Category Archives: Stress

Here’s my story

 

“I love helping busy and stressed mums switch off their busy mind and get some much needed sleep at night”.

Why should you trust me as your Naturopath?

Because I have experienced adrenal burn out and insomnia and I know what works. And because I probably want you to see results more than you do.

There is no better feeling than a client thanking me for my help saying they are feeling better, they’re sleeping well, their digestive pains have gone.

My clinic room is a safe space- I want you to feel comfortable sharing your health issues with me. I need to know all the details so I can help you get better.

I’m going to ask you lots of weird and wonderful questions about your poo, about your urine, about your sex drive. There is no need to be embarrassed about anything your body is doing. If it’s out of balance it will be doing weird things to try heal it self and let you know.

Here let me explain how I got to where I am today.

I suffered with Bulimia and Obsessive Compulsive Exercise Disorder in my teenage years. I would be extremely strict on my self with diet and exercise Monday to Friday and come the weekend I would binge on junk to the point of throwing up. The guilt I felt after binging was enormous.

I was playing netball, basketball, did swimming and did dancing at school. But that wasn’t enough to keep the fear of getting “fat” away. I would wake up at 5.30am every morning and do yoga and aerobics oz style before school. I would either run after school or do 100 sit ups and 100 star jumps right before bed- which for me was around 11pm or midnight.

I was following a vegetarian diet most of the time but not properly. I wasn’t combining my vegetarian protein sources and as a result became very protein deficient. This combined with my insomnia, excessive exercise and high stress levels my immune system was shot.

I would become ill with tonsillitis regularly, nearly every few weeks. One bout of tonsillitis developed into laryngitis then went into my chest and I suffered with Bronchitis, eventually turning into glandular fever. My immune system has never been the same.

My mum decided to take me to a Naturopath because we were both sick of filling scripts of antibiotics- clearly this was not the answer as I kept getting sick.

I saw my first Naturopath and I finally started healing.

So naturally when it was time to finish high school and decide what I wanted to be when I grew up- I decided to study Naturopathy.

It was here where I developed a healthy relationship with food because I started learning how each nutrient is utilised in the body. I was fascinated that we don’t just eat healthy to look good- each nutrient is required for a biochemical process in body. For me this was a huge eye opener and such an essential stage in my journey to better health.

While studying I knew I wanted to work in clinic and be my own boss. The career path I had chose was so rewarding- to be able to help people improve their health and get paid for it- it was my dream job.

However I knew nothing about business so being my own boss was short lived. I soon realised being in business wasn’t easy! I had zero marketing experience and no clients, I had no idea how to be in business. So I started cleaning houses, working at a health food store and doing bits and pieces while trying to build up my clientele.

After a few months I realised it wasn’t going to pay the bills and I looked into getting a full time job. I began working on front desk at an Orthodontic Clinic. I did this for 2 years while I worked in my business seeing clients on Wednesday nights and Saturdays.

As I started growing my business it became too hard to maintain the level of care for my clients only working evenings and weekends. My friend who was a successful small boutique gym owner needed a part time assistant and could see I needed more hours to grow my own business. So I left the full time job and worked  a few mornings as a studio coordinator for the next 2 years.

This was exactly what I wanted as I now had the security of a wage but was able to spend most of my week growing my business. And that I did! I started learning more and more about business and marketing and learnt about my ideal client- who I wanted to work with.

My work life balance started to disintegrate. When I was busy I would be working in my home office late into the evening and seeing clients on weekends. My relationship suffered. The ironic part was that I would be writing treatment plans for clients to improve their stress and start achieving the work life balance themselves- but I wasn’t doing it for myself.

My partner and I separated and I was left with the stress of trying to run the household for myself and my dog on my own. I wasn’t even sure I would make rent or be able to feed my dog.

Then my whole world changed 4 days after my 28th birthday my big brother was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer.

A otherwise fit and healthy 34 year old non smoker had cancer…

You have got to be kidding me.

It was as if the universe was telling me something.

