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How to Sleep Better at Night Naturally

February 17, 2022

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Sleep is one of the most crucial elements of a healthy lifestyle. Getting proper sleep is just as important as eating nutritious food, managing stress and exercising. Poor sleep on the other hand, has several negative health consequences such weight gain, poor memory and cognition, immune system decline as well as a disruption to your hormonal health1,2,3,4 Most adults do not have adequate sleep quantity or quality and if you are having health issues such as trouble maintaining a healthy weight, are concerned about the health of your heart, or if one of your health goals is to increase the resiliency of your immune system, establishing a consistent sleep pattern is key. 

Improve your general lifestyle habits

 

Cut out the blue light

In order to work on improving your sleep, take a look at your general lifestyle habits first. For example, exposure to excessive blue light from screens of electronic devices can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle and lead to a decrease in melatonin production, an important hormone that promotes sleep. Limit screen use after sunset and use tools such as night mode on your cell phone and blue blocking glasses if you must use screens in the evenings. 

 

Have a regular sleep schedule

A regular sleep schedule can also help to trigger your body to fall asleep more easily. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including weekends. If you have trouble falling asleep in the evenings, create a bedtime routine for yourself. This can help signal your body that it is time to wind down and go to sleep. 

 

Get in some exercise

Exercising throughout the day can enhance both sleep length and quality. In a study assessing the impact of exercise on sleep, researchers found a 55% decrease in the time it took to fall asleep and a 30% reduction of total wake time throughout the night.5 Although exercise can be helpful, it is important to note that exercising right before bed can be stimulating for the body. It is best to exercise earlier in the day. 

 

Manage your stress levels

Psychological stress can have a negative impact on your sleep over time. Finding a way to reduce the stress in your life and exploring ways to manage your stress better is essential.6

Seeking help from a psychologist or registered psychotherapist may be helpful for some. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy where a therapist can help you to identify incorrect or negative thought patterns and behaviours. Some types of CBT techniques are aimed at improving your thoughts and behaviours specifically around sleep.6 

 

Try natural herbs & supplements 

Along with lifestyle changes, certain herbs and supplements can help to improve sleep. 

Hops is an herb which has been used traditionally in many cultures such as China, India and North America to improve sleep. This herb may help the restless sleeper who may also struggle with high stress or anxiety. Recent studies have backed up the use of this herb to improve sleep.7 

Magnesium is a mineral which can help enhance sleep quality and improve relaxation by activating the parasympathetic (rest and digest) arm of the nervous system.8 This mineral also binds to calming GABA receptors in the brain which in turn, helps the body to relax.8  

Melatonin is perhaps the most well-known sleep supplement, and for a good reason. Melatonin is a hormone which, among other things, signals to your brain that it is time to sleep.9 Melatonin helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and can be especially useful for those who travel or are shift workers. In one study, those who took melatonin had a decrease in the time it took to fall asleep, and an improvement in sleep quality.10 However, some people feel groggy in the mornings when they take synthetic melatonin which is where Harmony’s My Sleep  comes in.

Harmony’s My Sleep supplement contains multiple herbs which promote a more restful sleep including hops, sour cherry (a natural source of melatonin) as well as magnesium. Additionally, My Sleep contains a high dose of zizyphus, an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine which acts as a mild sedative, improving sleep and reducing irritability. 

This all-natural, multi-herb formula can help to relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress while promoting a more restful night’s sleep. 

Canadians can purchase Harmony MySleep from some of the following online retailers: 

London Drugs  |  Vita Save  |  Well.ca

 


 References

    1. Besedovsky L, Lange T, Born J. Sleep and immune function. Pflügers Archiv-European Journal of Physiology. 2012 Jan;463(1):121-37.
    2. St-Onge MP, Shechter A. Sleep disturbances, body fat distribution, food intake and/or energy expenditure: pathophysiological aspects. Hormone molecular biology and clinical investigation. 2014 Jan 1;17(1):29-37.
    3. Beaudin AE, Raneri JK, Ayas NT, Skomro RP, Fox N, Hirsch Allen AM, Bowen MW, Nocon A, Lynch EJ, Wang M, Smith EE. Cognitive function in a sleep clinic cohort of patients with obstructive sleep Apnea. Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 2021 May;18(5):865-75.
    4. Sperling MA. Traditional and novel aspects of the metabolic actions of growth hormone. Growth Hormone & IGF Research. 2016 Jun 1;28:69-75.
    5. Passos GS, Poyares D, Santana MG, Garbuio SA, Tufik S, Mello MT. Effect of acute physical exercise on patients with chronic primary insomnia. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2010 Jun 15;6(3):270-5.
    6. Espie CA, Emsley R, Kyle SD, Gordon C, Drake CL, Siriwardena AN, Cape J, Ong JC, Sheaves B, Foster R, Freeman D. Effect of digital cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia on health, psychological well-being, and sleep-related quality of life: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA psychiatry. 2019 Jan 1;76(1):21-30.
    7. Franco L, Sánchez C, Bravo R, Rodríguez AB, Barriga C, Romero E, Cubero J. The sedative effect of non-alcoholic beer in healthy female nurses. PloS one. 2012 Jul 18;7(7):e37290.
    8. Wienecke E, Nolden C. Long-term HRV analysis shows stress reduction by magnesium intake. MMW Fortschritte der Medizin. 2016 Dec 8;158(Suppl 6):12-6.
    9. Zisapel N. New perspectives on the role of melatonin in human sleep, circadian rhythms and their regulation. British journal of pharmacology. 2018 Aug;175(16):3190-9.
    10. Lemoine P, Nir T, Laudon M, Zisapel N. Prolonged‐release melatonin improves sleep quality and morning alertness in insomnia patients aged 55 years and older and has no withdrawal effects. Journal of sleep research. 2007 Dec;16(4):372-80.

 

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