FIVE WAYS TO RE­LIEVE IN­SOM­NIA NAT­U­RALLY

Loughborough Echo - - HEALTH & LIFESTYLE -

THERE’S noth­ing more frus­trat­ing than spend­ing a night star­ing at the ceil­ing will­ing sleep to come.

If you’re reg­u­larly find­ing it a strug­gle to drift off or stay in the land of nod you’re not alone: As many as 16 mil­lion UK adults reg­u­larly suf­fer sleep­less nights, with a third (31%) re­port­ing that they have in­som­nia, ac­cord­ing to a 2017 sur­vey by Aviva.

LIZ CON­NOR gets some ex­pert tips for a good night’s sleep:

KEEP REG­U­LAR BEDTIMES AND WAK­ING TIMES:

“Our bod­ies love rou­tine and fol­low a cir­ca­dian rhythm,” says Dr Pru­dence Knight, on­line GP at Push Doc­tor (push­doc­tor.co.uk). “This is driven by hor­mone lev­els which vary through­out the day.

“Go to bed and get up at the same time ev­ery day,” she ad­vises, “in­clud­ing the week­ends – and don’t nap. It can take sev­eral weeks for a sleep sched­ule to take ef­fect, but the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple end up with a good pat­tern.”

CUT OUT CAF­FEINE AND GO LIGHT ON THE BOOZE:

“Stay away from al­co­hol or caf­feine six hours be­fore bed,” says Dr Kim Glass, lead GP at Bupa Health Clin­ics (bupa.co.uk). “Caf­feine is a stim­u­lant and the ef­fects can stay in the sys­tem for hours. Al­co­hol re­duces the amount of REM (rapid eye move­ment) sleep you get – the type of sleep which makes you feel most rested.”

MAKE THE BED­ROOM A DE­VICE-FREE ZONE:

“Your bed­room should be a calm place, free of stress­ful dis­trac­tions,” says Dr Glass.

“Tablets and smart­phones emit blue light which can boost your at­ten­tion span, sup­press­ing your body’s nat­u­ral sleep hor­mone, and can throw out your cir­ca­dian rhythm which makes for a dis­rup­tive night’s sleep.”

GET SOME AER­O­BIC EX­ER­CISE:

“Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity can help re­duce stress and strengthen your body clock, mak­ing it eas­ier for you to fall asleep and have a good night’s rest,” says Dr Glass.

EAT MAG­NE­SIUM AND CAL­CIUM-RICH FOODS:

“Mag­ne­sium and cal­cium may be linked to poor sleep,” says be­hav­iour change ex­pert, Dr Aria

(dr-aria.com). “Mag­ne­sium is in­volved in mus­cle re­lax­ation, and low in­takes have been shown to make it harder to stay asleep.”

Good sources in­clude green veg­gies, beans, nuts, seeds and whole­grains and you may also want to con­sider a sup­ple­ment, such as Healthspan Opti Mag­ne­sium (£11.99 for 90 tablets; healthspan.co.uk).

“Cal­cium helps the brain use tryp­to­phan to make mela­tonin, and low in­takes of cal­cium have been shown to make it more dif­fi­cult to fall asleep,” says Dr Aria. “Sources in­clude dairy foods, green veg­eta­bles and soy.”

We all dread a sleep­less night

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.