Better Sleep? Read on…

Is lack of sleep getting you down? A sound nights sleep is essential for a well functioning, healthy body & a sharp, clear mind. A poor nights sleep is frustrating, exhausting & a common issue for many people.

But, I am here to help, I have collated some of my favourite sleep tips (did I mention I had insomnia for about the first 20 years of my life? Notice i said HAD…)

Our sleep cycle, is exactly that, a cycle and like with anything cyclic it’s not all dependant just on what you do when you get into bed. Everything you do throughout your day & week can greatly impact the quality of each night’s sleep.

Our sleep cycle also has a huge impact on our hormones, mood, menstrual cycle & so much more.

These simple tips below can help you create a sleep pattern that makes it easy to fall asleep, stay asleep & wake feeling more refreshed.

It won’t happen overnight, but within a few days you’ll start to notice a difference.

1. The state of the room
Look around your bedroom, does it feel like a beautiful scared space?

Is it;
Clear & clutter free?
Inviting, comfortable & cosy?
Soothing?

Clean it up- The state of our bedroom has a huge impact on how we feel going into bed. The bedroom needs to be tidy & clean as this promotes calm to the brain. Fresh clean sheets always help too.

Get it flowing- To sleep well the room needs to have good oxygen flow, ideally, sleep with the window open, even just a crack. If this isn’t possible, open the windows during the day to allow a fresh flow of air through the room or even for an hour prior to bedtime, yes even in Winter!
Adding some live plants to the room is another great way to increase the oxygen flow in the room. Peace lollies are great indoor plants & look beautiful in a bedroom surrounding the bed.

Sage the space- Once a week cleanse the energy of the room with some sage or a clearing spray, to clear out anything stagnant or old. If you’ve had a bad dream or an argument (always better to move out of the bedroom if you are anyway) sage the room to get rid of any stagnant negative energy.

2. Dinner time
Consider what time you eat, how close to bedtime this is?
You need about 2 hours to digest food properly before bedtime (depending what you eat). If you must eat late before bed, a light easy-to-digest meal will make a difference (eg. eggs or soup).
If you are trying to digest food whilst you’re sleeping, your sleep will be interrupted and/or you won’t digest your food (think weight gain, bloating, low energy)

3. Create a Morning & Evening Ritual
Consistency is key, the brain loves consistency. After a week of a regular ‘bedtime’ routine, the brain & body will start to become aware of what is happening and will begin to anticipate sleep.

Morning;
Get some morning sun. When you wake, go outside get some sunshine on your skin, look up at the sky, close your eyes and face the sun, let it penetrate your eyelids. This signifies to the brain that it’s morning/daytime and your hormones are adjusted accordingly ready for the day. This helps with morning energy levels too.

Evening;
Create a simple 15min bedtime routine that you do every night before bed. This can be individual and needs to suit you & your style & situation.

It could include;
Light some candles
Take a shower, or bath
Apply an oil (see point 10)
Drink a small cup of a warm calming tea
Put ‘pjs’ on

4. Get naked
Sleeping naked, helps your body regulate it’s own temperature & body temp is super important for a good sleep. If you are too hot, the sleep will be restless and you may have nightmares.
Over a few days, the body will regulate the temp it needs to be.

If you sleeping next to someone, this can often lead to a natural spike in sex drives too (added bonus!!) and an orgasm is always a great sleep inducer.
However please note… sex without an orgasm can actually leave you feeling frustrated and make it even harder to sleep…. if you don’t regularly orgasm with sex that’s a whole ‘nother issue and we need to address this too (stay tuned for next article)

5. Screen time
Phones, ipads and Televisions all emit blue light.

Blue light signals to the brain that it is time to ‘wake’. So staring at a screen before bedtime reduces your levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and interrupts your sleep cycle.

Best case scenario turn screens off an hour before bed and that means leaving them outside the bedroom too. If they are beeping all night this also impacts sleep. Phones emit constant Electromagnetic frequencies & we are susceptible to these whilst we sleep. You are asleep anyway (or trying to be) so have a break from them! Think sacred space, see point 1.

