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Tips to quality sleep

Here are 4 ways you can get a better night sleep

  1. Optimize your vitamin D Levels

  2. No caffeine at least 6 hours before bed

  3. Limit the amount of bright light in your room

  4. Take a magnesium supplement

Sleep is such an important aspect to our health and performance. A bad night's sleep can leave us feeling hungry, tired and affect our mood, motivation and work rate over the next day. While we all know getting somewhere between 6-10 hours of sleep is beneficial, what we may not know is that the quality of sleep is just as crucial, especially if you are closer to that 6 hour mark. Continue reading below for some easy ways to improve the quality of your sleep.

Vitamin D - The food and nutrients you consume throughout the day can influence your quality of sleep. Sub optimal Vitamin D levels can cause decreased sleep time, decreased sleep efficiency (measures time it takes you to fall asleep and how often you wakeup during the night) and daytime sleepiness. This is due to a lack of Vitamin D binding to the Vitamin D receptors in certain brain areas which control sleep. Without adequate Vitamin D these systems do not work as efficiently and cause you a lack of sleep. To improve your Vitamin D, you simply can go outside and get a bit more sunlight. However if it is winter or your stuck indoors all day, you may need to consume more in your diet which could include fatty fishes (salmon, tuna) and fortified dairy and alternatives (cheese, egg yolks, soy milk, fortified milk, cereals, salmon).

Limiting Caffeine - Caffeine has a stimulant affect on your body, "waking it up" and helping you feel more alert and react faster . While there is conflicting evidence to whether caffeine will affect your sleep duration, if you are having sleep issues than avoiding caffeine may help manage the problem.

Bright light in the room - Light plays a crucial role in the body's circadian rhythm (when to sleep and when to rest). When the body needs to rest, it produces a sleep hormone called melatonin which helps us get to sleep. Exposure to light suppresses the production of melatonin and can wreck havoc with us falling to sleep and the quality of our sleep. Before bed, try to reduce the amount of exposure to bright lights. There is now a setting on Iphone's which helps reduce the blue light affecting our sleep. You can find it under:

Settings --> Display and brightness --> night shift

Magnesium -Magnesium is an important mineral that helps our body fight inflammation and lower blood pressure. It also helps activate your parasympathetic nervous system, the system which helps the body feel calm and relaxed. Studies have shown that those who are low in magnesium can have troubled sleep and even insomnia in severe cases while studies which have compared magnesium takers to non users found that those taking magnesium had a better quality of sleep, showing higher levels of melatonin and renin, two hormones which help regulate sleep. Some sources of magnesium include quinoa, spinach, black beens and pumpkin seeds as well as other nuts, vegetables, cereals and meat. Magnesium can also been taken as a supplement for those wanting a quicker way of consuming it.

Give these 4 tips a go and watch your sleep quality improve!

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