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Slip into sleep

6 WAYS TO ENSURE A PEACEFUL NIGHT SLEEP

Feeling tired isn't the only effect of a sleepless night. Slip into sleep with these tips to try this evening

Feeling tired isn’t the only effect of a bad nights sleep; it can play havoc with your hormones, accelerate ageing and contributes to weight gain. It’s time to take the stress out of sleep with our 6 tips: 

1. Restore Routine – There is so much information available today about bedtime patterns, from what time you should hit the hay to exactly how long we should sleep for, it can be overwhelming. The truth is everyone is different and you may need 7 hours sleep rather than the advised 8, so it's important to find what works for you. Find your routine and stick to it. Getting a restful sleep is about finding the right balance that works with your lifestyle.

We have been using the Sleep Calculator to find out what time we should rise and shine

2. Ditch The Fix – Often find yourself reaching for a strong coffee or diet coke mid afternoon? Using caffeine to get through the afternoon slump could be keeping you up at night. Caffeine stays in the body for up to 6 hours, break the endless cycle of sleepless nights and coffee fixes by cutting out that afternoon cup of joe. You may find it hard the first few days but your body and skin will thank you! Caffeine acts as a diuretic, taking water away from your skin and causing dehydration.

3. Snooze Food - Try not to have a heavy meal in the evening – certain foods including all important protein can be harder to digest especially when our bodies are tired after a long day. Digestion is supposed to slow by about 50% while you’re sleeping but if you eat a lot of protein, you digest even more slowly making for a very restless night!

Here are our top tips on what to nibble on or avoid before bed;

  • Avoid fatty foods and red meats high in fat content as they stimulate acid in the stomach which can cause heartburn – especially when lying flat. If you feel in need of a treat or are cooking for friends why not try a turkey ragu bolognaise with brown pasta? Turkey is not only a very healthy, lean option but it also contains tryptophan, a chemical that can induce a snooze meaning that it’s actually a scientific fact that the post-Christmas nap is unavoidable!
  • Rather than a glass of wine to relax and unwind, why not try a bedtime glass of milk? It may bring back childhood memories, but this old wives’ tale is a great tip for helping us to drift off to sleep! Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin. Rather not have a whole glass? You could try a small bowl of cereal doused in the white stuff, good complex carbs such as shredded wheat can also help you sleep soundly!
  • It's best to avoid spice in the evenings – sadly a little of the hot stuff can wreak havoc with your sleep patterns, so if you have a craving for something hot and spicy why not try to get the same satisfying flavour with Turmeric. As the main spice in curries, you can re-create the flavours without the heat! Why not try a delicious and on trend superfood bowl by mixing roasted sweet potato with vegetables and some complex carbs such as quinoa, barley or buckwheat – even more zzzz power right there!
  • Feeling the need for a sweet treat before bed? Rather than reaching for the dark chocolate which contains caffeine, satisfy your sweet tooth with a banana. Rich in natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium, these little caped crusaders help you relax from head to toe and drift off into a sound sleep.
  • When Matrons were the senior nursing staff on our hospital wards, they knew the power of sleep – they did however miss one little trick! It was thought that plants were unsuitable to have on the wards in the evenings as they would absorb too much oxygen and emit carbon dioxide. In fact flowers and plants add far more oxygen to a room that they use so can not only offer relaxing aroma but also help you breath easily while you sleep! Our favorites are; Jasmine, Lavender, Gerbera Daisies and Aloe Vera.

4. Space, Sanctuary, Sleep – Take a good look at your bedroom and the space around your bed and turn it into a sleep sanctuary. Do everything possible to make this room your haven for rest and recuperation. Clear away clutter, remove electronics and use clean, cool cotton sheets or candles to make a peaceful environment that is bound to transport you to the land of nod.

Send us a picture of your nighttime routine with #slipintosleep

5. Start the Slow Down – Help your body to relax with a bath or some gentle yoga poses. Studies have shown that relaxing muscles either through gentle stretching or a warm bath has a positive, sedating effect on the body and mind.

6. Bedtime Ritual – Create an evening routine to tell your brain its time for bed. It doesn’t need to be long; it could be something as quick as reading a page or two of your current book. Create an evening habit that your brain will associate with sleep and you’ll notice after a few weeks how quickly you fall into a deep slumber. Many of us at Balance Me use our nighttime skincare routine as our wind-down ritual.

#slipintosleep

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