Supplements for Sleep

Supplements for Sleep

Are you experiencing sleep difficulties? According to NHS statistics, insomnia is thought to affect around a third of UK adults at some point during their life. Insomnia and the subsequent lack of sleep can have a significant impact on mental and emotional wellbeing, and the ability to cope with stress. Over time it may compromise the immune system and lead to an overreliance on caffeine and high fat, high sugar foods, increasing the risk of obesity and health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems and depression.

Insomnia may be improved with a variety of natural options, such as dietary changes, nutritional supplements, stress reduction, exposure to morning daylight, and good sleep hygiene practices such as avoiding blue light emitting devices one hour before bed and keeping the bedroom dark and free from noise or distractions.

Key Foods for Sleep

Stimulants like caffeine and alcohol are widely known to aggravate sleep problems, but less well known are the foods and nutrients that may help you sleep. Certain foods are rich sources of melatonin, the sleep hormone. In addition to the melatonin that the body produces itself from serotonin, consuming foods naturally rich in melatonin helps ensure a steady supply of this vital hormone and may aid sleep. Other nutrients that may help to improve sleep include magnesium, vitamin B6 and glycine. To promote deep, restful sleep, try to include the following foods and nutrients in your diet:

  • Magnesium - found in dark, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, wholegrains, cacao, bananas and avocados.
  • Natural sources of melatonin - pistachio nuts, kidney beans, almonds, fennel, oats, salmon and tart cherries.
  • Glycine-containing foods - red meat, poultry, salmon, soy, and pumpkin and sesame seeds.
  • Vitamin B6 - found in salmon, chicken, tofu, pork, beef, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, bananas, avocados and pistachio nuts.
  • Herbal teas such as chamomile, lemon balm and fennel can help to promote relaxation before bed.

Which Supplements Can Support Sleep?

  1. Magnesium
  2. Valerian
  3. Hops
  4. Tart cherry extract
  5. L-Theanine

Top Tips on Buying Supplements for Sleep

  • Magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate are good bioavailable forms of magnesium dietary supplements. Magnesium can also be absorbed transdermally – through the skin. Magnesium sprays, creams or epsom salts can be helpful if digestion is compromised or when medication affects magnesium absorption in the gut.
  • Valerian and hops may interact with prescribed sedative medications, so be sure to check with your doctor whether these are suitable for you to take. For a gentler effect, try teas rather than concentrated tinctures.

Nutritional Therapy Support For Sleep

Work with a registered Nutritional Therapist for a personalised nutrition and diet plan, tailored to your specific health requirements. For one-to-one support with sleep and to book a consultation, head over to our expert page here:

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