Herbs Can Help You Sleep

Relax yourself to sleep

Relax yourself to sleep

We know how important it is to get enough good quality sleep each night. Sleep is so much easier when you are relaxed. When you are stressed or anxious you may find that your brain is too busy worrying about things that you have not done, or thinking about things that did not go well in the past, making it hard to sleep. Also, when you are anxious or stressed, your body becomes alert and aroused, also making sleep much harder.

When you are anxious or stressed over a long period your body produces more cortisol, which is our “stress hormone”. Increased cortisol makes us feel extra alert and ready to face any threats. In addition, when you are in an immediate threat situation, your body will produce adrenaline to increase your heart rate and elevate your blood pressure. Increases in these threat and stress hormones disrupt sleep.

What can you do to relax?

There are many things you can do to help you relax and reduce your levels of stress and anxiety.

Take some time and effort to prioritise your bedroom itself. Make your bedroom a place you really want to be Choose natural materials where possible and calm colours – blue is a particularly good colour for a bedroom. Also, make sure that your mattress (from M6 beds!) is really supportive and comfortable so that you feel really relaxed in bed itself. M6 Beds have a wide range and variety of greta mattresses and pillows to choose from. Visit us anytime, simply call to book an appointment for a time that suits you!

If your bedroom is calm and decluttered, then you will feel calmer at bedtime. Do not have piles of paperwork, or dirty laundry in your bedroom as that will only make you think about everything you have not done – increasing stress.

Scents are also a good way to help us relax. Lavender is a well known relaxing fragrance. You  could use a lavender pillow spray, or a diffuser in the bedroom with some lavender essential oils to fill the air with the relaxing smell of lavender. In addition to lavender, there are also other relaxing fragrances such as jasmine, bergamot, valerian and vanilla. This is not a complete list though, as any fragrance you love and makes you feel happy will help you to relax. You could put some of your favourite fragrances in an oil burner and enjoy while you have a long warm bath, or pop a few drops on a tissue under your pillow just before bed.

Relaxation techniques can also help you to sleep better. Slow, deep breathing can be done during the daytime when you are feeling anxious, or at bedtime to help promote sleep. There is a deep breathing technique recommended by the NHS where you breathe slowly in through your nose, and try to fill air deep into your lungs (into your belly), and then breathe out slowly through your mouth. The NHS recommend that you breathe in for a count of 5 and then out for a count of 5, and to continue this for 3-5 minutes.

You can help yourself to be more relaxed at nightime by looking at what you are doing during the day. Exercise is a great way of de-stressing, so go for a run or a brisk walk during the day to help relax tension. Try not to exercise too close to bedtime though. Also, see if there is anything you can do about some of the things you are worried about… get your tax return in early, or call that friend you have been meaning to for ages, so that you feel you have accomplished something by the time you go to bed.

Lastly, make sure that you have a wind down time before you go to bed. If you are working right up until bedtime them you will still be thinking about work stress instead of relaxing off to sleep. Stop working an hour before bed, and read a book or have a warm bath to wind down before you go to bed.

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Is It True That Herbs Can Help You Sleep?

Is It True That Herbs Can Help You Sleep?

Herbs such as lavender have been seen as an aid to sleep for hundred, perhaps even thousands of years, but in our age where many are sceptical about the effectiveness of herbal remedies does the evidence really stack up?

The good news if you are the kind of person who believes in herbal remedies is that evidence does exist for the positive benefits of lavender on sleep.

Scents can have a profound affect on us humans and the effects of scents on the brain continue to be widely studied. Scents can have an affect particularly on our memories. Certain scents are able to take us back directly to times when we may have encountered those scents and what we were doing at that time.

One study by Koulivand, P. et al. examined the effectiveness of lavender on sleep and drew the following conclusion:
‘Single-blind randomized studies investigated the effectiveness of lavender odour on quality of sleep showed that lavender improved the mean scores of sleep quality in fifteen healthy students [74], in sixty-four ischemic heart disease patients [75], and in thirty-four midlife women with insomnia [76].’

Lavender apparently acts as a mild sedative as well as being a mood stabilizer so if you are looking for a simple remedy to help you sleep, our ancient ancestors may have provided us with the remedy afterall.

Posted by m6beds in Herbs Can Help You Sleep, M6 Beds, Mattresses