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Insomnia and nocturnal awakenings: natural sleeping aids

Insomnia and nocturnal awakenings: natural sleeping aids

Sleeping well and without interruptions is essential to restore body and mind and to be able to face the days with the necessary energy and positivity.

However, sleep undergoes noticeable changes throughout life. After being omnipresent in the period of growth of the child and adolescent, with adulthood it decreases. Contemporary lifestyles and different daily impositions have produced significant changes on the total duration of sleep. Among those most frequently reported that can affect sleep in a lasting way we find:

- the impositions deriving from work (the start and end times of work, travel time, work stress, disturb sleep; not only: 25% of adults work at night, on shifts or at atypical times),

- the impositions deriving from the family (children and family life mainly disturb the sleep of mothers).

Numerous scientific studies, conducted in recent decades, have shown that a reduction in the time devoted to sleep can have harmful consequences on the body such as: weight gain; risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arterial hypertension; gastrointestinal disorders; viral infections; headache; decreased motivation; learning difficulties.

The sleep cycle and its stages

Central sleep control is linked to serotonergic, noradrenergic and cholinergic neurons. To study sleep, specialized laboratories make polysomnographic recordings. It is a method that measures brain waves (via electroencephalogram, EEG), eye movements (via electrooculogram, EOG), heart rhythm (via electrocardiogram, ECG), movements and muscle tone (via electromyogram).

A night of sleep, in general, consists of a succession of 4 to 6 sleep cycles lasting 90-110 minutes each, for an overall optimal duration of sleep which is between 6 and 9 hours a depending on the individuals. A sleep cycle, which, as mentioned, reproduces several times during the night, is divided into three major stages that occur in sequence:

- stage 1: falling asleep phase, is the slow and light sleep phase and the first stage of the sleep cycle. It is characterized by a lowering of muscle tone and heart rate (duration of phase 1: 5-10 minutes);

- stage 2: represents the second phase of slow and light sleep and is characterized by a greater loss of consciousness but the person is still very sensitive to external stimuli;

- stage 3: is the phase of slow deep sleep and corresponds to a period of physical and metabolic recovery for the body and the brain. Stages 2 + 3 last about 90 minutes;

- stage 2, characterized by slow and light sleep, this time lasting 10 minutes;

- paradoxical sleep: it constitutes the second major phase of a sleep cycle and corresponds to the recovery of nervous fatigue; promotes concentration and memory. It is also the time of dreams. This stage is characterized by rapid eye movements and brain activity, while the body is almost paralyzed (hence the name paradoxical sleep). Note, the first episode of paradoxical sleep is short, about 10-15 minutes; then we wake up, more or less consciously depending on the individual.

At the end of each sleep cycle the person can either wake up or start a new cycle.

The amount and proportion of slow and deep sleep stages are always greater at the beginning of the night and in the first sleep cycles, while those of paradoxical sleep are longer at the end of the night and just before natural awakening. The duration of the stages of light slow sleep (stage 2) is about the same at any time of the night and together it represents half of the total sleep.

The most common sleep disorders

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that occurs in 40-50% of people of all age groups and, from a statistical point of view, it is often worries and anxiety that prevent sleep. You suffer from insomnia when:

- you have difficulty falling asleep ("problems falling asleep"),

- you wake up frequently ("nocturnal awakenings"),

- you have an early awakening

- or there is an inversion of the sleep-wake rhythm

If you wake up tired: the feeling of waking up in the morning not sufficiently refreshed depends on the fact that during the night the regeneration was not enough. Difficult days filled with pressing problems or frustrating experiences will weigh on the night that follows.

Insomnia problems: some tips from Erboristeriacomo.it

For the problems of falling asleep and maintaining sleep, it is first of all important to follow these precious rules: relax your mind from "screens" or books at least an hour before going to bed; sleep only when necessary to feel refreshed the next day; wake up at the same time every day, 7 days a week; perform regular physical activity; make sure you have a comfortable, dark and quiet bedroom and that the bedroom temperature at night is comfortable (neither too hot nor too cold); eat meals regularly and do not go to bed if hungry; do not drink too much and do not eat too much in the evening; eliminate products that contain caffeine; avoid taking alcohol in the evening and avoid smoking; avoid "taking your problems to bed"; avoid "straining" to sleep (go to bed only if you are sleepy, get out of bed if you have been awake for more than 15 minutes, go back to bed only if you are sleepy); put the alarm clock in a position where you can avoid seeing it; avoid naps during the day.

Insomnia and nocturnal awakenings: natural sleeping aids by Erboristeriacomo.it

Among our natural remedies useful for falling asleep and anxiety are our natural sleep drops Sleep Rest, for adults and children, while for problems with nocturnal awakenings, we recommend our new product Ansioninax Nocturnal awakenings.

Sleep Rest drops is a food supplement of soft pluri-extract, made through the synergistic extraction of the botanical species Escolzia, Passiflora, Hawthorn, which can promote relaxation in case of stress and anxiety and sleep at night. They are natural sleep drops.

Ansioninax nocturnal awakenings instead is a powerful supplement based on: an exclusive extract of Iranian saffron tit. 2% safranal and 2% crocin macerated in oil (has no interaction with benzodiazepines, promotes normal psychological functions, helps manage stress and mild depression), melatonin conveyed in oil with vegetal-soft gel technology (6 times more absorbed compared to melatonin tablets), lavender essential oil (clinical studies have shown the ability to reduce anxiety and stress, improve sleep, reduce insomnia; there are clinical studies of lavender essential oil vs Lorazepam).

Among the other classic herbal remedies: the linden bud extract, the mother tinctures of escolzia and valerian. A good relaxing herbal tea to take before going to bed, maybe even an hour before, to prepare for the time of falling asleep, never hurts.

Dr. Laura Comollo

Visit our herbal department for any clarification or for more information.

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