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
- 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
- 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
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
Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica Cham.) The extract of California Poppy induces sleep,
calms agitation, improves sleep quality, and reduces sleeplessness and
- 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.