Sleep is so important for our overall health and wellbeing, but is often neglected. Discover how to finally get a good night’s sleep, naturally…
Sleep is a vital, often neglected, component of our overall health. Not getting enough sleep each night can be detrimental for both health and wellbeing. Sleep enables the body to repair, so it’s ready for another day. Getting regular, quality shut eye also helps prevent common ailments and illnesses, such as heart disease, as well as excess weight gain.
“Adequate sleep is incredibly important to our health and it’s as significant as healthy eating and exercising for our health,” explains Joanna Dziedzic, nutritional therapist at Pure Encapsulations. “When our body gets the sleep, it helps our immune cells function better to fight colds or the flu and regulate inflammation. Our mood, concentration and performance also improve with restful night as sleep is important for various aspects of brain function.
“Studies confirm that poor sleep is strongly linked with weight gain and is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity in both children and adults. Poor sleepers have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.”
Nutritionist Rose Holmes, education and training manager at Rio Health, comments: “We can live longer without food than without sleep. And without sleep, not much longer than without water. Even a short period of sleep deprivation can cause irritability, memory lapses, cognitive impairment, impaired judgement inability to focus, increased reaction time, decreased accuracy, risk of obesity and diabetes, growth suppression, impaired immunity and anxiety.
“It is important to get sufficient sleep every night. Ensuring adequate and good quality sleep is a good disease preventative, can beneficially affect the way we look and feel, and it is especially important for cognitive health and healthy ageing.”
Healthy sleep habits
Good sleep habits are vital for establishing regular sleep patterns that maximise our rest and recovery time. Alison Cullen, nutritional practitioner and education manager at A.Vogel, shares her top tips:
- Go to bed at roughly the same time each night, so that your body can plan its wind-down.
- Avoid screens and electronic stimulation for an hour before sleep – if this is extremely hard to achieve then it’s likely that your screen time is interfering with your sleep quality.
- Don’t listen to the news just before bed – make your bedtime routine as soothing as possible.
- Stop eating at least three hours before going to bed, and consider making your midday meal larger and your evening meal lighter, to avoid heavy digestive processes interrupting sleep.
- Top up your magnesium levels if your life features a great deal of stress.
- When good quality sleep is illusive, take Dormeasan Sleep until a healthy pattern is re-established. A combination of two fresh herb extracts, Dormeasan Sleep is licensed for the relief of sleep disturbances associated with mild anxiety.
In addition to setting and sticking to healthy sleep habits, there are some other natural ways you can help support a good sleep pattern.
One of the most common causes of sleep disturbances is stress and/or anxiety. “Stress and anxiety may result in inability to sleep or poor sleep quality; fatigue may result,” confirms Holmes. “Adaptogenic plants like maca may help address anxiety. Peruvian-grown, Rio Amazon Organic Maca is gelatinized (which improves bioavailability and is especially useful for those with sensitive digestion or trouble digesting carbohydrates). Maca is a tasty addition to beverages and recipes, providing adaptogenic properties, reducing anxiety and boosting energy.”
It’s also a good idea to avoid caffeinated food and drinks. Holmes recommends swapping tea and coffee for herbal teas: “Since caffeine, which is often used to combat fatigue, can contribute to dysregulated blood sugar and inability to sleep, replacing highly caffeinated drinks with botanical teas may help. Alternatively, for a more gentle and sustained boost, both mateine (in Yerba Maté) and guaranine (in Guaraná) may help provide both energy and improved mental focus.”