2nd best scenario- if you can’t avoid the phone for whatever reason, switch your screen to a yellow light from around 4pm in the afternoon… (on a iphone- got to Settings > Display & Brightness > Nightshift > Schedule > Set to and From times accordingly).

You can also purchase some yellow light glasses and wear these around the house before bed or whilst you are on the computer if you have to study or work.

6. Caffeine
Probably an obvious one, but if you have issues with sleep, get rid of it, at least until you are rocking the sleep cycle.
Yes you’ll be more tired initially, but if you can, suck it up for a week and reap the benefits!
This includes all stimulants- Vs, red bulls and so on.

7. Love the dark
The darker the bedroom the better.
Using a sleep mask can work wonders. It can take a few nights to get used to it, but again it works on a hormonal level & sleeping in a dark room, helps the brain recognise sleep time & do it’s thing.

You can also start to prepare for bed, a few hours before, by switching to lamps & candles instead of overhead lights.

8. Make it regular
Remember it’s a cycle, cycles signify rhythm, so help it out and make it regular.
It’s been said that bed before 10pm & waking before 7am is a routine attributed to optimal health.

At different stages throughout the night, different organs become more active according to Chinese Medicine. An hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 after midnight…. Our Liver meridian is active between 1-3am and since we love to work our livers hard these days, getting the necessary shut eye between 1-3am helps your body detoxify.

9. Sleep Hygiene
And I don’t mean did you shower (see point 3 for that)
Sleep hygiene relates to maintaining a regular pattern relative to the previous day.
The idea here is that you aim to go to bed within 30mins either side of the previous nights bedtime.
Consistency is key with sleep cycles, so creating a regular bedtime is essential, however life happens & we are here to enjoy it! So if you say go to bed usually at 10pm, but it’s Friday night and you end up in bed at midnight…. the next night, Saturday, you want to aim for bed between 11:30-12:30.
If every night is totally different this will be an issue for creating a sleep cycle.

So what we are aiming for here is a regular bedtime routine…. BUT when things change & we have a change in our plan, we want to consider this.

10. Quick Tips to help with sleep
Address your stress! At this moment in time, we are highly stressed beings. Even when we are unaware of it. If your body is living in fight/flight mode most of the time. Your sleep will be impacted. Find ways to lower your stress levels. Meditation, seeking treatment (natural therapies can work wonders with stress) connecting with nature, gentle exercise (intense exercise does the opposite) and so on.
Essential oils– work wonders for sleep. Try Lavender, Cedarwood, Geranium, or chamomile. You can use a diffuser in the bedroom, apply them to your skin before bed as part of an evening routine, or even a few drops on our pillow case (watch the eyes)
HT7 acupoint, is the key point for insomnia & sleep. You can gently hold this whilst you lie in bed. Located on the outer area f your wrist, underneath your pinky. On the crease line the wrist & the palm.
Breathing- Focused breathing exercises help calm your body and prepare it for sleep. Laying
in bed, take a deep breath in for 5 counts and then breathe out for 5 counts, repeat 10 times. This helps slow the body & synchronise the nervous system.

So there are a bunch of simple tips to try, give them a go & see what works for you. If you are still having issues, a Kinesiologist can help you, make an appointment today!

I’ve included a chart below that you can print out & put on the fridge as a daily reminder & apply your own ideas to make this work for you.

Concept

Suggestions to help

How I will make this work for me

A scared Space Get some sage, incense or a spray
Tidy, declutter the room
Get some plants
Dinner Time Set a specific time
Plan meal in advance
Morning Ritual

Evening Ritual

Get some sunshine

Do some stretches

Create a bedtime ritual

Shower, bath, oil, candles etc

Get Naked Enough said…
Screen Time Set a time to switch off
Create a spot to leave phones at night
Get a different alarm
Caffeine Cut it out
Or Set a limit.. none after 10am
Love the dark Set a time to switch to lamps
Make the bedroom dark/ Get a eye mask
Make it Regular Set a REALISTIC Bed / wake time. Stick to it for a week
You can adjust this again the following week
Sleep Hygiene Plan your weeks bedtimes within 30mins of each previous day
Extras

Use some oils

Use HT7 Acupoint

Address Stress

Breathing exercise

Do you have some tips yourself? Share below and help others who might be suffering from sleep issues….

