Insomnia’s a nightmare! 6 top simple sleep-fixers

Having talked to LOADS of people – often at 3am – about this, I know I’m not the only person in the world that spends much of their night tossing, turning, grumbling and punching the pillow. Insomnia is definitely a thing; according to the Southern Cross website, 45 per cent of Kiwis say they have trouble sleeping at least once a week. Think about that for a second; at any one point when you’re cursing your idiot brain for going off like an electric charge, nearly half the population of New Zealand is feeling the same way!

I’ve done loads of stories in the past for magazines about insomnia, and I’ve discovered that while you can’t make it go away, there are some things we can do to give ourselves an easier time of it. Not everything works for everyone; in the case of last night, absolutely none of these worked for me! However, I did help myself this morning, by making sure I had a really good breakfast – I was sent some amazing organic yoghurts from South Island dairy company Clearwater Farm yesterday, which I paired with a probiotic muesli and a really tasty, crunchy apple. It was delicious (PS not a paid post I promise – I just really liked it!) and has really helped put me back on track today. See – even when you have a rough night, there’s still options for it to get better tonight!

Dairy is a great way of getting off to sleep; Jackie’s Clearwater Farm cows are farmed sustainably and the yoghurt is delicious!
  • Stay off the screens! Beds are for sleeping, having sex and occasionally reading a good book. The more research we do into screens, especially small screens, the more we’re finding out why it’s vital to reduce our screen time. Screens, whether large or small, emit blue light, which tells your brain it’s daytime.
  • Eat foods high in tryptophan for dinner, and don’t eat too late. Tryptophan is an amino acid thought to help increase serotonin levels; low levels of serotonin are thought to interfere with out sleep patterns. Foods high in tryptophan include chicken, nuts, seeds, bananas, eggs, cottage cheese, and of course the old favourite, warm milk.
    • TOP TIP: Try stirring half a spoonful of honey into warm milk with a cinnamon stick for a triple whammy!
  • Relax before going to bed. You’re never going to sleep like a baby if you’ve just finished a hard session at the gym! Try to keep exercise to any point up to three hours before bed.
  • Eat light before bedtime. People who eat high fat foods regularly not only put on weight, but their sleep time gets disrupted too. A heavy meal sitting half-digested in your stomach isn’t going to guarantee you a nourishing snooze.
  • Try not to nap in the day. Of course you’re tired; you didn’t get any sleep! But a nap in the daytime tells your body it doesn’t need to sleep at an earlier time that night.
  • Stick to a morning routine. No matter how bad your sleep was the night before – get up at a decent time, and have a good breakfast, like the one I mentioned above.