I had a real hard look at myself and my world as it was and decided enough was enough.  I decided to hand in my resignation at the gym and take the huge leap into being full time Naturopath.

I locked myself in my home office and researched everything there was to know about my brothers cancer. I called my trusted mentor Naturopath and  spoke with the owners of businesses who stocked products to help with cancer treatment.

Suddenly my focus was on nothing else but my brother and I would do everything in my power to help him fight this. I knew I needed to be well myself to help him.

So I practiced everything I knew and doubled my doses of adrenal loving herbs, ensured my veggie intake was optimal and started getting a lot more down time- more baths, booked in for regular chiro appointments and continued with my exercise program.

By this stage my partner and I started working through our challenges and he moved back in. I started to work on bringing balance back into the home and the shift happened. Our relationship blossomed and I started feeling happier.

Fast forward to 2 months after my brothers diagnosis and I received the best news I have ever heard- the cancer was gone…completely gone. My entire family was ecstatic.

I got through these events because of my knowledge and expertise with stress. I know what to take, what to eat, what to do when life throws these massive curve balls. I have lived through horrible and extremely stressful moments as most people have.

I have a strong family history of dementia, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular issues. Your genetics are only one part of your makeup- it is up to you and your lifestyle on how those genes effect your health.

If it wasn’t for herbs and being a Naturopath I would not have made it through last year.

I wanted to share all this because I know what it feels like to go through a breakup, hear a cancer diagnosis from your close family member, see your grandparent go through dementia to the point they don’t even know who you are. I’ve suffered with an eating disorder, lived with the lowest immune system, I’ve had reproductive issues, I still have acne. I have good and bad days like you.

My clients will tell me I seem like I have my shit together but it’s because I have the tools to cope and help my body cope. It’s taken years of practice and a lot of adrenal herbs!

I suppose I am sharing this with you because I want you to know there is a natural solution to help you get through whatever it is you are going through and come out the other side stronger.

There is someone who gives a crap and wants to help you.

If you need me, you know where I am.

Let’s talk about sex baby!

Ok so it’s time to open the can of worms on what is often spoken about in circles of girlfriends.. “How many times do you have sex with your partner?”

Maybe I’m bias being female, but I hardly ever hear males talking openly about their sex lives when they are in a relationship unless prompted.

I ask the question in clinic every day “How is your libido?” 8 out 10 clients will respond with a smurk asking “what’s that” or tell me it’s non existent. The remaining 2 will say it’s normal, not high but reasonable.

I think we let life and being busy become our excuse or reason as to why  we don’t feel like it tonight…maybe tomorrow?

Well I’m going to shine a light on this ”not so naughty” subject.

Why? Because a healthy libido is a sign of good health and healthy hormones.

I have been listening to some brilliant podcasts lately surrounding relationships. Dr Jolene Brighton is a Naturopath/Biochemist and was recently on a podcast featured on Bulletproof radio.

One thing Jolene said “I don’t care if you never want to have a baby, that’s totally fine. But you should always be fertile and wanting to have sex, as long as you’re in those fertile years.”

In my experience there seems to be a lack of understanding with the libido.

When there is a lack of understanding of the physical causes behind a lowered sex drive and also a lack of communication, it may result with an insecurity within that relationship.

Clients will say to me that they feel they are letting their partner down and feel guilty about not giving them what they need, but they just don’t feel like they have any interest in doing the deed.

So I wanted to shine a light on the mechanics of a healthy libido and what physical aspects of our health can cause this to diminish.

Move and Rest

Our bodies are designed for movement as well as rest. Without these two simple things regularly, our health is compromised.

So naturally a lack of sleep can reduce your libido. Sleep conditions such as Sleep Apnoea are also a potential cause of lowered sex drive.

Medications

Medication is also another factor to consider. Especially women who take the oral contraceptive pill. Hormonal imbalance can cause not only libido reduction but vaginal dryness and difficulty reaching orgasm.