 

 

 

 

S**ty Sunday?

Cry

In a quest to be authentic in everything I do these days, I’m going to be totally honest….

I woke up feeling S**t today

Annoyed, agitated, frustrated, angry, sad…

Actually I fell asleep feeling this way, as a result I had a bad dream, a bad night’s sleep and now I’d woken up like this.

So why am I sharing this? Well I feel that the social media world can use a bit more honesty and a little less “highlight reel” sometimes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about being positive, ask anyone who knows me, I do genuinely live my life in a pretty big bubble of happiness and positivity, and until recently I didn’t even let myself connect with or feel these ‘bad’ emotions mentioned above.

However recently, I have learned that these emotions are not bad, nor should they be ignored, they bubble up and become present to show us that something isn’t sitting right with us in our lives.

Our job is to acknowledge them, work out what the cause of the emotion is and realign ourselves to our true path, whatever that may be.

So when I woke up like this today, I had a huge desire to snap at my gorgeous husband, Kick my beautiful dog off the bed and throw a bit of an all-round tantrum and then slump further into a grumpy mood for the rest of the Sunday, an action that I knew I would regret as Monday morning dawned on me and I realised I had wasted our Sunday together in a crappy mood.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Well luckily I keep a bit of a go-to-list handy of things that help bring me back to my natural happy state (an idea I adopted from the gorgeous Melissa Ambrosini, if you’re not already following her, do yourself a favour!). I told my hubby I needed an hour to myself and went off to run a bath, listen to some music and do some yoga. At the end of the hour I wrote down 5 things I am grateful for (it can be pretty hard to stay grumpy after this exercise).

However what is REALLY important to note (and this is where the Kinesiology work comes in handy) is that before I tried to move the crappy emotions off, I connected with them.

Whilst lying in the bath I let myself feel each one angry, frustrated, agitated, annoyed and sad.

Don’t make the same mistake that I made for years where I believed that not feeling emotions, or supressing them and keeping on being ‘positive’ is the same as genuinely being happy and positive. Note-this can end up in your body expressing them as illnesses (and in my case they did!).

Suddenly it became very clear to me what the cause of them was and I now know what I need to shift & change to stop myself feeling this way right now.

Inspired action baby!

I connected with what had triggered this crap feeling, I am aware of where I am ‘off path’ and now because of this knowledge I have the power to point myself back in the right direction for me.

And guess what, after some me-time, movement and connection I feel really good and excited to start my Sunday.

And most importantly;

I can do it all from a place of love

*Photo credit unknown, but isn’t it stunning?

 

6 Flat Belly Tips you may not have heard

Time to Chill

Flatter Belly? Right this way…..

Motivation is usually peaking for people in January, it’s a new year, it’s summer, holidays are coming up, so it’s no surprise many of us are feeling motivated to get moving, drop some of the Xmas overindulgence and commit to adopting a healthy lifestyle for the next ‘8 weeks’.

Now many kick start programs are great but as any of the good programs will tell you, the journey to a gorgeous, fit, healthy body stretches far beyond the 8 week mark.
So I thought I’d share my ‘Top 6 tips for a Flat Belly’ that are easy rituals to add to your daily routine so that you can carry these on all through the year! Because it’s nice to feel and look good in winter too isn’t it?

We have ALL heard the ‘eat your greens’, ‘cut the carbs’, ‘biggest meal at breakfast advice’….. Well some of these tips below are going to seem so simple that many of you will pass right on by and disregard them.
But for those of you who decide to commit to these, I promise you, you will notice the change
1. CHEW your food!

