After a few weeks of viruses in my household, it got me thinking about the importance of sleep. It has been one of those periods where I have definitely been getting less sleep than I would like! These moments in life seem to come and go, so I won’t worry too much, but I have been looking into ways to improve my rest periods and sleep.
As obvious as it sounds, it is important to realise when we are not getting enough sleep. Busy lives, filled with activities, exercise, children, work and the rest, make it hard for us to stop and take note. Recognising when to tone down life, and let ourselves rest, will speed up the path to better sleep.
We all need sleep, and it’s important to understand our own needs. Often couples will have very different body clocks and will want to sleep between different hours and for different lengths. My father, Robert, would mostly wake at 4am, and he needed to go to bed between 8-9pm to ensure he got the proper sleep not to feel tired and irritable.
Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. It is a critical process that allows the brain and body to repair and rejuvenate. During sleep, the brain undergoes necessary processes like memory consolidation, emotional processing, and restoration of energy levels. Sleep also regulates the body’s hormonal balance, including releasing growth hormone, which is crucial for tissue repair and growth.
The link between sleep and various health conditions, such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and mental health disorders, emphasises that insufficient sleep can negatively impact our wellness. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and good sleep hygiene practices is very important. Some handy ideas include establishing a regular sleep routine, ensuring a comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding stimulants like caffeine (often after 11am) or excessive exposure to blue light before bedtime. As a guide, adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night!
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for our overall well-being and productivity. Unfortunately, many people struggle with insomnia and other sleep-related issues. While lifestyle changes and sleep hygiene practices are crucial, supplements, particularly magnesium, can also be considered in promoting quality sleep.
Is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in numerous bodily functions, including sleep regulation. It helps regulate neurotransmitters and hormones involved in sleep, such as melatonin and GABA. Magnesium also helps relax muscles and reduces nighttime leg cramps, promoting physical relaxation and comfort. Studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can improve sleep quality, reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and enhance overall sleep duration.
Is an amino acid found in tea leaves, particularly green tea. It has been found to promote relaxation and reduce stress without causing drowsiness. L-theanine increases alpha brain waves, associated with a state of wakeful relaxation, while simultaneously decreasing beta brain waves linked to stress and anxiety. L-theanine can improve sleep quality and reduce nighttime awakenings by supporting relaxation without sedation.
Is an amino acid that serves as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It has been suggested to have a calming effect and promote sleep quality. Some studies have shown that glycine supplementation before bedtime may help improve sleep by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and enhancing sleep quality.
Is a naturally occurring compound that plays a role in various cellular processes, including the modulation of neurotransmitters. It has been studied for its potential benefits in mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, which can impact sleep quality. By reducing anxiety symptoms, inositol may indirectly contribute to better sleep.
Is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. It is naturally produced by the body in response to darkness, signalling the brain that it’s time to sleep. However, factors such as jet lag, shift work, or excessive exposure to blue light from electronic devices can disrupt melatonin production. Melatonin supplements can help restore balance and assist in falling asleep faster, especially in cases of insomnia or circadian rhythm disorders.
Is a herbal remedy used for centuries to improve sleep quality and relieve insomnia. It contains compounds that enhance GABA levels in the brain, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. Valerian root supplements have been found to improve sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep) and overall sleep quality, making it a popular natural alternative for those seeking a non-pharmaceutical sleep aid.
Has long been recognised for its calming and soothing properties. Its aroma has a sedative effect, which can help induce sleep and improve sleep quality. Studies have shown that lavender supplementation or exposure to lavender essential oil can reduce anxiety, increase deep sleep, and promote feelings of relaxation. It can be used as essential oils, herbal teas, or supplements for optimal sleep benefits.
Supplements can be valuable additions to a comprehensive sleep routine. Magnesium, L-theanine, glycine, inositol, melatonin, valerian root and lavender have all demonstrated sleep-enhancing properties, helping to improve sleep quality, reduce sleep latency, and promote a restful night’s sleep.
As I finish writing this at 8:30pm, I have the perfect opportunity not to get sucked into the TV or Instagram but heed my advice instead. I’ll put the lavender oil in the vaporiser, massage my feet with magnesium cream, get my book out for a couple of chapters, and hopefully get to sleep by 9:30. Wish me luck!
A unique combination of L-Tryptophan and L-Theanine, plus vitamins B6 and B3. Each ingredient is carefully selected for its known role in supporting stress, relaxation and sleep. 90 capsules. Suitable for vegans.
Formulated with a high concentration of ultra-pure natural magnesium chloride from the pristine Zechstein seabed. Trаnѕdеrmаl mаgnеѕіum therapy achieves the highest possible absorption levels through the skin and is available in lotions, oil, body butter and flakes. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
This provides a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, including inositol and glycine, ensuring we meet our recommended daily intake. By bolstering our immune system, improving energy levels, and supporting cognitive function and sleep, multivitamins can help safeguard against nutrient deficiencies. 180 capsules. Suitable for vegetarians.