Sleep relief, without drugs.
Sleep remedies, old wives tales or the holy grail to snoozing? Last week we touched base on some of the conditions impacting on a good restful night sleep. So where do we start? If you believe that you are suffering from the symptoms mentioned in last weeks blog a visit to your doctor or pharmacist to request a sleep hygiene advice sheet is a good start! So let us look at actions you can take right away.
What is your routine like? Keep a strict sleep routine. Always sleep in a quiet and totally dark room without artificial white-blue light, especially radio, phone or computer screens. If you need a night light, use a salt lamp with a red light bulb as this mimics the fire-light colour spectrum which does not affect the natural production of the sleep hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for our internal circadian rhythms and the release of it can be impacted by natural light. For example, according to the Lighting Research Centre the “blue” light emitted by computers, smartphones and tech tablets can be disruptive to melatonin production. So turn off the tech people particularly before going to bed.
Spend at least 30 minutes each day outside in natural sunlight to reset your body clock. Natural sunlight, first thing in the morning stimulates cortisol production which helps you wake up as nature intended, but research also suggests we need some sunlight throughout the day too, to produce Vitamin D and fire up our immune system.
Learn relaxation techniques to manage stress. Ask our staff for a Relaxation Fact Sheet or our naturopaths can teach you progressive muscle relaxation at a consultation, and follow up with a wonderful CD on the technique. Our naturopaths also suggest you make a list of your stressors, worries and troubles during the day and write out a timeline for resolving them. That way you won’t take your worries to bed with you. Taking worries to bed is a pointless exercise, as any great solutions you dream up will be forgotten by morning!
Limit alcohol and caffeine at night.
Have a calming bedtime routine such as a warm bath or shower, some peaceful music, slow deep breathing or a warm milk drink just prior to bed.
A Sleep diary can be downloaded at www.nps.org.au/sleep and taken to you doctor when you fill it in over a week or two.
An individualized herb mixture from a herbalist is often effective. Herbs can interact with modern medicine so bring your medication list when visiting our herbalists. Herbs we often use include withania, zizyphus, valerian, skullcap, Kava, lemon balm and lavender. There’s lots of herbs but the ideal ones for you are best worked out at a consultation.
The sleep hormone Melatonin can be prescribed by a doctor. Des suggests the liquid Melatonin drops, taken under the tongue, is often the most effective dose form for Melatonin, as these are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, whereas slow release tablets must undergo “first pass” metabolism in the stomach and liver before they can work, which means a larger dose is possibly needed for tablets to be effective. We can send information to your doctor.
For an appointment with one of our naturopaths to check your sleep health, please phone us on 53827766.
Look out for next weeks article on: Are your legs giving you the creepy crawlies!
All content found on the deslardnerorganic.com.au website, including: text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.