Recently I’ve been writing about herbs and vitamins to help treat stress and anxiety. With the recent COVID lockdown and the uncertainty of our current lives, there’s no doubt there has been an increase of stress and anxiety in our community. Unfortunately, insomnia and stress often go hand in hand, and I’m finding more customers are complaining they are now also suffering from insomnia. We often find when treating stress and anxiety it can be helpful to take a sleep formula to help address both of these health issues.
I have written often about the amazing benefits of sour cherries for treating arthritis and gout. Sour cherries however may also be beneficial for regulating and improving sleep patterns. Sour cherries are a natural source of the brain hormone known as melatonin which regulates our body’s internal clock. Melatonin has been used effectively to help with treatment of insomnia or other sleep disruptions such as recovering from or avoiding jet lag. Drinking 30ml of sour cherry juice 30 minutes after waking in the morning then 30 minutes before the evening meal is thought to increase the body’s melatonin levels. We’ve found some customers have reported drinking a 100ml of sour cherry juice an hour before bed significantly helped with the quality of their sleep and the length of time they slept.
Insomnia may also be improved however if we take a combination of herbs as well as the sour cherry which is why I particularly like this formula which contains the dried extract of Sour Cherry, plus Passiflora and Hops. Passiflora and Hops are often used in sleep formulas, however adding the sour cherry extract certainly is quite unique and I believe, sets this formula apart from most.
Passiflora also known as Passionflower has been found to increase the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in our brain. GABA is a chemical which our brains are known to make naturally. Interestingly, when it comes to treating insomnia this GABA compound can be beneficial because it is known to lower our brain activity, help lessen anxiety, increase the feelings of relaxation and calm which in turn may help us sleep better. It is also believed Passiflora may reduce the time it takes to fall asleep plus increase our duration of sleep. The bonus is Passiflora has been found may also help relieve anxiety symptoms because of its calming benefits.
When we think of Hops, most will think of beer. Many would not realise however that Hops have been used for centuries as a herbal medicine, treating a variety of ailments, in particular sleeplessness and anxiety. Hops once again help to increase GABA levels in our brain. It’s also interesting to note, it’s thought the calming effect of Hops may also arise from its ability to lower our body temperature. We know lowering our body temperature is an integral part of our body’s sleep process and by lowering our body temperature, it’s been found it assists in bringing on drowsiness.
As an aside and returning to the benefits of sour cherry juice for insomnia, if you are a parent and your child is struggling to get a good night’s sleep, you will be interested to know sour cherry juice has been successfully used to help young children create a good sleep pattern. We’ve also had feedback from customers who, although they were taking sour cherry juice for their arthritis, found the quality of their sleep had also improved. This was an added bonus they hadn’t counted on!
If you are under stress and not sleeping, I believe it would be worthwhile to take the herbs or a Vitamin B supplement which I have recently written about during the day, together with this other combination of herbs for sleeping at night.
For more information on insomnia or any other health issue call to see Bev and the team at Go Vita, Your Health Shop at 5 North St, Batemans Bay or phone on 44729737. Don’t forget to tune into Bev on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.30 on Go Get Healthy.