By naturopath Jessie Denmeade
Sleeping difficulties are a very common problem in our society. Anyone who has experienced them knows how important a good night’s sleep is, and yet may not appreciate the full extent of its significance. Insomnia has been linked to higher rates of depression, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as a greater likely hood of workplace and motor vehicle accidents. Whereas disorders like sleep apnoea are known to decrease the supply of oxygen to the brain while sleeping and therefore increase neurodegeneration in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Poor sleep quality is also associated with higher rates of obesity and difficulty losing weight.
During the day, our sympathetic nervous system is often engaged in rising to the challenges of a stressful work place or busy family. This means that while we sleep, our parasympathetic nervous system has an opportunity to engage in the extremely important roles of balancing hormones and regulating immune function. Without this valuable sleep, many areas of our health can become severely compromised.
Studies have estimated that 30-45% of Australians suffer from insomnia. Yet there is much that can be done to help. Come and talk to our qualified naturopaths about the herbal and nutritional options that have been scientifically proven to enhance sleep quality, and explore ‘sleep hygiene’ practices to help you develop behaviours that will increase your likelihood of a great night’s sleep.