Tips for a better night's sleep + sleep tea September 14 2015
We've all heard how important it is to get our "beauty sleep". When we sleep, this is our body's time to repair muscle, consolidate our memories and release hormones regulating growth and appetite.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic. Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone. When we’re young, human growth hormone promotes growth. As we age, it helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones. So, living on little sleep for extended periods of time can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circle under the eyes - no fun!
Sleep helps us thrive by contributing to a healthy immune system, and can also balance our appetites by helping to regulate levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which play a role in our feelings of hunger and fullness.
Overall, sleeping well is one of the best things you can do for your health! With busy schedules, it can be difficult to prioritize the optimal 7-8 hours of sleep per night but we promise you it's worth prioritizing!
Here are some tips on how to optimize your bedtime routine for a full night's rest:
1. Routine: Be sure to sleep and wake at same time every day. Consistency in the time you go to sleep and the time you wake up are very important for regulating your body's natural circadian rhythms.
2. Reduce distractions: Try to turn off the computer or TV at least an hour before bed time. It's often tempting to check your emails one last time, or put on the TV to help you sleep, but continually thinking about your to-do list before bed or staying up for one more episode of your favourite TV show can rob you of precious hours of sleep!
3. Avoid Caffeine: Try to avoid any stimulating food or drinks, especially in the late afternoon or evening. This includes, coffee, caffeinated teas such as black or green tea, or chocolate.
4. Embrace darkness: reduce the amount of light that enters your bedroom as much as possible. try 'black out drapes' or covering up lights on electronics with a small piece of masking tape.
5. Make your bedroom a peaceful haven: Make your bedroom a serene environment that invites relaxation and rest. Light a candle (but make sure to blow it out before you fall asleep!), play some relaxing music, or curl up in your favourite blanket to enhance feelings of relaxation to help you sleep.
6. Tea ritual: Certain teas can be very calming and helpful for promoting sleep. Try drinking some calming tea a couple of hours before you plan to go to sleep (not right before bed as you don't want to wake up in the middle of the night to use the washroom!). Try the recipe below if you have access to herbs from either a local dispensary or health food store:
Dreamy Tea Recipe:
For 1-2 cups of tea:
- 2 tsp dried Chamomile flowers
- 1 tsp Lemon Balm
- 1 tsp dried Lavender
- 1 tsp dried Passionflower
Boil some water in a kettle. Place the herbs in a tea strainer or loose leaf tea bag and into your favourite mug. Once boiled the water is boiled, let it cool for about a minute or so, and then pour over the herbs and steep for about 3-5 minutes. Cover your mug while the tea is steeping for a better extraction.
Curl up with a cup of tea, roll our Sleep Well Therapeutic Roll-on on your temples, and get ready for a dreamy slumber! It's a great ally to keep on your bedside table when you need a little extra help unwinding from a stressful day.