Get More Sleep! (part 1)
An important pillar of health is getting a good night’s sleep.
If you are not feeling so great, sleep is the number one thing you can do to help yourself – an early night with a long, refreshing sleep.
This is elusive to many people. I estimate that 70% of the people who come to see me have issues with sleeping! Here are some ways to optimise your chances of a good night’s sleep with what you drink.
Studies show that drinking caffeine can have a major impact on getting to sleep. Stopping caffeine 6 hours before you want to sleep is a good idea.
Try drinking a similar amount of caffeine each day rather than bingeing some days and having less on others. Regular caffeine drinkers have more steady sleep than occasional drinkers.
Remember that it’s not only coffee and tea that contain caffeine – some soft drinks have it in, as well as healthy teas like green tea. Even chocolate contains caffeine – especially the more concentrated dark chocolate.
It can feel as though alcohol helps you get to sleep. Anyone who snoozes on the sofa after a Friday night glass of wine will confirm this! The sedative effect of alcohol certainly accelerates falling into a deep sleep quickly.
However, this rapid fall into deep sleep disrupts our sleep rhythm and disrupts later sleep by reducing the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep phase.
The liver burden that alcohol brings also means that we are prone to waking in the middle of the night as our liver enzymes metabolise the alcohol.
If you are taking conventional medications or are in a time of hormonal change (eg menopause), your liver is already doing more to detox at that time of night, meaning you can wake up extra hot and sweaty.
Sour Cherry Juice
I have recently discovered a love for sour cherry juice in the evenings before bed. I add a little concentrate to a mug and add boiling water, but you can also drink it like a cordial.
Tart cherries are a great anti-oxidant and have melatonin-inducing properties to encourage sleep. I have been buying this product from Dynamic Health, which I like. It tastes really good and works for me.
Herbal teas have been used for hundreds of years to help with sleep. Try chamomile, lavender or valerian combinations.
My current favourite is Yogi tea which has a combination of chamomile, cardamom, lemon balm and peppermint. And a cute motto on each tea bag, a bit like a fortune cookie.
I often put together a tailor-made botanical combination for clients who have trouble sleeping. The combination I use the most contains Chamomile, Hops, Lemon Balm, Skullcap and several other less known herbs. 10 drops in warm water before bed can work miracles.
Sleep can be a complex issue. In a homeopathic consultation, we can work together to unpick the causes of low quality sleep and devise a strategy to improve it. Homeopathic remedies can really help in many ways.
Feel free to get in touch if you would like some professional help.