Sleep is so important to our health as nutrients and water. Unfortunately, most of us do not seem to get enough. Sleep has a direct effect on physical and mental health and is essential for the proper functioning of all body systems.
It is during sleep that our body rests and revitalizes, and our immune system is replenished and strengthened. This is when the cells produce and release proteins essential for growth and tissue repair. If you are having trouble getting into sleep or staying asleep, here are some simple and natural ways to give a helping hand.
1. Drink calming herbal teas
Drinking tea calming herbs like chamomile, passionflower, Valarian, zizyphus or cap before bed is a beautiful way to relax the nervous system and help transition into a restful sleep. These herbs are beneficial for people who have trouble sleeping.
Like tea, either using single herbs or a combination, pour a cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes, then sit back, relax and enjoy.
2. Reduce caffeine
Having too much caffeine can affect our ability to sleep easily, reducing the depth and quality of sleep. Caffeine stimulates the production of stress hormones, and inhibits adenosine uptake of hormone needed to give us a sense of calm, which can contribute to sleep problems.
If you have trouble sleeping, avoid coffee or drinks containing caffeine, such as black tea, soda or energy drinks after 14:00.
3. Increase magnesium
Magnesium is considered the anti-stress nutrient because it helps soothe and support the nervous system so it is beneficial for people who have difficulty down to sleep.
Magnesium is produced in abundance in healthy natural foods, such as tofu, legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains (oats, barley, millet, quinoa), wheat bran, and green leafy vegetables. Taking a magnesium supplement is also recommended (about 500 mg of elemental magnesium per day).
4. Reduce alcohol intake
Drinking alcohol can often cause sleep problems. Alcohol can help get you off to sleep initially, however, will interrupt its quieter, deeper REM sleep cycle. It is also believed that people who use alcohol regularly have lower levels of natural melatonin in your body, which can contribute to sleep problems.
5. Naturally boost melatonin
Melatonin is an important hormone that is produced at night to promote a deep, restful sleep. There are several natural ways you can increase your melatonin production including increasing your exposure to sunlight (especially in the morning), meditate, reduce alcohol consumption and stress levels.
Include foods that contain melatonin, such as oats, sweet corn, rice, ginger, tomatoes, bananas, almonds and seeds. Drinking cherry juice can also increase natural levels of melatonin in the body, and can be an effective way to help sleep.
6. Consume tryptophan-rich foods
Milk is a good source of amino acid tryptophan, which is needed to make serotonin and melatonin, two of the sleep inducing calming neurotransmitters and brain. Other foods that contain tryptophan include almonds, bananas, turkey, chicken, beef, rice and eggs. Hot almond milk with a teaspoon of cinnamon can make a great nightcap to help you sleep.
7. Calming ritual with lavender essential oil
Lavender essential oil has a lovely calming effect on the nervous system, making it ideal for people with nervous tension and sleep. Lavender can help relaxation and help achieve the dream. You could try placing a few drops of lavender in a warm bath before going to bed on an oil burner or place some dried lavender near your bed at night.