by Courtenay Turner
For those of us who suffer from sleeplessness, finding a sleep remedy that is both effective and natural can be just as hard as getting some shut-eye itself.
While fretful, disrupted or inadequate sleep might seem all too common these days, it’s certainly not something to dismiss. Studies show that sleeping less than six or seven hours a night may increase a person’s risk of becoming obese or developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Sleep deprivation also negatively impacts the body’s metabolism and can leave the skin looking dull and lacklustre. In short, sleeplessness is something that needs to be overcome for the sake of your inner and outer health!
While you wouldn’t necessarily know it, your body does incredible things while you snooze, and it’s far more active than most of us realise. Every night, a process of restoration and repair takes place – your breathing slows, blood flows to the muscles and cellular repair and regeneration begins. This is great news for our skin – the body itself attempts to reverse the daily damage caused by stress, UV light and other environmental factors. So the importance of getting your ‘beauty sleep’ is certainly no myth!
As expected though, beauty sleep is more than skin deep. Sleeping is also thought to suppress ghrelin, a hunger hormone, and stimulate leptin, which controls appetite. What’s more, your gut benefits from the overnight ‘fast’ that comes with a restful night of sleep – extended periods ‘sans food’ allow your body to rest from the energy-intensive process that is digestion!
Enjoy the deep and restorative sleep that your body deserves with the help of these four totally natural sleep remedies…
SLEEP Inner Beauty Powder
Natural sleep aids are far safer than sleeping pills, and in this case, they taste a lot better too! SLEEP Inner Beauty Powder is a delicious chai-like powder that’s scientifically formulated to soothe your nerves and deepen your sleep. It contains natural sedatives like passionflower and lemon balm, alongside sour cherry, which is naturally rich in the sleep-giving hormone, melatonin. It also provides a good dose of probiotics to nourish your gut while you snooze. Think of SLEEP Inner Beauty Powder as you would your night cream or serum, helping to rejuvenate and repair the skin while you sleep. Simply mix this turmeric-rich, herbal remedy into a warm glass of nut milk an hour before bedtime. Alternatively, try our snooze-inducing Warm Sleepy Chai or Warm Nutmeg and Vanilla Buckwheat Pudding. Sweet dreams!
Try essential oils
As far as herbal sleep remedies go, you can’t get much more herbal than essential oils. Oils like bergamot and lavender are both known for their relaxing properties. Diffuse them, pop a few drops in a warm bath, or rub them directly onto your wrists and the bottoms of your feet. There is no sebum (the oily barrier that protects the skin) on these two parts of the body, which makes it easier for the oils to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Essentials oils don’t work for everyone, but in combination with other powerful natural remedies like SLEEP Inner Beauty Powder, they can be a beautiful addition to your nighttime routine.
Eat for sleep
Yes, what you eat absolutely impacts upon the quality of your sleep! What you nibble on – both before bed and throughout the day – can affect your circadian rhythm, also known as your body clock. Evidence suggests that enjoying quality carbohydrates – think sweet potato or soaked grains – at the end of the day may increase sleep quality. That’s because they’re known to increase brain concentrations of tryptophan, a ‘calming’ essential amino acid. Avoid large doses of caffeine after midday, as well as heavy meals and sugar before bed. If gnawing hunger is keeping you awake, try having a banana, some yoghurt, a handful of cashews, some cherries, or some warm nut milk. These light snacks are rich in sleep-promoting nutrients.
Practice mindfulness or meditation
You’re likely familiar with these two concepts; both buzzwords in the wellness world, and both invaluable natural sleep aids that promote good sleep hygiene. Meditation, deep-belly breathing and mindfulness practices all help to ‘switch on’ the parasympathetic nervous system, the division of the nervous system that is responsible for resting and digesting. When your parasympathetic nervous system is activated, your body knows that it’s safe, which is important if you hope to get any shut-eye. Of course, you can’t command your body into action, you can only encourage this shift to take place by convincing your body that there’s no danger about – whether real or perceived. The best way to do this? Slow, steady, diaphragmatic breaths. And ditch your device, it’s almost impossible to practice mindfulness when you’ve got the world at your fingertips!
Have you got a natural sleep remedy that you swear by? Let us know in the comments below.