How to end your night time woe

The Good Life Letter 

11th February 2018

One of life’s little joys has to be a good night’s sleep, the kind where your head hits the pillow and a downy cloak of dreamless night covers you and you are aware of nothing until morning when you wake with bright eyes and a mind full of ambition.

Unfortunately, last night was one of those when I didn’t sleep well.

It might have been all the excitement of the rugby (enough said!) or the fact that I had too much cheese, honey and crackers before bedtime – but I definitely saw every hour on the clock.

I hate not being able to sleep.

When we sleep our bodies have a chance to heal, to unload muscles and to download our thoughts and memories, filing them neatly away in our memory banks.

This means we wake feeling light, refreshed and clear headed, rather than how I do now – dull witted, aching and miserable.

I got up in the night and padded along to my study to read for a while, hoping it would help me nod off again but that didn’t work.

At the time I would gladly have taken any manner of pharmaceutical preparations to find the comforting arms of Morpheus.

But in the cold light of day I know that would have been no remedy as the after-effects of sleeping pills can often be worse than the lack of sleep itself.

Discover a gentle and natural way to get the sleep you deserve – safely

What we should all know before reaching for the bedside pills

In 2001 the charity MIND launched a booklet called 'Sleeping Pills Curse or Cure for Insomnia?'. It warned that withdrawal symptoms can be severe, ranging from trembling and the shakes… to dizziness and loss of balance… to hallucinations, paranoia and epileptic fits.

They also said that anyone who has taken sleeping tablets for more than a few nights shouldn't try withdrawal without the help of their GP.

That's how addictive these things are!

Yet up to a third of elderly people in the UK are prescribed sleeping pills because they are affected by insomnia.
But do they work in the long run?

Canadian researchers carried out a series of studies on sedative drugs between 1966 and 2003. They concluded that the risk of the side effects (such as dizziness, loss of balance, falls and disorientation) far outweighed the benefits of the drugs.

The studies covered a range of medications including antihistamines and prescription drugs like benzodiazepine.
In their studies seven cases of dizziness led to life-threatening incidents…. six serious falls and a car crash!
The Canadian researchers' conclusion was clear…

Older people are more than TWICE as likely to experience an adverse incident after taking sedatives as they are to gain a better quality of sleep.

Of course, as always, there are natural solutions to problems like these.

When you look at the range of herbal and natural approaches to better sleep they tend to involve B vitamins which are closely linked to restful sleep and compounds which influence the neurotransmitters in our brains which allow us to rest.

Chief amongst these is serotonin which is a very powerful relaxant and anti-depressant, but interestingly can be limited in those who struggle to sleep or find themselves waking with a dull head.

Lastly is a compound called theanine which is found in green teas and has been shown to be the reason why these drinks act as relaxants.

So, just imagine if I could point you in the direction of a simple way to get just the right amount of each of these important elements for a restful night’s sleep – delivered in a single mouth spray.

Your prayers are answered, this is the most effective sleep remedy I have ever found

The changing need for sleep

It’s a sad fact that as we age we tend to sleep less well and often find that our sleep is easily disturbed.

I was intrigued to discover that some researchers feel that this decrease in the need for sleep as we age is due to the fact that we no longer need to learn or deal with new experiences(1).

The paper suggests that in younger life we are exposed to many new and challenging situations that our bodies need time to deal with – and we enter a shutdown phase at night that allows us to do this.

It’s an interesting concept that has some logical implications for those who remain active and stimulated into old age; if you make efforts to learn new skills or devote time to learning new languages the chances are you will sleep better.

The flip side to this has to be that if we aren’t getting enough sleep we are less likely to have the desire or capability to concentrate for long enough to engage with new experiences.

Changing seasons can also affect the amount of sleep we take because we are less active in the dark and cold winter months so don’t get as tired as we do when the garden calls for our attention.

In addition, changing levels of light and day length also have a profound effect on the quality of sleep and Lara and I found that investing in a set of heavy blackout curtains for our bedroom means that it is always dark in there and this consistency nullifies the effects of the changes in sunlight hours.

Actually enjoying going to bed for a night’s restful sleep should be the least we can all expect of life, but I know for many the hours of darkness are a constant struggle to grab short periods of unfulfilling sleep – until about half an hour before the alarm goes off when you finally fall into a deep slumber... is how to avoid all of that and get the chance to enjoy the quiet and untroubled sleep that you dream of!

Yours, as always



 (1) Cirelli, C. (2012). Brain plasticity, sleep and aging. Gerontology, 58(5), 441-445.



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