We all know getting enough quality sleep is important. Deep sleep is a wellbeing foundation – it's up there with diet and exercise. Healthy rest has a flow on effect for all areas of our health – mental health, energy levels, stress resilience, aging, and even weight management (to name a few).
Whether you want to fall asleep or stay asleep - what works for you will depend on your unique needs. Our naturopath Rebecca shares sleep hygiene tips around how to get to sleep and the best sleep supplements to support every type of sleeper.
Because when you sleep well, you live well (yes, it’s cheesy but true).
How much sleep do we need?
Have you ever wondered to yourself - how many hours of sleep should I have?. Well, it varies, but for adults a nightly 8 hours is a good target.
- Adults = 7-9 hours
- Teens = 8-10 hours
- School age kids = 9-11 hours
- Toddlers = 11-14 hours
- Newborns=14-17 hours (makes sense considering all the growing they’re doing)
How well you sleep at night has a huge impact on how well your body functions during the day.
How do you sleep when you’re stressed?
Stress can mess with rest, so if you notice that being under extra pressure affects your wakefulness, or ability to focus, or keeps you awake during the night, you may like to approach it from a stress management angle. If this sounds like you, check out our blog that matches stress support with your unique needs - 9 Products for Every Kind of Stress and our Adrenal Health & Stress Support range.
Does magnesium help with sleep?
Magnesium is the sleep mineral. Scientific research shows it supports both getting to sleep and staying asleep. You’ll find that Magnesium features in many sleep formulas, including the first two in the list below – Clinicians REM Sleep and Radiance Sleep Gummies
How to sleep better?
If you’re looking for some tips and tricks for sleeping better, below are five to tips to help you sleep fast.
How to get to sleep?
Something that can help with settling into slumber easily is creating a night-time wind down ritual. Having a relaxing routine helps set your body and mind into ‘rest mode’ and conditions your brain to start relaxing at the right time. We know a nighttime routine is important for babies and toddlers- it's part of teaching them how to sleep- but it’s also beneficial for grown-ups. Brushing our teeth is an everyday ritual that we all do before bed – creating a wind down ritual is about setting aside some time to add rituals that are both enjoyable and relaxing. Here are some ideas:
Bedtime wind down rituals
- Do some journaling, or write a gratitude list
- Dim the lights and sink into a comfortable chair to enjoy some quiet time in the moment
- Listen to some relaxing wind-down music
- Try a hobby for your vagal nerve - repetitive, mindful notions like sewing, drawing, knitting or crocheting are all great options
- Take a warm relaxing bath, try adding a few drops of Essential Oils for Sleep
Look at someone sleeping and it’s easy to think there's not much going on in there. But when you're asleep, completely unaware, your body and brain undergo a program of essential rebooting and reconditioning tasks. The more you can do to support your body with enough quality rest the better it can perform these tasks.
What does research say?
5 benefits research links with healthy sleep
- Emotional resilience – being on an even keel and not overreacting is linked with having enough
- Buoyant mood – sleep and mood go hand in hand, studies show a direct and two-way relationship here, they need each other
- Memory – we process new information during sleep - your brain needs sleep reconditioning time for learning and knowledge retention
- Weight management – sufficient sleep helps regulate appetite and is linked to healthy body weight
- Immune health – while you sleep your immune system undergoes the re-booting process needed for balanced and effective immune function.
Sleep deprivation can have the opposite effects to these amazing benefits, which further highlights why it's a pillar of health.
It’s not just sleep quantity. Quality counts too.
Achieving deep restorative sleep phases is a key part of it. If you get your recommended amount but feel tired or unrefreshed upon waking, one possibility is that you're not reaching deep sleep phases. We go through different phases during the night, including deep sleep and REM (Rapid Eye Movement), our body performs different reboot tasks during each - for example scientists found being deprived of REM sleep affects learning and retention.
What your sleep cycle could be telling you
There are three key areas of sleep:
- Sleep onset (getting to sleep)
- sleep maintenance (staying asleep)
- sleep quality (achieving restorative sleep)
If sleep is an area you’d like to work on, having a strategy can help. Knowing which of the three areas you’d like to support with helps when building your sleep strategy. And you might not need a full overhaul - maybe just a few tweaks. Check out our Sleep Support range which features sleep capsules, tablets, pills, powders, gummies, and liquids to suit your unique needs.
