Insomnia has diverse consequences on health. In addition to being sleepy during the day, sufferers can become irritable, lack concentration and have memory loss. Moreover, since many physiological and recovery processes occur at night, insomnia can impact the immune system, nervous system, liver and muscles.
During sleep, a vast hormonal cascade takes place to allow body regeneration and elimination of toxins such as free radicals. So a lack of sleep has a much broader impact on our bodies than just fatigue.
There are two types of insomnia:
- Acute insomnia lasts from one to three weeks.
- Chronic insomnia occurs at least three nights per week, for at least one month.
There are two main problems in insomnia:
- Difficulty falling asleep at bedtime.
- Difficulty staying asleep during the night.
“How much is enough?
The ideal varies from one person to the next. In general, however, you should sleep for a minimum of five consecutive hours. Most people will find that about eight hours constitutes a good night’s sleep.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep, the first thing to do is consult a healthcare professional to determine where your insomnia comes from, especially if it lasts for a while. This is important because insomnia can be the consequence of another disease, such as fibromyalgia, depression, chronic anxiety, restless leg syndrome or menopause, among others. Sleep will return when the health condition is treated.
Can natural products help?
For occasional sleep issues—for example during a stressful time or when you have jet lag—natural products can help, depending on the cause of the insomnia. If the lack of sleep is due to stress or nervousness, calming and slightly sedative plants (e.g., valerian, passionflower, hops, linden, etc.) can facilitate sleep by easing the worried mind. You will find these in Relaxen, a health solution that is slightly sedative, calming and—as its name implies—relaxing.
Insomnia can also be caused by a lack of melatonin, a hormone mainly synthesized by the pineal gland located in the brain. The secretion of melatonin is inhibited during the day and stimulated to reach its peak level at night, which explain its other name: the “sleep hormone”. Researchers have observed that melatonin levels are abnormally low in people of all ages who suffer from insomnia. It’s also low in people with fibromyalgia and depression. And some substances can reduce melatonin blood levels. These include:
- Vitamin B
- Anxiolytics (diazepam, clonazepam)
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen)
Avoiding these substances can help improve sleep—and so can Melatonin Extra Strength. Our melatonin supplements not only facilitate falling asleep, they can also reduce the number of times you wake up at night. People appreciate how rapidly its effect is felt. It is also recommended for people on shift work and for jet lag.
To sum up, various natural solutions exist to favour sleep, and identifying the one that suits you best is a relatively simple matter. Combined with factors like good diet, physical exercise and stress management, natural products can be of great help.
Wishing you a good night!