Sleep is essential to good health. Poor quality of sleep has been linked to a wide range of problems, including heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It is also a risk factor for mental health problems such as depression and anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, according to statistics, 25 per cent of the UK population suffer from some form of sleep problem which usually results to excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue and the big word: STRESS.
While sleeping pills are always available, these medications are addictive and have side effects. Long-term use of sleeping pills has been found by experts to be potentially harmful to health. Good thing, there are natural sleep-inducing ways that are safe and effective! Here are some of them:
Take Melatonin – graveyard shift? Taking melatonin supplement may just be the answer. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates our biological clock, telling our body when it should sleep and when it should wake up. However experts warn that such kind of supplement is not for everyone. Melatonin is best recommended for those who need to reset their body clocks or those dealing with jet lag. Consult your doctor first before resorting to this natural therapy.
Listen to Lullabies – even adults can benefit from night time lullabies. That’s according to a research published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing. Here, scientists foudn that participants who listened to music for 45 minutes improved their quality of sleep by 35 per cent. But to reap its benefits, experts recommend listening to mellow, slow and steady music like classical tunes or soft jazz. Enjoy relaxing music.
Get out of bed – Many people believe that to cure insomnia, they have to stay in bed for a much longer time. But the harder you try to fall asleep, the more it becomes impossible. Experts suggest going out of bed instead. Bed should be associated with ‘sleeping’ and not discomfort or anxiety. Consider reading a book in the living room or writing a journal. Once you feel sleepy, it’s time to get back to bed.
Snack on cherries – cherries are naturally loaded with melatonin, a fact that makes them an effective remedy for sleeping problems. In one study, participants who drank eight ounces of sour cherry juice in the morning and another at night reported a significant improvement in their sleeping habits.
Drink lemon balm tea – For centuries, people have benefited from the sleep-inducing effects of lemon balm. This herbal treatment, when taken in tea form, does not only promote good sleep but also aids digestion and reduces agitation.
Buy a sound machine – This small device produces a consistent sound of rushing air which is very similar to the wind blowing through the trees. Such relaxing sound can counterbalance a partner’s loud snoring or the noise from the neighbourhood which often prevent a deep and restful sleep. Enjoy relaxing music.
Take Valerian root extract – this herb acts as a sedative which reduces anxiety and calms the body, therefore promoting sleep. Experts recommend taking 400 to 900 mg of valerian extract 30 minutes to 2 hours before bedtime for 28 days to experience its sleep-enhancing effects.
Herbal medicine – other than lemon balm and valerian root, there are some other herbal medications that promote sleep, such as chamomile and sage. These popular herbs are commonly found in tea forms and are widely available in groceries and supermarkets.
Consider aromatherapy - either as a massage or as a treatment with essential oils on your pillow, handkerschief, room scent, candle, reed diffuser, in the bath, vaporised. or in a cream, ointment, tea, or tincture. The sweet scent of lavender acts as a mild sedative which helps you nod off easily and sleep more soundly. Lavender aromatherapy comes in different forms, such as lotions, shower gels, bath salts and massage oils. You may also want to spray lavender-flavoured air freshener in your bedroom. I sell a great range of essential oils and aromatherapy products to create peace in the mind.
Take a warm bath – soaking in a hot tub relaxes your muscles and relieves tension from your body, preparing you for a restful sleep. Not only that. While you’re in the tub, your core body temperature rises and quickly drops as you get out. According to experts, this mechanism stimulates the release of melatonin. Adding bubbles on your bath may help retain heat in the water.
Have a massage – The release of powerful restful hormones is a key benefit of massage. Have a massage – relaxing or deep tissue – and you will notice the difference with a good night’s sleep following your massage. I have a great range of classic massages and speciality massages - there's sure to be one for you!
By following these natural strategies, you are sure to have a deep and restful sleep tonight and a refreshing day ahead. Sweet dreams!
Steve x x