Throughout my adult life I’ve had various sleep problems and since having children I’ve realised how vital a good night’s rest really is. Back in my early twenties I struggled to sleep, which looking back was probably due to too much of a party lifestyle and unhealthy existence, and I turned to medication from my doctor to help me sleep. This medication was only to be used short term and at the time I never questioned taking pharmaceutical medicines. Nowadays I steer clear and prefer a much more natural approach when it comes to my health. I used to expect the doctor to solve all my problems, but now I try to solve them myself or at least try a natural method first.
Natural ways to improve your sleep
Looking back, there were many changes I could have made to improve my sleep. Here are some of the ways you can try to improve your sleep. Believe me, they all work. I’m guilty of not always doing them, particularly the caffeine and devices, and I do really notice the bad effects these have on my sleep:
Photo by Alexandra Gorn
I have come to realise in my 30s that I am quite caffeine sensitive! If I have caffeine such as green tea past around 2pm in the afternoon then I struggle to sleep that night! I will lie awake unable to switch my brain off for a couple of hours. The same happens if I eat chocolate in the evening. Being vegan and avoiding added sugar means I usually have quite dark raw chocolate so this caffeine hit is probably more intense than regular chocolate. Don’t forget chocolate has caffeine too!
I wonder how many people lie awake struggling to sleep with thoughts racing through their heads like me, and the simple solution is to not have any caffeine of any sort in the afternoon or evening.
We are all hooked to our devices and we’re always connected. This, for me, means checking work emails late at night before I go to bed! I can’t help it. It’s a habit and I like to stay on top of things.
It’s also a bad idea though. The screens stimulate our brain instead of soothing them ready for sleep. It also makes my brain more active as I start thinking about things I need to do the next day or going over things I’ve read in my mind, creating different scenarios and so on.
The best thing to do is to not look at devices at least one hour, preferably two, before going to bed. This will allow your brain to fully switch off.
Instead read a book, or talk to your partner. I am definitely guilty of not doing this one very much, but if I do switch off and put the phone down then my getting to sleep is drastically improved.
The benefits of exercise are incredible and we should all be exercising regularly. I go to the gym for 4-6 hours per week and it definitely improves my sleep. It works out my body meaning it needs rest to recover so I’m tired earlier in the evenings now compared to when I didn’t exercise regularly. It also destresses and reduces depressive symptoms meaning the mind is happier and can rest easier too.
Getting the right nutrients for our bodies and brains is also important in getting a good night’s sleep. Our bodies only work properly if they are properly fuelled. A diet low in fibre, but high in sugar and saturated fat was found to reduce sleep quality in a study. For me it’s obvious that an holistic approach is always needed when it comes to health and health issues. I love the saying you can’t outrun an unhealthy diet and perhaps you can’t outsleep an unhealthy diet either!
Meditation is also so important for good sleep. Destressing our bodies and brain and releasing daily tensions is something that we need to do more of and it’s only in recent years that I feel the importance of this is becoming more mainstream.
I do yoga each week as I run a lot so I hope it will improve the suppleness of my joints, but it is also a great way to relax, focus on the now and meditate. After a session I feel less tense and more at peace. Doing yoga before bedtime is a habit I would like to get into and to teach my children too. A good stretch of the body and clearing of the mind is perfect for a better night’s rest.
Although I do not like synthetic medication, I am happy to try natural plant based supplements to aid my health if needed. Recently I had been getting quite anxious at bedtime with a sick to the stomach feeling and too many thoughts, stresses and worries racing through my mind. I was finding it difficult to switch off and get enough shut eye. It’s also no good to go to sleep with a mind full of thoughts like this as I find I have more disturbing dreams and a lower quality of sleep.
I was approached by Utmost Me to try review a natural sleep aid called Neuro Rest and I’ve been trying it for 11 nights as I write this, so it’s been a good length of time to give it my honest review so far. Here are my thoughts.
Utmost Me Neuro Rest natural sleep aid review
I’ve been taking one tablet before I go to bed each night, around 30 minutes before I want to switch off and go to sleep. I leave the pot by my bed so I don’t forget.
Days 1-3 I didn’t notice any difference. I wasn’t surprised though as I guess some things take time to build up in our system. They contains 5HTP and I was advised that our brains need a little time to get used to converting the extra amount of this. 5HTP can help with anxiety and insomnia.
Days 4-6 I’m sure I started to get to sleep quicker with less anxiety and possibly sleep better, but each morning I was still so sleepy! I really struggled to get up, even more so than usual.
Days 7-11 I can go to sleep right away without lying in bed thinking of anything and everything and getting all anxious for hours. I seem to decide to go to sleep and then I turn the light out and boom – I’m asleep. I don’t remember lying and thinking of anything whilst trying to sleep for these past few days. I don’t feel like I fidget as much and I wake up feeling like I’ve had a solid sleep. I’m still a bit sleepy in the mornings, but not as drowsy as I was days 4-6, just normal sleepiness now!
I definitely feel like my going to sleep and sleep quality has been improving over time as I take these supplements. It’s always hard to tell exactly if the supplements have been causing this as perhaps I have just been getting less anxious, or it could be a placebo effect. Either way, I’ve been getting better sleep and not struggling to go to sleep, so this is a win!
I’d also much rather try natural supplements that are plant based if I’m going to take something to try and improve my sleep. I trust natural supplements a lot more than synthetic.
Utmost Me say that 97% of customers surveyed slept better with Neuro Rest. I definitely have been too and the only thing that has changed is that I’m taking this supplement. I’m still exercising almost every day, doing yoga each week, eating healthily and avoiding caffeine later in the day. The only thing I need to work on is not looking at my phone or work emails late at night!
If you’re struggling to sleep too, then I see no harm in trying a natural supplement as it could be the perfect solution for you.
What is Neuro Rest?
Neuro Rest is created by doctors, biochemists and expert nutritionists. It’s a natural supplement that is gluten free and suitable for vegans. It’s also GMO free and only contains wholefood and plant extracts.
The ingredients are specially chosen to reduce tiredness and fatigue. It contains:
- 5-HTP (from Griffonia seeds)
- Montmorency cherries
- Grape skin
For more information and to see their other product Neuro Focus Plus visit https://utmostme.com/
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I was sent a product in exchange for my honest review.