Dreaming of a good night’s sleep? Tired all the time?

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It’s time to WAKE UP to sleep with our Natural Sleep Guide

With National Sleep Awareness Week on March 2nd, we enlist the help of NutriCentre.com to help give us their top natural sleep tips.  From insomnia, restless legs to daytime tiredness & groggy mornings, we’re here to give you the A-Zzz of all things snooze!

Re-read the same email 4 times? Hungry, tired and lacking concentration?  That biscuit tin looking dangerously tempting? You could be one of the thousands of UK Brits plagued by daytime tiredness caused by lack of sleep. But what can we do to get more of it? The Nutritional Team at NutriCentre.com gives us their comprehensive natural sleep guide, to help you go from nocturnal nightmare to sleeping beauty in less than 40winks.

According to Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritionist at NutriCentre.com, “There are all sorts of reasons why we find it hard to get our RDA of shut eye, from noise, room temperature, bodily discomfort, a snoring partner and simply over-thinking the day’s events. 24-hour city living can play it’s toll, leaving us tired but wired and prone to irritability, lack of patience, forgetfulness, heightened emotions, stress and even anxiety.”

NutriCentre’s 10 Step Sleep Guide

Mother Nature to the rescue!

Have a snack before bed that is high in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that is used to make serotonin (which aside from making you happier, will also help you sleep better). Foods high in tryptophan include turkey, dairy products (the ‘old-school’ glass of hot milk before bed), bananas, oats and fish. You could also take it as a supplement

Magnesium is ‘nature’s tranquiliser’ as it relaxes muscles and nerves. Many of us are deficient in magnesium. Have a good quality magnesium supplement before bed.  Try Quest Vitamins new Synergistic Magnesium, £4.99 for a month’s supply from www.questexcellence.com

 Synergistic Magnesium

Light sleeper? Not for long!

Lack of deep peaceful REM sleep can leave us feeling terrible the next day.  Make sure you avoid stimulants such as caffeine 6-8 hours before going to bed.

• Remember sugar is also a stimulant so try having that chocolate kick at lunch rather than dinnertime.
• Avoid alcohol – most of us think that alcohol is a sedative, but the reality is it actually disrupts sleep and causes night time awakening.  Instead of alcohol, try using the traditional herbal medicine, Valerian. This is used to aid sleeping by gently sedating and relaxing the body.  Try Higher Nature’s Valerian Sleep Aid,£5.35 from www.nutricentre.com

• Avoid stimulating activities before bedtime, such as work, watching the news, or TV, using a computer, playing computer games

• If it causes you anxiety to look at or hear the clock, then move it out of view

LED lights the way


Re-Timer glasses are brand new scientifically proven health gadget, developed by researchers and sleep psychologists at Flinders University, Australia. Unlike traditional light boxes, which use blue light, Re-Timer uses a unique green LED light to help regulate sleep patterns, improve the quality of sleep and reduce tiredness. Re-timer is £199 from www.re-timer.com

Tackle insomnia with a cherry extract

A shocking 42% of those on sleeping pills have had sleep problems for over a decade! * Clearly this is not the answer to the nations sleep woes.  Instead keep it natural.  Consider taking Asphalia or a Cherry extract, which contain naturally occurring melatonin.  ’ Try Nature’s Plus Extended Release Black Cherry, £12.20 from www.nutricentre.com

Relax to the Max!

• Keep the bedroom just for sleep and love-making / sex.
• Establish the mood of the room, making it a calm and relaxing environment, this includes the colour of the walls, bed linen and décor, avoiding very bright, stimulating colours.

• Keep work out of the bedroom, as well as mobile phones, computers, TV etc.

• Have a bath before bedtime and add 5 drops of lavender essential oil which has a relaxing and mildly tranquilising effect

• Establish and maintain a regular and relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading a book for a while, having a cup of soothing herbal tea, such as chamomile, passionflower.  Try some of Clipper’s Organic Chamomile tea, £1.43 from www.nutricdentre.com

Vitamin B12 for Restless Leg Syndrome

Although a definitive cause for this troublesome syndrome is still unclear, it is considered by some professionals as a neurological condition. Imbalances in the nervous system may cause symptoms of RLS. There are links to imbalances with dopamine – a neurotransmitter and chemical made naturally by the body. Additionally, these kind of symptoms may be linked to mineral deficiencies such as iron, magnesium and vitamin B12 and in many cases, supplementing with these may help.

 Vitamin B12

• Increase your levels of vegetables in your diet. You can use algae’s such as chlorella, spirulina and blue greenalgae, as well as land grasses such as wheatgrass and barley grass.

• Get your iron levels checked with your GP to see if are low – this is more common in women who have periods.
• Support your nervous system with a good B12 supplement.  Try Quest Vitamins new Vitamin B12, 4.99 from www.questexcellence.com

• Stay well hydrated throughout the day. As well as water, consider drinking natural (sugar free) coconut water and you can also add electrolyte drops to a bottle of water.

Foot patches for agood night’s sleep?

Sleep Patch-It are plaster style reflexology patchesthat are placed on the  soles of the feet before bed, giving a feeling of warmth and delivering FAR-infrared energy. With 100% certified organic essential oils including Lavender to calm, Sage to balance and Ylang Ylang to comfort, Sleep Patch-It helps deliver a restful night’s sleep without the need for nasty sedatives.  Sleep Patch-it is available from Holland & Barrett at £29.99 for 20 patches.

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