the house, hulking big handfuls get thrown into my bath a couple of times a week - followed by a good 20minute soak -lush! Most of us are very depleted in Mg - which can really help our sleep, help us feel calm and also aid our digestive processes. Other options include the lovely Magnesium night time spray by Better You another option is taking a Mg supplement - but check with your own Nutritional Therapist or healthcare provider 1st.

Adding in some night time meditation or relaxing music can be a great alternative to peering at a screen and preparing our bodies for the land of nod.

Have a stretch, journal, get your bot outside during the day - take time to scribe on your gratitude list.... clear that busy head!

Speaking of screen's - the advice is to avoid them 1-2hrs before sleep, You see the light hitting off our eyes tricks our body into thinking it's not actually night time.

Finally a room that's not too hot or cold and super dark- get yourself a tricky wee eye mask to ensure a solid's night kip.

I often find that clients sleep improves significantly when we combine these top tips with other, more personalised advice. However some symptoms need digging into a bit more, sch as thyroid and gut issues that could negatively impact on sleep.

If this is resonating with you, or you'd like to find out more why not book yourself into one of my Complementary Winter Wellness Consultations: drop me a line on pam@nurturenutrition.org


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