Sleep

Not getting enough sleep for one night can make you feel rubbish the next day. Consistently not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health (as if we needed another reason to feel anxious!). *Disclaimer - this does not constitute medical advice and should not be considered a replacement for seeing your doctor. PoWW CIC will not be held liable from an adverse reaction to any of the items or supplements noted in this or any article on the website. If your sleep is having an impact on your day to day life, consult your GP/Doctor. If you plan on trying any new supplements, consult your GP/Doctor.

Sleep anxiety can be like torture over the long-term. You can't sleep, you worry about not getting enough sleep, and as you start to drop off to sleep, suddenly think 'Yey I'm getting to sleep', which sends a little surge of something through your body, and bam! You are awake. 

Not getting enough sleep can affect:

  • hormones

  • weight

  • concentration

  • productivity

  • heart

  • sugar metabolism

  • depression

  • immune function

  • inflammation

  • mood 

  • temper

Mental health issues can create a pattern of bad sleep and bad sleep will negatively impact your mental health, creating a vicious cycle.

So what are the things we can do about it? 

 

  1. Create a calm, cool, de-cluttered space; a warm stuffy room with clutter everywhere isn't going to work. Going to bed in a calming, cool environment that isn't surrounded by stuff can help promote good sleep.

  2.  Warm bath with magnesium salts; this can help relax your muscles and get you into 'bed mode'. Magnesium also helps maintain proper nerve function for solid rest. Magnesium for Sleep - Supplements in Review

  3. Use your phones blue light filters and get some anti-blue light glasses (or better yet, just stop using the screen an hour before sleep time); blue light from screens mess with your bodies ability to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone.

  4. Magnesium cream and a teaspoon of honey; many of us are deficient in magnesium and applying cream before bed can help with this, while promoting sleep. According to lifehack.org, honey also helps the brain by spiking its insulin levels which releases tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, which then forms into melatonin. Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Eat A Spoonful Of Honey Before Sleep Every Day - Lifehack

  5. Ear plugs and eye masks; some people are far more sensitive to noise and light than others. Especially if you are a mum. It has been proven that women who have had children are stuck on 'higher alert' compared with men or childless women, and their sleep can suffer as a result. By creating total sensory deprivation, that neighbours dog barking or those street lights won't disturb your shut eye.

  6. Glycine; for this author personally, glycine has been a gamechanger. Research in people with sleep issues has shown that taking 3 grams of glycine before bed decreases how long it takes to fall asleep, enhances sleep quality, lessens daytime sleepiness and improves cognition. Top 9 Benefits and Uses of Glycine (healthline.com) 

  7. Ditch the caffeine; or if that's too much of a stretch, just have one in the morning and avoid it like the plague for the rest of the day. Those of us who enjoy a midday pick me up will tell ourselves that the caffeine doesn't affect us in that way, but when you stop drinking it after 10am, you soon notice the difference.

  8. Relaxing music; there are many apps out there which offer free relaxing music and meditations. 'Better Sleep' is one. There is a free membership with a decent amount of sounds to listen to. This article lists many other free meditation apps which will likely have music as well as guided meditations. Sometimes, just having something else to distract your brain is enough.

  9. Audiobooks; for those of us who don't get distracted enough when listening to music, an audiobook might just do the trick. For this author, listening to anything a little complex or technical sends me to sleep, as my brain is so busy trying to figure something out, there's no room for thinking about whether or not I will get enough zzzzzz's.

Things to avoid:

  • 5HTP; while this can seem like a great supplement to begin with, it is not recommended for long term use and can have some serious side effects. 5-HTP: Side Effects and Dangers (healthline.com)

  • Melatonin; this author relied on this product for far too long and regrets it. This can work well initially, and while the odd night here are there might be ok, taking it repeatedly can have the potential effect of throwing off your body's ability to produce the hormone, because it is 'used' to getting it from the supplement. The Truth About Melatonin: 6 Most Common Questions Answered (sleepscore.com)

  • Sleeping pills; these can become very addictive, and can perpetuate a cycle of reliance and make matters worse.