Sleep is something that we all fundamentally need to function, yet it seems that in recent years, the quality of sleep we are getting is steadily declining. In this blog, I discuss why sleep is so important and recommend some solutions to your slumber woes.
One third of our life is spent sleeping – or should be. Increasing numbers of people are finding that this percentage is seriously slipping, with less time spent asleep, and the sleep that we do get proving unrefreshing.
Sleep is designed to restore us to full function after a period (usually a day) of wearing ourselves out. During the night, tissues are repaired, organs rest or finish cycles such as flushing out toxins, and the brain filters the events of the day. This is why you can sometimes wake up with the answer to a problem that seemed insoluble the evening before.
The problem comes when sleep is illusive. Missing the time to repair and restore, we find our brains struggling to cope, memory slipping, concentration below par, muscles fatigued, skin dull and eyes lack-lustre. Parents with new babies know how divorced from reality they feel after a few weeks of severely interrupted sleep; and torturers from Roman times onwards have used sleep deprivation to unpick prisoner’s brains.
So, a good solid few hours of sleep will do wonders for everything from your skin to your soul.
Avoid caffeine, which stimulates the nervous system and puts it on red alert. Remember that chocolate and fizzy drinks contain caffeine, as well as tea and coffee. Swap to natural alternatives like pure juices and dried fruit
Clear your mental agenda before you go to bed – make a list of things to do the next day or issues that you need to consider, and then put them aside for the night
Have a warm bath or read a pleasant book, but don’t watch the nerve-wracking news or try to finish an essay just before bed
Reserve your bed for sleep, then your body will not associate being in bed with being alert and on edge. Having your bedroom packed with a television, computer and stacks of work makes it difficult for the brain to switch off
Take a herbal remedy. A combination of Valerian and Hops can be taken just before bed and will allow you to slip easily into a restful sleep, without any groggy hangover-type effects in the morning. These herbs are non-addictive and can be taken alongside other medication, except sleeping medication or tranquillisers.
 Nedeltcheva AV et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009; Vol 89: 126-133.  Cohen S et al. Arch Intern Med 2009; 169: 62-67
Join experts Eileen Durward and Alison Cullen in the beautiful A.Vogel garden as they talk about sleep and why it is the one remedy we cannot do without. Discover their tips on how to improve your sleep quality including lifestyle changes and how herbs such as Hops and Valerian can help promote a better night’s sleep.
Join today for lots of simple energy-boosting tips and advice from our nutritionist Emma and her team of experts sent to you over 6 days to help revitalise your energy levels, as well as a sample of our Balance Mineral Drink which is packed with energy-boosting minerals.