When we're busy, sleep is often the first thing we sacrifice. Here are my favourite natural options for falling asleep faster and getting into that elusive deep sleep!
Sleep is something that we all need but most likely don't get enough of! As a busy mum I know how easy it can be to sacrifice sleep in order to get everything done. Sometimes it feels like there just aren't enough hours in the day. World Sleep Day is an annual global event designed to promote the importance of sleep and highlight sleep-related health and well-being issues and disorders such as insomnia. Founded in association with the World Sleep Society, World Sleep Day aims to raise awareness of the impact of sleep disorders on society and encourage sufferers to seek help and treatment. According to the World Sleep Society, sleep problems affect up to 45% of the global population, making sleep disorders a global epidemic.
A long, deep sleep without interruption is ideal for getting the best out of your night's rest. Proper breathing is also essential in ensuring optimum oxygen levels. Adequate sleep is critical to our health, with poor quality of sleep negatively affecting our metabolism and immune system and potentially leading to mental health conditions. Women need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night to function at our optimal best!
Why do we need sleep?
In order for our bodies to function properly, we need to sleep! Alongside such necessities as eating, drinking water and breathing, without sleep our bodies and health will suffer. There are many theories about why we need sleep including needing to conserve energy, brain development and body restoration. Research has shown that while we sleep our body temperature and caloric demand drops.1 helping our body to restore its energy levels and regenerate. In early development as babies, sleep is particularly important as studies have discovered a correlation between REM sleep and brain development.1
What happens if we don't get enough sleep?
According to the Sleep Health Foundation, 18% of adults regularly sleep less than six hours per night, while 20% suffer from chronically poor sleep.2 Disrupted sleep patterns have both short and long term physical and emotional side effects. Short term sleep disorders can cause mood swings, increase our risk of accidents and impair our judgment and ability to retain information.1 If you are suffering from a sleep related disorder in the long term, then you may be at a higher risk of developing health issues such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.1 Going without sleep for a prolonged period of time can even shorten our life span!
Great products for the best night's sleep?
Life Basics Silk Pillowcase
Have you tried sleeping on a silk pillowcase? If you haven't I truly recommend you try it! There are so many benefits to sleeping on silk, which can range from keeping hair frizz-free to keeping skin smooth and moisturised, and even reducing hot flushes by keeping your face cooler! Breathable silk helps keep you cool and minimises irritating allergens. The Life Basics Silk Pillowcases are made from pure, ethically made Mulberry Silk and are a simple luxury for bedtime.
Morihata Binchotan Charcoal Eye Mask
Made famous by Holly Golightly in 'Breakfast At Tiffany's', I always thought eye masks were just a fashion accessory. I could not be more wrong! The Morihata Binchotan Charcoal Eye Mask is made from Satin and Cotton and infused with Binchotan Charcoal to may help relieve tension and relax the body. This Charcoal-infused mask eliminates distractions by blocking out all light without irritating your face, while the detoxifying properties of Binchotan Charcoal may help to attract and absorb positive ions from the air around it to reduce allergens and ensure easy breathing. Breathable and hypoallergenic, it gently matches the natural contours of your face making it a must-have for anyone who finds it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep all night. It's also a travel essential for those sleepless flights!
Image Credit: @kimandproper featuring @shelbywax
100% Bamboo Sheets
Bamboo is one of the most environmentally friendly resources and bamboo sheets are the softest, most comfortable sheets you'll sleep on. They are also hypoallergenic and help to regulate your body temperature while you sleep by keeping you cooler in summer and warmer on winter nights.
Badger Sleep Balm
If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you'll know just how often I rave about the Badger Sleep Balm! It's just so good. This balm is completely natural and can be applied to any pulse points (like under the nose or on the temples) to help you relax. It's formulated using Balsam Fir and Bergamot which work to clear the mind, warm the body and help you to achieve calmness. There is even one for kids that may help get them into a deep sleep so they stop waking us up during the night! If you're interested to learn more about the Badger Sleep Balm, I've written a whole blog post which you can read here!
Edible Beauty Tea No. 3 Sleeping Beauty Tea
One nightly ritual that I find really helps me to get to sleep is having a warm cup of tea before bed. This Edible Beauty Sleeping Beauty Tea is caffeine free and made with a beautiful blend of Passionflower, Chamomile and Skullcap to aid relaxation and ease tension in the body. Each of these ingredients are known for their calming properties, which makes this tea an ideal option before bedtime.
WelleCo Sleep Welle Tea
Created with Passionflower, Skullcap and Valerian (nature's Valium) traditionally used to promote good sleep, the WellCo Sleep Welle is a delicious tea that helps ease you into slumber faster. It also comes in the most beautiful refillable container and gift box!
Image Credit: @journeywithjezriel
Black Chicken Remedies Pyramedial
A calming addition to your bedside table, the Black Chicken Remedies Pyramedial is a pyramid-shaped scent bag filled with pure lavender flowers. Harnessing the benefits of aromatherapy, this scent bag contains Lavender, known for its calming properties. Place this bag by your bedside or between your pillows to help ease sleep conditions such as insomnia and promote restfulness and relaxation for a peaceful night's sleep.
Amazing Oils Organic Magnesium Bath Flakes
If you are magnesium deficient, it may be causing sleep difficulties. The Amazing Oils Organic Magnesium Bath Flakes can be added to your nightly bath to help give you a much needed magnesium boost! These Magnesium Flakes are easily absorbed and may help reduce muscle tension, making a Magnesium bath an ideal way to relax and prepare your body for rest. You can even add them to the kids' bath to help them sleep too! To find out more about why Magnesium is so important for your well-being, check out my blog post here!
Herbs of Gold Sleep Ease
The Herbs of Gold Sleep Ease Capsules have been formulated with a unique combination of herbs, containing sedative and stress- and anxiety-relieving properties. Best taken an hour before bed, these gluten and dairy free capsules contain Ziziphus, traditionally used in Chinese medicine, Magnolia Bark, Passionflower and Californian Poppy which may help to relieve insomnia, reduce stress, anxiety, nervous tension and restlessness as well as sedate the mind and promote relaxation.
Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner.
Turn off the electronics
Finally, don't forget to turn off your mobile phone, tablets, computers and wi-fi before you go to bed! The blue light emitted from electronic devices interferes with melatonin production (the sleep hormone), and we do not want all that radio-frequency energy buzzing around when we are trying to sleep. Limit electronics usage before bedtime, ideally ending use one hour before bedtime to allow your body to naturally start getting ready to fall asleep. This step is very important for growing kids too! Shop even more of our amazing products to aid sleep here!
Want to know more about the benefits of sleep? The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington is an inspiring and thoroughly researched book that clearly explains the important role sleep plays in our lives and outlines simple strategies to help us form a regular sleep routine.
Sources: 1healthysleep.med.harvard.edu, 2sleephealthfoundation.org.au, 3amazingoils.com.au. Feature photo by Carly Brown Photography