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Night night sleep tight

It is estimated that one third of people experience bouts of insomnia, with one in 20 taking sleeping pills at some point. The Great British Sleep Survey 2012 by Sleepio found that out of 20,814 participants, the average sleep score was just 5.1/10 and that an incredible 42% of those on sleeping pills have had sleep problems for over a decade ? confirming that sleeping pills are not effective in solving long term sleep problems.

Findings showed that the ?racing mind? is the main cause of sleeplessness. 


The top 5 persistent thoughts were found to be:


?      What happened today and what I?ve got on tomorrow (82%)

?      How long have I been lying awake (79%)

?      Trivial things of no importance (76%)

?      What the future might hold (71%)

?      Things that happened in the past (71%)

Whilst the top 5 physical factors were found to be:

?      Bodily discomfort (67%)

?      Noise (36%)

?      Partner (34%)

?      Room temperature (34%)

?      Light levels (19%)

The worse effect of poor sleep isn?t how we feel at night ? it?s how it affects us during the day, both physical and emotionally. Long-term sleepers are 7 times more likely to feel helpless than good sleepers and 5 times more likely to feel alone, but also twice as likely to have relationship problems, suffer daytime fatigue and lack concentration.

Women were found to have a 10% lower average sleep score and a higher percentage of long-term poor sleeps than were found with male respondents. However, the impact of poor sleep is remarkably similar between genders ? energy, relationships and mood are the top three most affected areas for both men and women.

It is also clear from the research that as we get older, our sleep becomes more broken, with 49% more people over 60 found to suffer from long term sleep problems compared with those in their twenties.

We?ve all heard of counting sheep and sniffing lavender, but if the classic methods aren?t working for you, what weird and wonderful tricks can you use to help you catch those much-needed zzzzz?z.

Get colouring

Silentnight sleep expert, Dr Nerina, says the colouring craze that?s been sweeping the nation this year has seen many adults adopt the age old childhood tradition and become one of the best ways for adults to shut off and rest the mind. ?Try colouring in before you go to bed?, she suggests. ?It slows the mind down taking the brain from beta mode (highly stimulated) into the alpha-theta states which are almost meditative, this enables and calms the nervous system preparing the mind/body for deep restorative sleep.?

Breathe easy

Kundalini breathing is particularly good for a wired mind and body. Sit up straight in bed, pucker your lips as if holding a 10p coin, breathe in forcefully through the lips, exhale through the nose. Do this for one – two minutes.

Take an extra bubbly bicarbonate bath

Add two big mugs of sodium bicarbonate to a bath of comfortably hot water. Immerse yourself completely for 20 minutes. The bicarbonate neutralises the skin?s acidity, softens dry skin and is a good aid in detoxification. Don?t use soap or shampoo as the chemicals will reduce the effect. Rinse off and go to bed soon afterwards. ;You will feel very tired,? promises Dr Nerina.

Shake it out


20 minutes of vigorous exercise, even jumping up and down on the spot, can help shake the energy out of your system and make you feel very sleepy.


Sip some cherry juice


Tart Montmorency cherries, found in CherryActive Concentrate, have been reported to contain high levels of phytochemical including melatonin, a molecule critical in regulating the sleep-wake cycle.


Use your thumbs


Take both thumbs and push up on the bone at the top of your eye socket. Sanjay Gupta, M.D., Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN, told Greatist: ?There is a little indentation – a notch -where the supraorbital nerve runs. It will feel like a little dull pressure but helps calm me down and sleep. It is also good for relieving headaches.?

Take a probiotic

According to Nutritional Therapist, Natalie Lamb, the gut is largely responsible for the production of the ?happy hormone? serotonin, needed to make the relaxation hormone, ?melatonin.? Taking a multi-strain probiotic could therefore boost the production of these hormones to help you sleep soundly. Bio-Kult, a unique multi-strain probiotic supplement has been shown to aid gut function and support a healthy gut flora, which could in turn help your body to produce additional melatonin, vital for a good night?s sleep. 

Use your mind

Imagine you?re going to a meeting and, in your mind, run through the stages of getting up, brushing your teeth, getting ready and heading out of the door. It is so exhausting, it will have you nodding off in no time. Another trick is to imagine your very first house and run through each room and remember what was in there, which paintings, where the radiators were etc.

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