Tossing and turning at night? Never settling into a deep sleep and waking up sporadically throughout the night? You are not alone. Studies estimated that 10% to 15% of the adult population suffers from insomnia.
Most individuals are aware of the importance of a good night’s sleep. However, with overwhelming daily activities such as work, family, social life that stretches into the night, shift duties, “weekend warrior” or “night owl” exercise routines, and so on, good quality sleep just gets pushed aside.
Unknown to most, living healthily both physically and mentally actually demands a sound sleeping habit, regardless of our age, gender, wealth, or physical condition. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the recommended hours of sleep change as you age. For healthy adults, they are advised to have 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. A minimum of 7 hours of sleep is a good start towards better health for all age groups. Anything less than 7 hours may imply that you are sleep-deprived, resulting in weight gain, migraines, and constant fatigue.
For individuals who have already tried to implement all recommended practices and yet good sleep eludes them, natural supplements may help.
Natural sleep-promoting supplements
Commonly used for insomnia and improving sleep conditions, melatonin seems like a common option. Known as the “hormone of sleep”, melatonin helps to improve sleep quality and duration, as well as helping reduce fatigue and symptoms of jetlag.
Some people with poor sleep may also be suffering from nutrient deficiency. For instance, the lack of B complex vitamins may cause people to wake up sporadically at night, as these vitamins are part of the chemical equation for our bodies to produce melatonin.
Although often known for building strong bones, studies have found that individuals lacking vitamin D had an increased risk of sleep disorders. For some individuals who may suffer from “restless leg syndrome” which affects their sleep quality, vitamin E may help. Other natural ingredients that promote sleep quality include valerian root, magnesium, lavender, passionflower, and chamomile. Valerian is a popular herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), used to treat moderate anxiety, nervousness, and sleep disorders. Besides, herbal teas such as passionflower and chamomile are popular beverages that help calm, relax, and unwind for a sound sleep.
Extra tips for better sleep
Although supplements may assist in promoting sleep quality, good habits for sleep hygiene are important too. Here are some tips:
- Adopt a regular sleeping habit
- Induce physical activity to your daily routine
- Incorporate gentle stretches before bedtime
- Avoid caffeine from midday onwards
- Focus on a healthy diet
- Creating a comfortable sleep environment
- Avoid taking naps during the day
- Avoid heavy meals before bedtime