Considered one of man’s greatest mysteries, sleep can be as elusive as the Easter Bunny. Common sense tells us that sleeping lets us recharge and rest after a day of hard work. Yet despite the need to rest, the body sometimes finds itself struggling to sleep. Why does this happen, and is there anything we can do about it?
The Importance of Sleep
We’re not talking about just sleeping; we mean the importance of sleeping well.
Quality of sleep is important, perhaps even more important than the number of hours you sleep every night. You’ll know you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep when you wake up feeling refreshed and energised.
Being able to sleep well means you’re preparing yourself for what’s to come as you wake up every morning. The amount of sleep you get doesn’t always mean you’ve properly rested; sometimes waking up feels like you’ve been hit by a truck when sleep quality is compromised.
Did you know that around 60% of Australians suffer at least one symptom of insomnia every week? That’s quite a huge number.
The struggle to fall asleep and STAY asleep bothers many Australians as it affects other aspects of their lives. Many have noted to be irritable, exhausted and depressed. Others have voiced out their concerns: lack of motivation, hyperactivity or aggression, memory loss, and short attention span.
Insomnia is considered to be a chronic condition and can increase someone’s risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular death. Aside from apparent physical side effects, insomnia can also negatively impact your relationship with other people and work. Those who lack sleep often find themselves being impatient and always in a sour mood. Their quality of work can also be compromised.
Superfoods For Better Sleep
Diet can play a part in improving (or sometimes making it worse) our sleep quality. So, before the problem becomes worse, consider reaching out for these superfoods to help you fall asleep. Might be a little better than counting sheep
A mainstay in Eastern medicine, reishi mushroom can help promote feelings of relaxation and peace. Traditional Chinese herbalists swear by its positive effect on one’s qi also known as vital energy.
Taking reishi mushrooms can help address fatigue, giving you a boost of energy when you need it the most - during the day - so that when it is time to wind down at home, your mind and body will be feeling more than ready to hit the sack.
Another plus of including reishi mushroom in your diet -- an improved immune system. Not getting enough sleep can severely compromise your body immunity and with the help of reishi mushroom, your body will be able to cope with the strife of daily life.
Cod and Ratfish Liver Oil
Cod and Ratfish are two varieties of fish that are pretty common in Nordic countries. These fish, along with salmon, mackerel, and tuna, are known for their high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 is a low cholesterol fish and is safe to include in your daily diet. It is also rich in B vitamins.
Omega 3 is essential for improved sleep quality as well as prolonged sleeping hours. Make sure to incorporate these fish oils early in the day to not only give you a boost of energy, but also allow your body to produce enough melatonin (a hormone responsible for falling asleep) just in time before bedtime.
Super Tea - Peppermint, Spearmint, Licorice, Marshmallow, Nettle
A unique blend exclusively sold by Superfoods Australia, this herbal tea is made up of peppermint, spearmint, licorice, marshmallow, and nettle. The combination of these teas and superfoods provides each refreshing cup with catechins, also known as potent polyphenol flavanol antioxidants.
It is worth noting that our Super Tea is non-caffeinated -- it won’t keep you up even if you decide to have a serving right before jumping into bed. It has a refreshing taste, reminiscent of lemon, and isn’t bitter at all. Our Super Tea is best enjoyed by itself with the company of family and friends.
Tips to Help You Sleep Better
It isn’t enough that you load your diet with superfoods to help you catch some zzz’s. Sometimes our lifestyle plays a big role in affecting our sleeping habits.
● Be more active. It has been proven that exercise doesn’t just help you stay fit, but also helps improve quality of sleep. Set a daily routine of simple exercises, such as a jog around your block or a leisurely walk at the local park.
● Refrain from eating after dinner. A gap in between bedtime and dinner is essential if you want to sleep at a certain time every night. Your body needs about two to three hours to properly digest the food you ate.
● Put your device down. We know it’s hard to stay away from our tablets, mobile phones, and laptops but these devices help keep us up. An overstimulated mind is the last thing you want when you’re lying in bed.
● Turn off notifications. One of the many reasons why Australians have poor sleep quality is because of disrupted sleep due to notifications. Set your phone to airplane mode so you won’t have to receive any notifications or turn off your phone.
● Meditate: A sound mind equals a sound body. Learn to let go of life’s stresses before sleep. Let your mind relax; overthinking never does anyone any good. Try yoga, start writing in a journal, or do simple breathing exercises to help you be more at peace.
● Limit caffeine intake. If you are a coffee drinker, try to limit your coffee during the day. It would be better to drink one cup of coffee in the morning only. An afternoon espresso or latte might be affecting your sleep.