Sleep not just a luxury

Are you waking up feeling refreshed?

Staring at the ceiling at 2:30 am, unable to sleep, is usually low on people’s list of favourite pastimes. Affecting anyone at any age, insomnia (difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep) and/or waking unrefreshed can be some people’s reality. Research shows that adults who get fewer than seven hours of sleep (whether for just one night or over the course of days, weeks, or months) experience daytime consequences such as irritability, fatigue, and poor memory. Sleep deprivation not only has detrimental effects on your work life, relationships and wellbeing, but increases the risk of ongoing health problems. If you or someone you know is having trouble sleeping - it’s important to get some support. 

Herbal Solutions for Counting Sheep

Lack of sleep does not have to be a fact of life. There are natural medicines that can help promote a restful, nurturing night’s sleep, without leaving you feeling groggy. Passion flower – herbal passion flower extracts are made from the aerial parts, such as leaves and flowers. These extracts are rich in flavonoids and have been traditionally used in Western herbal medicine for insomnia and nervous conditions. 
Jamaica dogwood – traditionally used in South America and the West Indies for nerve pain, anxiety and nervous tension. This herb helps you relax, while reducing any pain that may be disturbing your sleep. 
Zizyphus – with a long history of use for insomnia in traditional Chinese medicine; this herb is said to “nourish the heart and calm the spirit”. Zizyphus is widely used when insomnia is due to nervous tension or anxiety. Lavender – helps improve both the quality and duration of sleep, without causing unwanted sedative effects. It is a particularly beneficial herb for those kept awake by worrying thoughts. Speak to your Practitioner about herbs that can help you to get a good night’s sleep. 


Magnesium is valuable for countless actions in the body, including supporting healthy nervous system function so you are less affected by stress; or relaxing sore, tense muscles that may be disturbing your sleep. Magnesium levels may be low in those suffering from insomnia, so addressing this insufficiency can help improve sleep. Your As practitioners we can recommend high quality, highly absorbable forms of magnesium to help you re-establish a healthy sleep cycle. For example Magnesium oxilate is not a good bio available form of magnesium which alot of cheaper supplements are found in. You want to look for a magnesium chelate or citrate. 

Sleep is not a luxury - it is a health necessity. 

Reducing or avoiding the factors that can negatively impact sleep can be the key to getting the rest you need. There are many factors that can cause sleep issues. Here are some of my favourites:

  • Get your nasal passages (or your partners) sorted out. Blocked nasal passages can cause snoring or party blocks airflow so your body gets starved of oxygen and then needs to you wake up (or your partner will!) So you are constantly and without knowing waking up. But you also stop your partner from having a good nights sleep. See your GP for more information on Sleep Apnea and chronic snorring.

  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine or sugar at least 6-8 hours before bed- that may mean your gingernut biscuit and English Breakfast is out. Even green tea can keep some people awake or cocoa. Alcohol is also another factor.
  • Dim the lights when you get home, if you start cooking dinner under bright lights, this just reinforces to your body that you are not ready for bed and to hold off producing melatonin (our sleep hormone). It can take you longer to go to sleep. 
  • Exercise- helps produce endorphins, get your warm and release excess stress hormones.
  • Have a hot bath or shower- being cold doesn't help your body relax.
  • Read a boring book- sometimes reading great books at night will actually keep me awake so I tend to read old manuals, txt books etc as helps your mind switch off. 
  • Stretch before bed. Helping stretch and elongate the muscle fibres, can reduce tension and help you feel more calm and reduce cramps.
  • Go to bed at the same time each night. 
  • Create a dark sleeping environment. 
  • Invest in a comfortable mattress and bedding. 
  • Reduce screen time an hour before bed, i.e. phones, computers or TV. In the evening, utilise an app that inverts the screen lighting to create black backgrounds with white text; 
  • Find a meditation app that helps you relax. 
  • Sweet Dreams- A restful and restorative night’s sleep prepares you for the day ahead. If you need help we can help identify the underlying causes of disturbed sleep, and offer quality natural medicines to help you overcome your sleepless nights. 

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