Few people need convincing about the importance of a good night’s sleep, but that doesn’t make getting 7-9 hours of rest every night any less elusive.
Sleep is literally the time where our body and mind heals. As our physical body rests, the sympathetic nervous system gets a chance to relax and our brain processes the events of the day. Blood pressure drops, which reduces stress on your heart. Breathing slows, muscles relax, and inflammation is reduced while we’re sleeping. Our pituitary gland releases hormones which help your body repair itself on a cellular level.
Those who get less than 6 hours of sleep on a regular basis are at greater risk for serious and chronic health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cognitive decline, and death in general! A lack of good sleep also means you may be more likely to gain weight, and will have higher levels of stress hormones.
With the demands of modern life placed on us, along with an increase in blue-light screen time which messes with natural circadian rhythms, it’s more important than ever that we treat sleep with the respect it deserves. Like one may ready a young child for bed - a warm bath with relaxing scents, a bedtime story and a dark room at the perfect temperature - adults also benefit from bedtime routines. These relaxing activities allow our minds and bodies to prepare, and our brains to adjust hormone levels to reach the desired state for a good night’s sleep.
Along with natural essential oils, calming music or a meditation routine, vitamins and supplements can be a way to support getting deeper rest. Here are a few of our favourites to consider in an effort to support your bedtime routines and sleep more deeply:
Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in nervous system function and it can aid sleep as it activates the parasympathetic nervous system. People without enough magnesium typically have insomnia or trouble sleeping as your parasympathetic system is responsible for relaxing both the body and the mind. Magnesium also regulates the release of melatonin, which guides sleep-wake cycles in your body.
Magnesium supplements are easily found at local drug or vitamin stores, but supplement company Care/of offers a magnesium from Irish seawater which is highly soluble.
The hormone cortisol is produced in the adrenal cortex and released into our bodies during times of stress. In a healthy person, cortisol secretion should peak in the early morning hours after a good sleep, and see a gradual decline by the evening. If you are experiencing a high amount of stress, it’s possible that your cortisol levels could be off and prevent you from falling asleep easily at night.
By supporting balanced cortisol and a healthy stress response, a Cortisol Manager can promote relaxation and support restful sleep. Integrative Therapeutics’ Cortisol Manager features herbs known to support cortisol levels. Worth trying if you suspect stress may be causing some of your challenges with sleep!
Botanica’s Sleep Thru capsule is a herbal blend specially formulated to support restorative sleep right through the night. It includes herbs such as Magnolia to manage stress levels, Ashwagandha for stress and energy support, and Passionflower to promote relaxation. This is a whole liquid herb formula that is in capsule format which makes it super convenient.
The Loba team just discovered this product ourselves and have found it help us sleep more deeply throughout the night.
As always, we at Loba share information for entertainment and educational purposes only. We’ll discuss products that we like and have worked for us, but everyone and every body is different. We are not medical practitioners. Please be sure to consult a physician and/or a naturopath to ensure supplements and vitamins are right for you prior to beginning a regimen.