Sleep can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. Something that should be restful, allowing our body to heal and repair, can often become a source of stress for many. With the frustration of not being able to sleep, making it less and less likely that a good nights sleep will occur.
Whether it is falling asleep that is the issue, or staying asleep, there are some simple things that you can implement today, that will help you break the bad sleep cycle and allow you to feel your best during the day (and not dread bed time when is does come around).
1. Have a calming tea before
Sounds simple enough? But this calming tea has a few rules that you need to implement to make it work exceptionally well.
- make sure your 'calming tea' or sleep tea has chamomile in it.(1) This is the main herb we want. It can be in combination with other herbs but we want this to be a main one. My favourite one to use with clients is the LOVE TEA CALMING- grab yours HERE.
- Steep it for at LEAST 10 minutes. This is vital as it will ensure you get all of the goodness out of your tea. If you just dunk a tea bag in and sip- you are just drinking hot water.
- Start with just one strong cup about and hour-30min before your bed time. if this doesn't work, then add in another cup with dinner or just before dinner. Sometimes we need to really prime our bodies for sleep to occur, so the one cup may not cut it.
Now I don't just mean reduce screen time, because while that is important this is a sneaky tip that I find to be VERY helpful for clients and it's often something thats overlooked.
Unplug all of the electrical items in your room. Turn the power off at the wall and pull the plug out. TV's, clocks, lamps, stereos (if they are still even a thing these days!) and charge your phone in another room. And if the wall your bed rests against is a shared wall with something electrical plugged into the other side then unplug that too...except for if it is a fridge or a freezer, no amount of sleep is worth waking up to spoiled food.
By unplugging all of your electrical items it takes the extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation out of the room. This ELF radiation created by electrical items has been shown to reduce the amount of good quality sleep (2). It also helps to maintain your bodies own natural circadian rhythms, so when sleep is falling upon you, it is less likely to be disturbed by external stimuli.
3. Pump up the magneisum.
Magnesium as you may know it is a good muscle relaxer and helps to calm the nervous system so for these reasons its a great one for sleep (3). But did you know it comes in many different forms?
Supplement- tissue salt
Now these are all different types and some will work better than others, it all depends on the individual. So if you have tried a magnesium supplement before but didn't notice any changes, then I urge you to try something like the Magnesium oil (4), that can be applied to your body before bed, is absorbed through the skin and may provide assistance with sleep and relaxing the bodies nervous system. Or if you have used the tissue salts (Mag Phos) before and no change, then trying a crude magnesium supplement may work better. If you are going to take a supplement, then we do recommend you chat to your practitioner, as there are many different forms of Magnesium, and some are very poorly absorbed, so to get the most bang for your buck we reccomend chatting to your practitioner to get the best form of magensium for you.
1. Adib-Hajbaghery M1, Mousavi SN2., Complement Ther Med. 2017 Dec;35:109-114. The effects of chamomile extract on sleep quality among elderly people: A clinical trial.
2. Tayebeh Barsam,1 Mohammad Reza Monazzam,2 Ali Akbar Haghdoost,Mohammad Reza Ghotbi,1 and Somayeh Farhang Dehghan4 Effect of extremely low frequency electromagnetic field exposure on sleep quality in high voltage substations.
3. .Abbasi B1, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B.J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9.The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial
4. Engen DJ1, McAllister SJ2, Whipple MO2, Cha SS3, Dion LJ2, Vincent A2, Bauer BA2, Wahner-Roedler DL4.J Integr Med. 2015 Sep;13(5):306-13. Effects of transdermal magnesium chloride on quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia: a feasibility study.
Karah is a degree qualified Naturopath with over 8 years experience in the health industry. She practices from Geelong, Ocean Grove and Bannockburn and specializes in digestive conditions.