Tag Archives: sleep

The Importance of Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Today is Wold Sleep Day. Are you getting enough sleep? Sleep is very important and essential in our lives. It is as important as making sure you drink enough water, feed your body the correct nutrients and breathing. Poor sleep affects your mental and physical health which is why it is important you get a good night’s sleep so you can function correctly. Sleep deficiency will increase the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, depression, stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.

We all lead extremely busy lives. If you work in a big city like London where everything is pretty fast paced, it is easy to become stressed due to work. Stress causes lack of sleep. In order to sleep well you need to be in a relaxed environment. I divide my time between London and Italy and my life in these two countries is very different. When I am in London there are never enough hours in the day to achieve everything that I want to do. I am constantly rushing, running from the gym to work. Work often stresses me causing me to stay up at night over thinking. I never seem to switch off and I often struggle to fall asleep. In Italy however it is the complete opposite. I am much more relaxed and therefore sleep really well. I will often fall asleep in front of the TV at around 10pm and the minute my head hits the pillow I instantly fall asleep.

How many hours of sleep do you need?

Everyone is different. No shoe fits all. Personally 6 hours a night works well for me. Others may require 8 hours sleep. The important thing is that you are getting good quality sleep. If you wake up early, go to bed early so you can rest your brain and body.

Sleep Improves concentration

Sleep is vital in brain function. If you sleep well cognitive function will improve greatly. You will be more focused and sharper in tackling your daily job as you will be able to concentrate properly, as good sleep enhances memory.

Improves athletic performance

A good night’s sleep means that  not only your brain will be sharper but your body too. When the body is rested it will perform better in physical activities as you will have more energy. Lack of sleep will make you feel exhausted even before you begin to exercise.

Lack of sleep can cause diseases 

If you go for long periods without proper sleep, you are seriously putting your health at risk. You are greatly increasing your chances of getting a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and adrenal fatigue. Lack of sleep will eventually cause your body to break down.

Lack of sleep can cause depression

Not getting enough sleep can bring on depression which can become a serious illness. Most people that suffer from insomnia have also complained of depression.

Impacts your immune system

Poor sleep puts a stress on the body and when this happens it compromises your immune system. If your immune system is strong you are less likely to catch a cold or flu. However a weak immune system means that you will fall ill frequently.

Ways to improve your sleep

Try to go to bed and get up at the same time. The body likes routine.

Do not exercise late at night before going to bed.

Have a relaxing bath listening to classical music before bedtime.

Switch off all mobile phones, laptops and TV. Read a book instead. You want to create a relaxing environment.

Avoid stimulants like alcohol, caffeine and sugar 3-4 hours before going to sleep.

Try yoga and meditation that are very good at relaxing both the body and mind.

I hope you have found the above advice useful and will try to get a good night’s sleep. Enjoy World Sleep Day everyone!

How to Become a Morning Person

“Early to bed and early to rise , makes a man healthy,wealthy and wise.” Benjamin Franklin. I totally agree. Studies show that people who wake up early in the morning are not only more productive but also successful as they tend to set higher goals, be more persistent and plan for the future. For me I find that my energy levels are so much better if I go to bed early. I wake up refreshed ready to plan my day. I usually wake up at 5.30 – 6 am every morning and by 9am I would have had breakfast, answered emails, prepared lunch for my husband, worked out and planned my day. Of course if you are a night owl it does not mean you are doomed to failure. I understand that some people may have night jobs. I also understand that we are all different and not everyone will be a morning person. No one shoe fits all. No point getting up at 6am if you go to bed at 1am. You will be mentally and physically exhausted. Here below are a few tips to help those who would like to become early birdies.

Go to bed at the same time every night

You need to set a suitable time for you to go to bed each night. As mentioned before no point staying up into the early hours of the morning expecting to get up early. You need to establish how many hours sleep you need per night. Personally I need 6 good hours of sleep. Others will need maybe 8. Once you have established how many hours you need then set a time and try to go to bed at that time every night. If you are someone that is used to going to bed late this may take some adjusting and it will not be easy and the next tip could help you.

