Why can't I sleep?
31st July 2017
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 “Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” – Thomas Dekker

This is probably the most common complaint I hear at Health Rise.

The reason why sleep issues can be difficult to solve is due to the fact there could be hundreds of potential reasons why people suffer from sleep problems and disorders. 

Sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea, insomnia, anxiety, restless legs syndrome, Bruxism, certain medications, depression, menopause, etc. would all warrant their extensive forms of treatment and should be investigated more thoroughly on an individual basis.  Please contact jennie@healthrise.co.uk for further information.

For general sleeping problems, there are some excellent remedies that a person can start adopting…..

 

Good Sleep Hygiene

Mobile Phones, Computers & Ipads, etc. should be turned off at least ONE hour before bed. Focus on quiet, soothing activities such as reading or listening to soft music.  Meditation also helps many people prepare for sleep.  We have just started turning off the WiFi in our house every evening and have noticed an improvement in the quality of our sleep.

Eating too close to bedtime can not only affect your sleep but also cause heartburn. Drinking too much fluid before bed could result in a bathroom call several times during the night.  Alcohol robs you of REM (the deeper stage of sleep) and is also a diuretic, so more trips to the loo!

Breathing deeply and fully, involving not only the chest, but also the belly, lower back, and rib cage can help relaxation. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Your bedroom should be as dark as possible; are you due for a new mattress or pillow? An old or worn out bed will contribute to sleeping problems, and an old pillow will contain dried sweat and skin which can trigger allergies.

Supplementing with the mineral Magnesium has been shown to improve symptoms of fatigue in persons with low magnesium levels.

Putting a few drops of Lavender on you pillow at night has a relaxing effect on the body.  Consider a relaxing Epson Salt bath (use a generous amount) and 20 drops of Lavender essential oil an hour or two before bedtime.

Chamomile Tea has been used as a sleep aid for thousands of years, so sipping this before bed can help.  Passion flower tea is also very relaxing for the nerves and as an aid for a good nights sleep.

White noise is a consistent noise that comes out evenly across all audible frequencies.

When you go to sleep, turn on the white noise. My personal favourite is a fan, but there are even white noise machines tuned specifically to drown out the sound.

 

Are you getting enough exercise during the day? Even a 15-minute walk can stimulate a good nights sleep.

Recipes for Natural Sleep Aids (Courtesy of Dr Axe)

There are several different ways you can create your natural sleep aids. Start with the following recipe:

Bedtime Kefir with Turmeric and Cinnamon

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup goat’s milk kefir 
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric 
  • Dash of cinnamon to taste
  • Dash of nutmeg to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place the kefir in a mug.
  2. Add the turmeric and blend well.
  3. Top with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Sip before bedtime.

If you decide to warm the kefir, make sure you don’t boil it. Regardless, heating it causes loss of useful probiotics, but it won’t cause the loss of the natural sleep aids magnesium and calcium.

Honey and Salt

This is a very old remedy, and it turns out there may be some scientific backing to this decades old idea… Salt can help lower cortisol levels and balance blood sugar levels, which is what you want at night for restful sleep. Natural sugars can help by elevating insulin slightly, which helps lower cortisol.

What to Do: Combine a tiny amount (1/2 tsp) of a natural raw or Manuka honey with a sprinkle of natural salt, Himalayan or Celtic sea salt and consume 15-20 minutes before bed.  Alternatively, it can be added to a cup of chamomile tea.

Sleeping pills and sleep aids are most effective when used for short term situations, such as travelling across time zones, sudden grief or recovering from a medical procedure. Your insomnia won’t be cured by sleeping pills—in fact, over the long-term they can make insomnia worse. 

Natural Supplement Recommendation

Cytoplan Cyto-Night - contains a mix of ingredients which are naturally soothing to aid with sleep. Comprising key ingredients Glycine, Magnesium, Montmorency Cherry (a natural source of Melatonin) and Hops.  Directions:  Take 1 hour before bed, this product will not work as well if you have recently eaten, also this is for people who find it difficult getting to sleep rather than waking up during the night.  Price £15.80  order from Health Rise or direct from Cytoplan, use code CJ010 for a 10% discount.

Asphalia for natural sleep - contains a plant based substance which aids restful sleep and maintains immune competence.  The milled plant mix contains anti-oxidants five times more powerful than Vitamin C. The same bio-molecule is known to help ensure a restful sleep without disturbing vital sleep patterns.  Price £20.39 (2 months supply if one capsule were taken) take 30 mins before bedtime.  Order from Health Rise with 10% discount, or direct from Health Leads.

Should you require any further information, please contact jenne@healthrise.co.uk

 

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About the Author

Sam N

Member since: 27th November 2014

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