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Did you sleep really well last night?

Are you constantly tired and lacking energy?. Maybe you struggle to fall asleep once you go to bed, or have regular disturbed and interrupted sleep… Let’s face it – most of us have been there, myself included.

When I first started out as a chef, the long working hours took their toll. I would be left feeling wired yet utterly exhausted everynight. Then I would wake up feeling drained and sleepy so the pattern would continue. Can you relate to that?

Sleep (or lack of) needs to be a priority in our lives, getting a good nights sleep is one of the most important things along with exercise, diet and mental wellbeing.

Hands up, if you’re: tired of feeling tired and waking up with that weary and lethargic haze over you, frustrated at having lacklustre skin and frequent headaches let alone being unable to resist the temptation of those sugary treats and endless caffeinated drinks to keep your energy levels “high”!

Tiredness and a lack of energy is something my customers often complain of and I can understand why. It is during sleep that our body repairs itself; our cells renew and some pretty amazing things happen inside to ensure that we are performing at our ultimate best. Sleep deprivation means your body has to work that bit harder during the day to operate, its time spent on renewing itself is restricted, meaning you, your body and mind face the consequences.

So how can we change things for the better?

I’ve put together a list of suggestions for you to use – a few simple tweaks to your daily routine :-). Trust me, you will be amazed at the results. Imagine waking up feeling refreshed; your skin glowing, your eyes sparkling and your body and mind functioning at its best.

What’s not to love about that?

My Simple Steps To A Sound Slumber

Caffeine and sugar are massive culprits. Consuming these (especially late in the evening) will only do one thing: keep you awake and stop you falling to sleep! Trying herbal teas late evenings are great to get you ready for sleep. Passion flower tea is my go to in the evening I love it!

Try and avoid doing high-intensity training late at night. Instead try getting to that fitness class in the morning, or on your way home from work, consider attending a Yoga classes or something a lot more chilled if you want to do exercise later in the evening – the benefits will be profound and can certainly help you get to sleep and keep you there.

At the end of a long day, it can be tempting to reach for a large glass of red wine, or perhaps, something stronger to help you unwind. The problem is, all it does is it refrains you from reaching those deeper sleeps. Instead you will be kept within the lighter stages of sleep, meaning the quality of your night’s sleep will be reduced dramatically. You will wake up feeling groggy, dehydrated and possibly have a headache. Never ever a good way to start the day!

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Put the phone down!

Resist the temptation of scrolling your news feed on your phone, tablet or laptop. The light from the screen will keep your mind active and have the opposite effect of preparing your body for rest. Instead, spend time unwinding by talking with your spouse, listen to relaxing music, pratice mindfulness, read that novel you’ve heard raving reviews about, or go and soak in a hot bath that is filled with bubbles and salts… Doesn’t that sound better than looking at social media or emails? Of course it does.

Try to keep your meals relatively light in the evenings; your digestive system will be under less stress as it tries to digest the food.

Before you reach for the biscuit tin, be sure to ask yourself: am I really hungry or is it because I am in the habit of grazing before bedtime? 

If you decide that you really are hungry, then enjoying a small snack before bedtime isn’t a bad thing you just need to be wise with your choices and keep it light.

almond-milk-thumb

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Bananas:

The potassium within bananas is an important mineral that aids sleep. However, choose a small rather than large banana.
Avocados – easily digestible and filled with good fats, meaning your body will be satisfied and won’t have to work too hard at digesting them.
A handful of raw, unsalted and non-roasted nuts are a great snack to enjoy. Almonds, in particular contain a lot of magnesium, which promotes a restful sleep and assists every organ in your body.

Do you fancy re-creating one of my hugely popular snacks? Oh, go on then. Here’s the recipe for my awesome apricot and raisin Flapjack.

TAKE ME TO THE RECIPE >>

Let me know how you get on!
Jay xx

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Author Jay Halford

Jay Halford - Professional Michelin star trained chef and real food fanatic. I’m on a mission to re-educate people back into realising how easy it is to make the transition into feeding their body what it so desperately craves.

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