Wake up at the same time every morning

If you start to follow a pattern you will find that your body will automatically adjust and you will begin to feel tired at night and wake up at the same time. No matter what time I go to bed I always wake up at 6am. This is what my body is used to. If you are a night owl as mentioned above waking up early in the morning may help in getting you to bed early as you will be pretty exhausted.

Avoid triggers that will keep you awake 

If you want to train yourself to go to bed early you will have to switch off. This means no social media before bedtime. Try a hot bath  and reading a book ( not a kindle ). You need to stay away from any computer or phone screens. No technology at all, not even TV at least one hour before bed. It is important that your room stays absolutely dark in order to get a good nights sleep.

Get yourself a good alarm and don’t press snooze

If you are new to getting up early you may want to invest in a good alarm. One that will be very loud so you cannot miss it. Do not hit the snooze button, you want to be awake not fall back asleep. I suggest getting out of bed and jumping straight in the shower to fully wake up.

To do lists

This is a great way to plan your day, writing down all you wish to do during your hectic day. Writing a to do list is a fantastic way to start your morning. It brings order and great satisfaction as you tick off what you have done.

Do not nap

As tempting as it may be to have a little nap in the afternoon, don’t. By not having a nap you will be more tired in the evening and able to go to bed at your usual time.

Exercise

Working out is good both physically and mentally. I would say that the best time to work out would be in the morning. It puts you in a good mood and by exercising early morning you get it out of the way. Also the more active and productive you are during the day the more likely you are to sleep well.

I hope the above tips have helped to make you become a morning person.

 

 

 

 

6 Tips to Live Longer

There are so many people living longer healthier lives today and you can be one of them. All you have to do is make simple changes in your lifestyle. Stop smoking, cut down on the alcohol and get active. Here below are a few tips that I hope will help.

Eat Healthy

Include more fruit and vegetables into your life. Put fruit in your porridge in the mornings and choose fruit as  a snack. Include plenty of vegetables lunch and dinner. Eat what is in season making sure to eat a wide range of colourful vegetables. Include plenty of green leafy vegetables. Make sure to clean your fruit and vegetables thoroughly with white vinegar or bicarbonate of soda especially if not organic. This will get rid of all the pesticides and nasty chemicals. Another great way to include more vegetables into your diet is by having more smoothies and juices.

Include good quality protein in your diet choosing plant based protein like lentils, chickpeas, all beans and tofu. Eat more fish and when eating meat make sure to go for organic and white meat without the skin. If going for red meats go for lean cuts. Too much animal fats in your diet can lead to disease like coronary heart disease and cancer.

Go for healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds. Choose complex carbohydrates like brown rice and wholewheat pastas.

Make sure you do not over eat. Over eating will cause you to age as well as onset of disease. You should always walk away from your  plate feeling still hungry not completely stuffed. All people that reach the age of 100 eat little. As we age it is important not to over eat in the evenings. This is not to put pressure on your digestive system and the  heart, so make dinner the lightest meal of the day and eat at least 2 hours before going to bed.

Get Moving

Being active is  the key to longevity. Being a couch potato in front of the tv for hours on end will shorten your life. Make sure to do at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. This can be either in the gym, or even  brisk walking is good. Be active during the day, Keep busy, do not spend hours sitting down. Instead of driving or catching the tube or bus choose to walk. Get off the bus a few stops before and walk to work or the shops.

Sleep 

Make sure to get a good nights sleep. This too is essential for a healthy body and mind. Make sure to switch off your tv and computer few hours before bed. This will help to unwind and relax. Have a relaxing bath, switch some classical music on and read your kindle.

Stress

Make sure to cut down stress. You can eat well but if you are highly stressed your digestive system will be compromised and you will not be assimilating essential nutrients. Stress is a killer, it can cause all sorts of conditions and diseases like heart disease and cancer. Find time to focus on yourself. Take a relaxing bath before bed, do yoga which is fantastic for relaxing the mind. Have a massage.

Drink in Moderation

If only people knew the damaging affects  alcohol has on  the body. It is poison for your liver and brain. It ages you and causes disease like liver cancer. If you are going to drink moderation is key. One glass of organic red wine at lunch and one at dinner. Drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have.

