London Morning6:50Helpful advice on sleep aids
From herbal tea to melatonin gummies, Canadians on the lookout for non-pharmaceutical ways to assist them sleep have loads of options to pick from.
While some experts query how well these products work, people who find themselves desperate for somewhat rest — especially as they prepare to lose an hour when clocks move forward for daylight time this weekend — are willing to try absolutely anything.
That was the case for Christine Odunlami of Toronto.
She’s a technical recruiter within the financial services industry and has been studying part time for a Master’s degree in human Resources Management.
She found that on nights when she had classes it was difficult to go to sleep.
“If I’m up past a certain time…. to illustrate midnight or 1 a.m., then I probably won’t sleep until 5 or 6 a.m.,” she said.
“I began noticing there was a pattern so I began to look into some sleep aid options and tried to go the natural route first”
She tried melatonin, a hormone our brains produce naturally to control sleep, but which will also be taken in pill form.
She found that after three or 4 days of taking it she could sleep more soundly, however it wasn’t at all times enough. So she’d also take a non-prescription antihistamine, and drink some chamomile tea.
A growing marketplace for natural sleep aids
While melatonin and chamomile are among the many more well-known sleep aids, there are many other teas, supplements and drinks to be present in pharmacies, grocery stores and health food shops across Canada.
Dana McCauley, CEO of the Canadian Food Innovation Network said these sorts of products represent “an enormous, huge opportunity” because everyone must sleep and so few of us are getting enough.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research says evidence suggests that a couple of third of Canadians find it hard to get night’s sleep, including hundreds who experience sleep disorders comparable to insomnia.
And while some people might enjoy a glass of wine within the evening to assist them chill out, it isn’t something health experts recommend for sleep.
McCauley said with the brand new alcohol guidelines of just two drinks every week, more people could possibly be on the lookout for something to switch their regular “nightcap.”
“That whole ritual of winding down within the evening I feel is fairly ingrained in us. So if we discover something that matches into that pattern that we feel is best for us, I feel we’ll gravitate towards it,” she said.
She said CBD drinks are a giant a part of this trend, but that there at the moment are also more sodas and herb-infused waters that claim to have calming properties.
And while the manufacturers might not be legally allowed to say their products make you sleepy, their marketing material may need “dream” or one other word that “evokes a mood” to make consumers take into consideration sleep or leisure, she said.
“Cues that will not be based on molecular actions in your body,” she said. “Numerous psychological stuff.”
Do these products actually work?
Neurologist and sleep expert Dr. Chris Winter shouldn’t be a fan of melatonin or any sort of complement to assist with sleep.
“I feel to a big extent these items do little or no,” he said.
He advises people to get comfortable with the concept they will not go to sleep immediately, and eventually they’ll learn how you can fall asleep on their very own.
“In the event you get in bed at 11:00 and you are still awake at 11: 30, people feel like ‘I’ve got to do something. Something’s improper here’ Nothing’s improper. Our sleep ebbs and flows, and that is OK.’
His recipe for sleep?
“Read a book.”
Dreading daylight time
Odunlami said she would like to have the opportunity to drift off unaided by any products, natural or otherwise.
“I have been attempting to practice higher sleep hygiene, , turning off my electronics about an hour before I’m going to sleep, using ambient lighting,” she said.
She’s also had some success sitting in a dark room for half an hour before bedtime.
“If I’m forcing myself mentally to fall asleep it’s harder. But when I just close my eyes and find ways to chill out and just activate a white noise machine, that is rather a lot more helpful.”
However the thought that the clocks will soon go forward an hour is something she might find yourself losing more sleep over.
“Oh my gosh! I at all times have trouble with daylight savings time.”
To assist cope with the time shift, Winter recommends going to bed at your normal time and getting up at your recent regular wake-up time. It’s going to be difficult at first (harder than when the clocks return) but an important thing shouldn’t be to sleep in, he said
Melatonin not for everybody
Melatonin is something people can take to cope with the symptoms of jetlag, so using it to assist your body adjust to the time change might look like idea.
Nevertheless it’s not for everybody.
“I’ve tried chamomile tea and other things. Nothing particularly has worked,” said CBC Radio science columnist Torah Kachur, who has spoken to many sleep specialists through the years.
A busy mom who often struggles to get a solid night of sleep, Kachur said decided to provide melatonin a try because — unlike with most sleep supplements — there’s some evidence that it really works.
And while it did put her to sleep initially, what followed was unpleasant.
“I might get up at like 5:00 within the morning just bouncing off the partitions. And in addition I might find that I might have wicked nightmares, like really vivid night terror things, so I just stopped taking it. It wasn’t for me,” she said.
“Melatonin is a extremely necessary natural hormone…The truth is, though, the overwhelming majority of individuals produce loads of it.”
And there are higher ways to induce sleep, she said.
Put away your phone, because the sunshine tricks your body into considering it’s daytime.
“I’ve interviewed sleep experts and a few them say they put their phones and their laptops and all the pieces on that blue light filter starting at 4 p.m.”
And avoid food at bedtime.
“The worst thing you might do is stand up at midnight and begin eating a pizza,” she said.