This can cause what is meant to be an intimate pleasurable experience with your partner into a painful and frustrating chore..it’s no wonder if she’s too tired, it hurts and she’s not going to enjoy the experience to climax then she’s not really that excited to take off her clothes for him am I right?

Hormones

The thing with hormones is that once one hormone is imbalanced, it affects all of the other hormones too. When we are stressed our hormone cortisol can be in excess then lead to depletion when we are in the “burn-out” stage.

As a result, our female hormones that would normally allow a natural pregnancy begin to compensate and become imbalanced as the body is in survival “fight or flight” mode. The body is pretty much saying “I am in a state of survival, this is not a safe environment to reproduce.” This could be the reason why a lot of stressed and extremely busy couples struggle to fall pregnant, which stresses them out more…

Men

Looking at males, Testosterone is the main hormone which drives the libido. Studies have shown there is a link between depressed males and lowered testosterone levels.  Like women, stress will lower the libido in males also. There is also the issue when there is a fear or performance with males whether it be erectile dysfunction or the fear of ejaculating too soon. All these things we need to take into consideration when evaluating the reasons as to why a man has a reduced libido.

Mindset

I was recently listening to another podcast on the Tony Robbins podcast where relationship expert Esther Perel was talking about all things intimacy.

An interesting thing she brought up about behaviour was that men have a desire to be able to provide for their significant other whether that be love or financial or something else. If they have that sense of providing, then they’re mindset and hormones are improved.

Women are natural carers and nurturers. If a woman feels like her partner is so dependent on her she will feel like their mother figure rather than their lover. In this situation she will not be aroused or have a high libido as it is not in the natural for a mother to want to make love to their child. So the woman needs to feel like she is the partner, the lover rather than the nurturing mother.

The take home from that expert- Ladies let your man provide for you, even if it means asking for help for something small. It will help them get that much needed boost of Testosterone.  Guys- Allow your woman to be your lover not your mother. Offer to do the housework or make the lunches, ask if she needs a hand with something. Let her know you are there as a team and she isn’t your mother figure.

Mind Body connection

So I think it’s safe to say that libido is both a physical and mental aspect of one’s health. When everything is working well and sound health is maintained then that persons sex drive will also be working well.

So what advice can I offer as a Naturopath?

Well I may be bias as I specialise in Stress and Sleep, but it’s quite clear that without movement or rest the health will not be working at optimal level.

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of health, we all know we feel better after a good nights sleep. Which is why I am so passionate about helping people achieve this. When we live in such a stressful life our cortisol levels are all over the place. If cortisol levels are high then our production of serotonin is low. That’s our happy hormone, so yes there is a mechanical reason why you feel happy when you are well rested. We have also heard it many times before that exercise makes us happy, why? Because when we exercise our endorphins are increased which leads to a boost of serotonin.

If only it were that simple to get enough sleep and manage to exercise every day right?

It isn’t simple because it requires constant commitment from you to prioritise and make sure you put your health first.

  • Eating healthy meals regularly through the day, especially breakfast is one simple thing you can implement.
  • Stay off your screens for at least 30 minute before bed.
  • Setting yourself a goal to exercise at least 3 times per week- the weather is warming up so there is no excuse to sit inside- go for a walk instead- take your partner, your dog, your kids, everyone will benefit.
  • Schedule some down time. Wind down after a busy day/week. Calm that busy mind of yours. Meditate, stretch, get some fresh air, sit in quiet room, read a book or have a bath. You need to make time for you.

There are so many things we can do each and every day to help improve our health which is going to boost our libido and in turn improve our relationships. I hope this has given you all some insight to why you or your partner is struggling to have the desire to be intimate with you.

There should not be guilt associated with this, there is an imbalance of something which needs to be addressed. Maybe more than one thing. It’s important to talk about it, investigate the possible causes eg. (hormone testing if needed) and seek help or advice to improve the situation.

It is very easy to just think your partner is no longer attracted to you or on the flip side that you are failing as a partner because you have no desire to be intimate. There is no need to create thoughts of insecurity when there is solutions available.

