Our top tips and tricks to improve your sleep over time

improve your sleep

With COVID-19 running rampant,  holistic health coach Kelly Cohen is here to show you ways to improve your sleep over time.

Do you get enough sleep at night? Are you sleeping at the proper time? Proper sleep is critical for stress management, weight control and overall health. Inadequate sleep leads to decreased immunity, overeating, poor food choices and hormonal disruption.

Sleep is one of the main factors leading to a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing. Getting the right amount of sleep at the correct times helps protect your health, both mentally and physically. While you sleep your body is hard at work to support healthy brain functionality, cleanse your liver, and support developmental growth in children and teens. Sleep plays an important role in your physical health, as it is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels.


Naturally, there are pretty serious side effects to not getting enough sleep. For example, research from the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute has found that sleep deficiency can increase the risk of obesity. One study of teenagers showed that with each hour of sleep lost, the odds of becoming obese went up. That’s not all, as sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity in other age groups as well.

Sleep also helps you maintain a healthy hormone balance, especially with ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry, and leptin the hormone that signals to your brain that you’re full. When you don’t get enough sleep these hormones can become imbalanced as ghrelin rises while leptin decreases.
For children and teens, sleep is so important for supporting healthy growth and development. The hormone HGH is released by the brain into the bloodstream during sleep, and its release is part of the repair and restoration function of sleep. HGH also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in all age groups.

So before you go wondering why one of your bodybuilder friends is taking an HGH supplement as an adult, it will be in efforts to build muscle mass as well as being able to burn fat, all while potentially benefitting from other advantages such as a clearer mind, increased libido, and increased energy levels.

Another dangerous side effect when we don’t get proper sleep is the potential for damage to your immune system.
The immune system protects you from any harmful substances that enter the body. During sleep, the immune system replenishes itself, so if your body isn’t getting the rest it needs you might have trouble fighting infections.


Going through life and stressful work days can lead to inadequate amounts of sleep due to stress and other factors. Obviously, there are lots of tips and tricks to improve your sleep over time, and practicing a few of them will help get your body into the sleep routine that you deserve!

• Start by practicing a relaxing bedtime routine and by detaching from all electronics. Electronics give off bright blue lighting that keeps your body awake, which can also make you stressed, something that isn’t conducive to falling asleep easily, and making you tired the next day!

• Daily exercise (depending on the individual I recommend working out during the early hours of your day instead of nighttime because working out during the night hours can cause sleeping troubles).

• Hot baths and aromatherapy (lavender oil) are also great stress relievers and can help you sleep well. You can also take tablets to help you to get sleep; an example of this is something like magnesium, which can help with getting a good night’s sleep.


When it comes to food, there are plenty of other tips and tricks to improve your sleep that are quick and easy to implement!

Cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control our body’s internal clock, according to a University of Texas study.

A warm glass of milk can help you fall asleep because the milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin.

Jasmine rice ranks high on the glycemic index, meaning the body digests it slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream. A 2007 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming jasmine rice four hours before bedtime cut the amount of time it took to fall asleep in half when compared with eating a high-glycemic-index meal at the same time interval.

Bananas help promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium.

Sweet potatoes are also a great food to help you sleep! Not only do they provide sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates, they also contain that muscle-relaxant potassium. Other good sources of potassium include regular potatoes.

Ashwagandha can help you get a good night rest by reducing stress. Ashwagandha cuts the amount of cortisol, (a hormone commonly released by the body during stressful situations) which helps your body relax and can promote a relaxing sleep during the nighttime.


Before you sleep you want to avoid caffeine, protein and fatty foods.

Chocolate contains not only calories, but caffeine, especially dark chocolate. This sweet treat contains theobromine, another stimulant that can increase heart rate and sleeplessness.

Chicken or any type of protein is going to be counterproductive if consumed at night. Instead of focusing on sleeping, your body is focusing on digesting.

Alcohol might make you pass out, but you will probably wake up sometime during your sleep dehydrated and feeling thirsty.

Spicy foods can produce a lot of stomach acid which can lead to heart burn and bloat that can disrupt your sleep

Fatty foods digest slowly into your body which means your body will work hard to digest these foods before you sleep that can lead to discomfort and gas.

In conclusion, sleep is at the top of the fundamental pillars that compose a healthy lifestyle. It shouldn’t be neglected and by following these simple tips to improve your sleep over time, you’ll be on the path getting a full night’s rest.

Kelly Cohen Nature remedies consultant Kelly Cohen Holistic Health Coach I am Kelly Cohen and as a Holistic Health Coach and future Registered Dietitian I am thankful to have the holistic tools to support you in your wellness journey.