Stress is the number 1 cause of sleeping problems. When you are stressed, your body is full of the stress hormone cortisol. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep. No matter what the cause of the stress - your work, your relationship, family or health - one thing is certain: lying in bed worrying about things doesn't help.

Why is good sleep important?

Good, uninterrupted sleep is important for all the processes in your body that keep you healthy. For example, a good night's sleep is needed for the proper functioning of your immune system, your hormonal system, your nervous system, your stress load and brain function.

Sleep and daily energy

Insufficient sleep affects your energy and research suggests that women who don’t get enough sleep are also likely to over eat to fuel the extra energy required to remain awake. This leads to unhealthy weight gain which further saps your energy.1/p>

Sleep and ageing

It is a myth that you need less sleep as you get older. We continue to need between 7 and 9 hours of good quality sleep every night.On days that you are not working and don’t need to be somewhere at a particular time, it is worth trying out how you sleep without an alarm clock. You’ll establish when you wake up naturally. This can help you understand how much sleep your body needs.

Sleeping without stress

Is stress keeping you awake at night? If so, these tips can help you fall asleep:

  • Introduce a consistent rhythm into your sleeping pattern. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This also helps keep your hormones in balance. Don't be tempted to have a lie-in and deviate from your normal sleeping patterns during the weekend.
  • Make sure you get plenty of exercise, preferably outside. Daylight encourages the production of serotonin, the precursor to the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep more quickly at night.
  • Do relaxation exercises: yoga, meditation, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. This helps work the stress hormone cortisol out of your body calming your body, mind and emotions.
  • Turn off digital screens and gadgets at least an hour before going to sleep. The blue light from your television, telephone, laptop or tablet is known to inhibit the production of melatonin which helps you fall asleep.2
  • Drink herbal tea with chamomile to aid retful sleep.
  • Take a warm bath or a shower before going to bed. You'll fall asleep better and more quickly if your warm body can then cool down gradually in a , well ventilated bedroom.
  • Sleeping with your head full of worrying thoughts is not possible. You need to let go of worry and anxiety to get restful sleep. Count sheep or breathe in and out, deeply and purposefully. This helps you focus your brain and it can help keep worrisome thoughts away.
  • Write down your concerns. Before going to sleep, take 15 minutes to make a mental note of your day and write your thoughts down on paper. Make a list of those things that you must or want to do and then let it go.
  • Drink a glass of warm milk before going to sleep. Avoid chocolate, fat and sweets, since these can keep you awake. Don't go to sleep on a full stomach.

1. Rachel R. Markwalda,b,1, Edward L. Melansonb,c, Mark R. Smitha, Janine Higginsd, Leigh Perreaultb, Robert H. Eckelb,and Kenneth P. Wright, Jr.a,b Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain
2. Chelappa, S.L. et al Acute exposure to evening blue-enriched light impacts on human sleep

Tip: For the best results use Nutri-Gyn in combination with a healthy lifestyle.