Would you like a goods night sleep? A few tips….

Sleep is the mysterious shift in consciousness that our bodies require every day. It’s vital for our health and well being, and not only do we function less well when we don’t get enough quality sleep, but it can lead to long-term health problems. That’s why we need to do all that we can to ensure that we enjoy quality sleep and deal with any sleep problems.

goods night sleep

Stress and worry

Scientists have found a direct link between anxiety and rhythm of sleep. When a person has anxious thoughts, their heart rate goes up and in turn the mind starts to ‘race’. This causes the brain to become alert and stimulated and start producing beta waves. This happens to someone who worries about something when they’re trying to get to sleep – instead of being calm and subdued; their brains are too aroused to sleep. And to make matters worse, once their brain is stimulated in this way, other worries are activated, making sleep even harder to achieve. As a pattern sets in, sleep becomes a thing of anxiety.

In all my years as a therapist, the most common theme for someone to visit me is not for a pamper ‘me time’ it’s because they are stressed, can’t relax, having problems sleeping and some have been advised by their Doctors to have stress releasing treatments.

Over the next couple of weeks – months, I am going to be posting various tips, recommendations, advise and techniques. Recommendations I give to my visitors which have resulted in a high level of improvement in peoples well-being and lives. For these reasons I wish to share these tips with you too.

Sadly, 3 out of every 4 people who visit me for treatments are suffering from stress and anxiety, which has the knock on effect that they have bad sleep patterns or say they get very little sleep. With just a little time, support and advise I have helped many people learn to relax and have improved sleeping patterns.

A lovely soothing massage, be it Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Hypnosis-Massage and Energy releasing Reiki can and do help, but that is sometimes only short term.

9 times out of 10 it’s the persons lifestyle, work pattern and diet which also needs addressing to ease and support these cycles.

When massaging a client I can always tell how hydrated the person is by how dry or lovely and soft their skin is. It always surprises the client that I can tell by touch their level of hydration.

Our body needs water to function and if our internal organs are not receiving the correct amount of hydration, then it starts to seek it from the outside. Thus our skin becomes dry as our organs are taking the fluid from our largest organ – our skin.

Here are my first couple of tips for you…….

1. Drink plenty of water.

little girl drinking

I always recommend that people drink little and often throughout the day, to help with concentration and to control mood swings.

Hydration and hunger do get misinterpreted. Many people eat because they think they are hungry but, what actually is happening is the brain is saying its hungry for water. This is very common with children. “Mummy I’m hungry” can mean that even though the child thinks they are hungry, they are actually thirsty.

I also suggest that they have a glass of water by their bedside so that on waking, first thing in the morning, they have a good drink. This is to top up our hydration levels as it can be anything up to 8 hours since they last had anything to drink.

Having a good size glass of water first thing will…

a) Help flush out any toxins from over night.

b) Help you wake up more quickly and ‘freshen up’ our brain

c) Aid towards our digestion system, if we are sluggish, this adds to the viscous circle of feeling tired and stressed too.

Healthy hydration for cognition and mood state

Our brain is made of 83% water. It seems therefore logical that dehydration may have an impact on cognitive functions and mood.

Several studies, performed in healthy people, looked at the effects of induced dehydration on cognitive performance and motor function: fatigue, mood, choice reaction time, short-and long-term memory, attention, arithmetic… It appears that a 2% dehydration is sufficient to impair functions and performances.

Some studies have suggested that adverse effects may even be present at 1% dehydration.

Young children and adolescents, in particular, may be at risk of impaired cognitive function (concentration, alertness and short-term memory) due to insufficient hydration.*

2. Caffeine and sleep.   

coffee cup love

I loooovvveee coffee, but it does not help with lowering stress levels or assisting with a good nights sleep.

Caffeine has been called the most popular drug in the world. It is found naturally in over 60 plants including the coffee bean, tea leaf, kola nut and cacao pod. All over the world people consume caffeine on a daily basis in coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, some soft drinks, and some drugs.

Because caffeine is a stimulant, most people use it after waking up in the morning or to remain alert during the day. While it is important to note that caffeine cannot replace sleep, it can temporarily make us feel more alert by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increasing adrenaline production.

There is no nutritional need for caffeine in the diet. Moderate caffeine intake, however, is not associated with any recognized health risk. Three 8 oz. cups of coffee (250 milligrams of caffeine) per day is considered a moderate amount of caffeine. Six or more 8 oz. cups of coffee per day is considered excessive intake of caffeine.

Caffeine enters the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine and can have a stimulating effect as soon as 15 minutes after it is consumed. Once in the body, caffeine will persist for several hours: it takes about 6 hours for one half of the caffeine to be eliminated. There are numerous studies to support the idea that caffeine causes physical dependence. If you suspect that you or someone you know is dependent on to caffeine, the best test is to eliminate it and look for signs of withdrawal, such as headache, fatigue and muscle pain.

Although caffeine is safe to consume in moderation, it is not recommended for children. It may negatively affect a child’s nutrition by replacing nutrient-dense foods such as milk. A child may also eat less because caffeine acts as an appetite suppressant. Caffeine can be safely eliminated from a child’s diet since there is no nutritional requirement for it.

Symptoms.

Caffeine is a stimulant. In moderate doses, it can:

  • Increase alertness
  • Reduce fine motor coordination
  • Cause insomnia
  • Cause headaches, nervousness and dizziness

It has also been known to result in:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Excessive urination
  • Sleep disturbance
  • A “caffeine crash” once the effects wear off

Treatment:

If the conditions listed under “symptoms” occur, discontinue the use of caffeine. These effects are more likely to occur if caffeine is consumed in large doses. Children and women who are nursing or pregnant should avoid caffeine. People who are taking any prescription medication should talk to their doctors before consuming caffeine.

Knowing the caffeine content of your food and drinks can help you keep caffeine intake at a healthy level so you can still reap the benefits of a good night’s sleep.**

These are my tips to you. I do not pretend to be an expert, however, these tips I pass on to my clients, and they sure do make a difference.

Plus as the references from the sleep council and the H2o Initiative research shows that these changes to our diet and life style do make changes for the better.

I hope these are helpful

Trisha Wood

Holistic Therapist

Mobile: 07861 801 063

Website: www.trishawood.co.uk

Facebook:     www.facebook.com/tabbris.co.uk

Twitter:      @trishaewood

Sources :  *     http://www.h4hinitiative.com

**   http://www.sleepcouncil.org.uk