Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Practical suggestions for supporting restful sleep
An article by Peter Bongiorno in the March 2013 edition of Naturopathic Doctor News and Review offers a number of practical suggestions for supporting restful sleep including aiming to go to bed preferably by 10 PM. This suggestion is based on maximum melatonin (which supports restful sleep) production occurring between 10 PM and 2 AM. Another recommendation is to avoid bright lights at least 30 minutes prior to going to bed. This includes bright lights from overhead lights or lamps, as well as bright lights from computer/phone/TV screens. Building on this, it is important to create a night time ritual leading up to bed which can include dimming/shutting off room lights and considering a nervine tea, like chamomile, which helps to calm and relax the central nervous and supports restful sleep. A person can also consider integrating a small nighttime snack (such as a slice of apple or banana with nut butter, a small piece of rice cake/bread with nut butter) to support healthy blood sugar balancing which also supports restful sleep. Whether we have difficulty around falling and maintaining a restful sleep or not, these suggestions are easy to integrate and can result in a more balanced sleep for everyone.