Communicate, investigate and seek help!

If you would like more information on how I can help improve your libido through natural medicine and  a tailored treatment plan suited to you, your budget and your lifestyle then please email kathryn@inaturoathy.com.au or call 0433848828.

 

 

 

 

4 Tips To Manage Wedding Stress

 

So you’re engaged! All the congratulations flood in from friends and family, you’re bursting at the seams with excitement!

 

And now the planning begins – date, location, how many bridesmaids, the Dress, guests….

Guests…

Your mother in law tells you that you must invite your fiance’s cousin Lewis because “he’s family”. But the most you have said to him is “Hi Lewis” at family functions because he never makes the effort to talk to you, he’s always living in his phone. Your own mother tells you to invite her brother, your Uncle Jack. But Uncle Jack is a horrendous drunk and always criticises every single thing you do.

How many guests…50, 80, 100? Now all your thoughts turn to $$. How much do you have to save? Can you even afford the big wedding that you’ve always dreamed of? Now it’s getting overwhelming and you sit on the couch with your notepad and pen in hand and start to stare at your fiancé with that look on your face that tells him not to ask you what’s wrong.

Shit… “I need to lose weight”

Suddenly the rush of excitement turns into stress and leaves you anxious. How did this magical day turn into your biggest nightmare?

How your body deals with stress (hint: it ain’t pretty)

Welcome to fight or flight. A survival mechanism where your brain tells your adrenal glands to pump your body full of adrenaline and Cortisol. Your heart rate increases, your blood is directed to your arms and your legs, you start breathing quicker and you are alert. You are ready to fight to survive or “flight” to remove yourself from danger. Short term this response is fantastic for survival, however if this is what you’re experiencing constantly leading up to your big day – well I will tell you right now, you’ll burn out quicker than a candle without oxygen.

Two things happen in this fight or flight mode. Your digestive system and immune system shut down. Why? Because those two systems aren’t really needed when running away from your burning house or fighting the robber who has just broke into your home. So how can we stop this stress of your wedding take over your health?

Here are my four top tips.

1. Eat Well and Often.

Due to our immune system and digestive system functioning being surpressed by stress, the demand on our bodies nutrients increases. Protein and Good Fats are going to be your friend leading up to your big day. The best way to ensure your eating stays on track is to be prepared. When cooking dinner, cook extra and when serving up, pop some into a couple of Tupperware containers for tomorrow’s lunch. Pack healthy snacks because you are going to want to be eating every 2-3 hours. Eating regularly is going to reduce the need for your body to want to secrete excess adrenaline and Cortisol. By regularly consuming the right nutrients your adrenals will stay happy little glands.

Omega 3 deficiency is increasing in our society because we simply do not eat enough good fat in our food. Make sure you are eating oily fish 2 to 3 times per week, snacking on raw/unroasted/unsalted nuts like walnuts, seeds like linseeds, avocado, and drizzle olive oil on just about anything. When you can’t get any of these, opt for a good quality fish oil supplement (veg and vegan gals opt for flaxseed oil). Not only will your brain start working better but your skin will improve, and it will improve your metabolism too!

2. Get moving!

How will you ever have the time to exercise with all these appointments to find the dress, meet with the bridesmaids, check out venues….? Here comes that “be prepared” phrase again. Pack a bag with workout gear, deodorant, and face wash and leave it in your car or at work. You are going to be extremely busy so if you’re going to fit in a workout at least 3 times a week you need to be able to go to the gym last minute. Go on more walks, invest in a personal trainer, and find a work out buddy (perhaps the bridesmaids will join you?). Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and reduce the negative effects stress has on our body.

Remember that hormone Cortisol I was talking about before? Well it likes to hold onto fat tissue and deposit in areas that we don’t want. In times of stress it is much more difficult to shed excess fat so exercising is a win-win when it comes to both burning fat and reducing stress. It also makes you feel 100 times better post workout. You’ll have a clearer head, be able to focus and concentrate much easier, and be able to get those plans organised without procrastinating.

