The Best Bedtime Teas For Sleep

The Best Bedtime Teas For Sleep

A third of us will experience insomnia at some point in our lives. It’s important then to prioritise relaxation and unwinding before bed. Practising good sleep hygiene is one way of doing this, but you can also incorporate bedtime tea into the mix. In this article we look at the best bedtime teas we have found.

 

For centuries herbal teas have been used as a natural sleep aid, but which ones are still popular today?

Chamomile

This tea contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which may help you drift off to sleep.  Regarded as a natural relaxant chamomile works as a mild tranquilizer, relaxing the nerves and muscles.

A recent study involving postpartum women who had poor sleep quality found that those who drank chamomile tea for a two-week period reported overall better sleep quality than those who didn’t1.

Valerian Root

One of the most popular herbal sleep aids in Europe and the US, valerian root may increase sleepiness by increasing levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA. Small studies suggest that valerian root may improve overall sleep quality by shortening the time it takes for you to fall asleep 2.

Lavender

Best known for its relaxing scent, we wouldn’t often associate lavender with tea. Drinking lavender tea may improve sleep quality, especially for those who are suffering from insomnia or anxiety-related disorders.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm isn’t often associated with tea, it is from the mint family and is most often used in aromatherapy. This citrus-scented herb has been used for reducing stress and improving sleep since the Middle Ages.

Drinking lemon balm tea may decrease insomnia-related symptoms. A recent study showed people experienced a 42% reduction in insomnia symptoms after receiving 600 mg of lemon balm extract per day for 15 days3.

Passionflower

Passionflower tea is made from the dried leaves, flowers and stems of the Passiflora plant. This floral tea calms the mind and also alleviates indigestion helping to ease the stomach.

Passionflower is a natural relaxant. A 2011 study found that it improves sleep quality in the short-term4.

Sleep is fundamental to good overall health. Getting enough quality sleep is important for maintaining your immune system and metabolic function, processing the day’s memories and maintaining normal body weight.

If you are finding it hard to sleep and it is interfering with your day to day life get in touch with your doctor.

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The Ultimate Guide to Clean Sleeping

The Ultimate Guide to Clean Sleeping

What is Clean Sleeping?

We all know it’s important to look after our health.

We know to eat right, exercise regularly and look after our skin, but how much effort do we put into our sleep?

Clean Sleeping is brought to us by Goop creator Gwyneth Paltrow in her latest book, Clean Beauty. It focuses on treating sleep with the same care and attention that we do our diet or skin, making it a priority above all else.

Some of Goop’s practises and claims have been known to raise eyebrows in the past. However, the concept of clean sleeping focuses mainly on achieving a good sleep routine, cutting out caffeine and allowing yourself to switch off.

With the added health and beauty benefits, what have we got to lose from giving it a go?

Top Tips for Clean Sleep

 

  • Get at least eight hours of sleep a night (ideally nine or 10)

    The lifestyle I lead is based not just on clean eating, but also on clean sleeping: at least seven or eight hours of good, quality sleep — and ideally even ten.1 Gwyneth explained in her article with the Daily Mail. Nine to ten is unrealistic for many of us, aiming towards eight hours of sleep per night would be a start.

 

  • Steer clear of stimulants after 2pm

    Reduce your intake of stimulants throughout the day, especially caffeine and refined sugars. It’s tempting to reach for a cup of coffee during your 3pm slump but don’t use caffeine as a substitute for food.

 

  • Keep the same sleep routine

    Get your body into a good sleep routine and go to bed at the same time every night. Gwyneth recommends at 10pm, but this may seem a little early for you. Focus on finding a time that suits you and stick to it2. You’ll be able to fall asleep easier and your circadian rhythm (your body clock) will also be on the same page.

 

  • Say no to your smart phone 90 minutes before you get into bed

    Poetically put as an ‘Electrical sundown,’ banning your screens from the bedroom can aid a more restful sleep. Your screens emit a blue light that increases stimulation and delays your circadian rhythm3. Power down at least 90 minutes before bed. Ensure your bedroom is tech free and create a sanctuary free from emails, social media notifications and the daily stresses of modern life. Learn more about how to regulate your circadian rhythm here.

 

  • Ban snacks at bedtime and keep a 12-hour fasting window in your day

    Say goodbye to midnight feasts. Goop Detox expert Dr Alejandro Junger recommends keeping a regular 12 hour fasting window between dinner and breakfast. He states that your body doesn’t slip into detox mode until about eight hours after your last meal and that it needs about four more hours of undisturbed sleep to detox properly4.

 

  • Meditate, meditate, meditate!

    In her article, Paltrow recommends ‘Yoga Nidra’ or psychic sleeping. This is a form of meditation that simulates the qualities of sleep while the body is still awake. This meditation focuses on each body part separately, in a circular motion. For example, focusing on your fingers, palm, wrist, forearm etc. all the way around the head, other arm and legs. It is supposed to put your brain into a state of near-sleep. Once mastered, this can be extremely relaxing, but you will need to practise to feel the full effects.

 

  • Relax with a trigger point massage

    This is all about relaxing and preparing yourself for sleep and Paltrow believes trigger point massages are key. Although it may not be attainable to keep this up every night you can always try it on a weekly basis or for when you are stressed. Simply give yourself a gentle head massage, targeting the pressure points on the back of your head. These are located approx. five fingers from the back of your ear at the base of your skull. You will feel a deep and a tender point at the right spot5. Massage this area in a circular motion for maximum release. Alternatively, you could give yourself a relaxing foot massage.

 

  • Copper

    Paltrow recommends investing in a copper pillowcase to combat wrinkles but there are other less costly alternatives. Silver Ions boast the same benefits and are also hypoallergenic and eczema friendly. At SlumberSlumber we have a silver ion infused memory foam pillow. It is anti-bacterial offering you a much fresher and healthier night’s sleep. We also have a variety of natural materials that can aid your sleep and take care of your skin. From silk, organic cotton to bamboo, discover our range of materials here.

We at SlumberSlumber welcome anything that helps give you a more restful sleep. Clean sleeping’s strict rules might not be for everyone but taking away some handy tips can really make a difference. Creating a peaceful sleeping environment, allowing yourself to shut off and steering clear of caffeine can all help us get as much as we can out of our forty winks.

 

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