Feel less tired in 24 HOURS

Try­ing to deal with sleep­less nights? Try these sim­ple tech­niques to get more en­ergy by this time to­mor­row

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Energy Boost -

9pm Leave your wor­ries for the day­time

Im­prove your odds of hav­ing a more set­tled sleep by ‘mind dump­ing’ be­fore you go to bed. Sim­ply write down ev­ery­thing you are think­ing about – from buy­ing nap­pies to pay­ing your bills. Your brain will have a bet­ter chance of switch­ing off when it’s not try­ing to keep track of ev­ery­thing it needs to pay attention to in your wak­ing life.

10pm Don’t push it

Sleep ex­pert Dr Guy Leschziner says you can’t force your­self to fall asleep. “It’s for this rea­son that no-one re­mem­bers the pre­cise mo­ment they drop off to sleep.”

This sim­ple ‘five steps to sleep’ tech­nique will put you in the right frame of mind to drop off more quickly. 1 Focus on a spot on the ceil­ing and take a deep breath. 2 Think about your eyes be­com­ing heavy and focus on your breath­ing. Let your eyes close and your body re­lax. 3 Visu­alise the gen­tle side-to-side move­ment of an ob­ject, such as that of a swing­ing pen­du­lum. 4 Slowly and silently count down from 10. Af­ter each num­ber, re­in­force the point by telling your­self ‘I am re­lax­ing’. 5 Focus on a per­sonal state­ment, such as ‘I am a great mum and my baby is fine’.

2am Be in con­trol

“Car­ry­ing ex­tra baby weight can lead to snor­ing, which can go hand in hand with poor sleep qual­ity,” Guy says. “Try not to lie flat on your back, as this will make snor­ing worse.”

In­stead, try the ‘re­cov­ery po­si­tion’: lie on your side, with your up­per­most arm and leg bent and rest­ing on the bed in front of you, sup­port­ing your body. A preg­nancy pil­low can be used for com­fort. This will help keep your air­ways open, which in turn will re­duce snor­ing.

6am Kick­start your morn­ing

As you shower, spend two min­utes al­ter­nat­ing be­tween warm and cold wa­ter to boost your cir­cu­la­tion. Blast­ing your body with cold wa­ter will in­crease the blood flow to your in­ter­nal or­gans, while dous­ing it with warm wa­ter im­me­di­ately after­wards will di­rect blood flow back to­wards your skin.

1pm Want a quick snooze? Set a timer

“When nap­ping dur­ing the day, try to limit your­self to 15 or 20 min­utes’ sleep,” Guy ad­vises. “Any more than this and you’ll en­ter a deeper sleep, from which you’ll wake up feel­ing groggy.”

4pm Boost low iron lev­els

Rest­less legs syn­drome, a prob­lem as­so­ci­ated with preg­nancy, can also some­times af­fect sleep pat­terns af­ter birth. “It’s a very un­com­fort­able sen­sa­tion in the legs, of­ten caused by low iron lev­els, and can make the process of go­ing to sleep very dif­fi­cult,” Guy says. “See your GP, who will be able to ar­range a test to check your iron lev­els.”

Keep your iron lev­els topped up with this smoothie, which will de­liver your rec­om­mended daily al­lowance of iron in one hit. ‘Sleep well’ smoothie recipe ● 235ml fil­tered wa­ter ● 1 ripe mango, peeled and pit­ted ● 2 large ripe ba­nanas ● 3 cups of kale ● 1 cup of fresh pars­ley (omit if preg­nant) Add wa­ter to blender, then the fruit, and fi­nally the greens. Blend un­til creamy. ●

11am Fight your body’s urge to eat fat

“There is a lot of ev­i­dence to sug­gest kilo­joule in­take goes up when you are sleep-de­prived,” Guy says. “Lack of sleep al­ters the level of hor­mones that gov­ern your ap­petite and the way you metabolise food, leav­ing you more likely to eat foods that are high in sat­u­rated fat.” These foods are harder for the body to break down, leav­ing you feel­ing even more lethar­gic.

Break this vi­cious cy­cle by fill­ing your fridge with foods that are full of pro­tein, fi­bre and healthy mo­noun­sat­u­rated and polyun­sat­u­rated fats, which will re­lease en­ergy slowly. The best ex­am­ples of these are Greek yo­ghurt with a hand­ful of berries, cottage cheese, sliced av­o­cado, raisins, hum­mus, nuts and whole­grain crack­ers.

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