SLEEP FOR SLEEP’S SAKE
Getting a proper night’s rest can be a challenge, especially when your mind is racing with anticipation about your wedding day. Between the invites, decor, favours, choosing the right music, writing your own vows…everything begins to build up. Relaxing seems impossible when decisions need to be made and the pressures of having the perfect day rely heavily on y-o-u. Sleep is vital for your health so do not rob yourself of it…
If you are one of many individuals who struggle to get at least 6 hours of sleep a night, whether its due to stress, insomnia, or just an over active mind… rest assured you can assist your body in little ways without having to reach for a sleeping pill. By being open-minded, you can make minimal changes that have a big impact on the quality of your sleep.
Guest Writer Olivia Gudaniec
For starters, the temperature around you can make a huge difference. Did you know that the body’s core temperature is slightly lower during your sleeping hours? It is for this reason that adjusting your thermostat can improve your sleep quality. There is no magic number but it is best to choose a temperature between 15 – 20 degrees Celcius. If cold feet are a constant culprit keeping you awake, grab some socks and get cozy.
When it is time for bed and your body starts receiving the right cues from your environment, you will gradually begin to release melatonin. This chemical controls your sleeping and waking cycles. Yet, light can affect how much melatonin you produce so try dimming the lights a few hours before bedtime to start the process. If that still does not do the trick, many people I interviewed said that they thrived using non medical sleeping aids. So to get in the mood to sleep, why not try incorporating a humidifier with a relaxing essential oil like lavender. Keep in mind that sleep aids can only assist healthy sleeping habits and are not meant to be used indefinitely. Either way it is worth experimenting if you are having a disruptive or a difficult time sleeping.
You can also look into updating your pillows and mattress. Most people are not even aware that pillows need to be replaced every few years (for hygienic reasons). Mould spores, dust mites and even those unattractive dead skin cells are inevitable. If you fold your pillow in half and it does not spring back to it’s original shape, or you cannot remember when you last purchased it, then it is definitely time to start searching for something new. On the other hand, with mattresses the typical time frame to replace this large item is ten years. We spend approximately 1/3 of our lives in bed passing through different stages of sleep a night. Don’t you think it is wise to invest in quality items that offer support and comfort? Not to mention, if muscle/joint pain is an issue for you or if you are sweating throughout the night, you may want to consider that it’s time to change your mattress. Just keep in mind what type of sleeper you are and ask plenty of questions when shopping around.
If you have followed all of these tips and are still tossing and turning, consider making some adjustments with what you are consuming before going to bed. After all, digestion also slows down while you are sleeping. Therefore, avoid consuming high fat foods, any alcohol, coffee, dark chocolate, soda/pop, spicy foods and of course, energy drinks. Remember that while you are sleeping, your body is still working so it is best to skip any large meals before shutting down. To promote better sleep reach for foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan, which is rumoured to help greatly as it produces serotonin. This assists your body by boosting melatonin which as mentioned earlier, impacts your sleep cycles. So instead of excessive snacking opt for some cherries, milk, fortified cereals (whole grains not the sugary stuff), bananas, avocados, low fat/plain yogurt, and chamomile/ valerian tea. Be mindful, keep yourself relaxed and maintain a well balanced diet, your wedding day depends on it.
Olivia Gudaniec Artist/Writer
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