Sleep - How does it affect your health?

Good sleep is hard to come by in a busy life, yet is vital to our health. Throughout our lifetime we spend about 28 years asleep and we still don’t know exactly how it works. Sleep is important in restoring physical and mental health as well as refreshing the mind and repairing the body.

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How much sleep you require depends on how old you are. For an adult, 7-9 hours a night is recommended to feel properly rested and be able to function the next day. Sleep is thought to help with growing and healing, keeping the immune system strong, controlling your weight and appetite and helps with attention span, memory and learning.

No sleep or not enough sleep can negatively affect your health. It not only impacts your concentration and mood but can also be seen to impact physical conditions such as blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. There are many common sleep problems including snoring, insomnia and sleep apnoea. If you have any sleep problems, it is recommended you see a health professional.

Tips for a good night sleep:

  1. Following a routine – Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
  2. Switch off technology – in this day an age, we always seem to be on phones or tablets. Switch them off for at least 30 minutes before bed and turn on the blue light filter at night.
  3. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes close to bedtime
  4. Try a herbal tea such as chamomile or lemon balm
  5. Exercise – daily exercise can help promote sleep, just not too close to bedtime

Herbs that help with sleep:

A variety of herbs can help improve your sleep quality as well as getting to sleep. This includes:

  • Valerian
  • Kava
  • Lemon Balm
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Zizyphus
  • Passionflower

These herbs can help you fall asleep and stay asleep depending on what you have trouble with: falling asleep or staying asleep. Just remember they don't address the underlying reason you are having issues sleeping. Please contact your Naturopath to find out which herb is right for you.