3. Delegate a 2.I.C (second in command)

If you are a bit of a control freak, this will be the hardest task to do. But you need to allow yourself to have help, as much as possible. Your bridesmaids are there to help you have the most memorable day possible. Give them tasks, ask them for advice, and let them support you. A 2IC is going to be the person you trust that is not in the bridal party. It is someone to contact urgently if heaven-forbid anything is to go wrong last minute. What if something goes wrong with your wedding cake on the day and someone needs to meet the delivery at the venue, or the florist has issues with the flowers you ordered.

Choose a person you trust, who is excellent at organising, and works well under pressure as your emergency 2IC. This person will be able to answer any last minute calls to put out fires, so you don’t need to sweet the little details on your big day.  A great alternative if you can’t find a friend to fill this position is a wedding planner who specialises in on-the-day coordination.

4. Get your beauty sleep!

It’s called beauty sleep for a reason! Who wants to be told “Congratulations, you look exhausted!” on your wedding day? Not even the best wedding makeup artist in the world can stop you looking tired. We need at least 7 to 8 hours of solid sleep a night, yes that means falling asleep and not waking up in the night 3 or 4 times to go to the toilet or get a drink of water.

But I struggle to switch off before bed, you say! Well guess what? The stress and adrenaline I have been talking about causes a viscous cycle and in most cases causes sleep deprivation. Don’t go on Instagram and search wedding centrepieces when you are laying in bed! Looking at a screen immediately before bed will stimulate the stress response, switching on those adrenal glands just before you are due to sleep. Your adrenal glands only need 2-3 hours rest to survive so that’s why you will be waking up every few hours through the night. Have your last coffee before 2pm and get to bed before 10pm. If you exercise at night and feel extremely energetic after your workout, I would suggest working out before work. You’ll feel tired in the evening and allow your body to get the well deserved rest it needs.

Kat specialises in sleep issues and fatigue management.  If you would like more advice on how to reduce your stress, improve your sleep or just get some energy back, call Kat for a comprehensive consultation.  

Mention this blog when you book your Initial consult and receive 30% off! For more information contact kathryn@inaturopathy.com.au or call/text 0433848828.

Is Stress Sabotaging Your Fat Loss Results?


So you’re training really hard, eating well and you’re always on the go. But you’re wondering why the weight isn’t shifting? That never-ending stress might just be what is responsible for that stubborn fat!

What is stress?

Stress is a natural response in our body designed to aid survival. Basically if a Robber walked into the room right now your heart would start pumping blood more efficiently to your arms and legs. Your brain would tell your lungs to start breathing more quickly to increase your Oxygen intake. Your Adrenaline and Cortisol would be circulating your body to give you the energy to survive.

This is called your Fight or Flight Response and it is a mechanism of survival. During Fight or Flight your digestive system and your immune system are shut down because your body temporarily shuts down what it doesn’t need to survive.

This response is normal and is designed to be a short term response. However issues start to arise when this Fight or Flight response occurs regularly on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. Especially if left untreated!

Cortisol

Like Adrenalin, Cortisol is hormone that is secreted from the adrenal glands, which are two little glands that live above your kidneys. Naturally, Cortisol levels should fluctuate through the day. Cortisol levels should be at their highest level first thing in the morning and at their lowest late in the evening around midnight. When put under stress your Cortisol levels can be disrupted. It is when this disruption occurs that encourages weight gain but also influencing where the fat is deposited in your body. Studies have shown that elevated Cortisol linked with stress encourages fat to be deposited around the abdominal area. This is known as “unhealthy” fat as a higher percentage of fat in this area is linked with a higher incidence of cardio vascular disease.

How to reduce stress and Cortisol levels?

Unfortunately external stressors are not always able to be avoided, but what we can do is support your body so that you can handle stress better and prevent the negative effects of increased adrenaline and cortisol from overwhelming your body.

