In this busy, stressed-out world, falling asleep is not always easy. Technology is constantly at our fingertips and often in the bedroom too. Lots of people have anxiety that is compounded by information overload, worry about children, ageing parents, mortgage stress… you name it. Added to this is less time for relaxation and exercise. With all this going on, it is harder to switch our minds ‘off' and fall asleep. Happily, Biome has many natural sleep aids to help induce sleep. Here is our guide to healthy, planet-friendly ways for getting a much-needed kip.
Dangers of Sleep DeprivationSleep is very important for optimum health. Sleep deprivation can cause an array of health conditions, including:
- Mental health issues
- Cognitive decline
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Reduced libido
- Accidents while driving or working
Most alarmingly, the ‘Whitehall ll' study in Britain, published in 2007, showed that people who cut their sleep from 7 to 5 hours or fewer a night nearly doubled their risk of death from all causes. Scarily, it doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Some pretty good reasons to look at your sleep hygiene and bolster your chances of cutting these risks.
Here we suggest seven natural sleep aids to help you fall asleep faster:
1. Drink herbal tea formulated to help you sleep and relax
Herbal teas have been used for years as a natural sleep aid to help you get good shut-eye. There are two main reasons why they work. Firstly, the ingredients are calming and secondly, by stopping, sitting and drinking a calming tea, it provides the space and mindfulness to relax. Visit our range of herbal teas. This naturopathically selected blend of herbs is designed to support the nervous system and improve sleep quality. Contains nerve soothing passion flower, valerian root, chamomile, spearmint and lavender. Sleep easy, knowing this product is certified organic with fair trade ingredients in a biodegradable box.
2. Rub a sleep balm on pulse points
Aromatherapeutic balms are perfect for using on pulse points as the warmth of the body helps the soothing ingredients to be absorbed into the skin. It is also a nice way of relaxing just before bed. The popular Badger Sleep Balm, made from somnolence inducing essential oils, is soothing and soft on the skin. It contains rosemary for clear thinking, bergamot which is mentally uplifting, balsam fir to refresh, and lavender to relax. This balm comes in a pretty, portable tin made from 25-60% post-consumer recycled tin plated steel. They can be reused (perfect for storing pins or paperclips) and 100% recyclable. Most importantly, the ingredients are certified organic with zero petrochemicals, synthetic substances, parabens, GMO's or artificial fragrances.
3. Use an essential oil blend to help relax
There are many beautifully crafted essential oil blends that can help you truly relax. These blends can be added to carrier oils and applied to the skin, added to warm bath water, or diffused to spread the therapeutic benefits throughout the home. The Mt Retour Organic essential oil roll on blend – cosy sleep is a natural sleep aid that promotes deep relaxation. Roll on temple, wrists or under nose to prepare for the land of nod.
4. Change up your bed linen
Did you know that some bed linen is better than others for helping a good night's sleep? Mass produced sheets are often made with unhealthy chemicals such as formaldehyde and petrochemicals. These are added to make them wrinkle-free. The same goes for pyjamas coated in fire retardants. Nowadays we have more choice. The better choices for a restful sleep are hemp or organic cotton sheets and organic cotton pyjamas. Hemp is the gold standard in natural, organic linen. It is natural fibre that softens beautifully after a few washes and is breathable, helping to control your temperature while sleeping. This ensures fewer night time waking episodes. Hemp is free of synthetic chemicals and bleaching and is better for the planet than mass produced linen as it is a sustainable crop and friendly to the environment. As a crop it doesn't need a lot of water, little pesticides and can be grown in salt affected areas. Biome recommends the Hemp - organic cotton sheet set. Sleep peacefully without being exposed to dyes and other chemicals. Cosy in winter and cool in summer.
5. Soak in a magnesium salt bath
There isn't anything much more relaxing than soaking in a bath, but adding this magical ingredient takes the relaxation up a notch. Magnesium, whether imbibed via supplements is one of the most popular natural sleep aids. It helps the brain, heart, bones, energy production and muscle relaxation. It can help stave off depression and anxiety and also help with behaviour. It is also a wonderful sedative. Add some Amazing Oils Magnesium Bath Flakes to your bath for ultimate relaxation before retiring for the night. These flakes are retrieved from a pristine source in the Australian desert. The flakes are completely natural and safe for pregnant women and children.
6. Infuse your room with soothing lavender flowers
Lavender is well known for its calming and soothing properties. Psychology Today reports that a study undertaken at the University of Miami showed some pretty clear results on the efficacy of lavender as a natural sleep aid. This study followed brain activity with an EEG and the group subjected to lavender aromatherapy showed brainwaves suggesting drowsiness. Make your bedroom a haven for sleep by using lavender petals in a glass jar. A lovely pot-pourri for sleep. Biome stocks our own organic lavender petals in a reusable glass jar, ready made for your new, sleep inducing haven.
7. Lay a warming lavender heat pack on your body
As mentioned above lavender is very effective at helping induce a sleep state. What better way to get drowsy than helping diffuse the aroma while soothing tired muscles with a heat pack. The Wheat Bags Love Lavender Heat Pack from Biome is made with the prettiest watercolour gumtree print which is screen printed on natural cotton using water-based inks. Heat the bag in the microwave or pop in the freezer to use as a cold pack. So, there we have several attractive and easy methods of enjoyably falling asleep. If you have any natural sleep aids that have worked for you, please let us know in the comments.
8. Wear chemical free organic cotton pyjamas.
For kids pyjamas look at Organic Nights beautifully soft and cosy organic cotton pjs for winter and summer.