It’s true, I think that people are either owls or larks when it comes to waking up in the morning. I have never been a lark but the Husband is up and with it as soon as he opens his eyes. I need caffeine, carbohydrates and solitude – the latter being in very short supply.
I have always needed a lot of sleep but now I am in my menopausal years I find I need even more rest. I know full well that a poor diet, too much caffeine and lack of exercise aren’t helping my sleep patterns – let alone the stress that parenting tweens tends to heap upon you.
Many parents, of course, are equally as knackered and sleep deprived, particularly in the early years of parenthood when your children are themselves learning to sleep through the night and expressing loud displeasure at anything that annoys them no matter what the hour.
But most of us bumble along, telling ourselves that we will have a nap or go to bed earlier. It rarely happens I find. Having a lie-in is reserved for Mother’s Day or my birthday – and even then I’m lucky if it lasts past 9 am.
Sleep hygiene is a big trend at the moment. We know that lack of sleep affects cognitive function as well as our overall health and happiness. In fact, by not getting the right amount of sleep we may actually be decreasing our lifespan.
There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning in bed every night watching the clock tick ever closer to morning. But, personally, sleeping tablets have never appealed, whereas I have tried herbal alternatives such as Valerian in the past with limited success.
I was recently sent a new kind of sleep supplement to try. Night by Link Nutrition is a food-based supplement which contains magnesium, glycine, lemon balm, Montmorency cherry and Reishi mushroom. Suitable for vegetarians, you simply take two capsules 30 minutes before retiring.
The Night supplement offers a natural, non-drowsy support designed to make falling asleep easier and to help you enjoy deeper, less interrupted sleep. The formulation also means you won’t wake up groggy which is something I personally hate about medicinal sleeping tablets.
Each of the ingredients in this sleep formula has a specific function:-
- Glycine improves sleep quality and reduces fatigue
- Lemon balm induces calmness & improves cognition
- Magnesium reduces tiredness and fatigue and improves energy levels
- Montmorency cherries are a source of melatonin
My current sleep pattern involves going to bed around 11 pm and getting up at 7 am but I take a long time to fall asleep and the slightest creak of a floorboard or car driving past my window can wake me. I can often have a couple of middle-of-the-night bathroom visits too.
Whilst taking the supplement I found that I fell asleep quicker and was less prone to waking around 1 or 2 am. The quality of my sleep feels a little better too.
The Night complex is not, however, a sleeping pill. It is a way of supporting your body to get a better night sleep – and there are plenty of other things you can do to help yourself to a good nights rest.
Here are some simple things you can try:-
Go to bed at a sensible hour
Most research seems to show that 8 hours of sleep is the magic number for most people, although too much sleep can be as bad as too little.
Get up at the same time every day
Yes, even on weekends and days off. No, I’ve never managed that one either.
Limit caffeine consumption
Depending on who you read, it is recommended that you limit or even stop caffeine consumption after 4 pm or even 2 pm.
Limit alcohol consumption
Aside from the dehydration, alcohol interferes with the quality of our sleep so although you may drop off as soon as your head hits the pillow, you are likely to wake up in the early hours feeling regretful and in need of aspirin.
Limit blue light
The blue light from our phones and iPads can interfere with our sleep patterns. Difficult as it can be to do, turning off all your gadgets is advisable unless you use your phone as an alarm.
Don’t go to bed on a full stomach
Your body will be too busy digesting your meal to give you a good night’s sleep. Again, the advice I have read says to limit food a couple of hours before retiring but personally, I cannot sleep if I am hungry so I’ll have a glad of milk or some cheese to settle my stomach.
Make your bedroom cool and as dark as possible
The ideal temperature for your bedroom is somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit according to The National Sleep Foundation in the US. When we sleep our body temperature actually drops so if we are too hot we may prevent ourselves from falling asleep.
A cool bed is very important too, for any woman going through the menopause and cotton or bamboo bedding is best for wicking away any excess moisture.
Of course, there are the old standby remedies of a warm bath and a hot milky drink which work for many of us but I have found that the Link Nutrition Night Complex has made a difference to the quality of my sleep.
Link Nutrition Night complex costs £22.95 for 60 capsules (one month’s supply) and you can save 10% if you subscribe on the website.
I also have a discount code for 20% off Night complex until 31st October 2018 which is MDNIGHT20