Feeling restless at night? Unable to turn off your mind? or waking up at the same odd hour each night? Sleep is crucial to your overall well-being. Not only does it determine your mood for the day, but your body actually repairs and restores itself at night. According to a study done at the University Hospitals Medical Center sleep deprivation is also linked to aging skin. Ideally you should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Here are some tips to help you get your beauty rest.
1. 'Eat Your Bitter Greens'
The bitter flavour can have a calming effect on the Heart in Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM). This organ helps you to get a good night's rest in TCM. The more calm your Heart is, the better your sleep will be. Perfect examples include bitter melon, mustard greens, kale, arugula, or brussels sprouts.
5 minutes of this mind calming exercise can help quiet your mind before sleep. Meditation allows you to process what happened during the day, so your mind doesn't have to wrestle with it all night. Give it a shot, it only takes 5 minutes.
3. Exercise After Work
Exercising too close to bed time can actually make it harder to calm down and rest at night. After work is a great time to do a quick run, or hit the gym. As you engage your body in physical activity, it takes your mind off work, or problems that you still haven't quite solved yet. Usually this unnecessary lingering stress is what keeps our minds busy and unable to take a break, making it difficult to fall asleep at night. Break the cycle of overthinking with regular exercise.
4. Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, and Late Night Snacks
Alcohol and caffeine are considered heating foods. Excessive heat in the stomach can lead to heart-burn in TCM, and cause discomfort as you try to sleep. Snacking any time after 8pm can lead to poor assimilation of food. As food stagnates in the stomach, not only can this lead to bloating, but also causes discomfort in the upper abdomen and leads to heart burn.
5. Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture is great for almost any health complaint. This includes getting a better night's rest as points are used to calm the mind, and induce a state of relaxation. If restless sleep is due to heart-burn or eating late at night, acupuncture can also stimulate the digestive system to remove food stagnation, or clear away heat/inflammation from the stomach. Regardless of the cause, acupuncture treatments are uniquely customized to your body's needs and get down to the root cause of your imbalances.
If you're unsure of what's causing your troubled sleep, feel free to come in for a consultation. You can enjoy some tea, meet the practitioner, discuss your health concerns, and enjoy a nice relaxing acupuncture treatment.