Next time you eat a meal, pay attention to how many times you chew your mouthful before swallowing, as in, actually count your chews. My guess would be that on average you might bite 5-6 times before swallowing that mouthful.

The action of chewing actually kick-starts the digestive processes and helps your digestive tract prepare for food. You are also commencing the breakdown of the food, to allow the body to use it. The more you help it along at the beginning, the less work that has to happen down in your gut.

If you suffer from after meal bloating, I am especially talking to you!

At meal times, start paying attention and try to consciously chew each mouthful 21 times before swallowing and taking the next mouthful.

Not only does this help the digestive process, it slows down the entire eating process and you are far less likely to go back for seconds, as you will notice you feel full and satisfied as you are actually savouring your food.

2. Create Meal time Rituals

How do you approach your food and meal time?

E V E R Y T H I N G is energy

So consider how you
• Make your meal
• Decorate your plate
• Speak to yourself whilst you eat

Do you spend time preparing a meal you are excited about? Do you sit calmly and eat? Do you look at your food with gratitude and appreciation? Savouring every mouthful?

Or are meal times a hurried, rushed experience mixed with stress and guilt?

Ideas for creating a mealtime ritual
• Plan, plan, plan. Have a plan for the weekly meals before you do the grocery shopping. It’s easier to create a delicious, healthy, exciting meal when you have thought about it in advance.
• Eat at the table
• Turn the TV OFF (especially the news!), put the phone down and switch off the computer. If you think your digestive system can work properly whilst listening to the dramas of the day, you’re wrong.
• Give thanks for what you are eating & really feel grateful.
• Watch the thoughts- If you catch yourself speaking negatively about your food or feeling guilty stop eating, take a moment and then make a choice. Choose to either make a change to what you are eating or enjoy every mouthful with delight.

3. Skip the liquids

This is my 95 year old Nana’s lifelong habit!

Think of your digestion like a fire burning in in the pit of your belly.

When the fire burns brightly, food is digested easily, nutrients can be removed from the food and passed onto the cells in your body. This burning, churning fire is what we want.

Now imagine this fire in your stomach is preparing for the food and all of a sudden it is hit with a flood of liquid…… we all know what happens to a fire when liquid hits it, it goes out!

Now to make things more complicated, if you are someone who’s digestion is a bit sluggish already (your fire isn’t burning so brightly to start with), it means it has to work even harder now that it is being covered in liquid.

So, what to do? Try enjoying your drinks a little while before or after your meals and then whilst you eat, try to do so without drinking. (If this isn’t possible all the time, do it when it is!)

4. Pay attention to your body

Yes it’s a great idea to eat a big meal at breakfast, and a smaller meal at dinner.
Yes raw foods are great.
Yes protein helps you build muscle.

But it is important to honour your body and respect the individual needs of it.

How can you do this?

By listening to it.
Get present, get real and pay attention to it, it will tell you what you need.

For example, for years and years I have forced myself to eat a big breakfast. Did I ever want it? No. Did I enjoy it? No. Did I do it anyway because it’s what you’re meant to do, yes!

Only when I started really connecting to my body did I realise, that for me- I’m not hungry in the morning, I wake full of energy and a nice light breakie leaves me feeling vibrant, full of energy and ready to tackle the day.

A light breakfast and then a large hearty lunch was actually what I needed to run at optimal levels.

Since making this change, I have more even energy, and my digestion runs better.

Honour your body and respect that whilst there are certain ‘suggestions’ the health industry may make, trust that only your body actually knows what is actually best for it, if you are able to listen to it.

Now this can be a tricky one and can take some practise, kinesiology is a great tool to help YOU figure out what YOU need by asking detailed questions to map out the holistic state of your body.

5. Poop

It is really simple, if you want a flat belly, you have to poop. Daily.
If you want glowing skin, you have to poop.
If you want energy and vibrancy, poop.

