angela keen yoga therapy sleep workshop

So we’re all led to believe it’s good to get eight hours’ sleep a night. Here’s an important reason why… And if you’re having trouble dropping off we give our recommendations on some natural alternatives to sleeping pills

 

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Poor sleep can heighten our sensitivity to pain, new research has confirmed. When scientists at the University of California subjected 25 volunteers to pain after sleep deprivation they reported feeling the pain sooner. The 25 young participants had uncomfortable levels of heat applied to their legs and, rating their pain on a scale of one to 10, they complained of the pain at 41.6°C after sleeping badly – compared to 44°C when they’d had a good night’s sleep. Brain scans conducted alongside the test showed sleep loss not only amplified pain-sensing regions of the brain, but blocked pain-suppressing centres.

Another online survey carried out among 230 adults of all ages suggested even minor shifts in sleep and wake patterns affect pain sensitivity. After a poor night’s sleep we will feel pain more. It is thought that a region of the brain called the inula, which evaluates pain signals and places them in context to prepare the body to respond, slows down if you’re sleep deprived.

‘The optimistic takeaway here is that sleep is a natural analgesic that can help manage and lower pain,’ said Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California and author of the bestseller Why We Sleep.

Our recommendations for natural alternatives to sleeping pills

If you are having trouble sleeping here are a few suggestions from the team at The Hub:

  • Magnesium This supplement helps activate neurotransmitters that are responsible for calming the body and the mind. Not only can magnesium help you get to sleep but it plays a part in helping you achieve deep and restful sleep as well. In one study when older adults were given 500mg of magnesium or a placebo the magnesium group had better quality of sleep, plus exhibited higher levels of renin and melatonin, two hormones that help regulate sleep. We offer Nutri Magnesium Glycinate, £18.85 for 120 tablets
  • Reflexology As well as being a relaxing foot massage, reflexology works on our inner energies to calm a busy mind and body and enable you to sleep better.
  • DoTerra’s Calmer oil, a calming essential oil blend of lavender, cananga, Buddha wood and Roman chamomile promotes restful sleep and a soothing environment. Rolling Calmer onto the bottoms of feet, back of the neck and wrists to help you relax if you’re tense, anxious or stressed. DoTerra’s Calmer roll-on is £26 for 10ml
  • DoTerra’s Serenity combines essential oils renowned for their ability to create a restful environment at bedtime. The warm floral aroma of lavender, cedarwood, ho wood, ylang ylang, marjoram, Roman chamomile, vetiver, vanilla and Hawaiian sandalwood is lovely to diffuse by your bed or apply to the soles of your feet, neck or wrists to help you wind down and relax. Plus this blend is also available in soft capsules so you can take in the goodness of the restful essential oils both internally and externally. DoTerra’s Serenity Restful Complex is £26.67 for 60 softgels and £50.33 for 15ml of the pure essential oil
  • Homeopathy enables you to get to the cause of why you are having trouble sleeping, rather than merely giving you something to falsely put you to sleep or manage your insomnia. A homeopath takes a detailed picture of everything that is going on for you, emotionally and physically, plus explores your medical history, before finding a set of remedies tailored to you. Homeopathy treats you with your ailment rather than merely looking at the ailment itself. We have two homeopaths at The Hub, Sue Leach and Melissa Bradshaw-Weaver, either of whom would be happy to discuss treatment with you.

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