  • Eat every 2-3 hours.
  • Sleep 7-8 hours a night (solidly).
  • Limit coffee to 1-2 cups daily and the last cup before 2pm.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Avoid processed sugars and packet food.
  • Make time to un-busy your mind. Schedule a time at least once a week to have time to relax, read a book, take a bubble bath, enjoy a massage. Pick an activity that you do without your phone or email and you cannot do 2 things at once.

I specialise in Stress Sleep and Fatigue so if you would like to take action and stop stress sabotaging your fat loss book an initial consult with Kat today!

Being Healthy is a Lifestyle not a diet

Being Healthy Is A Lifestyle Not A Diet

Have you tried every diet under the sun and still end up putting on weight or ending up heavier than when you started?

There is no quick fix when it comes to being healthy and crash or fad diets that limit food groups or cause you to starve yourself will only cause you harm in the long run. You have to Be Healthy to Lose Weight. You need to change your way of thinking and remember being healthy is a lifestyle not a diet. If you have imbalances in your body and have a large amount of inflammation your body will do everything it can to prevent shedding fat.

EAT FRESH

Take a look at that packet you just bought off the supermarket shelf and see what ingredients are listed to make sure it is able to sit on the shelf and not go off? I bet there is salt, sugar and probably some preservatives right? Maybe a lot of preservatives? Now think about how your body is going to digest these ingredients, are they going to fuel your body with nutrition or are they going to throw in empty calories and increase acidity? Fresh is always best! Know what you’re eating and make things in the kitchen. Listen to your body when you eat food, are you experiencing bloating or burping soon after? Are you running to the toilet? Your body sends you signs every day to let you know if your meals are being digested well or if there are any issues. You wont notice these signs if you are always eating on the run and rushing to inhale each mouthful so your stomach won’t grumble in your next meeting. Schedule a 20-30 minute meal break in your working day, sit down, focus on what you’re eating and enjoy your meal.

MOVE EVERYDAY

Ever see those “fit” people who are always at the gym?

Well they look fit because they exercise regularly every single week. Exercise is so important to incorporate into your daily schedule. Yes I know you are busy, we all are! I guarantee you there is someone much busier than you who still make time to exercise. Exercise is not just to lose weight. Exercise reduces stress, produces endorphins which help us feel happy, improves our sleep and increases our energy levels. Is that enough reasons? Our bodies were made to move regularly! Have you seen what happens to a dog that doesn’t get his regular walks? He gets borred, sick, destructive and may even try to escape!

SLEEP IS A PRIORITY

We are so lucky to have the best medicine which is free and available to us every single day no matter where we are in the world. That medicine is sleep! I continue to tell my clients to make sleep a priority. Too many of us try and do one last task or send another email after we finish dinner which always takes longer than expected. For optimum body function, Adults require 8 to 8.5 hours of solid sleep. This doesn’t mean retiring to bed 8 hours before your alarm is set. It means 8-8.5 hours of us lying down with our eyelids closed asleep.

HYDRATE REGULARLY

Our bodies are 70% water without it we would not be able to survive! Dehydration can affect the ability to detoxify our blood. It can also impact the natural circadian rhythm in the body leaving us energetic when we should be retiring to bed. The brain is protected by outer membranes which consist of fluid. During dehydration, these membranes loose moisture and cause headaches. If you think water is boring to drink, add fresh fruit to your drink bottle (Goji berries, strawberries, lime or lemon). You should not get to the point where you feel thirsty or drink so much that your urine is completely clear. Aim for 8 glasses of water a day and drink gradually throughout the day!

REPEAT these steps every single day to live your Life with energy and your weight will naturally come off.

Better sleep | Naturopath Bullcreek | Perth

Better Sleep In Six Steps

Better Sleep A Foreign Concept?  Not Any More

Sleep is arguably the most important aspect of your health. During sleep we enable adequate time to remove toxic by products in our brain which is required to prevent conditions such as dementia. Normal liver function is dependent on sleep to build and synthesize cells. Growth hormone production occurs while we sleep to build muscle cells and repair injured cells. Adequate sleep will normalise our appetite by controlling the hormones leptin and ghrelin. These hormones control the feeling of hunger and tell us when we have had enough to eat. Therefore when we do not have enough sleep it can lead to weight gain due to an abnormal appetite.

