One of the most common complaints people come to Tonic Room seeking help for revolves around sleep – usually they’re not getting enough, or the quality of sleep is poor and it’s having a negative impact on their health and wellbeing. The disruptive effects of sleep deprivation are well-known and much research is coming to light about just how important adequate sleep is for our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Struggling to get to sleep and/or stay asleep is disruptive and can create a vicious cycle of chronic day time tiredness, leading to dependence on stimulants such as coffee, sugar and energy drinks just to get through the day. Not a fun situation to be in and certainly not good for health in the long term.
There are many factors that contribute to sleep disturbances, and each person’s situation will usually involve a number of compounding factors such as stress, excess caffeine consumption, hormonal imbalances and poor sleep hygiene.
When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, there are no hard and fast rules that apply to everyone. What works for one person may have the opposite effect for someone else. Take the herb Valerian for example. Valerian works really well for sending some people off to dream land while for others it can have the opposite effect, leaving them more wired and awake than they were before they took it! Not a great scenario when sleep is already elusive and hard to come by!
What is good to know is there are a number of effective natural options which can help get sleep patterns back on track by addressing the underlying imbalances that contribute to sleep disturbances.
There are a number of herbs that have a long history of use as sleep aids that calm the nerves, relax body and mind and help to regulate and restore normal healthy sleep patterns:
Californian Poppy: this beautiful plant grows prolifically in many gardens throughout New Zealand and has beautiful bright orange, yellow and red flowers that give off such a happy, sunny vibe. Californian Poppy is a mild sedative, helps to ease anxiety and may reduce pain.
Passionflower: the otherworldly appearance of these flowers from the passionfruit vine alludes to its ability to take us into other realms. It helps ease and calm the nervous system, reduce tension and stress and support sleep onset and maintenance.
Valerian: the heady and deep aroma of Valerian root conjures images of sinking deep into the earth and, eventually into Slumberville.
From a nutraceutical perspective, certain minerals are essential in ensuring healthy functioning of the nervous system, for muscle contraction and relaxation, and for proper functioning of the endocrine (hormonal) system:
Magnesium: one of the most abundant minerals in the body, magnesium is essential for many of the body’s functions to occur. Magnesium has a relaxing effect on muscle tissue, and helps to bring down adrenaline levels which are often high when we’re stressed.
Calcium: the most abundant mineral found in the body, calcium is an essential mineral for healthy nervous system function as well as for maintaining integrity of the musculoskeletal system.
Inositol: this little-known member of the B-vitamin family is known to promote restful sleep and support healthy mood balance. Inositol promotes calmness and can help ease anxiety and nervous irritability.
Another wonderful gift from Nature, flower essences, are vibrational preparations made from specific plants infused in pure water with sunlight. Flower essences are powerful yet gentle remedies that work on an emotional and energetic level to address underlying issues that may be contributing to sleep problems, anxiety and stress.
First Light Natural Health® Sleep Support© is an easy-to-use, specially formulated blend of specific New Zealand native plants in the form of flower essences that helps to alleviate tension and emotional stress, and support healthy sleep.
For a personalised flower essence blend to address causative factors that may be contributing to insomnia, sleep disturbances or emotional stress, contact Tonic Room to book a one-to-one consultation with Lana Raill, a First Light® Registered Practitioner. Lana has an extensive knowledge of and many years’ experience working with First Light® flower essences. Lana is available on the first and third Monday of each month.