5 Night Routines To Do Before Bed for Better Sleep and Gut Health
We all have a bedtime routine that we do specifically—like meditating, drinking ginger tea or warm milk, putting your phone down a few hours before bed and reading. These routines are believed to have benefits that could help you sleep like a baby. However, did you know that having a solid nighttime routine is a plus from a health-gut perspective, too?
The quality of your sleep is associated with your gut health, as they both support one another. So, what is the easier way to have a quality sleep and a healthy smooth sailing gut? The answer lies within the habits that you practice right before you hit the snooze. Our nutritionist shares a few habits that are well-worth trying before bed to help you to achieve your best quality of zzz’s, keeping your gut happy by having smooth digestion and wake up with a boost of energy that will help you to get your productivity adrenaline rush on!
1. Give your brain some time-out
Many people go to sleep with a high amount of stress, forgetting to wind down from a long day and logging off from emails or parent duties minutes before they want to sleep. Due to the relationship of your gut and brain, mental stress also stresses out your digestive tract and vice versa. This could result in stomach upset, diarrhoea or constipation, depending on each person. By setting aside 5 to 10 minutes of meditation or any relaxing activities such as reading, listening to calm music or ASMR before going to bed, you will give some opportunity to relax and get your mind off any of the stressful stuff before you hit the snooze. This not only gives benefits for your digestive health, but also helps you to improve the quality of your sleep.
2. Eat some fibres, drink tea with ginger or cup of warm milk
Eating some fibres as snacks a few hours before sleep can help improve your sleep quality while giving time for your digestive system to work smoothly. This could help in avoiding constipation in the morning. Not only that, almonds are also good as it contains fibres, protein and healthy fats. The magnesium in almond could help in promoting better sleep due to its ability to reduce inflammation.
Camomile tea has also been proven to contain antioxidants that can reduce inflammation, reduce anxiety and depression and improve skin health. In addition, chamomile tea has some unique properties that may improve sleep quality. Besides that, ginger has a calming effect on the digestive tract and warm beverages such as milk may be soothing as well. Additionally, it may help reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to interrupt sleep
3. Eat probiotics
Probiotics are bacteria that live in your body and provide a variety of health benefits. They play a role in mood, digestive health, and they help to make certain vitamins such as synthesising vitamin B12. Their main function is to help your gut digest food, breakdown nutrients, and level out harmful bacteria. They can play a role in a lot of aspects of your health, from gut health to your mood. So when should you pop a capsule or rip off your sachets?
If you’re taking a live strain probiotic supplement, ideally you want to take them 20 minutes after you eat, first thing in the morning or right before bedtime. This allows more of the probiotics to get into the large intestines where they will have the most benefits.
4. Do some stretching
We all know that stretching is good for your joints, muscles, digestion and even promotes relaxation. Stream 5 to 10 minutes of your favourite stretching gurus before sleeping and it might improve your gut health, stimulate blood flow and help dealing with constipation and bloating so you will be ready to go in the morning.
5. Dim the lights, reduce room temperature and use aromatherapy
Using dim or red lights before bedtime may help you sleep better. Avoid direct bright light exposure before bed. This will help maintain your natural sleep cycle. Dimming the light gradually before sleep can help your body to prepare to go to sleep. This is because the absence of light sends a critical signal to the body that it is time to rest.
Your body’s temperature decreases during sleep, and a cool, but not cold, room will help you settle into and maintain sleep throughout the night. In addition, aromatherapy can help you to set the mood. One of the most popular scent used for relaxation and sleeping is lavender. It has a soothing scent that's long been associated with relaxation and sleep, and used as a natural remedy for anxiety.