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June 16, 2021 5 min read

While 2020 was all about making time for oneself; perfecting our skincare routines, practising mindfulness and taking daily walks, this year we’re honing in on sleep.

Yes, sleep care is the new self-care and we’re all for it. Join us as we uncover the reasons why you’re getting poor sleep, the side effects of fatigue and the best natural sleep aids.

How much sleep should I be getting every night?

According to The National Sleep Foundation, adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. But with a 2017 study by The Sleep Council finding 74% of respondents slept less than 7 hours a night and a further 12% reporting sleeping for less than 5 hours, there’s reason to believe that we’re simply not getting enough sleep.

So what's causing the problem?

Reasons why you’re getting poor sleep

There are all sorts of reasons why you might not be getting enough sleep. Can you relate to any on this list?

  • Eating too late / snacking at bedtime
  • Consuming too much alcohol or caffeine
  • Feeling anxious or stressed
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Bedroom is too hot or too cold
  • Too much stimulation from devices like mobiles
  • Exercising before bed
  • Artificial light
  • Poor sleep schedule
  • Sleep Apnea

Side effects of poor sleep

We all know that a lack of sleep can make us feel grumpy and irritable but did you know that long-term sleep problems can have detrimental effects on our health? Here are a few common side effects of chronic sleep deprivation…

  • Lack of alertness
  • Excessive daytime drowsiness
  • Impaired memory
  • Increased risk of accidents and injury
  • Mood changes & heightened feelings of depression
  • Weakened immunity
  • Increased risk of serious medical conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure & diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Low sex drive
  • Poor balance

As you can see there are some pretty serious side effects of not sleeping enough. Essentially, your body is being deprived of its time to heal and restore its chemical balance. Without sleep, your brain and body simply can’t function normally, so it’s no wonder it dramatically lowers your quality of life.

How to improve sleep hygiene

The term sleep hygiene simply refers to the process of creating an environment and daily routine that promotes consistent, uninterrupted sleep. Paying attention to your sleep hygiene can go a long way in helping you get a better night’s sleep.

Some ideas for improving your sleep hygiene include:

  • Developing a sleep schedule with a target wake-up & bedtime
  • Avoiding napping heavily in the day
  • Prioritising sleep above working, studying, socialising & exercising if it spills into your bedtime
  • Creating a dim light & device-free bedtime routine
  • Enjoying plenty of daylight & physical activity
  • Reducing alcohol consumption & giving up smoking
  • Cutting down on caffeine in the afternoon & evening
  • Restricting your bed for sleeping (not eating, working etc.)
  • Making sure your room is a comfortable temperature
  • Ensuring your mattress & bedding is comfortable

What will help me sleep naturally?

Eating a balanced diet, practising self-care and getting plenty of exercise are all essential to good sleep care but sometimes people need a little extra help.

Some people turn to prescription medications, however, if like us, you favour a more natural approach, check out some of the best natural and herbal supplements for sleep care below.

Please note, it’s always a good idea to check with your GP before taking any supplements (natural or otherwise!) Especially if you have allergies, known health conditions or take other medications.


1. Lavender

This purple flower has a distinctive scent, known to slow the heart rate while lowering both your blood pressure and skin temperature. This relaxing state helps to get your mind and body ready for rest. Try adding a lavender oil diffuser to your bedroom or adding a few drops to your pillowcase.


2. Chamomile

The daisy-like Chamomile plant contains a powerful antioxidant called Apigenin, known to target certain brain cell receptors that help you fall asleep. This explains why so many people enjoy Chamomile as a soothing herbal tea. Just keep in mind that chamomile can interfere with certain medications, so it’s best to check with your GP before taking it.


3. Reishi for sleep care

We’re big fans of medicinal mushrooms here at Mountainlife and when it comes to sleep, Reishi is one of the best. These mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine for centuries as a treatment for insomnia. Reishi is said to have a ‘sleep-promoting factor,’ which calms the central nervous system, reduces stress and relaxes both the body and mind.

One study found that Reishi was particularly effective in improving non-REM or light sleep. This is a necessary phase to achieving good REM sleep.

Try our Reishi mushroom powder or high strength Reishi extract and let us know what you think!

Read more: Reishi mushroom for sleep & other benefits


4. Passionflower

Purple Passionflowers are pretty but did you know they may also help relieve insomnia and anxiety? Early studies show they may boost the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This compound reduces brain activity, helping you to relax and get to sleep.


5. Magnesium

People with a magnesium deficiency often struggle to stay asleep. It’s, therefore, recommended that you evaluate your diet and make sure you’re eating enough magnesium-rich foods. Some great choices include:

  • Nuts like almonds, cashews and peanuts
  • Boiled spinach
  • Whole wheat bread & cereal
  • Bananas


6. Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane is believed to help reset our circadian rhythm and prevent problems related to delayed sleep phase disorder. This is a condition where sleep cycles are delayed by 2 or more hours than considered normal.

Lion’s Mane mushroom is also believed to support better sleep care with its anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties. The powerful mushroom helps to regulate the central nervous system and calm an overactive brain, leading to a better night’s sleep.

Try taking our Lion’s Mane mushroom powder as a herbal tea and discover the benefits for yourself.


7. Cordyceps Militaris

Cordyceps is known as being the energy-boosting mushroom but it can also aid our rest and repair process. At the same time, Cordyceps works to reset our biorhythms - useful for people experiencing fatigue and jet lag.

Try the Mountainlife Cordyceps Militaris mushroom powder or supercharge your body with our High Strength Cordyceps Extract.


8. Shilajit

Shilajit contains over 85 minerals that nurture our bodies and provide a whole host of benefits. By ensuring our bodies are equipped with good nutrition, we can enjoy better quality sleep. Additionally, Shilajit can help reduce anxiety associated with sleep deprivation and encourage the body to fall into a natural sleep rhythm.

Why not try our 100% natural Shilajit resin and see if it works for you?

Read more: 5 best natural Chronic Fatigue supplements

We hope you’ve found our list of natural sleep care aids useful. Be sure to let us know what works for you!

Thomas Sharp
Thomas Sharp

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