A Naturopath's Guide To a Better Night's Sleep

Sleep Week runs from March 10-16th and is a week dedicated to acknowledging the importance of sleep for our overall well-being, and how it affects the way we feel and perform each day. As huge fans of snooze and mood-boosting adult bedding, we’re here to provide you with resources to help you can achieve your best night’s sleep. 

We chat with qualified naturopath & nutritionist Bridget B (@bridgetbnaturopathy) for her top five remedies you can implement in your day-to-day life to support a healthy night's slumber. So, keep reading for a naturopath's guide to a better night's sleep. 

A bad night's sleep does more than just make you irritable and forgetful the next day. Studies show that poor sleep is also linked to anxiety, depression, blood sugar dysregulation, weight gain, cardiovascular disease, infertility and more. The science is clear: sleep is essential for optimal health and wellbeing, with the consequences of a lack of it reaching far beyond fatigue. 

For some, it’s not as easy as simply hopping into bed and hoping for the best. Whether it’s difficulty getting to sleep or difficulty staying asleep, there are many evidence-based natural remedies that can be used to support a healthy night's slumber.

1. Melatonin is our natural sleep hormone which is released by the pineal gland in the brain. It’s found naturally in a number of foods including cherries, bananas, tomatoes, oats and ginger.

2. Protein is essential for blood sugar management, and we know that waking in the middle of the night can often be due to blood sugar dips. Tryptophan is an amino acid (a broken down protein) which is found in certain foods, and it converts in the body to melatonin. Our bodies can’t make tryptophan - we must get it from our diet. Good sources include turkey, chicken, yoghurt, eggs, almonds, chickpeas, walnuts, sunflower seeds and spirulina. These are a double whammy as they both provide tryptophan to create melatonin, but also keep our blood sugar levels stable whilst we sleep.

3. Magnesium is a mineral involved in over 300 reactions in the body. Amongst them is nervous system relaxation and neurotransmitter production, making it a key factor in alleviating stress and anxiety and to aid a good night’s sleep. It also helps to produce melatonin. 

Magnesium deficiency is extremely common, due to our diets and lifestyles high in stress, caffeine and refined sugars, which deplete the body's stores. Foods high in magnesium include dark leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, as well as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, raw cacao and whole grains. A good quality magnesium supplement can also be helpful – speak to your naturopath about what dose and form is right for you.

4. Avoid caffeine after midday. Caffeine - found in coffee, black tea, green tea and chocolate - is a nervous system stimulant and can inhibit sleepiness in the evening. Caffeine has a half life of around eight hours, which means that eight hours after drinking your latte, there is half the amount of caffeine from that coffee still in your body. If you are especially prone to anxiety or sensitive to caffeine, avoid it altogether. Chicory root or dandelion root coffee alternatives can be a nice alternative.

5. Herbal medicine can be extremely helpful to support sleep – many of them you may have already in your cupboard or growing in your garden. Try chamomile, oat straw, lemon balm, lavender or passionflower. A good quality, strongly brewed herbal tea should not be underestimated!

Now that you're across tips & tricks you can implement in your day-to-day life for a better night's sleep, it's time to complete your snooze with cosy, colourful Kip&Co bedding. Choosing the right coloured bedding to enhance you sweet dreams can have a huge impact on your sleep health, for more information check out our blog post on saying goodbye to restless nights.