If you know me, you know that I am queen of routine. I can happily get up at 6am and go to bed at 930pm every day. And eat at the same times every day. And it’s not a struggle for me to work out as soon as my munchkin has gone down for his day-nap. But throw in a few nights of broken sleep and it all turns to custard (hmmm, did you say custard?).
Sugar! That’s what being tired makes me want; Ice cream and bananas, preferably together in a big bowl, with whipped cream. Potentially with a custard chaser. It’s natural when we’re tired for our bodies to make us crave easy to digest, quick energy like sugar. The trick is to understand and expect this response, and then have something completely different.
So, what do I do on these days when I’m so tired I just want coffee and sugar? Firstly, I have a strong coffee because I’m not friggin Wonder Woman. And then I have a high protein meal. So I’ll pan fry some fresh fish or a big, juicy steak, or simply open up a can of salmon. And I’ll eat it with a heap of greens and a handful of crabs such as kumara, rice or a piece of fresh bread with butter (yup, we eat plenty of real butter in our house and it makes everything taste delicious!).
That sort of balanced meal will help stabilize your blood sugars, give you slow release energy and keep you going until bed time. If you reach for sugar instead, you’ll suffer the inevitable post sugar crash and be reaching for your next hit a few hours later (you know I speak the truth!).
Since having a baby, sleep has become so much more important to me. It is such a precious commodity. A good night’s sleep just makes everything seem easier. Now, there absolutely are times when ya just gotta suck it up. Like when they’re sick or teething or sad. But the rest of the time, it’s best to maximise the quality of your sleep. Here are my tips for getting to sleep more easily and being more rested once you’re there:
Getting a sweat up during the day, even if just a power walk or yoga session at home, has to be my top sleep tip. It's always easier to switch off our brains when our bodies are tired.
Don’t go to be hungry
There’s nothing worse than being in bed with a growling tummy. Make sure you’ve had a good, balanced dinner a few hours before bed. In fact, the carbs in your meal will help you fall asleep faster. If you had an early dinner, then have a bed time snack.
Take a supplement:
Magnesium, 5HTP, Tart Cherry are all known to help us get to sleep. I take Magnesium every night an hour before bed and I swear by it.
We all know that blue light messes with our sleep hormones, so turn them off at least an hour before bed and leave them off.
Earlier is Better
I heard recently that an hour before midnight is as effective as two hours post-midnight. Plus sleeping and rising with the sun (or at least closer to) aids our natural circadian rhythms and helps us sleep more deeply.
Bed Time Rituals:
Sip a calming tea like passion flower or camomile after dinner. Have a warm shower, lather on a beautifully scented body lotion, treating yourself to a bit of a full body massage as you go (better yet, get your partner to apply it), then slip under the covers already feeling floaty and relaxed.
Of course, none of that will stop the baby crying, or the munchkin from calling out for you, or the dog needing to go out for a wee in the middle of the night. But it will help you survive those nights more easily.
So eat well and sleep like babies my loves and wake up ready to kick ass in the morning.
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