Picture: Pexels

Having a night of disrupted sleep can leave you worse for wear the next day.

But more than this, it can also be detrimental to your overall health and well-being - and add inches to your waistline. 

Australian nutritionist and best-selling author, Jessica Sepel, has shared how you can overcome sleepless nights, especially when it feels like there is no hope in sight. 

From putting lavender on your pillow and putting your legs up the wall to eating protein for dinner, here FEMAIL takes a look at her top tips.

Jessica's blog post makes it clear as to why we spend  one third  of our lives sleeping.

She explained that sleep helps to repair and restore our bodies for the days ahead.

It also helps when it comes to weight and appetite control  as  when we're tired we are more likely to make poor food choices and skip exercise in  favour  of relaxing at home.

Jessica recommended that you first need to take a look at what you are doing that could be disrupting your sleep, such as being stressed or not eating enough protein at  dinner,  and address those issues.


With our busy schedules, we tend to sacrifice sleep so we can complete tasks that are on our to-do list - but Jessica recommends that we avoid doing this.

Sleep is something that we should be  prioritising  and she said that we should be doing whatever we can to get into bed at a decent time so you can sleep seven to eight hours each night.

If you know you have to wake up early the following morning Jessica suggests turning your lights off earlier than usual the night before. 

'You'll be able to function better in your day-to-day life... You'll be alert at work, make fewer mistakes, and be less reactive to intense or emotional situations,' she wrote.

'Sleep deprivation heightens everything, making it seem worse than it is... You'll also be able to keep your weight, appetite and emotional eating under control, so you'll probably binge less.' 


Another suggestion of Jessica's is to set up a nighttime routine to help yourself unwind at the end of the day.

If you spend time relaxing your busy mind then it helps send signals to your body that it's time for bed.

One main way to do this is by turning your phone and computer off at  8pm  each night and follow this by playing 'chill-out tunes', aiming for music that has 60-80 beats per minute.

She also suggested popping your legs up against the wall for ten minutes, not eating food after dinner and soaking in a bath or reading a book to calm the mind.


Jessica believes that we all need to aim to make our bedrooms as desirable as possible and to learn to associate them solely with sleep.

'In  the hour  or so before bed, dim the lights, put lavender oil on the pillows, and light a candle or burn essential oils,' she recommended. 

'Take away any computers and distractions so the room is a technology-free zone, and ensure the room temperature is comfortable. Ideally, your bedroom should be dark and cool.'

She also suggested keeping a notepad near your bed so whenever pesky thoughts enter your head you can  right  them down.


There is a strong connection between your diet and sleep and there are certain rules you should and shouldn't follow. 

Jessica explained that making sure you're eating enough protein at night can benefit your sleep and blood sugar regulation as low protein meals tend to make it much more difficult to fall asleep.

Other recommendations were to consume good fats, which helps balance out your  hormones,  and eat foods rich in a liver detoxifying enzyme, such as broccoli, cauliflower  and  kale.

Drinking alcohol before bed was one of the things she recommends people do not do.

The same goes for eating refined sugar, which spikes your blood  sugars,  and drinking caffeine after midday.

'Sip on green tea after midday. A lot of people are sensitive to its caffeine content and don't know it,' Jessica concluded. 

Daily Mail