#1 – Valerian. Scientists believe that valerian stimulates an increase in the amount of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) in our brains, a chemical which regulates nerve cells and calms anxiety. Drugs like Xanax and Diazepam also work in this way, but Valerian is much gentler with few of the unpleasant side effects associated with prescription drugs. There are a huge number of valerian products out there, but our favourite is A.Vogel’s Dormeasan, which contains both Valerian and Hops.
#2 – Magnesium. This mineral is involved in over 300 chemical reactions in the body, but it is particularly important for sleep. It’s vital for regulating GABA in the brain, and it helps decrease cortisol (a stress hormone). It also helps muscles relax, which relaxes the whole body. Magnesium can be taken orally in tablet form, such as Lambert's Magasorb or it can be absorbed through the skin by using BetterYou Magnesium Oil spray.
#3 – Lavender. There are a number of calming essential oils available, but we recommend lavender for aiding sleep. Lavender settles the nervous system to aid relaxation and calm stress and anxiety. You can buy it as an essential oil and drop a little onto your pillow so its calming effect can work throughout the night, or in a tea, such as Pukka’s Night Time Tea, which contains Oat Flower, Lavender and Lime which work in harmony to help you relax.
#4 – Chamomile. This has been shown to calm anxiety, reduce stress, elevate mood and combat insomnia. It is commonly taken as a tea, such as Heath & Heather Organic Chamomile Tea, but you can also buy it as an essential oil to drop onto your pillow.
#5 – Hot bath. The heat from the water itself relaxes tense muscles, which can have a relaxing effect on the whole body. The half hour relaxing in a bath with no distractions is also great for winding down before bed. In addition, you can add your lavender or chamomile oils to your bath for an extra dose of relaxation.
We hope you find these tips helpful. Check out some of the products below to help get a better night's sleep!