A few weeks ago, something very unusual happened. I was tucked up in bed but no matter what I tried, I simply couldn’t get to sleep. This kept occurring and no matter how much I willed myself to sleep, I was wide awake for hours, night after night with insomnia. I know I’m not alone. Given the nature of our fast-paced, 24/7 lives, reports of insomnia and sleep disorders are on the rise, with more and more research showing that this is a growing phenomenon.
You see, there are times in our lives when everything becomes overwhelming. As the JSHealth brand has grown, I’ve been dealing with increasing pressure and the push to constantly be ‘on’. At times, it’s been very difficult to find balance. Between creating our second range of vitamins and working on the launch of our revolutionary app, it’s been an incredibly exciting, but equally stressful, time.
Whenever I’m faced with a health issue, I like to go deeper. Rather than trying to mask the symptoms, I like to delve in and look at the issue from a holistic point of view. I knew that my recent bout of insomnia stemmed from an over-active, stressed mind, so that was where I needed to start. Here, I’ve outlined the natural remedies that I’ve been trying.
7 ways I’ve helped settle my insomnia
1. Observe thoughts: Every day, I have so many thoughts racing through my mind. It’s not unusual for me to have a boost of energy and a host of ideas in the middle of the night. Since I’m always creating and conceptualising new ideas, it’s very hard to switch my mind off. Lately, I’ve been reminding myself to slow down, take a deep breath and be more aware of my thoughts.
2. Create a to-do list: Every day when I finish work, I write a to-do list for the next day. This helps me organise my tasks and keep on top of my team’s projects. When I start work the next day, I have my list to go off and I instantly feel more organised and methodical.
3. Try regular acupuncture: I’ve been doing acupuncture twice a week for the last few weeks. Simply lying there for 30 minutes is a great rest in itself, but it’s definitely helped with my kidney strength and has gradually helped my quality of sleep.
4. Drink coffee before 9am: If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know all about my one coffee a day rule. These last few weeks, I’ve tried drinking coffee before 9am. Caffeine stays in our system for around six hours, which means that by the time I’ve finished work (around 5 to 6pm) the caffeine has well and truly left my system.
5. Eat more protein for dinner: Protein is an essential macronutrient and is made of building blocks called amino acids. Put simply, research has shown that amino acids aid sleep. I’ve personally tested this theory and it’s worked for me. However, it’s essential to consume healthy fats, complex carbs and fibre. For some easy recipe ideas, check out my one-pan dinners.
6. Limit screen time: I ensure that I switch off my phone and laptop by 6pm sharp.
7. Practise yoga regularly: There’s so much research around the benefits of yoga for sleep and I’ve found this to be the case. Restorative, slower types of yoga really help to calm my sympathetic nervous system, which has helped to slow my busy mind.
For more health, lifestyle and mindfulness tips, check out my 8-week Program.