We're all about the movement of our bodies here at Wonder but we also appreciate and understand the importance of sleep.

We've been lucky enough to gather some great advice from naturopath, Emma Wisbey who offers some great insights and tips on how to access sleep with ease.

"Almost one-third of Australians don’t get enough sleep. This is concerning because sleep is profoundly connected to your health and wellbeing. According to the author of Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker; “Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day”. In fact, some research suggests that the quality of our sleep is more important than both diet and exercise.

Sleep involves a complex architecture, which put simply is the 4 stages of sleep that we cycle through numerous times each night.  And in reviewing this we must consider all aspects of sleep quality ie how long does it take to drift off, do you stay asleep, are you sleeping restlessly or are you waking unrefreshed. These are all clues as to what might be required to facilitate healthy sleep patterns. And clinically often the treatment strategy varies for each individual.

Most people have a good understanding of the key concepts involved with an evening routine, but as a refresher, some considerations would be;

At Night

  • Dim the lights in the evening
  • Avoid screens at least 1 hour prior to going to bed
  • Try not to eat after your evening meal and likewise don’t eat your evening meal too late.
  • Promote relaxation later in the day – for example, a Yin Yoga class 
  • Ensure you are in bed by 10 pm (because ultimately each hour of sleep you get prior to midnight is equivalent to 2 hours of sleep after midnight)
  • What you may not have considered is that everything you do from the time you wake in the morning influences the quality of sleep you get at night. In fact, many people don’t think twice about changing their daytime routine to improve their circadian rhythm and furthermore sleep. My recommendation would be to start looking at your entire day and how it might influence your inability to sleep.

    Mornings – the golden rules here are

  • Get up with the sun and expose your eyes to morning sunlight – open the curtains or step outside, and don’t reach for your phone first thing, natural light should always come first.
  • Exercise or move - Yes I know this is hard especially given that you’ve most likely had a poor night’s sleep. But having a consistent waking time and morning routine further enhances what you are trying to implement in the evening. You might have guessed it, my favourite is an early morning barre or yoga class.
  • Eat – once up and moving it's important to eat breakfast because how and when we eat influences our circadian rhythm AKA body clock.
  • The rest of your day

  • Caffeine – if you treat yourself to a cuppa, please ensure you do so prior to midday.
  • Don’t skip meals or go long periods without food – this indicates to your brain that you are in danger which elevates a stress hormone called cortisol. High levels of this hormone in turn will inhibit your melatonin at night resulting in sleep difficulty.
  • Counteract stress – there’s no getting away from it but at the very least ensure that you have activities in your day that counteract this. Do something each day that sparks joy eg. take a break outdoors, chat with a friend, hug a loved one or pat your dog. Doing these things increases a feel-good neurotransmitter called serotonin. And serotonin is converted to melatonin, which is all the better for sleep.
  • Enjoyed Emma's quick guide to improving sleep? Check out www.emmawisbeynaturopath.com.au for more great information on living a healthful lif.