Sleep is nature’s way of restoring and recharging both mind and body for a new day. It supports brain function, emotional wellbeing, and it’s not called beauty sleep for nothing; sleep really is the best anti-ageing treatment there is, helping to restore brightness to your skin.
If you’re one of the 1 in 5 who feel unusually tired, or 1 in 10 who have prolonged fatigue*, here are five of our favourite natural tips to help you drift off and wake up refreshed.
1 – Switch off
The urge to check in last thing at night is hard to fight, but resist and you should sleep sounder for it. Research has shown that using a smart device before bed can disrupt the body’s production of melatonin, negatively affecting sleep. Try unplugging a couple of hours before bed, or better still, for a full 24 hours for a mini digital detox.
2 – Unwind with lavender
Lavender is an excellent way of helping you to relax at bedtime. Either pop a few drops of essential oil onto a tissue or your pillow, or unwind in a warm bath infused with a herbal infusion or lavender bath salts, a timeless favourite for good reason. A weekly aromatherapy massage has been shown to really help too.
3 – Enjoy a herbal night cap
Another great option to help you sleep is a cup of herbal tea, hawthorn and chamomile are renowned for their soothing snooze-enhancing powers for a ready to go blend. A herbal tincture with a little water works wonders – tried and trusted valerian and skullcap are ideal. And of course a few drops of a flower essence under the tongue couldn’t be simpler. Sweet dreams.
4 – Exercise
Physical activity can help boost a good night’s sleep – but only if it’s the right kind of exercise. Walking, cycling, gardening, aerobics, yoga/Pilates, even weight-lifting, have all been shown to help improve sleep. However, while physically demanding, housework and childcare don’t help. This may be because they involve focussing on other people and things, while the other activities all allow you to ‘let go’.
5 – Try the 4-7-8 technique
Breathe in through your nose for a count of four. Hold for a count of seven. Breathe out through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat three times.