Natural Sleep Aids

Have you tried a natural approach to getting more sleep?

You've had a busy day, all you want to do is relax, unwind and get a good night’s sleep, but as soon as your head hits the pillow, you are wide awake, maybe you are thinking of your day’s events and planning what to do tomorrow, maybe you are just wondering why on earth you can't get to sleep!

On the flip side to this, you might fall asleep in record time, but wake up a couple of hours later and then struggle to get back to sleep.

There is an endless list of things that can cause interrupted; pain, illness, infections, or even poor-quality pillows, mattresses or too many or too few blankets, a restless partner, children even our pets.

Sleep apnoea is a chronic sleep condition that occurs when the tongue blocks our airways and causes us to stop breathing for anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

We all experience the odd night of poor sleep, and apart from feeling extra tired the next day, you probably don’t think that it does much harm, but if it is chronic long-term lack of sleep, that can have serious health consequences such as:

  • Reducing your immune system

  • Increasing anxiety

  • Feeling depressed

  • Increased weight gain; because we tend to make poorer food choices and eat more when tired

  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes

  • Increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure

While it is very important to find the cause of your insomnia, there are some natural products that are effective in helping you get a good night’s sleep, my clients have had success from using the following products.

Blackmore's Valerian Forte is a great product to try. It works quickly and usually won’t leave you feeling groggy the next day. However, Valerian won’t work for everyone and can sometimes have the completely opposite effect! Generally short term and occasional use of Valerian is best, unless recommended by your healthcare professional, as long-term use can reduce effectiveness.

Nature's Own Complete Sleep contains no valerian, it uses lactium (from milk) as well as hops and the herb zizyphus. The lactium acts like a warm glass of milk to help you relax, while the hops and zizyphus make you feel drowsy. This is a great combination if stress is a factor of your poor sleep. Suitable for more long-term use if needed.

Magnesium which we also use to treat muscle cramps, taken a few hours before bed, magnesium relaxes the muscles, thus reducing tension, and that relaxation can help you both fall asleep and stay asleep, waking up refreshed. A low dose is all that is needed. I recommend Mag-Sup (2 tablets after evening meal) it is fast acting, easily absorbed, gentle on the stomach, a good quality Magnesium and safe to use long term.

If you have been experiencing sleep issues and live in or near Devonport, please feel free to call into Valley Road Pharmacy for a chat with me about some natural solutions.

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