Why We Need Sleep

Sleep allows the body to recuperate and repair so it is not surprising that inadequate sleep, particularly over a period of time, can affect us negatively.  Lack of sleep can lead to:

* changes in glucose regulation
* changes in blood pressure
* altered cognitive function 
* poor immune function
* hormonal changes 
* increased appetite

Hormones thought to be affected by lack of sleep include cortisol and testosterone. Changes to these hormones promote an environment of protein and muscle degradation so that muscle recovery is compromised.  This is not good news for athletes, those with muscle wasting illnesses or those who need to build muscle to burn excess fat!

Herbal medicines can support human physiology during periods of stress and anxiety and can improve sleep.  Firstly “adaptogenic” herbs such as Withania, Gotu Kola, Siberian Ginseng, Rhodiola and Rehmannia can help the body to cope with the stress or anxiety and support normal hormone levels.

As well, calming “nervine” herbs such as Valerian, Skullcap, Passionflower, Lemon Balm and Lavender are sedative and relaxing – reducing insomnia.  At Avedissian Natural Health we have seen many patients benefit from herbs and homoeopathy and return to normal sleep patterns.  Call us on (02) 9453 0779 to find out more!

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