A Nutritionist's Guide to Unwinding After a Long Day - Women's Health

A Nutritionist’s Guide to Unwinding After a Long Day

Because better sleep helps better your gut.

by | Sep 23, 2021

We know that the last year and a half has had a huge impact on our wellbeing, with more than 40% of people aged 25-40 saying they feel stressed all or most of the time. We also know that stress can affect sleep, gut health, and weight gain, not to mention a bunch of other parts of our lives.

So to understand how we can make the best of the few hours before we go to sleep, we spoke to accredited nutritionist, Faye James, about her how lowering stress levels in the evening before bed can improve the duration and quality of sleep, optimise gut health and lower our stress hormone – and the 10 practices she follows to do exactly that.

1. Yoga

“I do a little light yoga stretches to help ease any tension. I have a vinyasa flow routine which takes me through a few sun salutations which work on specific areas in the glutes, hips and back where we store tension.”

2. Meditation

“I have a 10-meditation session where I calm my thoughts and concentrate on my breathing. I sit somewhere quiet maybe on the beach if I have time to empty my thoughts and switch off.”

3. Dinner

“I have a light dinner that isn’t too heavy or difficult to digest. If you have a heavy meal this can often interrupt your sleep patterns which in turn causes stress.”

4. Alcohol

“I avoid alcohol at least four hours before bedtime so I don’t experience an interrupted sleep. Research shows that alcohol can have a profound effect on the quality of your sleep.”

5. Timing

“I stop eating at 7pm so I allow my body enough time to digest before bedtime and allow my body to fast for at least 12 hours. Research shows that intermittent fasting helps promote healthy gut bacteria, cell regeneration and reduction of stress.”

6. Bath

“I have a hot bath with magnesium salts and lavender oil to help ease any aches and pains. These two ingredients work well to ease stress as well.”

7. Tea

“Then I have a warm cup of Herbalife Nutrition Relaxation Tea which contains lemon balm, passionflower, camomile, and lavender. Research shows that these herbs can calm the body and mind and support relaxation.

8. Technology

“I put away all my devices at least 2 hours before bedtime so I can decongest from social media and news. Too much social media can make you anxious and stressed.

9. Magnesium

“I apply magnesium and lavender cream to my body just before bedtime. I find this really helps me enter a peaceful sleep and promotes relaxation.

10. Breathe

“I take a deep breath and take time to be grateful for everything in my life. Gratitude helps us gain perspective on our worries and stress.


By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the new web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men's and Women's Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she has a mean punch inside and out of the ring. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.

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But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 


Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

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All Access

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Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

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Outdoor Voices

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Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

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Spiritual Gangster

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