If the stresses of adult life are taking its toll on your ability to sleep soundly, there are 3 tips we can learn from children to aid a better night’s sleep:
1.) Eat well, sleep well:
Eating a meal or a bed-time snack containing white meat, fish, some red meats, dairy and soy products will be high in tryptophan, which will release the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you relax and reducing insomniac tendencies. Conversely, avoid foods such as cheese (yes, it really does affect your sleep!), pork, soy sauce and even raspberries before bedtime, as these contain tyramine, which releases a chemical called norepinephrine which is a brain stimulant, and will keep you awake for longer at night.
Sugar, alcohol and caffeine will also stimulate the brain and heart, causing over-activity and an inability to get to sleep quickly or even at all. So cut out sweets, chocolate, tea, coffee, beer and red wine at night. Instead, have a nice hot drink of milk before bed. The warmth will help soothe and calm you, like a baby’s bottle lulls a child to the land of Nod.
2.) Child’s Play:
If you’re drowsy after dinner, do something gently stimulating like mild exercise, otherwise having a doze will impact your sleep when it’s time for bed. Alternatively, don’t stay up too late even when you’re tired, it would be much better to get an earlier night. You’ll wake up feeling fresh and more able to function properly in the day.
If you’d prefer to read use a soft light to read by, as a harsh light will stop you from relaxing, or listen to a recording of your favourite book. Just like how you used to love a story at bedtime or listening to audiotapes as a child to help you drift off.
3.) Dream on:
Do ensure that you choose a mattress which is relevant to your size. Children usually have a single bed, so adults should invest in a double mattress, as being confined in a bed to small will be uncomfortable, and you need room to stretch and relax your joints and muscles, and move around as you sleep. Having someone, or something to cuddle in bed, even if it’s an old teddy bear, creates feelings of safety, security and love, much like it did as a child, which will ensure a peaceful snooze.
You’ll be sleeping like a baby again in no time!