July 2016

Packing The Perfect Picnic

Packing The Perfect Picnic – Foods To Help You Sleep

By | Food & Drink, Sleep Blog | No Comments

What better way to soak up the sunshine of summer than with a picnic? It’s a great British way to spend time with your children, friends or loved ones al fresco style throughout the summer.

However what you eat and drink in the afternoon will affect your sleep. Certain fatty or fried foods consumed later in the day can sabotage your sleep, so if you’re planning an afternoon summer picnic we’ve come up with a lists of recommended foods that will prep you for a good night’s sleep:

Sandwiches:

A selection of whole grain sandwiches, pittas or wraps makes for a great picnic. Sandwiches filled with Turkey will give you the winning combination of carbohydrates and tryptophan needed to control your sleep. Fishy fillings such as tuna and salmon are also a good choice as they are high in vitamin B6, which your body needs to make the sleep-triggering melatonin and serotonin.

Cheese and crackers:

Cheese and whole grain crackers are great alternative to sandwiches. The whole grains help produce serotonin, and cheese like most dairy products, contain tryptophan. Try a French Brie or Camembert, which will ooze deliciously in the heat, rather than a hard cheese such as Cheddar, which will go oily when left in the sun.

Nuts:

Nuts are a great healthy snack to include within your picnic because they contain many of the minerals needed for quality sleep. Try almonds rich in magnesium or walnuts which are a good source of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin.

Carrots and Hummus:

Chickpeas are also a good source of tryptophan, so opting for a side dip of hummus with carrots could be a good way to head into an afternoon nap. Carrots also contain several sleep promoting nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin A.

Salad:

A side salad with your afternoon picnic is a good option if you have difficulty dropping off at night. Lettuce contains lactucarium which has sedative-like properties that can affect the brain the same way opium does, promoting restfulness and sleep.

Cherry juice:

Switch fizzy drinks for a glass of cherry juice which naturally boost levels of melatonin and can increase overall sleep efficiency.

Waking up

How to Become a Morning Person

By | Health & Wellbeing, Sleep Blog | No Comments

Whether you are a night owl or an early bird, everybody once in a while can have trouble waking up early in the morning. But do we ever think about what makes it hard for us to get up early?

Our sleep experts have recommended some ways to get out of bed faster and have more energy in the morning:

1. Commit yourself to waking up at the same time every morning, even on the weekend or on holiday. Persistence is the key to building any habit and by having a regular wake up time it will programme the mind to pre-empt your alarm call.

2. Get out of bed as soon as your alarm clock goes off. The snooze button is your worst enemy so if you often feel temptation try placing your alarm clock across the other side of your bedroom which will force you to physically have to get up. By getting out of bed faster, you increase the likelihood of starting your day rather than going back to sleep.

3. Open the curtains to allow the sun to enter your room, if you have to wake up earlier than the sun rises, turn on your main light. This lets your body know that the day has begun and it is time to wake up. The sun is a source of vitamin D – a natural source of energy so exposure to sunlight will help your body clock restart to its active daytime phase.

4. Take a cool shower to help your body wake up. This little trick not only will give you fresh feeling but also will speed up your blood circulation for an energy boost.

5. Get moving; take an early morning class at the gym, go for a quick jog or simply take a walk down your road. Light exercise in the morning will get your endorphins flowing and give you more energy.