Six Tips for a Better Nights Sleep
SIX TIPS FOR A BETTER NIGHTS SLEEP & HOW TO USE ADAPTOGENS IN YOUR ROUTINE TO IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF SLEEP
BY CHARLOTTE BARKER
It is not uncommon in our fast-paced society to have experienced some form of sleep imbalance -
From being unable to fall asleep, difficulty staying sleep, or waking consistently throughout the night.
Sleep issues are caused by an imbalance in your sleep hormones. High stress = high cortisol (your stress/energy hormone) which overpowers your rest/sleep hormone melatonin and leaves you tossing and turning. Stress is hard to avoid, but luckily there are some beautiful supportive plant medicines and lifestyle tips we can implement to help improve our sleep quality.
1. Herbal medicine is a fantastic option for bringing some balance to your cortisol/melatonin relationship.
There are some wonderful My Tribe Type products that are easy to implement into your nightly routine.
Two of my favourite options from the range are as following:
The Calmer (Ashwagandha). This is an adaptogenic herb (meaning it has the ability to help your body to ‘adapt’ to stressors in your life) it lowers cortisol levels by supporting the HPA Axis (Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal), bringing balance to your sleep cycle. (Your cortisol should be peaking in the morning to give you energy for the day, and at its lowest at night to let you rest. Unfortunately, it is more and more common to see these hormones out of balance. Ashwagandha is a gentle way to encourage a good night’s rest).
Love Adaptogenic Inner Beauty Powder. This is a mix of herbs that work together to support your body to bring balance and encourage a restful night’s sleep. This mix contains Ashwagandha (as mentioned above) but also contains other ingredients such as He Shou Wu, Shisandra, Shatavari, and more – making it an all-around tonic for the body that encourages hormonal and immune health.
You could add one of these options to a nightly warm cup of rooibos tea (naturally caffeine free) with almond milk. Or sprinkle over fresh cut fruits, or mixed into stewed fruits for a refined sugar free, warming and nourishing dessert.
2 - Another way to help balance your cortisol/melatonin relationship is to try to avoid using computer screens and mobile phones for at least an hour before bed. The blue light emitted from these devices halts the production of melatonin (your sleep/rest hormone). A way to get around this is to use a blue light filter for your phone/computer, this is often found in the settings.
3 - Relax, do something that calms you down.
We have two parts to our nervous system:
--- One is the para-sympathetic – this is responsible for the rest state of body, where you are easily able to fall asleep and feel calm and at ease.
---- The other is the sympathetic nervous system, this is the “fight or flight” mode, which is activated not just when you’re in real danger, but also when you are over stressed or experiencing anxiety. This increases cortisol and makes it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
Doing something that beings you a sense of calm such as reading a book, taking a bath, doing some light stretching or listening to a podcast, could make a huge difference when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.
4 - Avoid caffeine after lunch time if you have trouble with sleep onset and feel restless in bed, this includes coffee, green tea, black tea and spice chai mixes which include black tea. Chocolate can also be problematic for some people as it contains theobromine which acts similarly to caffeine in the body.
Replacing this with a relaxing herbal infusion such as the My Tribe Type ‘YoungFlower’ is a fantastic option to help lower stress levels & cortisol, and balance out the sympathetic nervous system.
5 - Eat your last meal a few hours before bed, this gives your body the chance to digest your food before getting to sleep. This way your body can focus on repairing and resting your body rather than having the focus be on digestion, thus giving you a more restful and restorative sleep leaving you waking up feeling refreshed.
6 - And lastly, know yourself. If you find that the main cause of stress keeping you up at night is things you have to do tomorrow and things you might forget, making a list for your tasks for the next day can ease your mind and give your mind a chance to relax.
About the author - Charlotte Barker
Living in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, and a final year Naturopathy student. The combining of herbal medicine and its ability to gently, yet effectively move obstacles in the body, and the science based nutritional aspect are what brought about my passion for this balanced approach to wellness. I have a particular interest in woman’s health and look forward to working more with this area in the future.