5 Natural Supplements that Can Help You Sleep

Best case scenario? We’re all drifting off within minutes, and enjoying our recommended eight hours, night after night.

Unfortunately, a deep, uninterrupted sleep can elude us, whether that's due to lifestyle, physical, interior or physiological factors.

A diet rich in these natural supplements might boost your chances of a solid snooze, and if those restorative hours still evade you, the best port of call is your GP, who will be able to advise a correct treatment plan.

Until then, these won’t hurt…

1. Vitamin D

Proven to improve both the quality and the quantity of your zzzs, vitamin D is essential to your wellbeing. Low levels of the sunshine vitamin is linked with poor sleep efficacy, while, generally, healthy levels will impact and help regulate your circadian rhythms... not to mention, your mood. The majority of our vitamin D comes from sunlight exposure, although there are small quantities in oily fish and egg yolks, if that's what you're after this season. Otherwise, a supplement is a simple and easy way to get your recommended intake, if you're deficient.

2. Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by your body that helps control your sleep and wake cycles. The production of this hormone is greatly impacted by light patterns, so keep your room dark at night (and turn your phone off — or at least to night mode) to let your body know it's time to rest.

3. Iron

Iron deficiency is one of the most common health quandaries women see their GPs for, and even though a lack of iron causes exhaustion, it (ironically) can lead to problems sleeping. It's a vicious cycle, we know. To boost your iron levels (and thus sleep and energy), opt for foods like red meat, liver, dark chocolate, legumes and grains, although your doctor or healthcare practitioner will be able to advise whether a supplement is suitable for you.

4. Calcium

Calcium promotes strong bones and teeth but also helps your brain to utilise tryptophan, an amino acid which is vital to the production of sleep-inducing melatonin. This explains why the traditional solution to sleep issues, a glass of warm milk, is so widely recommended.

5. Magnesium

Decreasing the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, magnesium is a popular option when it comes to alleviating insomnia. It relaxes your muscles and helps release tension, and is found in dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, and whole grains, which are the kinds of foods you have in your high rotation, anyway.

Now that we’re on the topic, here are 10 simple ways to enhance the quality of your sleep – starting from tonight! – plus the 7 surprising things making you tired.

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