Often, some simple improvements to our routine can make a world of difference to sleep. First to look at is your caffeine intake. Caffeine stays in the system for hours, so cut it after lunchtime - and it’s not just in coffee. Green tea, coca-cola, and even chocolate contain caffeine.
Secondly, get moving! We are at home currently, meaning we’ve lost the routine daily movement of walking to work, going to the gym and so on. A lazy day at home often results in poor sleep. Take a walk, make use of online yoga and exercise classes. Resistance bands take up no space and are good for keeping muscle tone.
Finally, a bedtime routine can help or impair sleep. Our sleep hormone, melatonin, is affected by light emitted by your phone, computer, and TV - plus being constantly connected to your devices is stressful and stimulating - so try to turn them off at least 30 minutes before bed. Use that time to enjoy a calming bath with lavender essential oil, gentle face massage using natural oils, and perhaps a book in bed or a meditation.
Sleep medicines and remedies abound, but one thing I find almost universally helpful is magnesium. Magnesium is important for both nervous system function and muscle relaxation; since it’s depleted in times of stress, many people benefit from increasing this essential mineral.
Almonds, whole grains, leafy greens, and mineral water are all sources. You can use magnesium salts in the bath, apply magnesium topically in the form of lotions and oils, and take magnesium supplements. I recommend taking magnesium supplements before bed - this has proven very successful with those who suffer fidgety or crampy legs, and those who struggle to switch off. Quality of supplements is important - if you inadvertently get a poorly absorbed form of magnesium, you’ll see little sleep improvement while finding it unpleasantly easy to go to the toilet the next morning!
My personal favourite supplement is L-theanine - an amino acid that gives the tea its calming effects. Hence tea, while containing caffeine, doesn’t impart the same jittery feeling as coffee.
In the daytime, matcha tea can be helpful for calm concentration. But since we want to avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening, a supplement is very useful at bedtime. Unlike some herbal remedies, you don’t need to take theanine every day to build up efficacy, it can be used to immediate effect in times of need. It’s also a handy aid for concentration in the face of nervousness or anxiety.
With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets, another amino acid to consider supplementing for its anti-anxiety effects is L-taurine. Taurine is only found in animal proteins, and to synthesise it, your body needs other nutrients that are low in plant foods (cysteine, methionine). So, vegan taurine is a great supplement to use.
A 3-night trial pack is now available with every order of Dream Couple, the recent Beauty Bible Gold Awards Winner in the category Miracle Treatment - Night. Get a restful sleep, nourish your skin with our Dream Couple night face serums and wake up to beautiful and rejuvenated skin. Face the day fresh and aglow.
Contributor: Daisy Connor is a nutritional therapist and creator of City Survivor supplements. Daisy’s Night Support formula is a gentle, calming supplement combining Magnesium with L-theanine and L-taurine.
Photography: Annie Spratt @anniespratt
Product Photography - Kasia Wojtylak @madaboutbeautyuk