Eat well, sleep well
Shona Wilkinson, head nutritionist at nutricentre.com, says it’s vital to eat enough protein during the day: meat, fish, beans, nuts and lentils are ideal and will all help promote sleep quality.
She says: “Protein provides the amino acid tryptophan, which converts to the hormones serotonin and melatonin – melatonin in particular is needed for good sleep.
“Avoid too much high-protein food in the last few hours before bed however, as they can be hard to digest – especially red meat and nuts.”
Shona also recommends a diet rich in magnesium – known as “nature’s tranquiliser”. Foods such as green vegetables, pumpkin seeds, fish and dried fruits are good sources or try a magnesium supplement such as Quest Synergistic Magnesium, £6.99 for 30 tablets at revital.co.uk.
Try an alternative remedy
Calming herbal teas that contain camomile, passionflower or valerian, as well as specific sleep blends, can be helpful to drink before bedtime.
Try Dr Stuarts Valerian Plus Tea, £2.19, at nutricentre.com. A.Vogel makes a wide range of herbal supplements (try Dormeasan with valerian and hops, £3.95 for 15ml from health food shops).
It also has a useful sleep health hub on its website. It covers all kinds of issues to do with insomnia, from menopause through to stress, with expert tips and videos to help (see avogel.co.uk for more information). You might also want to try an essential oil diffuser in the bedroom overnight.
Drops of lavender, vetivert or bergamot should help. Plug in the Esta bamboo diffuser, for example, (£50 from Neal’s Yard) – this particular diffuser also acts as a night-light.