Acupuncturist shares trick to falling asleep
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Sleep is essential for our overall wellbeing, but since the start of the pandemic, more and more people have been having trouble sleeping. This may be due to increased stress and anxiety. Sleep experts spoke to Express.co.uk about how you can make changes to your evening routine to fall asleep more easily.
Janey Lee Grace is a holistic living expert and author of bestselling books about the subject.
She explained why a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain: “Getting too little sleep can suppress hunger and make you insulin resistant. When cells become insulin resistant it means that your body tries to produce more, while there is already more sugar in the bloodstream.
“Of course, the excess insulin can lead to hunger pangs and the end result is that the body can store more calories as fat, so you are more likely to hang onto the fat,” Janey added.
“Without a decent amount of sleep your body makes less leptin and more ghrelin which increases appetite.”
Janey continued: “In addition, when you are tired, you may not make the best decisions around food and snacks and won’t have as much control over urges to eat foods that you know aren’t good for you.
“Just as you reach for empty calories when you are drunk, we look for comfort food when we feel tired. Often, we increase late night snacks, eat bigger portions, and crave high carb or sugar laden foods.”
Janey advised getting seven to nine hours sleep a night, but she mentioned that this can be difficult for adults at the moment since it can “be hard to switch off an anxious mind”.
Because of their anxieties, Janey said “many people are drinking too much alcohol, which is playing havoc with their sleep, as well as having caffeine late at night”.
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Therefore, Janey, who last month published a book entitled ‘Happy Healthy Sober: Ditch the Booze and Take Control of Your Life’, advised quitting alcohol – or drinking less of it – to be able to sleep better.
She said: “Most people haven’t experienced a decent night’s sleep for years if they are regular drinkers.”
Janey also recommended eating “sleep inducing foods before bed”.
These include turkey and bananas, which contain tryptophan – an essential amino acid that helps the body produce serotonin.
Janey added: “You can also make a drink containing blended cashew nuts, turmeric, ground cinnamon, and a little honey with water.
“Or have a have a magnesium salts bath before bed, which is great for relaxing muscles.”
Health coach and GP Dr Alka Patel also commented on how to get a good night’s sleep, saying: “Music can help reduce stress, so listening to soothing tunes or sounds before bedtime can help you relax.
“Sounds of nature, such as the ocean, birds or rain may help you relax into a more restful mental space.”
Dr Patel continued: “According to the Great British Sleep Survey, 19 percent of those surveyed reported being disturbed by light levels before or during sleep.
“Light can have a huge impact on our sleep-wake cycle, so try and expose yourself to as much natural light as you can during the day and keep your room as dark as possible at night. Wearing an eye mask at night can help,” he added.
Dr Patel also recommended getting a “little extra help” for those who need it, such as taking a supplement before going to bed.
He said: “Try a supplement made with natural ingredients such as melatonin, magnesium, gingko biloba, or valerian root.”
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