If you lay awake in bed stressing about particular things or you are finding yourself waking through the night, here are 6 steps to follow to improve your sleep!

1. Move Your Body For Better Sleep

Make time for exercise! Physical activity has amazing health benefits such as improving mood and reducing stress levels. In regard to how exercise directly improves sleep still remains under investigation. Experts suggest that it may be due to the strong correlation between sleep disturbance and conditions such as depression and anxiety. Results from research show us that regular exercise has positive effects on these conditions which could be why there are similar effects from exercise on insomnia and non restorative sleep. If you are not a regular exerciser please know that a one off weights session or boxing class is not likely to have a immediate benefit. Research has identified that a regular exercise program may take several weeks to show significant improvement in sleeping patterns. However your initial session will be a great stress reliever and you will feel better as soon as you finish, so talk to your exercise professional to commit to mind and body benefits today!

2. Limit Your Coffee For Better Sleep

It is a well known fact that a cup of coffee will stimulate and provide a temporary energy boost. Caffeine inhibits adenosine activity which is a neurotransmitter that allows us to fall asleep. Caffeine effects this neurotransmitter in two ways preventing us from falling asleep and also affects the quality of the sleep. Caffeine stays in our system for long periods of time and there may still be approximately 12.5mg of caffeine 20 hours after drinking 200mg of caffeine. If you struggle severely with sleep, try to gently remove coffee all together. Gentle removal is advised to prevent caffeine withdrawals. If you cannot give up your daily caffeine boost make sure you are drinking it for enjoyment rather than to wake up and be sure to consume as early in your day as possible.

3. Drink More Water For Better Sleep

Almost every client I see admits to not drinking enough water daily. It is one of the most easiest and cost effective things to do but yet we all seem to struggle with reaching out required intake. Dehydration can affect the ability to detoxify our blood as well as impact the natural circadian rhythm in the body leaving us energetic when we should be retiring to bed. The brain is protected by outer membranes which consist of fluid and during dehydration, these membranes loose moisture and cause headaches. Water intake does depend on the individual and their level of activity but 8 glasses daily is the recommended intake. As a general guide drink water gradually throughout the day and do not let your urine be completely clear.

4. Food For Thought For Better Sleep

Tryptophan is a very important amino acid which converts into the hormone serotonin after consumption. Serotonin works very closely with sleep inducing hormone melatonin as well as noradrenalin and dopamine encouraging relaxation and positive emotional changes. It is essential to consume tryptophan rich foods regularly to ensure these processes for relaxation and sleep occur effectively. Tryptophan rich sources include spinach, cottage cheese, shellfish, bananas, kiwi fruit and pineapple.

5. Switch Off Your Phone For Better Sleep

Research has been showing us all the harmful effects of our increased use of mobile phones, laptops and tablets. One of the worst things we can do before we close our eyes is check our Facebook or emails. The radiation emitted from mobile phones has been suggested to activate the stress response within the brain causing alertness which in turn affects the ability to fall asleep. Aside from this checking emails or seeing something on Facebook that causes emotional stress or anxiety will cause the individual to think about this right before they close their eyes. Aim to check your phone for the last time at least 20 to 30 minutes before bed.

6. Eat A Small Dinner Early

Eating early allows your digestive system to breakdown the food and assimilate nutrients before you lay down to sleep. Eating a large meal stimulates production of digestive secretions and promotes blood flow to the stomach and intestines. Our metabolic system is programmed to be slowing down before bed so eating a meal late will stimulate it to start working again. The energy absorbed from the meal can also cause a surge in energy as blood sugar levels are elevated which can prevent you from falling asleep and staying asleep. Eat early and sleep well!