Many conventional sleeping tablets actually inhibit REM sleep and should only ever be used short term. Natural relaxants, such as herb-based teas and supplements, are safe and will help to calm a restless body and mind as well as encourage undisturbed and refreshing sleep.
Nature’s natural sedative
Valerian is a strong nervine and sedative to the central nervous system, relaxing tense muscles while also encouraging an undisturbed sleep, healthy sleeping pattern and ameliorating stress. It promotes relaxation by enhancing GABA neurotransmission; it relaxes the heart, treating palpitations, tightness and high blood pressure, reduces the time to sleep onset and improves sleep quality. Valerian can also help with withdrawal from conventional medications used to treat insomnia. Valerian is the key ingredient in Pukka’s Night Time capsules.
REM: A kind of sleep that occurs at intervals during the night and is characterised by rapid eye movements, more dreaming and bodily movement, and faster pulse and breathing. REM sleep is important because it is the restorative part of our sleep cycle.
Nervine: A plant remedy that has a beneficial, calming effect on the nervous system.
GABA: A type of protein that helps suppress the circuits in the brain (neurotransmitters) that cause anxiety.
Melatonin: A hormone found naturally in the body that influences you to feel sleepy.
Turn to page 87 of November's The Simple Things for this month's Pukkapedia and more on sleep.