Sleep loss is easy to identify but can be hard to explain, with a wide range of factors potentially to blame.
Research suggests getting down to the bottom of it is less important than implementing practical solutions, however.
One simple and immediately actionable approach that may help to aid sleep loss is to take certain supplements.
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If you are looking for some natural remedies, there are a number of plant-based supplements that have been proven to promote a good night’s sleep.
Here are three such supplements:
Valerian root, an extract from the flowering plant native to Europe and Asia, has been reported to improve sleep loss.
Two reviews reported that 300–900 mg of valerian taken right before bedtime may improve self-rated sleep quality.
It is important to note that the observed improvements in these studies were subjective, however.
They relied on participants’ perception of sleep quality rather than on objective measurements taken during sleep, such as brain waves or heart rate.
Several studies have shown that the oil derived from the sweet-smelling plant may improve the quality of sleep.
Research suggests smelling the oil for 30 minutes may induce sleep, and this effect appears particularly strong in those suffering from mild insomnia, especially females and young individuals.
Moreover, a small study in elderly people reported that lavender aromatherapy may be as effective as conventional sleep medications, with potentially fewer side effects.
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Another study gave 221 patients suffering from mixed anxiety disorder 80 mg of a lavender oil supplement or a placebo per day.
By the end of the 10-week study, both groups had experienced improvements in the quality and duration of sleep.
However, the lavender group experienced 14–24 percent greater effects, without any reported unpleasant side effects.
Extracts from the passion flower plant native to North America has been also been shown to promote a good night’s sleep.
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One study in humans compared the effects of a passion flower tea to those of a placebo tea made from parsley leaves.
Each tea bag was allowed to steep for 10 minutes, and researchers took objective measurements of sleep quality.
At the end of the three-week study, the objective measurements indicated the participants had not experienced improvements in sleep.
However, when they were asked to rate their sleep quality subjectively, they rated it around five percent higher following the passion flower tea week compared to the parsley tea week.
A number of animal studies have also revealed the sleep-inducing benefits of taking the herbal remedy.
One study in rats found that P. incarnata significantly increased slow-wave (deep) sleep, reduced rapid eye movement sleep, and helped the rats fall asleep more quickly.
Slow-wave sleep refers to the deepest phase of the sleep cycle, when your body and brain waves slow down.
Rapid eye movement sleep, on the other hand, describes a state of heightened brain activity that precedes waking up.
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