I’m a mixed sleeper, a childhood sleepwalker and sometimes adult sufferer of night terrors. I even tried to climb out of a friend’s window mid-nightmare and I regularly freak my husband out by shouting at him in my sleep.
Not to mention the time I went on a spa weekend with another friend and started screaming at her about my Christmas Tree. Your guess is as good as mine. Jokes aside, it’s clearly a serious problem, as the more disturbed our sleep, the bigger impact on our health and general coping mechanisms. To try and tackle the whole insomnia and disturbed sleep issue from a natural angle, I’m now looking at herbal blends.
Pukka Herbs suggest a blend of chamomile, lavender, oatflower, limeflowers, valerian and ashwagandha to aid sleep, and their delish Night Time Tea combines these. They also do Night Time supplements; an organic, herbal blend for a good night’s sleep. I swear by Clipper Sleep Easy tea, sent to me for a Silentnight Meaning of Dreams Campaign blog. It makes me so sleepy, and after a hot bubble bath it is pure bliss.
More info about the Pukka Herbs recommendations is here:
- Valerian– a strong nervine and sedative to the central nervous system relaxing tense muscles whilst also encouraging an undisturbed sleep, healthy sleeping pattern and ameliorating stress.
- Chamomile– a classic relaxant for the whole body but particularly the nervous system.
- Lavender– a sweet smelling herb contains aromatic essential oils that reduce difficulty in falling asleep, promoting a more restful sleep and preventing night-time wakening.
- Limeflowers– a particularly effective in helping to treat bad dreams and soothing a frazzled nervous system.
- Oatflower– a restorative to the nervous system which calms shattered nerves, relieves emotional instability and helps to restore a sense of peace and tranquility.
- Ashwagandha– a strengthening tonic for nourishing the nervous and immune system, reducing stress and promoting a rejuvenative night’s sleep. Ashwaganda is a modern-day ‘adaptogen’, adapting to the needs of our body and mind. On the one hand it’s a tonic with the power to strengthen an exhausted and agitated nervous system; on the other, it’s a calming and restoring sedative. It will help encourage a rejuvenative night’s sleep by helping it relax but also energising body and mind through nourishing the adrenal glands so that, on waking, you are ready for the day ahead.
In addition to this, Katie Pande, Medical Herballist says;
- Winding down before bed time is as important as stretching before exercise. Try drinking a calming herbal based tea, such as Pukka Herbs’ Night Time (£2.39 for 20 sachets) to relax the nervous system and lull you into sleep.
- Meditate or practice yoga for 15-30 minutes every day to calm the mind. There are some great mindfulness beginner’s apps to get you started if you’ve not meditated before.
- Avoid bright lights (that includes the bright light of your phone!) where you sleep – they will not help create the serene surroundings needed for sleep.
- Avoid sugary foods, caffeine and rich and fatty foods too late in the evening, as these can upset the digestive system and prevent sleep.
- Exercise for 30 minutes every day to relieve tension and stress.
I love a glass of Rioja, and annoyingly since having kids this disturbs my sleep more than ever. Whether this is hormonal I have no idea, but it makes me think twice about a glass of red. I’m definitely going to take on these other tips, as it has to be worth considering.
Tonight I’m reaching for my sleepy tea, while hoping for some lovely sweet dreams.