What goes in, must come out.

If this isn’t happening for you, you need to speak to a professional. A naturopath, a Kinesiologist, an acupuncturist would all be able to assist.

6. Watch the fruit

Some of you may have already heard of food combining.
This simple method of watching what you eat together, can make a difference for many people.

Because different foods are digested in different stages and processed differently in our digestive system it makes sense to avoid eating certain foods together.

Fruit is a big one!

Because of the make-up of Fruit it moves through at a different rate to other foods and therefore if you eat dinner followed by some fruit for dessert, you can create some disharmony in your digestive system. The fruit will have to sit and ‘wait’ for the other food to catch up creating a ‘rotting’ effect which can create bloating and discomfort.

By all means, don’t stop eating fruit! Just try to consider the timing of it.

Fruit is best digested 30mins before other food or about 2 hours after.

If you want to explore this in more detail look at “food combining” or “the Body Ecology Diet”.

So there you have it! 6 simple ways to avoid the bloat and get a flatter belly year round.

New Year, Same me?

The start of a New Year always ignites an overwhelming amount of “New Year, New You” campaigns everywhere you look, hey I’m a fitness industry girl, I’ve even helped write plenty of these myself over the past decade.

But this year, I’m suggesting a different approach.

In a society where we are constantly striving, driving, trying- ‘trying to be good’, ‘trying to diet’, ‘trying to not lose my temper’- the idea of a ‘new you’ can sound really enticing and starting the year ‘fresh’ with these goals is an exciting bandwagon to jump on.

However, it is common knowledge that our ambitious ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ tend to lose their sparkle around about February, and why is this?

Well, often the reason you are striving, driving and trying so hard is because you are in fact not being ‘You’ to start with! So being another ‘New’ version of ‘not you’ is even harder work! I can feel the pressure now.

The beautiful thing is;

It is not hard work to be ‘You’

It happens without you doing anything,

You are actually YOU!

(Excuse the simplicity)

It only becomes a challenge when we are ‘trying’ to be what we think we need to be

Thinner, curvier, happier, more outgoing, less outgoing, smarter, prettier, more organised, super mum, less feisty, the list goes on.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for embarking on a new exercise or health program and I am all for healthy eating and living and why not at the start of the year, there is no time better than now.

But let’s take some pressure off, let’s watch what we are saying to ourselves, let’s embrace who it is we naturally are and then let’s be in love with that before we start ‘trying’ to edit ourselves.

When you let yourself be who you naturally are, life just flows.

“Make choices because you LOVE your body, not because you hate it.”

Not sure where to start? Kinesiology and Mind Body Medicine can help you ‘reset’ your self-belief and there is definitely no better time to do that, than right now.

Start Now!

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D E C E M B E R

Common December vibes =

Tired, Stressed, busy, hectic, social, rushing, and hanging for those public holidays for a day or two of rest!

We have a tendency to hit the ‘pause’ button on everything at this time of year, why is it that “there’s no point starting now, may as well wait til after Xmas” or “after Xmas I’ll…..” or my favourite “we have to catch up before Xmas!!” said to someone we haven’t seen since February? (Why do we do this?)

Sound familiar? What is it exactly, that we think happens after Xmas?

I’d like to paint a different picture for you;

Feeling tired, stressed, anxious, run down, ready for a break is a really common December vibe, it’s also a time when socially we tend to get really busy and we have a tendency to ‘over indulge’.

What if you decided to start working on your health, fitness, life goals NOW (yes in December!)

What if you prioritised your own needs at this time of year and allocated some of those hundreds of $ that get spent on gifts at Xmas and some of those many hours that get spent doing things for others, on yourself and invested in your own health?

I M A G I N E starting 2016 ALREADY 4 weeks into your ‘New Year’s Resolutions’

I M A G I N E starting the New Year already feeling great!

I M A G I N E not falling in a heap and getting sick during your holidays because you have pushed yourself all year.

