We all hate restless sleep! That makes sense because sleep is something we all need to function well during the day. But unfortunately, many of us have trouble sleeping.
There can be many reasons for restless sleep – including an unhealthy daytime lifestyle and certain mental or physical conditions. In any case, one thing is certain: lack of sleep is not good and should be remedied as soon as possible.
In this article, we describe several causes of restless sleep with the associated negative effects on your health. In addition, we will describe 6 natural remedies for restless sleep. You may want to consider adding these natural remedies to your daily routine so that you will soon be sleeping like a baby again .
What causes restless sleep?
The most common cause of acute insomnia is living conditions that can lead to anxiety, worry, or stress. For example when you have received bad news. This form of restless sleep often resolves on its own.
In contrast, chronic insomnia is usually caused by poor sleep habits, untreated or uncontrolled medical conditions, and medications. This form of insomnia mainly occurs when the sleep-wake cycle is regularly disrupted. This results in an incomplete REM cycle and/or difficulty falling asleep.
Insomnia is caused by disorders — both physical and mental — that interfere with your ability to get a deep, restful night's sleep every night.
What are the health risks of poor sleep?
Aside from the obvious symptoms associated with poor sleep, such as drowsiness and irritability, restless sleep can have more negative effects on your health.
In the short term, poor sleep can contribute to slowed reflexes and impaired cognitive abilities. This can increase the risk of accidents in everyday life. Moderate sleep deprivation has been shown to promote motor and cognitive impairment similar to alcohol intoxication.
When we look at the long-term effects of restless sleep, it can be concluded that poor sleep can lead to more serious health problems. You can think of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, anxiety attacks, and depression.
All in all, a lack of sleep can drastically worsen the condition of your mind and body. Read on to learn about the 6 natural remedies for restless sleep.
6 natural remedies for restless sleep
These natural remedies usually have little or no side effects when compared with medicines. Provided, of course, that they are used correctly. This is a big plus!
Below we describe 6 natural sleep supplements that you can easily add to your routine – for example, if you suffer from a restless sleep.
Melatonin is often recommended by doctors and pharmacists to patients who complain of insomnia. But did you know that melatonin is a natural sleep supplement and not a drug?
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the human body. It plays a role in the sleep-wake cycle because it causes you to fall asleep at night (melatonin levels rise) and wakes up in the morning (melatonin levels fall). In other words, there is a clear link between melatonin and better sleep at night.
Since melatonin is already present in the body, this type of supplement is best used when the sleep-wake cycle is disrupted. Think of jet lag or the transition from a day to night shift. Melatonin can help you reduce restless sleep because it will positively influence your melatonin level.
Fortunately, melatonin supplements generally have no side effects – especially when taken for a short period. However, if you want to use a melatonin supplement on a long-term basis, it is best to discuss this with your doctor first.
Valerian root, native to Asia and Europe, is one of the most widely used sleep supplements in Europe. And that is not the case for nothing!
In a review of studies on valerian for better sleep, it was shown that 80% of patients reported improved sleep quality compared to people taking a placebo. Valerian supplementation is therefore ideal for people who cannot sleep at all.
If you want to try valerian root yourself to get a better night's sleep, it is advisable to first consult your doctor or a dietician. They can help you determine the safest and most effective dose.
Prevent restless sleep with chamomile
Chamomile is an herb that has been used as a tea and herbal infusion for centuries. The popularity of chamomile – especially in the evening just before going to sleep – is probably related to its natural effect as a sleep supplement.
Chamomile has been used over the years to treat a variety of ailments, including inflammation, hay fever, and muscle spasms. However, its ability to treat restless sleep has also been noted.
The calming effects of chamomile have not been the subject of many studies, although one study found that 10 out of 12 patients fell into a deep sleep after drinking the tea. A great way to reduce poor sleep.
Best of all, chamomile has minimal side effects and can be easily obtained as a tea from the supermarket or as a natural herbal supplement from the pharmacy.
Ginkgo biloba is an herb often praised for its beneficial effects on memory and cognition. It also has another major health benefit, which is to positively influence the sleep process.
However, Ginkgo biloba does not treat restless sleep in the usual way. Instead, the action of this herb focuses on relieving symptoms such as anxiety. Anxiety is a common condition and can be acute or chronic.
Anxious individuals may experience a range of symptoms, including:
- Lack of concentration
- obsessive thoughts
Another symptom of anxiety is restlessness and the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Unfortunately, lack of sleep can make the above symptoms worse over time.
Taking a ginkgo Biloba supplement about 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime will reduce your inner stress and promote a feeling of relaxation. This will help you relax after a long day and may even contribute to improved sleep quality. In other words, sleep well and this natural herb goes hand in hand!
Tryptophan for restless sleep
Have you ever wondered why you want to take a nice long nap after eating a lot? That's thanks to the amino acid called “tryptophan”! Also, baby foods for sleep are often fortified with this substance, which for example naturally in spinach.
Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin, which is necessary for the production of melatonin. So it's no surprise that this amino acid brings about some sleep-inducing effects in our bodies.
A study published in 2010 indicates that just one gram of tryptophan can improve sleep quality and help you fall asleep faster. It has also been made clear that tryptophan stabilizes any sleep disorders caused by drug addiction in the short term.
Due to the lack of research on this topic, it is currently not possible to obtain a tryptophan supplement in the Netherlands. Fortunately, this type of amino acid is found in many natural foods that you can easily add to your daily diet. This concerns, for example:
In other words, combating restless sleep could be achieved by consuming these foods every day in combination with a healthy and varied diet.
Kava kava is a plant that has been used by various indigenous peoples for hundreds if not thousands of years. One of the reasons for this is that this herb is used as a hypnotic.
Research shows that kava has anxiolytic (or anxiety-reducing) effects. This means that kava can be used to reduce anxiety symptoms. However, these effects of this natural remedy can extend beyond the mere treatment of anxiety.
In 2005, researchers tested the effects of kava extract on the sleep-wake cycle in rats with a sleep disorder. The results showed that kava reduced the time it took rats to fall asleep.
So this extract could be beneficial when it comes to tackling restless sleep. The following also applies to this natural remedy: Before you start using it, consult a doctor or a dietitian.
Natural remedies for restless sleep summarized
Restless sleep is a condition that affects many Dutch people. It is one of the most common chronic conditions experienced by adults. In addition, restless sleep can lead to serious health problems – both in the short and long term.
While the causes of insomnia vary, there is hope for patients.
Treatments, consisting of, for example, both natural remedies and supplements, as well as lifestyle changes, make it possible to improve your sleep quality and sleep duration. These things also help to make it easier to fall asleep.
That is not to say that medical intervention is not always necessary. Many people who experience sleep problems benefit from seeing a specialist such as a doctor. In this way, more targeted action can be taken to remedy restless sleep. This will ultimately benefit the quality of your sleep (and thereby your overall health)!