There’s no denying that failing to fall asleep is one of the most frustrating things to experience. Being exhausted and unable to drift off, leaves us grumpy, tired and irritable, to say the least. Whether it be due to anxiety, distracting noises, a bit too much caffeine or our partner’s relentless snoring, we’ve probably all experienced difficulty sleeping at some point.
In order to ensure a good night’s sleep, leaving you fresh and rejuvenated, here are some healthy tips:
- Limit Your Caffeine
Caffeine interrupts the flow of melatonin in your body, which is the chemical that
actually sends you to sleep
- Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
Alcohol actually blocks REM sleep, which has been shown to cause migraines and
Moving your body can help reduce the stress hormone that often keeps us awake,
allowing for a relaxing and deep sleep.
- Create a Routine
Having a bedtime ritual can signal to the body that it is time to go to sleep. This routine can be having a bath, reading a book or listening to some calming music.
- Avoid Long Naps
This may be difficult if you are very tired during the day, but having a nap throws off your sleep cycle and will make falling asleep at night much harder.
- Turn off Electronics
Avoid going on your laptop or cellphone straight before bedtime, as the blue light from the screen delays the release of melatonin and causes you to become more alert, throwing off your body’s natural sleep-schedule.
- Create a Dark Environment
Your bedroom should be cool, dark and quiet in order to maximise sleep. Trying to sleep when the room is too light could interfere with your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock) and make it difficult to fall asleep.
If it is stress and anxiety that is keeping you awake, try writing down your thoughts in a journal to stop your mind from running in circles, this should allow your brain to rest.
- Implement Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing exercises can activate your body’s relaxation state, lowering your heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels.
- Spend More Time Outside
Natural sunlight during the day helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm, improving daytime energy and night-time sleep quality.
- Extra Tip
Use Duo Calm Soothing Sleep (R445). Duo Calm’s carefully balanced formula promotes healthy sleep by regulating your circadian (day/night) rhythm.
Duo Calms Ingredients
Valerian is a natural sedative. It offers important health benefits that range from treatment of anxiety to cures for insomnia. Research shows that Valerian, a potent but safe sleep aid reduces sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep). It also improves the quality of sleep.
Valerian is also used for anxiety and psychological stress as it reduces blood pressure, heart rate and feelings of pressure when under tension.
Chamomile is caffeine free and a gentle relaxing and sleep aid. Due to its anti-spasmodic properties it is a muscle relaxant.
Because of its calming and sedative properties, it also induces sleep. This is attributed to an antioxidant it contains called, Apigenin. This antioxidant binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain which reduces irritability, decreases anxiety and treats insomnia.
Chrysin the phytochemicals also in chamomile, bind to GABA receptors. This reduces brain activity and produces a calming effect in the central nervous system.
Chamomile can decrease symptoms of mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder and thwarts panic attacks.
In summary, Chamomile has three main effects on the central nervous system.
- It regulates neurotransmitter transmission to the brain
The active phytochemicals in chamomile affect the neurotransmitters in the brain.
Monoamine transmitters such as serotonin and dopamine are associated with sleep and mood. Chamomile has a positive effect on these transmitters. This results in improved sleep, enhanced mood, and relief of depression.
- Binds to GABA receptors
Gaba (gamma aminobutyric acid) is a major inhibitory neurotransmitters in our central nervous system. The overall function of GABA is to inhibit transmission in the brain, calming the nervous activity.
Chrysin the phytochemicals in chamomile also bind with the GABA receptors. This helps reduce brain activity, promotes calmness and results in an overall calming effect on the central nervous system to induces sleep.
- Influences Neurohormones
Chamomile assists the neurohormones including Melatonin which is responsible for inducing sleep and regulating sleep-wake cycle.
The body requires large amounts of magnesium. This mineral is therefore known as a macro-mineral. It has wide-ranging effects in the body and used in over 600 cellular actions in the body.
These include muscle relaxation and influencing certain processes that promote sleep.
Magnesium deficiency is common. A deficiency of this vital mineral can cause tightness of muscles, increased stress, reduced serotonin levels and even sleep complications.
It is essential as a muscle relaxation mineral and a key element in the production of the feel-good chemical serotonin.
Magnesium glycinate also binds with GABA and that leads to anti-anxiety effects. It is therefore used to treat mild depression and stress by improving mood and encouraging healthy sleep habits.
Vitamin B6 promotes proper function of the nervous system.
Deficiencies in Vitamin B6 contribute to the chemical imbalances related to depression. With vital roles in the production of dopamine and serotonin, Vitamin B is essential to reduce irritability and depression.
Vitamin B6 co-acts with magnesium to promote muscle relaxation. It is specifically recommended at bedtime to help improve sleep.
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