Commuting, functioning and even sleeping in the capital has been a struggle for many during the heat wave. As we are experiencing record breaking temperatures many of us are beginning to long for cooler days, and in particular nights!
Sleeping in sweltering temperatures may make your bedtime regime more difficult than usual as we want to help as proper rest and sleep are as important to good health as good nutrition and adequate exercise. During sleep our bodies rest, cardiac function slows, and our bodies conserve energy and memories are fixed and consolidated. Without proper rest and sleep, the ability to concentrate, make judgements and participate in daily activities decreases, whilst irritability increases.
Dinner: Avoid foods that cause you indigestion (common offenders include spicy and fatty foods). Tryptophan foods will help to trigger the onset of sleep due to high amounts of plasma melatonin. Food sources include; sesame seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, salmon, spinach, watercress, turkey and bananas. Combine with a complex carbohydrate, such as a GF oatcake or black rice to help the tryptophan reach and cross the blood brain barrier in order to be effective.
Higher carbohydrate meals may also help to improve sleep onset, however ensure you leave 3 hours between eating your last meal of the day and heading to bed as digestion elevates body temperature and it’s the natural drop in temperature during sleep plays an important role in deep sleep quality.
Tart cherry juice: Try drinking a cup of Montmorency cherry juice an hour before bedtime. This provides your body with sleep inducing melatonin and its related compounds, tryptophan and serotonin, known to have beneficial effects on sleep-wake rhythms and increased sleep time.
Kiwifruit: Load up your trolley with these furry friends. Studies report kiwis help promote a good sleep pattern as they are high in serotonin, antioxidants, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and vitamins C and E. Try having 1 kiwifruit and natural yoghurt (which is rich in tryptophan) for a healthy, sleep promoting dessert.
Routine: Have a cold shower before bed and invest in cotton sheets which are more breathable than synthetic polyester, or silk and satin sheets.