Many Americans are sleeping less than six hours a night, and sleep difficulties visit 75% of us at least a few nights per week. The occasional sleepless night is generally nothing to worry about. The bigger concern is chronic sleep loss, which can contribute to health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and a decrease in the immune system’s power.
The benefits of good sleep are countless, but a few good reasons to make quality sleep a priority are:
- Improves learning and memory
- Regulates hormones and helps us to maintain proper weight
- Better cognition
- Regulates our mood
- Helps regulate blood pressure, heartbeat
- Regulates our immune system
- And so much more!
Is your bedtime routine out of whack? Committing to a nightly routine is a surefire way to catch a few more Z’s! Try to get to bed around the same time each night and plan on waking around the same time each morning to optimize your circadian rhythm. Plan to eat 2-3 hours before bed so that your body is able to focus on rest not digestion. And limit screen time at least 30 minutes before bed, but ideally an hour or more. Blue lights from screens signal to our body that it is still daytime and suppresses melatonin production, the hormone that helps us sleep. Make your room calm, quiet, cool and as dark as possible.
During the day you can also do a few things to set yourself up for a great night’s sleep. Limit caffeine and try not to consume any after 12pm. Get outside a move a little, especially in the morning hours. This helps to balance your sleep-wake cycle and get your Vitamin D. Stay hydrated and consume nutrient dense meals. Dehydration and nutrient deficiencies can contribute to sleeplessness. Avoid alcohol before bed.
Still need some extra help getting to sleep? Herbal supplements can be helpful for occasional sleeplessness. Herbs like valerian, kava, chamomile and hops are effective natural sleep aids.
Try these specially formulated Tree of Life herbals:
Sleep: A powerful combination of herbs and melatonin indicated for sleep, pain and anxiety. Sleep contains valerian, hops, skullcap, passionflower, chamomile and California poppy. These herbs deeply relax the mind and body, reduce pain and support a good night’s sleep. Can be combined with Kava (if very anxious) or Valerian (for a greater sedative effect).
Relax: A combination of herbs also indicated for sleep, pain and anxiety. Relax contains valerian, hops, kava, passionflower, chamomile, lobelia and pulsatilla. These herbs, especially valerian, are helpful for pain. They will also help to slow down the mind and enter a relaxed state. Can be combined with Kava (for anxiety) or Valerian (extra sedative effect).
Valerian: This is a single herb formulation. Indicated for pain, insomnia and anxiety. Valerian is known as one of the strongest herbs for calming the nervous system (sedative effect) and relieving pain, specifically muscle pain. Can be combined with Kava (if anxious) and Relax (for extra sleep relief).
Kava: A single herb formulation. Indicated for anxiety, relaxation, depression and insomnia. This herb helps to elevate mood, decrease pain and is wonderful at relaxing the mind without making one groggy or tired. A more gentle herb for sleep, promoting a more calming effect, versus a sedative one. Can be combined with Relax or Valerian (for more sedative sleep effect).
Chamomile: A single herb formulation. Indicated for stress, anxiety and insomnia. Known for its relaxing effects it gently sedates and helps to calm one down. Does not act as strongly as valerian. A good choice for those who are more sensitive and is safe for children. Can be combined with Relax (for extra sleep support), Valerian (for stronger sedative effect) or Kava (for anxiety).