I M A G I N E feeling like you had energy to really enjoy the Xmas period, the firing digestive system & happy Liver to cope with the ‘over indulgence’ and the emotional awareness to actually enjoy the company of all your loved ones without overwhelm and frustration.

Whether you decide to try Kinesiology & Mind Body Medicine, see a Naturopath, an Acupuncturist, contact a Personal Trainer or even just book in with your GP for a full heath check (actually book in with my GP as he is the best!) do it NOW, when you have 4 full weeks ahead to get started on those goals.

You have 72 lots of 20mins EACH DAY and 4 full weeks ahead, don’t have time? Watch how quickly you burn through some of those 72 chunks on social media. Don’t have $, why not spend $10 less per Xmas gift and give some of your hard earned $ back to yourself?

Make yourself, your health and your life your priority TODAY!

I’m practising what I preach and I’ve just called and booked I with my GP for my end of year ‘full blood count’ to see what effect 12months of being ‘almost Vegetarian’ has had on my body.

Want to find out how Kinesiology & Mind Body Medicine can help you achieve your goals, call or PM me.

Some of my Favourite Practitioners;
• Gym George Training Studio– Holistic Personal Training
Dural NSW
• Laura Burton of Burton Health Naturopathy
Dural or St Leonards NSW
• Kim Gatenby Acupuncture
Dural or St Leonards NSW
• Dr Timothy Carr – General Practitioner
Barwell Medical Centre Castle Hill, NSW

The Moon Goddess

The Moon Goddess
I’d like to tell you a story, it’s about a Goddess named ‘Moon”. Around the time of her 14th Birthday she is given a gift, not just any gift, a special gift from the universe, this gift holds many special powers & signifies all that is feminine in this world. However moon is not sure about this gift, she receives it with uncertainty, some dismay, & confusion. She questions some of the close females around her and they confide that they too, were also bestowed this gift at the same age, they tell her stories of the nuisance that this gift is, the discomfort and inconvenience it brings with it. With horror Moon learns that the gift will return every month for the next many years of her life. Moon feels she has been tricked, as it does not seem like a gift at all?

Over the next ten years or so, as promised every month the gift returns and each time is met with Moon’s intolerance, annoyance, and disgust. The gift grows tired of being treated in such a way that she becomes disheartened herself & takes less pride in presenting herself in a pleasant way. The gift feels angry, rejected and hurt- she thought she was doing the right thing by Moon- perhaps not? Each month Moon continues to greet her gift with annoyance which soon grows into resentment and after not long hatred, because now, as the gift returns each month with a heavy heart she brings with her, all of her pain and discomfort.

By now, Moon has fallen madly in love with a God named Sun and they have decided it is time to have a baby. After many months of ‘trying’ and no success, Moon becomes frustrated and starts to seek help from the wise shaman ‘Earth’ for answers as to what is wrong with her body?

Finally after what feels like a long time, Moon and Sun are blessed with the arrival of their beautiful baby girl.
The years go by and Sun & Moon grow, as does their family and as moon enters her 5th decade she notices that her gift has stopped coming to see her. She feels sad as she never realised all the beauty that the gift signified; her youth, her femininity, her ability to create life. She feels regret for the fact that she never thanked the gift for what it brought her, or never told it how much she appreciated the blessings it bestowed upon her.

As her daughter nears her 14th Birthday, Moon decides to talk to her about the chance of the gift arriving for her. She tells a story of beauty, femininity, promise. She tells her to treasure the moments with this gift, to greet it at every opportunity with love, respect and appreciation. Her daughter becomes excited and assures her mother that she will always remember what a gift it actually is.

The End.

I dedicate this story to my mother, as a thank you for ensuring I was always informed, & aware, for honouring all my questions & for celebrating this experience with me.

In part two of this series, we will explore what is actually a ‘normal’ Moon cycle, question what you should be accepting as part of it & investigate what your thoughts & beliefs are about it. Stay tuned, you are not going to want to miss it!

 

4 Wise Monkeys MBM