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Sleeping problems may impact on our health

How to wake up energised every day

Sleeping problems may impact our health. According to research, one out of three people are suffering from sleeping disorders. Despite understanding the health benefits of a quality night’s sleep, many of us struggle to sleep soundly and often wake in the morning feeling unrested.

A good night's sleep is essential to help our body and mind repair from the day. Over time this lack of sleep can have implications for people’s health and their lifestyles, yet some people leave the condition untreated.

To help drift off into a deep sleep, try to switch off from all computers, mobile phones and the TV at least half an hour before heading to bed. Experts advise avoiding late night meals and vigorous exercise in the evening.

Reading is an effective way to wind down and distract the mind. Ensure it’s a relaxing read though, not an adrenaline pumping, attention capturing novel that will wind up your nervous system! Avoid reading from your tablets or kindles at this point as their backlight will stimulate your brain.

If you’re still struggling to wind down, taking a hot bath will help to relax your body, as will meditation and yoga. Whilst all forms of exercise are good for your body, yoga goes one step further by calming the mind and nervous system. Deep breathing and muscle relaxation are also highly beneficial in aiding a deep, long sleep.

If you are tired of waking through the night and starting the day on the back foot, you may wish to look to a herbal supplement to help restore your normal sleeping patterns.

A scientific trial from Australia found the purple passion flower has benefits for people suffering sleep problems. Passiflora incarnata, as it is known, was tested in 41 people aged 18-35 years who drank a cup of herbal tea daily for a week. They also filled in sleep diaries and had their brain waves recorded. The volunteers then swapped to a drink made from a placebo (dummy) teabag, without knowing which cup contained real herbs. Even at low-doses, short term sleep quality was 'significantly better' using teabags made from dried passion flower leaves, stems, seeds and flowers, compared with placebo teabags. The study, from researchers at Monash University in Australia, was published in the journal Phytotherapy Research.
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