Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Apparently as many as 16 million UK adults* are suffering from sleepless nights. That’s 1 in 3 adults who suffer from insomnia. Have you ever suffered with this debilitating sleep disorder?

Sleep is essential for our general well-being. When we sleep it allows for healing to take place. It helps to keep our hormones balanced, improves immune health, digestion, brain health and also skin health. It also gives us a better capacity to cope with everyday stresses and gives us the ability to make sound judgments. 

How can we make sure we get enough quality Zzzz’s?

  • Many studies are being done to understand the connection between our gut and our brain health. Our gut microbiome is the complex community of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. So if you’ve been having trouble sleeping, embracing a gut-friendly diet and lifestyle will put you on the right path to protecting your overall health which will also give you a better chance for some good sleep.
  • It’s uber important to get enough exercise as it releases tension and toxins which help relieve the body of any mental and physical reasons which could be keeping you awake at night. Exercise boosts the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin.
  • What’s your bedtime ritual? Is it to look at Instagram or watch TV in bed? This will stimulate your mind and the light from your devices will deplete your melatonin levels. If you are struggling with sleep, try reading a book. According to a study conducted in 2009 by researchers at the University of Sussex showed that six minutes of reading reduces stress by 68%, clearing the mind will really help to calm the body and induce natural sleep. 
  • Meditation is an ancient practice which can improve symptoms of Insomnia by reducing measures of arousal in the brain, whether you do it for just 10 minutes in the morning or before you go to bed, this will train your brain to clear itself of negative thought patterns or the constant chatter in our minds which can keep you awake at night. 
  • Digestion is a very common reason why some people can’t sleep. If you are making your digestive system active just before bed, your liver and kidneys will be working hard, which could keep you awake. Your kidneys repair between the hours of 10-1am so its good to eat at least two hours before bed and try to get in a sleep routine where you go to bed at the same time if possible.

If you are looking for a good sleep formula without the health risks of prescribed sleeping tablets. We+People have formulated a blend of organic plant based ingredients listed below, which are all proven to induce calm and promote natural sleep.

Valerian Root:

A herb native to Asia and Europe, is often referred to as “nature’s Valium.” In fact, this herb has been used since ancient times to promote tranquility and improve sleep.

It contains a number of compounds that may promote sleep and reduce anxiety. These include valeric acid, isovaleric acid and a variety of antioxidants.

Valerian has received attention for its interaction with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical messenger that helps regulate nerve impulses in your brain and nervous system. Researchers have shown that low GABA levels related to acute and chronic stress are linked to anxiety and low-quality sleep.

Ashwagandha: 

The Ashwagandha plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers that are native to India and North Africa. It is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing.

It is best known for its stress-lowering effects. It’s classified as an “adaptogen,” meaning that it can help your body manage stress.

Bacopa: 

Bacopa Monnieri has been used for centuries in Ayurveda traditional medicine and has long been thought of as a “wonder herb.”

As a quintessential Adaptogen, it has a helpful effect on our stress management. It has similarities to L-Theanine, in that it reduces anxiety and keeps you calm, but also provides additional benefits such as enhancing your memory.

To purchase ‘Sleep’ head over to wepeople.uk

Unwind With This Golden Tea

I’ve often suffered from periods of insomnia which makes me feel quite an expert on the subject of sleep, especially when it comes to what’s good to eat before bed and what will make you have nightmares.

A warming drink before bed triggers something in the mind which says, lights out and sweet dreams and it works for me every time. Warm cows milk is often given to children before bed, it contains two substances, the hormone melatonin and the amino acid tryptophan which both promote sleep.

I prefer to avoid cows milk as it contains many growth hormones and there are plenty of healthier alternatives out there such as Almond milk, Coconut milk, Tiger Nut Milk and Oat Milk.

Here is my current favourite bedtime drink which contains warming herbs and spices of Turmeric, Ginger and Cinnamon which all promote healing, lower inflammation in the body and which in turn will all promote a good nights sleep.

Golden Milk

Choose which milk you prefer, if you really like cows milk but you are trying to find an alternative for health reasons, try oat milk, its got a creamy taste and texture which means you won’t miss cows milk at all. I love this with Almond Milk or Coconut.

Golden Milk

  • Gradually warm up the milk in a saucepan,
  • Add a pinch of grated fresh ginger or powder,
  • Add a pinch of grated fresh turmeric or powder,
  • Add a little grass-fed ghee butter
  • Add a cinnamon stick or some cardamom powder
  • Add a teaspoon of Manuka Honey
  • Warm it up long enough to let the flavours blend and then strain into a teapot if you don’t want any pieces.
  • Get in bed with your favourite book and sip your tea,
  • Snuggle down and enjoy those Zzzz’s

 

Could Your Gut Health Be Affecting Your Sleep?

There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep, that feeling of satisfaction when you wake in the morning feeling refreshed, body and mind alert, ready to take on the day.

Realistically, how often do you wake up feeling like you’ve had a great night’s sleep? Apparently as many as 16 million UK adults* are suffering from sleepless nights.

Many studies are being done to understand the connection between our gut and our brain health. Our gut microbiome is the complex community of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. Gut microbes are key to many aspects of human health including our immune system, digestion, hormones, mood, neurotransmitters, skin health, weight, pain perception, and energy levels.

So if you’ve been having trouble sleeping, embracing a gut-friendly diet and lifestyle will put you on the right path to protecting your overall health.

Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Cut out processed foods, preservatives, and refined sugar from your diet, Most highly processed foods are loaded with artificial chemicals, including artificial flavours, textures, colours, and preservatives which are harmful to the digestive tract and bad bacteria will feed on the sugar.
  • Eat whole foods, preferably organic if you can. My rule is to be strict on some items such as berries and soft fruits without hard skin as they will be more likely to absorb more pesticides. Try eating more fermented foods too such as kimchi, kefir and raw apple cider vinegar which are natural probiotics.
  • Exercise also improves gut health so take up some regular activities such as walking, swimming, tennis or barre to get your body moving.
  • Supplement with a combination of probiotics and prebiotics which can improve the friendly flora in your microbiome. Probiotics are healthy bacteria and Prebiotics are the food that feeds the healthy bacteria. It’s quite difficult to get enough prebiotics through diet alone so try adding a prebiotic powder to your smoothies.

Once you have nurtured your gut health and you start sleeping soundly through the night, you will find that your whole body feels more balanced and supported.

This blog post I wrote for Myza.co.uk, A marketplace dedicated to all things sleep related.

Zoe K – We+People