Do not Smoke

If you are a smoker you want to consider giving up. Smoking not only ages you, it causes disease like lung cancer, emphysema, strokes and heart disease. Just like alcohol this toxic habit will not make you live long. So stop now.

 

 

5 Ways to Get Back on Track After the Holidays

This is my first post of 2018 and my first post in over a year. Due to personal reasons I took a break and I have to say that I actually enjoyed being away from social media. Like everyone I enjoyed the festive season and had a lovely Christmas, but now time to get back on track. I guess most of you are feeling bloated, fatigued and overweight after eating and drinking too much over the holidays. The secret to getting back to your usual routine is to do it straight away as soon as the festive season ends. The more you postpone it the harder it will be.

Get to bed early

Routine starts with going to bed early and getting up early. During the holidays most of us including myself would have gone to bed late. In order to get your body to its normal routine sleep is vital. When sleep is disrupted you wake up feeling exhausted and groggy. Getting back to a healthy sleeping habit will leave you feeling refreshed.

Grab a green Juice

Instead of grabbing another coffee go for a green juice. This is a fantastic way to include more greens into your diet. After all the over eating and drinking too much alcohol you need to alkalise your body. So go grab a juice on your way to work.

Get moving

Physical activity goes hand in hand with healthy eating. Get up early and go run or walk in the winter sun. Exercising not only will help you lose the kilos put on over Christmas but it will make you feel good and improve your mood. I suggest you exercise early morning before work. This is a great way to start the day.

Eat Healthy

I do not believe in diets but I do believe in healthy eating. A balanced diet is key to feeling good and functioning well. If we want to keep our bodies and brain active we must fuel it with the correct nutrients. Include more fruit and vegetables into your diet. Make sure you get plenty of good quality protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. As mentioned before after the festive season your body will be pretty acidic with all the alcohol and sweets consumed so you need to be alkaline. Give your liver a break and cut back on the alcohol and drink more water.

Have a light week

For the first week of the new year concentrate on you, on resting your body and mind. Spend time at home and cancel your social diary for that first week. You need to take a break. Have relaxing massages and listen to  classical music. This will help boost your  energy levels and it is also a time to reflect and set realistic goals for the year ahead.

 

I hope the above tips help. If you are looking to lose weight or have other health issues please email me or feel free to purchase my initial consultation on my website.

5 Tips to a Good Night’s Sleep

It is fair to say that all of us at some point in our lives have experienced sleepless nights or suffered from insomnia. I certainly have in the past when I was younger. Living in a city like London can often be very stressful leading to anxiety. It is so important that we switch off when we go to bed. Overthinking is not good and the more we can’t sleep the more we tend to analyse and stress as to why we are not falling asleep. Prolonged lack of sleep can have drastic effects on our health. It can leave us feeling confused affecting our day to day performance leading to inflammation in the body and lowering our immune system.

The reason for restless nights vary from person to person. Some reasons include: Stress and anxiety,  Lack of  calcium and magnesium (nature’s tranquilisers), stimulants like caffeine,  over thinking, depression, bladder problems, certain diseases like over active thyroid, Here below are a few tips I hope will help.

Keeping a sleep routine

It is important to go to bed at the same time every day and wake up in the mornings at the same time. When I was suffering from insomnia I was going to bed at all sorts of different times. It is important to let the body get used to the the same sleep routine. If at first you find this difficult, do not over stress that you are not falling asleep, simply get up and relax for 10 minutes, You can meditate or listen to some classical music. No going online or chatting on whatsapp. You want to relax your mind not stimulate it.

Foods to avoid and foods to include

Avoid having massive meals late at night. This not only will disrupt your sleep but it will place an enormous strain on the digestive system. You have to go to bed that you are feeling not too hungry and not too full. Caffeine is a big stimulant and should not be consumed after 5pm. Caffeine is not just present in coffee and regular tea. It is found in coca cola, chocolate, cocoa and energy drinks. So eating chocolate at night in front of the tv is not such a great idea. Avoid eating foods that are hard to digest like cheese late at night. Alcohol is another stimulant that should be avoided. Most people have alcohol to help them distress when in actual fact it does the opposite. You may feel it helps you fall asleep but it will only make you wake up 2-3 hours later feeling dehydrated and thirsty.

