Don't Suffer! Find Your Insomnia Cure
A high percentage of mums suffer from a chronic lack of sleep, which leaves them tired, irritable, depressed and at risk of weight gain and long-term health problems. While it's impossible to instantly snap your fingers and turn your energetic little angels into sleeping beauties, there are a few simple tricks that are scientifically proven to help improve your sleep, when you finally get the chance.
Need A Natural Sleep Aid? Here's 5 Top Tips...
Can't remember what it feels like to have a beautiful night's sleep? It's heaven. In contrast, you know all too well that a lack of sleep leaves you feeling like metaphorical hell. And there's real truth to this, because sleep is the process whereby the brain eliminates toxins and metabolic debris and repairs itself. It’s also when the brain consolidates the day’s memories, regulates hormones and repairs at a cellular level. In the long-term, a lack of sleep contributes to ageing and increases disease risk. So it's time to show ourselves some love and cure insomnia once and for all.
From changing your lifestyle to taking sleep supplements, there are a number of natural sleep aids that can help you finally get some well-deserved rest...
1. Get To Sleep 'Early'
If you're used to staying up late then make a real effort to try and get to bed earlier – try it during the week and then at the weekend give yourself the licence to stay up later. By winding-down earlier, you'll be surprised at the improvement in your sleep as this change syncs your body clock with nature. Typically, this means earlier to bed as the evenings get shorter, since we need more sleep over the winter.
If you're worried about the tossing and turning that comes with sleep issues of all kinds – you can try our natural sleep aid to drift off easier
. Combined with a more natural sleeping pattern, it can be an effective way to stop insomnia before it strikes you wide awake.
2. Caffeine Control – Sleep Friend Or Foe?
Caffeine is the secret fuel behind many mums – and it does have its perks, such as boosting energy in the morning, giving us a little me time and even offering health benefits due to its antioxidants. However, caffeine can also has a negative side, including stress and anxiety – the complete opposite of an insomnia cure – creating a vicious cycle of erratic energy spikes.
Caffeine affects us for around five hours but varies between individuals, so be aware of this and try not to consume caffeinated products much later than mid-afternoon. Switching to guarana (included in our natural sleep aid Drift
) is a worthwhile alternative, as well as compounds such as L-theanine that offset caffeine’s stimulating effects. Other interesting options include getting creative with teas – try ginger, lemon and Manuka honey.
3. Exercise At The Right Time
Physical exercise is important for health and sleep, with the typical recommendation being 20-30 minutes exercise a day, but not less than 5-6 hours before going to bed. This is because one metabolic trigger that helps naturally aid sleep is a slight lowering of body temperature, and since exercise elevates temperature, it causes a disruption of this natural signalling of preparedness for sleep.
However, what if you can only train in the evening? In this case, take a cold shower straight after – immediately helping to coax the body into relaxation and sleep mode. Taking a walk or exercising in the morning light is another great way to set your body clock into action, leading the better sleep in the evening.
4. Beware Of Blue Light
The wonder of the modern world: laptops, iPhones, Facebook, Netflix, WhatsApp and more. But unfortunately an overload of blue-light exposure is known to stop the release of the sleep hormone, melatonin. That's a recipe for bad sleep. The biggest culprit are tablet devices, which emit shorter wavelength radiation and are held closer to the eyes. However, larger screens, computer monitors and televisions also contribute to the problem.
Try and use the last few hours before bed engaged in activities like reading paperback books or listening to relaxing music. Dimming the lights as early as you can and combining this calm with a natural sleep aid makes sure you rest your eyes and get your mind ready to drift off.
5. Make Your Bedroom a Sleep Sanctuary
When it comes to dimming the lights early and winding-down, you can go a step further by turning your bedroom onto a sleep sanctuary. This insomnia cure starts by making sure your room is super dark by using blinds or thick curtains – and reaching for your beauty mask, too. Use very soft lighting, such as dimmer lights or crystal salt lamps, light some aromatherapy candles and turn off all non-essential tech. Giving your room a makeover keeps it cosy and relaxing – and since retro style is in, investing in an old-fashioned type of alarm clock that emits no light is also an excellent sleep hack.
Another essential sleep aid is getting your bedroom temperature just right. Managed to meet the perfect sleep heat of 18°C? Simply put on the essential oils and fire-up a dreamy audio book or your favourite music to relax to – bliss.
6. Night-Time Protein Cocoa
Taking a night cap with an alcoholic nightcap might induce a sense of relaxation for some, but it can cause short night-time brain arousals that can prevent truly restorative sleep; it also destroys collagen so is a big no for glowing skin! Help stave off late-night rumbles and stop insomnia with a high-protein cocoa – made with chocolate protein powder and milk.
This is the perfect option when taking natural sleep aids containing tryptophan – the amino acid that has several studies demonstrating its ability to improve sleep quality.
A small snack containing protein plus a little bit of carby sweetness will help any tryptophan taken at night to be better absorbed into the brain, which will help increase levels of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. You can choose a sleep supplement formulated with this essential compound here
7. Take Control Of Stress – Easier Said Than Done?
Stress is the biggest killer of most things – sex, wellbeing, and most definitely – sleep. The reality is, you probably already know this, and simply saying 'Reduce you stress' might just make it even worse. If only it was that easy. The best option is to acknowledge your stress, and then try and make small lifestyle changes that make you feel better.
Kick-start your journey towards the perfect insomnia cure with mind-body techniques like meditation, yoga, and tai chi, or relaxation techniques such as guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation and self-hypnosis. These activities have proven beneficial in stress reduction – and so make great natural sleep aids, too. Journaling is another effective tool for writing down your negative thoughts, before ending with gratitude. Whatever it takes – you goal is to find calm in the hour before sleep.