Each day we build up and carry a toxic load, and sleep is key to allow our nervous system to rest and detoxify. This sleep supports your immune system, preventing illness, disease and premature ageing. However, resting well doesn’t come easily to everybody and co-founder of Elle Macpherson’s WelleCo Super Elixir daily greens, Dr Simone Laubscher, has been there. Here, Dr Laubscher gives us her sleep tips for sleeping soundly, and reclaiming some much-needed energy for the next day:
Try to get good sunlight exposure each day or use a SAD lamp to support healthy serotonin and vitamin D levels.
Skip caffeine after 2pm as it hits a peak level in your bloodstream within 30 to 60 minutes. It has a half-life of three to five hours (the time it takes for your body to eliminate half of the drug from your system). The remaining caffeine can stay in your body for six+ hours, so I always tell my patients to avoid caffeine after 2pm if you have trouble sleeping. Balance is key, so try to live with healthy boundaries on caffeine and be mindful. Ask yourself if you need or really need this, or are you reaching for a cup out of habit – and therefore potentially reducing the quality of your sleep?
Reduce your sugar intake, which will reduce your blood sugar spikes and your overall stress/adrenal/cortisol load – and therefore positively affect your sleep. Have treat meals on weekends, when you may not need to wake up early, so that you’re fresh for your usual life demands.
Avoid artificial light which overstimulates you and disrupts your circadian rhythms.
Implement wind-down rituals such as sleep-inducing teas like WelleCo’s Sleep Welle Calming Tea. This unites the effects of ingredients including Valerian root, a common herbal remedy for insomnia, hops, a flower extract said to calm anxiety, and skullcap, another herb which is often used to treat headaches, insomnia and anxiety, helping to soothe the mind and usher sleep when bedtime calls. I notice a huge difference if not taking this before bed!
Avoid the news, stressful emails or situations before bed if possible to circumvent overthinking situations you have no control over, and tossing and turning all night, thus reducing your quality of sleep. Avoiding blue light on screens one hour or more before your bedtime helps to reduce overstimulating your pineal gland and thereby reducing deep sleep.
Journal before bed – write down five things you are grateful for and take a moment to feel this in your body and nervous system. Do a brain dump of all the things you need to get done as well as a list of things that are out of your control, so that you can actively release those fears and avoid tossing and turning all night.
Take an Epsom salts bath and create a relaxing environment with candles, lavender, frankincense and a good book before you go to bed to encourage deep and restorative sleep.
Get the temperature and mood right – set your bedroom so it’s not too hot (around 20 degrees Celsius) to support deep sleep.
Blacken the bedroom – make sure you have blackout curtains or an eye mask, for this will encourage your body to get a great balance of serotonin and melatonin. This makes you sleep deeply, and to feel refreshed and happy from adequate serotonin production.