Review your cart

Your cart is empty

8th Mar 2024

Let’s Talk About Sleep!

Posted by Melanie Winter

Sleep can be impacted by various things in our lives, and when it's good, we take it for granted. But sometimes, just small changes can impact our sleep quality, and then we quickly become aware of the importance of sleep and just how much we need it.

Beyond Blue reports that 4 in 10 Australians regularly experience inadequate sleep. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day, and The Sleep Health Foundation recommends we aim for 7-9 hours a day. Some of the benefits of good sleep include:

  • Improved mood and ability to manage stress
  • Better memory and ability to think clearly
  • Energy
  • Immune system health
  • Recovery from and preventing injuries
  • Balanced food intake- lack of sleep can cause overeating

According to the Sleep Health Foundation Australia , there are some common reasons that people don’t get enough sleep, and some suggestions to combat these include:

1. Too much caffeine, alcohol, & sleeping tablets

Caffeine in tea, coffee, chocolate & cola is a stimulant and may prevent sleep, so limit it after lunchtime if you are having trouble with sleep. Avoid alcohol 4 hours before bed as this can also disturb the quality of your sleep. While people think it helps them fall asleep, they will have more wake ups and more restless sleep in the later half of the night. Also, sleeping tablets, while they can help for occasional use can become addictive and stop working in the long term.

2. Eating and drinking too late

Eating too late can cause upsets in digestion and even heartburn, while drinking fluid too late can have you running to the toilet at night. Try and not eat 2 hours before bed and consume more fluid earlier in the day.

3. Not winding down before bed

TV and computer games can emit blue light, which inhibits our production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Screen time that is interactive rather than passive is worse, too. So, scrolling the internet and playing games would be more disruptive than watching TV or reading a Kindle or reader. Exercise at night can also be too stimulating and make it harder to sleep.

4. Stress problems

Sometimes, stress caused by things like financial pressure, relationship problems or unemployment can affect our ability to sleep. If you try and keep your worries out of the bedroom, though, and write down anything that is on your mind and revisit it the next day, it might help alleviate the distracting thoughts. The Smiling Mind App also offers free sleep meditation and mindfulness exercises.

5. Physical discomfort

If there is physical discomfort affecting your sleep, see how you can minimise this. Would a bath before bed or some stretches help? Or taking some natural/herbal anti-inflammatories to support pain. Is it muscle cramps? Then magnesium might help. Or is your pillow the right height to support your neck?

Other options for sleep support

Exploring natural remedies can offer additional support for achieving restful sleep. Among these remedies are various herbs renowned for their calming and sleep-inducing effects. Incorporating such herbs into your bedtime routine can complement the lifestyle adjustments discussed earlier.

California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), which is the state flower of California, belongs to the poppy plant family and is a sister group to the opium poppy, although without the opioids. Traditionally, in Western herbal medicine the California poppies have been used to relieve pain, reduce anxiety & restlessness, induce sleep and support and maintain healthy sleeping patterns.

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a distinctive white and purple flower that was given its name by Spanish explorers for its resemblance to the crown of thorns thought to have been worn by Jesus on his crucifixion to symbolise the Passion of Christ. Traditionally, in Western herbal medicine, passionflower has been used to reduce excess nervous energy, relieve mild anxiety , relieve sleeplessness, and support healthy sleeping patterns.

Ziziphus (Ziziphus jujuba)

Popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ziziphus is traditionally used as a sedative and a tonic . In TCM, it is traditionally used to help relieve sleeplessness due to irritability and restlessness. It is used in traditional TCM for its calming properties to help relieve stress and is also traditionally used in TCM to relieve pain.


This mineral plays an essential role in the body as it is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions, which helps keep the body ticking and is essential for proper muscle and nerve function. It is necessary to support your muscles in contracting and relaxing, and an adequate magnesium level is important for the normal functioning of the nervous system. Magnesium aids sleep as it provides relief of muscular cramps, spasms, aches, and pains, and helps relax the muscles and supports the nervous system. A magnesium deficiency may also contribute to sleeplessness.

Key takeaways

  • For adults, 7-9 hours’ sleep is optimum.
  • Limit caffeine intake, and aim for none after lunch
  • Limit alcohol intake and try and have a few hours gap before sleep
  • Wind down before bed
  • Limit screen time at night
  • Use a meditation app like Smiling Mind for relaxation.
  • Manage any discomfort
  • Try some herbal remedies to support healthy sleeping, like ANC’s Peaceful Sleep
  • See a health professional if symptoms persist 

Want to share this blog?