Formula for a Good Night’s Rest
Bedtime ritual Weaver says a regular sleep routine is a good starting point. “Prepare your home and your body for bed. Dim the lights, have a cup of chamomile tea. Do things that are calming for your body for an hour before bed,’’ she says. Yoga poses can also help; check out our yoga to sleep routine on page 13. Work out daily Opt for gentle exercise to begin with rather than high- intensity classes. “If someone is absolutely exhausted but they feel really wired, then a breath-focused class will be far better. So yoga, Pilates, tai chi or meditation will be far more beneﬁcial,’’ Weaver says. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day to reap the maximum rewards.
Refocus your food Avoid coffee after 12pm, limit chocolate and lower your alcohol intake. Also watch how much sugar and reﬁned carbohydrates you have. Eat more foods rich in magnesium (dark leafy greens) and eat dinner two hours before bed. Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill recommends eating a light dinner of lean protein and vegies and avoiding dessert. “Large evening meals make our digestive system work when it too needs to rest,” she says. Central Queensland University’s Dr Sarah Blunden, says it’s good to include foods containing tryptophan as part of a balanced diet, since it promotes sleep. “Think multigrain breads, warm milk (not cold milk), a few slices of turkey, a banana or two, almonds and cheese,’’ she says.