Bye Bye Sleeping Through the Night

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Bye Bye Sleeping Through the Night

Have you said “bye bye” to sleeping through the night?

 

Are you feeling exhausted or “running on stress hormones” all day?

 

Do not fear, I have some great tips (and an amazing recipe) for you!

 

The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated and growing

 

Sleep is this daily thing that we all do and yet we’re just beginning to understand all of the ways it helps us and all of the factors that can affect it.

 

Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind.  People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and inflammation.  And don’t forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory and decision-making skills.

 

Do you know that lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program? (Gasp!)

 

Subhan’Allah, what aspect of health does sleep not affect?!?

Allah says;

“And He it is Who makes the night as a robe for you; and sleep as repose, and makes the day (as if) a Resurrection”. (Surah Furqaan:47)

 

 

From this we can derive the purposes of sleep:

  • To restore our body and mind.  Our bodies repair, grow and even “detoxify” our brains while we sleep.
  • To improve our brain’s ability to learn and remember things, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.
  • To conserve some energy so we’re not just actively “out and about” 24-hours a day, every day.

 

Do you know how much sleep adults need?  It’s less than your growing kids need but you may be surprised that it’s recommended that all adults get 7 – 9 hours a night.  For real!

 

Try not to skimp!

 

(Don’t worry, I have you covered with a bunch of actionable tips below.)

 

Tips for better sleep

 

  • The biggest tip is definitely to try to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule.  Make it a priority and you’re more likely to achieve it. This means switching your phone/laptop/TV off at least 90 minutes before you sleep. I know this can be difficult, but after a few weeks your mind and body will adjust and thank you for it. I’ve been doing this consistently for 2 years and alhamdulillah, I wake up without difficulty at 3am.

 

  • Balance your blood sugar throughout the day.  Eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods (full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber).  Choose the whole orange instead of the juice (or orange-flavored snack). Make sure you’re getting some protein every time you eat.

 

  • During the day get at least 30 minutes of sunshine and exercise.  These things tell your body it’s daytime; time for being productive, active and alert.  By doing this during the day it will help you wind down more easily in the evening.

 

  • Cut off your caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm.  Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine, it’s the “added” sugar we’re minimizing.  Yes, this includes your beloved chai latte. Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind a bit more active than you want it to become evening. (HINT: I have a great caffeine-free chai latte recipe for you below!).

 

  • Have a relaxing bedtime routine 90 minutes before bed. When your body feels relaxed you’re more likely to fall asleep quicker. Add some Epsom salts for an overall detox.

 

So how many of these tips can you start implementing today?

 

Recipe (Caffeine-free latte for your afternoon “coffee break”): Caffeine-Free Chai Latte

 

Serves 1-2

 

1 bag of rooibos chai tea (rooibos is naturally caffeine-free)

2 cups of boiling water

1 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon almond butter (creamy is preferred)

2 dates (optional)

 

Cover the teabag and dates (if using) with 2 cups of boiling water and steep for a few minutes.

 

Discard the tea bag & place tea, soaked dates, tahini & almond butter into a blender.

 

Blend until creamy.

 

Serve and Enjoy!

 

Tip:  You can try this with other nut or seed butters to see which flavour combination you like the best.  Cashew butter anyone?

 

References:

 

http://www.thepaleomom.com/gotobed/

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/hacking-sleep

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