Sleep hacks: Expert advises on using menthol oils in the heat
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Having trouble sleeping is common among Britons at the best of times, but while the UK basks in the stifling temperatures of its second heatwave of the year, nodding off has become even more unattainable for many. However, there are certain supplements that are known to help improve sleep quality. If you feel like you’ve tried everything, perhaps adding a few of the following to your nighttime routine could help.
The human body is hardwired to sleep better in cooler temperatures, with experts identifying the ideal room temperature to rest somewhere between 15C and 19C when going to bed.
While temperatures remain well into the 20s and 30s at nighttime in parts of the UK this week, winding down is posing much more of a challenge.
Research from Formulate Health revealed up to 36 percent of adults they surveyed struggle with the task of sleeping at least on a weekly basis.
Combining this with the extreme heat the country is facing this week, this figure is likely to rise as the days draw on.
In fact, Google Trends data reveals searches for “too hot to sleep” to have risen a staggering 816 percent since Sunday – the first day the Met Office’s amber heatwave weather warning was issued.
Temperatures reached highs of 35C in parts of the UK on that day but today, some areas are forecast to reach – and even exceed – 40C. These temperatures are not common in the UK, even during summer.
A spokesperson at nutrition brand Bulk said: “Heat is probably one of the worst causes of insomnia, and the discomfort is hard to soothe without the help of a fan or an AC unit.
“However, we understand that as this weather is not common for the United Kingdom, not many people have on hand these types of gadgets.”
But, there are some natural supplements which experts say can improve your sleeping experience during these unprecedented times if your fan isn’t cutting it.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that is scientifically proven to improve sleep quality.
The nutrient helps activate neurotransmitters that are responsible for calming the body and the mind and in turn, will quiet the nervous system.
Nutrition experts at Bulk said: “Most adults in the UK do not come close to consuming the recommended intake of 375 mg of magnesium a day.
“Magnesium can be found in green leafy vegetables, which can be incorporated into your meals throughout the hot weather.”
Native to Asia and Europe, Valerian root’s medical uses date back to Greece and Rome.
Containing multiple chemical compounds valerian root is known to likely impact serotonin receptors as well as reduce brain activity in the motor cortex according to the Sleep Foundation.
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The Sleep Foundation said: “After analysing 60 research studies published over nearly 40 years, researchers determined that valerian root can likely improve sleep and reduce anxiety in many people.
“Valerian root supplements have been found to help people fall asleep faster, improve their sleep quality, and spend more time in a deep sleep stage.”
Studied as a remedy for anxiety-related insomnia, lemon balm should help to relax yourbody.
In a study from 2011, taking lemon balm as a supplement was found to reduce symptoms of insomnia in 42 percent of a young and otherwise healthy population.
In another study, a dose of 600mg per day was shown to reduce negative mood effects and increase self-ratings of calmness.
Bulk nutrition experts said: “If the heat is causing a lot of frustration and stress, lemon balm could be a solution.”
Trying some of the tips advised might not only help you find something that works during the hot weather but also in the long run if you find yourself struggling with sleep.
However, if you’re unsure, it’s always best to consult your GP or health professional before incorporating any new supplements into your diet.
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