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17 Jul, 2020

Your 5 senses guide to a better night’s sleep with The Mind Medic

Dr Sarah Vohra is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Author of The Mind Medic. In this post she outlines your 5 senses guide to getting a better night’s sleep.

Health

First and foremost, create a bedtime routine and stick to it. Go to bed the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, even on a weekend. This helps regulate your body’s 24hr clock or circadian rhythm. Disrupted sleep/wake cycles can affect how much and how well we sleep which not only spells disaster the following day as you struggle to concentrate, lack of energy and irritability but it can also wreak havoc on our physical and mental wellbeing in the long term.

SEE

Avoid using screened devices 1-2 hrs before bed; the blue light from these devices can stop a crucial hormone called Melatonin being released that is essential for preparing you to go to sleep and in regulating your sleep/wake cycle. Instead opt for a low stimulus activity such as reading a book – but opt for print over e-books.

HEAR

Listen to your body’s signals that you are tired (yawning, heavy eyelids) and take yourself off to bed rather than committing to another 1hr long Netflix episode.

SMELL

Incorporate a lovely, scented bath as part of your night-time routine. The drop in body temperature afterwards can help make you feel sleepier. Did you know as well as loss of daylight, our body temperature needs to drop to initiate sleep?

FEEL

Feeling worried before bed? Keep a worry journal by your bed to ‘dump’ your worries and postpone them to the morning when you’re more likely to be able to problem solve them.

TASTE

Avoid caffeinated beverages in the late afternoon and evening. Caffeine is a stimulant and it can take up to 7hrs for just half of the caffeine in your cuppa to work its way out of your system so it is little wonder that come the evening we remain alert and struggling to get off to sleep. Instead opt for decaffeinated alternatives but be wary of decaffeinated teas and coffees that may still carry up to 30% caffeine of your regular cup.

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You can follow Dr Sarah Vohra on Instagram @themindmedic.

Ensure you're fuelling your body with a healthy balanced diet, as well as managing your stress levels, to help support good sleep. Our Summer Set Programme is a great place to start.


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