How to sleep: The ‘sweet-smelling’ drink ‘for alleviating insomnia’ – study

Veganism: Dr Potter advises on switching to plant-based diet

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Not getting enough sleep can cause an array of issues, and getting enough of it at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health and quality of life. Some people are naturally lighter sleepers or take longer to drop off, but there are also some lifestyle factors that can impact your sleep.

If you have insomnia for less than three months, it is called short-term insomnia. Insomnia that lasts three months or longer is called long-term insomnia.

For most, sleep problems tend to sort themselves out within about a month, according to the NHS.

There are also certain drinks and food types which may be better than others for helping you get a restful night’s sleep.

Healthline explains that valerian, “a perennial plant that blooms sweet-smelling pink or white flowers” may help people with their sleep.

It explains that the root of the valerian plant is used as a medicinal herb “that’s known to promote sleep and relieve insomnia”. The site notes several studies.

For example, one study found that valerian particularly shows promise for alleviating insomnia and improving sleep quality among menopausal women. 

Healthline notes: “One study found that 30 percent of postmenopausal women who took a 530 mg valerian capsule twice a day for four weeks reported improvements in sleep quality.”

The study has been published in the National Library of Medicine and finds that “a statistically significant change was reported in the quality of sleep of the intervention group in comparison with the placebo group”.

Nonetheless, the health site notes that although valerian tea may help treat insomnia and improve sleep quality, especially among menopausal women, “more research is needed on dosage and treatment directions”.

Caffeine and alcohol can stop you falling asleep and prevent good quality sleep. 

Therefore, it is recommended that people cut down on alcohol and avoid caffeine close to bedtime.

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things. Caffeine interferes with the process of falling asleep, and also prevents deep sleep.

Everyone needs different amounts of sleep. On average adults need seven to nine hours, while children need nine to 13 hours. Toddlers and babies need 12 to 17 hours of sleep, every day.

Electronic devices, including computers, televisions, smartphones, and tablets, all emit strong blue light. 

When you use these devices, that blue light floods your brain, tricking it into thinking it’s daytime. As a result, your brain suppresses melatonin production and works to stay awake.

People with insomnia will regularly find it hard to go to sleep, can wake up several times during the night and lie awake at night.

They might also find it difficult to concentrate during the day because they are tired, or wake up early and find they cannot go back to sleep.

“Some people are naturally lighter sleepers or take longer to drop off, while some life circumstances might make it more likely for your sleep to be interrupted, like stressful events or having a new baby,” the NHS states.

If poor sleep is affecting your daily life or causing you distress, you can talk to your GP.

Source: Read Full Article