Sleep disorders? Habits and medicinal plants to sleep well

Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you often wake up at night? Do you have trouble falling asleep? When you wake up, do you have the feeling that your sleep has not been restful? According to the SSS (Spanish Sleep Society), sleep disorders affect, to a greater or lesser extent, one out of every three citizens.

Insomnia is one of the most frequent sleep disorders. Its symptoms are difficulty initiating sleep, frequent awakenings at night, or awakenings before time, being unable to fall asleep again. This health problem has consequences in the daily lives of those who suffer from it: irritability, lack of concentration or daytime somnolence, among others.

Benefits of sleep
Sleep is essential for both our physical and mental health. It is a condition in which there are changes in our body functions and mental activities. Sleep is beneficial for:

  • Muscles and joints. Sleep relaxes the locomotive system and releases the load and tension accumulated during the day.
  • Immune system. Sleep is beneficial for our immune system, increasing our body’s resistance to diseases.
  • Heart. It is claimed by a recent study of the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research that sleeping poorly or for less than six hours a day increases the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
  • Memory. Sleeping increases neuronal connections. An uninterrupted and deep sleep is essential to create and maintain memories. It also improves the ability to concentrate and learn.
  • Skin. During sleep, the skin benefits since it is not exposed to environmental agents such as sunlight, pollution and extreme temperatures. Moreover, skin cells are renewed, toxins are eliminated, and collagen synthesis (the component that provides firmness and density to the skin) is regulated as well.

Habits to fall asleep

  • Fix yourself a schedule and follow it. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Setting alarms both for going to sleep and waking up would be a great idea.
  • Avoid heavy dinners but make sure you do not go to bed hungry. Have a light dinner two hours before going to sleep. You can also have a glass of water or a yogurt before going to bed to enhance your sleep.
  • Establish a routine before going to bed. Read a book, listen to music or take a bath. It is quite useful to prepare the body and mind to rest!
  • Silence, darkness and a comfortable temperature are necessary to create the perfect environment to fall asleep and sleep well.

Mobile phones, enemies of sleep
Connecting to the Internet before going to bed stimulates the brain and makes it harder for you to fall asleep. Screen light alters sleep induction. Do a digital detox!

 Plants for sleeping well

Phytotherapy can be a great support and enhance a proper rest, along with other natural substances. Get help from them!

  • Valerian (Valeriana officinalis L.) It has sedative, anxiolytic and soft hypnotic properties. It has been proven by several studies that the extract of valerian reduces the time of sleep induction and awakenings.
  • Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata L.) It is used as a sedative, anxiolytic and hypnotic plant, but it also has muscle relaxant properties.
  • California Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica Cham.) The extract of California Poppy induces sleep, calms agitation, improves sleep quality, and reduces sleeplessness and nightmares.
  • Melatonin. It is the hormone that maintains the sleep-wake cycles and controls sleep phases and quality. It helps us by reducing the time we need to fall asleep.
  • Lavender (Lavandula spica D.C) It stands out for its sedative properties and balancing of the nervous system. Its flowers and leaves contain an essential oil rich in limonene, which has properties and a nice smell.
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha L) It is a plant that is well-known for its sedative properties and helps relieve anxiety-related disorders. It is beneficial for the heart as well.
  • Linden (Tilia platyphyllos Scop) It has calming and soothing effects and is quite efficient for treating nervousness, anxiety and insomnia conditions.
  • Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium L) Bitter orange flowers contain an aromatic essence that provides them with calming properties, which are quite important for sleep.
Tags #tips #health #sleep