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Sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis can be a frightening disorder, with the sensation of being paralysed while awake. It’s the momentary inability to move either just before sleep onset or when transitioning from REM sleep to awakening. During sleep paralysis, people cannot move or speak, though they can open their eyes and they are well aware of their surroundings. This can last from a few seconds to minutes. In some cases, dream-like activity, known as hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations, can accompany the paralysis.…

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Beetroot, Avocado & Cashew Nut Salad

This healthy salad makes a delicious side dish for dinner or a full meal for lunch. It contains foods rich in tryptophan and melatonin and good amounts of magnesium. Nourishing your body throughout the day will help you to sleep better at night. Beetroot – A good source of tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin (the ‘happy hormone’) then melatonin (the ‘sleep hormone’). It also contains magnesium (which helps the muscles relax and contributes to a calm and sleepy state),…

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What is REM sleep?

REM stands for rapid eye movement but a great deal happens during REM sleep other than our eyes darting backwards and forwards in fast succession. To fully understand REM sleep, it’s useful to understand the whole sleep cycle. Types Of Sleep There are two types of sleep: REM sleep and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep is divided into three stages: stage 1 (non-REM1, aka N1) or light sleep; stage 2 (N2) or moderate sleep; and stage 3 (N3) or deep sleep or…

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How much sleep is too much?

At the centre of health and wellbeing is good sleep. We need sleep to rejuvenate our bodies, to boost our immune system, and to consolidate short-term memories into long-term ones. We need it for the release of human growth hormone and for the brain to clear our harmful toxins. Without sleep our mood, energy and mental alertness are compromised and we cannot function at full speed.  But just how much sleep do we need – and how much sleep is…

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Walnut & Rocket Salad with Turmeric Carrot Chips

Sweet and spicy carrot chips give this healthy, anti-inflammatory salad a flavoursome crunch. Sleep diet approved! When making carrot chips, you can use any spice or herb you like. Turmeric provides a mildly spiced, sweetish taste, while curry powder gives more of a bite. Both spices are anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is best consumed with a meal that contains (good) fats or oils to aid its absorption. Black pepper helps too, but it’s important to note that the pepper does not aid absorption. Rather, it contains a compound…

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Lemon Cashew Drizzle

Raw food chef Fi Jamieson-Folland creates a delicious, healthy dressing for homemade salads. Sleep diet approved! Most people would prefer a healthy option if possible – the tastier the better! And there’s certainly no shortage of tasty treats around, although they’re not always healthy. Blend this mix for a great source of nutrients, including phosphorus, magnesium, antioxidants and manganese, plus the right kinds of fats and low glycaemic index. Lemon Cashew Drizzle This is perfect over most salads, especially those with…

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Dietary prebiotics improve sleep, buffer impacts of stress, says study

New research suggests that prebiotics, which serve as food for good bacteria inside the gut, can also improve sleep and buffer the physiological impacts of stress. In recent years, reams of research papers have shed light on the health benefits of probiotics, the “good bacteria” found in fermented foods and dietary supplements. Now a first-of-its kind study by University of Colorado Boulder scientists suggests that lesser-known gut-health promoters known as prebiotics – which serve as food for good bacteria inside…

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A good night’s sleep begins the moment you get up in the morning

Have you been outside today? Researchers from the Lighting Research Center in New York have found that a good dose of morning light — from either the sun or an artificial source — makes office workers sleep better and feel less stressed and depressed, compared to those subjected to low light. Scientists confirm we need exposure to light during the day that’s between 1000-2000 lux to keep our body clocks ticking over. However, most of us work indoors. A brightly lit room…

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Dim your lights in the evening for a better night’s sleep

Light stimulates alertness. That’s a good thing first thing in the morning, but during the evening it can cause sleep disruption. When darkness descends at the end of the day, the light sensitive cells in our retinas signal our brains that it’s time to prepare for sleep. The pineal gland switches “on” and begins producing melatonin (aka the sleep hormone), which regulates our sleep-wake cycle, slowing metabolic functions and lowering body temperature. This, in turn, makes us sleepy and less…

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