I’m a mother, nutritional therapist and author who has been sharing recipes to help you get the glow back for the last 8 years...
I get random bouts of insomnia, so I’ve tried every trick in the book to help me sleep better. It’s madly frustrating because my body feels tired but my mind feels like I’ve just downed a bucket of coffee and all these thoughts are racing around my head! It can take me hours to get to sleep and I feel like I’ve been fitfully dipping in and out of consciousness all night long. In the morning I feel terrible!
Do you ever get those insomniac nights? Then you might like to know what I do to re-set my sleep – I hope it helps you too…
A bad night’s sleep sends my sugar cravings off the scale! But the rational part of me knows that eating sugary cereal or a pastry for breakfast won’t be satisfying and I’m setting myself up for a major energy crash. So I sidestep sugar cravings by eating protein and fats in each meal. I’ll have something like my Green Breakfast Bowl for breakfast, then add a scoop of protein powder to my Detox Smoothie too because insomnia makes me ravenous. I’m not really a coffee person, but a matcha latte perks me up.
Literally out, as in outside, because fresh air and sunshine are really energising. I also see my walk as a chance to enjoy some time alone. The silence and solitariness gives me a break from doing basic things like speaking in coherent sentences – when I’m tired I just can’t get the words out!
The day after a rough night, I consciously cut down on screen time because the blue light can mess with your melatonin production – melatonin is the hormone that helps us sleep. So I’ll prioritise the parts of my work that don’t mean I’m on my laptop, like meetings and creating recipes. When I do need to be online to get stuff done, I wear my blue light-blocking glasses as they protect my eyes from 90% of the blue light.
I’ll drink extra water – did you know that research proves water is a better energy-booster drink than any fizzy, sugary, processed, so-called energy drink? I usually drink two litres of water a day, but after I’ve slept badly I up that quantity to two and a half. Herbal tea counts – I drink a lot of calming camomile tea.
I don’t want to do anything strenuous like a HIT class or weight training to add to my exhaustion. So I might do a bit of light yoga like my hip-opening sequence in the evening. Hip-opening poses, forward folds and twists get you to connect with my body and slow my mind down. They’re all restorative poses so sometimes I do my yoga in bed instead of on my mat!
The trouble with insomnia is that I dread having another bad night and that makes me sleep even worse – arrgh! So I make a big deal about my bedtime ritual to set me up for a better night. I’ll light my Neom Tranquility Candle, which is made with relaxing lavender and jasmine. I read a proper old-fashioned paper book for 20 minutes or so, then when I feel my eyelids getting heavy I put on my silk eye mask from Oliver Bonas. I only started using eye shades recently and – wow! – the difference it makes to my sleep is amazing! The darkness signals to my body it’s time to switch off.
Love, Madeleine xx