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Boost Your Sleep

Kate Cook

Boost Your Sleep

Kate Cook, nutritionist, author and international speaker – takes us through three top tips to get a wonderfully restful night and boost your sleep! Sleep is one of those elusive ingredients to happiness in life – all mental illness has sleep deprivation as part of the pathology.  Good sleep is a vital component of a healthy mind but also a thriving immune system.  It even has role in weight gain and weight loss.  What are the elements that we can control that make a restful night in the Land of Nod more likely? Whilst complicated world news seemingly makes sleep more elusive than ever, you can grab control, and put in place some strategies to make the path to sleep more likely, and then benefit from upgraded health and vitality as result!

Balance the Blood Sugar:

Whilst this doesn’t sound very exciting, balancing key hormones through what you eat is not only possible but relatively easy as not only a foundation to good sleep but better health generally.  Balancing Blood sugar through food means focussing (in short) on real food that processes (or burns) more slowly in the body, giving rise to stable energy levels rather than peaks and troughs.  Avoid “ultra-processed” food (food that is sweet, fluffy and white – cheap carbohydrates, which give no nutrient punch in return) and choose food that is thick (food you need to chew), fibrous, protein and fat (you don’t need all the elements in one food!).  The point of balancing the blood sugar for sleep is that stable blood sugar enables you to sleep through the night, without waking up with a start as blood sugar levels plummet in the wee hours.  If you are waking up in the night, try eating half a banana or an oatcake before bed, and see if that balances out the crash.

Look after your liver and your gut

Another tip would be love your liver and cherish your gut.  Obviously eating spicey food, eating late at night can lead to some interesting dreams, and a disturbed night.  Drinking alcohol can also lead to a broken night but herbs such as milk thistle might be useful to help your poor liver process the alcohol, and take the work off the system

A mineral that is said to aid sleep is magnesium

– found in leavy green veg – however, as magnesium levels in the soil have dropped substantially from after the second world war, perhaps supplementation might be appropriate – adding 400mg as a supplement half an hour before bed, could be the restful boost you are seeking! Alternatively, an Epsom salt bath, the magnesium of which can be absorbed through the skin can be helpful – magnesium is a relaxant and very deficient in the modern diet.  Magnesium is a nutrient that pairs up with other nutrients to help them work more efficiently in addition, so adding magnesium is not only a boost to restful sleep but many, many functions of the body besides!

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