Friendly foods to include in your diet: Avocado, fish, turkey, beans, bananas, wheatgerm sprinkled onto your porridge, gluten free oats. You can even have a little bowl of porridge with a chopped banana in the evening, You do not have to have porridge only for breakfast. Drink more herbal teas like camomile tea.

Switch off all technology

In todays modern world this is rather challenging. I for one spend far to much time on my phone and computer. Most people after a long day at work, come home have a bite to eat and go online straightaway or watch tv. In order to get a good night’s sleep it is essential to relax a few hours before bed. This means no lap tops in bed. No whatsapp with friends, no tv. You want to create a relaxing bed time ritual. Going online will only stimulate your mind even more making you more awake. You want to fall asleep remember.

Creating a relaxing bed time environment

This is carrying on from the above point. So you have switched off your mobile phone, closed your computer for the day and switched off your tv. Now you are ready to relax. I would suggest a relaxing bath with epsom salts. This is truly relaxing before bed. Do not have a shower. Showers are for the mornings when you want to wake up. Play some soothing classical music. You can have music for every mood and bed  time music should be relaxing so no techno. Make sure your room is dark and comfortable. You do not want it to be too cold or to warm.

Manage your stress levels

This is extremely important. Some people keep on going until they completely exhaust themselves. You must leave your work at the office. Your mind must switch off. No bringing work papers to bed. You must learn to delegate tasks. Do not try to do everything by yourself. If you do not manage your stress it can lead to adrenal exhaustion. Regular exercise every day can help you de stress especially yoga. Regular exercise will make you feel and look great. However do not do any exercise  before going to bed as you will be too energised

I hope the above helps. I am a qualified nutritional therapist so if you would like an initial consultation please email me.

 

 

5 Tips For Staying Healthy This Winter

So important to look after ourselves in the cold winter months. We need to ensure we stay strong and healthy. Diet and lifestyle play a big role. Here below are some useful tips on how to protect yourself and boost your immune system this winter.

Keeping your Immune System Strong

A healthy immune system won’t let you get sick with a terrible flu that keeps you bedridden and weak for days. Make sure your diet is super healthy by including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Eat what is in season. Drink lots of  good quality filtered water and vegetable smoothies and put super food powders like spirulina, wheatgrass and chlorella in them to boost your immune system.

Keep the body alkaline by having a warm water and lemon first thing in the morning 20 minutes before breakfast. This acts like an internal shower. Include fresh ginger, garlic, onions and herbs like turmeric in your cooking.

Stay away from refined sugar that weakens the immune system and is destructive for the whole body. Sugar is absolute poison so avoid indulging in too many cakes, biscuits, pies etc.

Include supplements like zinc, Vitamin C and echinacea. Also get your levels of vitamin D checked. Lack of vitamin D has been linked to  poor immune health.

Stress

Stress has a huge impact on your immune system. Learn to listen to your body and STOP! This is so important. Learn to slow down and say no. Avoid drinking too many coffees and teas as caffeine releases the stress hormone cortisol. If you keep going, eventually you will burn out and become ill. If you are feeling particularly stressed try a B complex and Magnesium which is known as nature’s tranquilizer. If you are stressed try yoga which is fantastic for calming the mind and breathing exercises together with meditation also help.

Sleep

A proper nights sleep is essential in keeping the body strong and healthy. Lack of sleep will result in a compromised immune system. If you are having trouble falling asleep try to relax by having a warm bath before bedtime, and stay away from the computer before going to bed.

Exercise

Exercise is very good for circulation and it makes us feel good as exercising releases endorphins which make us calmer and more relaxed. Find the right exercise for you. Remember we are all different. walking, swimming, dancing, running, gym etc are all good. However as with all things you do not want to over do it. If stress levels are high I would strongly suggest you do only yoga.

Wash your hands

So important to keep washing your hands continuously so you limit contact with germs.