A busy mind is the enemy of sleep and disciplining your multitude of thoughts is easier said than done. In one Australian study, stress was found to be the number one cause of peoples’ inability to fall asleep. For many people, the period of time before sleep is the only chance they have to go over the problems of the day or ponder over issues. To make things worse, worrying about not falling asleep can make things worse!
Poor sleeping patterns can exacerbate many conditions such as depression, anxiety, bowel problems and lowered immunity. So it’s important to get a restful night’s sleep! On the market, there is a number of sleep preparations available, each with their own special combination of herbs and minerals focused to give you a restful night’s sleep. But how do these special ingredients help?
Lactium - Lactium is a bioavailable milk peptide that relieves the symptoms of stress by calming the nervous system and helping to relax the mind.
Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus) – Tart cherries are naturally high in melatonin: the sleep hormone that is made in the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin primes our internal body clock to become sleepy at night. Melatonin secretion occurs throughout the night, with onset of secretion related to a decrease in core body temperature and an increase in sleepiness levels. Tart cherries are high in antioxidants, especially anthocyanin (the reason for their colour), which can help to reduce oxidative stress. Tart cherry has also been found to help improve your general sleep quality while helping you to stay asleep longer.
Magnesium – Magnesium is vital for a well-functioning nervous system and a healthy mood. It helps to relive nervous tension and quieten the busy thoughts you may have just before you retire. Our bodies require more magnesium during times of stress so it makes sense to supplement with this important mineral. In pregnant women, magnesium can help to relieve painful leg cramps that often occur at night.
Calcium – Calcium is required for coordination of the nervous system and allows muscle cells to contract and relax adequately. Along with magnesium, calcium is important for the functioning of the nervous system.
Choline – Choline is essential for the transfer of nervous impulses in the brain. It is the precursor to acetylcholine, one of our most important brain chemical responsible for transmitting messages.
Inositol – Inositol also works with the body and nervous system as a signaller that enables messages to pass between cells
Zizyphus – Zizyphus is an herb that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its mild sedative action to help calm the nerves and mind, relieve irritability and help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Traditional Chinese herbalists consider it calming to the Spirit and nourishing to the Heart.
Kava (Piper Mythysticum) – Kava affects the brain and other parts of the central nervous system, and is used to calm anxiety, stress, and restlessness, and treat sleep problems (insomnia). The kava-lactones in kava are believed to be responsible for its effects.
Passion Flower - Passionflower is commonly used for nervous tension, anxiety and irritability. The chemicals in passionflower have calming, sleep inducing, and muscle spasm relieving effects.
Humulus lupulus (Hops) flower – Hops has been used for its sedative effects on the central nervous system. Its methylbutenol content helps in the treatment of stress, anxiety and insomnia.
Some products Your Chemist Shop offers that can help you falling asleep more efficiently, sleeping deeply and waking rested are: Nature’s Own Complete Sleep, Totally Natural Sleep More and Blackmores Executive B Sleep Formula.