Support for every type of sleeper:
For the restless sleeper:
Radiance Sleep Gummies
If you wake during the night, you may need support for the body's natural process of staying asleep, scientists call it ‘sleep maintenance'. To achieve this you need to reach deep sleep and REM, and exercise helps with this. Science shows that Magnesium and Tart Cherry support healthy sleep duration and quality. L-theanine helps with switching off a busy mind. Radiance Sleep Gummies contains all three to support a calm mind, and it can be taken before bedtime to support both sleep onset and sleep maintenance. Take two of these delicious cherry gummies an hour before sleep time.
For the tired riser:
Clinicians REM Sleep
Do you wake up feeling less energised than you’d like even when you’ve slept for 8+ hours? Does bouncing out of bed in the morning sound like a dream despite having no troubles falling asleep? A great place to start is deep breathing or meditation before bed. And you may like to consider supporting sleep quality with a supplement. Clinicians REM Sleep, is a sleep support supplement with 5-HTP and Magnesium, which have been shown to support healthy sleep quality and deep sleep. Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) and Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) are also included to work together so you can wake feeling refreshed.
“Fantastic product. Taking REM Sleep guarantees me a great night's sleep. Helps relax my mind at the end of the day.” - Ann
For the night owl:
Organic India Peaceful Sleep
If your mind’s a whirring hamster wheel at bedtime, or you find you don’t easily settle into sleep, creating an enjoyable wind-down ritual can help. Start settling down at least 30 mins before bedtime, get comfy, have a relaxing drink, avoid work or chores. Watching caffeine is a big one for night owls. Taking your sleep support supplements around 30 mins to one hour before sleep helps you get the best out of them and is a great way to signal to your brain that it’s 'settle down time'. Organic India Peaceful Sleep is made from a blend of three key Ayurvedic herbs traditionally used to support sound sleep. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) supports the body’s natural stress response, Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) offers support for the nervous system and a sound sleep, and Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) supports our stress response to help calm the mind for a deep sleep. Take two capsules at wind down time.
“Brilliant results even after the first week I had good sleep but after taking them for the recommended 3 months just brilliant! I am falling asleep and if I wake up during the night I go back to sleep no longer ‘chewing the fat’ 2hrs later!! Stick with them I also use other tea and tablets from this range and especially love the Wellness tea.” - Kate
For the menopause over-heater:
BePure Meno Calm
Are menopause and temperature changes leading to nighttime waking? Rather than sleep support supplements, your best option is products that support healthy temperature and hormone balance. Sage (Salvia officinalis) is very popular and shown to support menopausal temperature fluctuations, it features in BePure Meno Calm, along with Black Cohosh, the most popular menopause herb. Research shows regular exercise helps with menopausal symptoms as well as sleep.
"This has helped me so much. I don't get that hot glowing feeling anymore and def sleeping better. I've recommended to all my friends. A great natural way to help the symptoms of menopause." - Monique
For the prostate waker:
Gaia Herbs Prostate Health
If you’re looking to support prostate health and getting up to go to the bathroom during the night disrupts your sleep, your best option could be a prostate support supplement rather than sleep support. It will be a more targeted approach. Gaia Herbs Prostate Health contains a high strength extract of Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) which has been scientifically researched to support prostate tissue health and healthy urine flow. Consistency is key here, so aim to take two capsules in the morning and one in the evening each day.
For the stressed sleeper:
artemis Deep Sleep
Do you typically sleep well but sometimes need sleep support with extra life pressures? Stress buffering techniques are especially suited for you. Trying a combination of adaptogen and sleep support herbs is a good approach, like these sleep drops. artemis Deep Sleep liquid features Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) as an adaptogen which supports your body’s response to stress and has a flow on effect for healthy sleep support. This is blended with herbs that support healthy relaxation to fall asleep easily like Kava (Piper methysticum), Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) and Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora). artemis offers excellent quality herbal formulas which make them an easy choice.
“This stuff really makes me fall asleep fast. I still wake up in the middle of the night but doesn't take me long to get back to sleep, especially if I take another teaspoon.” - Shirley
Snoring affecting you or your partner’s rest? You might be interested in this spray Botanica Stop Snoring. It’s a top seller, and Botanica even offer a money back guarantee, totally worth a try.
Whether you’re looking to welcome healthier sleeping habits or keep your overall wellness in check, these recommendations are sure to send you into a feel-good slumber.
Always read the label and use as directed. Vitamins and minerals are supplementary to and not a replacement for a balanced diet. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.
- BioBalance, Collingwood
- Clinicians (Douglas), Auckland
- Organic India (Good Health Foods), Auckland
- BePure, Hastings
- Gaia Herbs (Natural Meds) Napier
- artemis, Dunedin