Our in-house Naturopath Jen answers all your questions - from anxiety to shift workers, and how to build a sleep routine.
1. I’ve read about how a ritual is really important for sleep, but it sounds a little fluffy - do you believe it is? If so, what do you do if you’re busy?
If you find the term ‘ritual’ a little woo-woo, how about habit? We are creatures of those after all and this is essentially what sleep rituals are: positive habits we know help optimise rest. These are not necessarily mantras or sage-ing the house (though you can if you want to). Instead these are actionable, performance-based tools like meditation, lifestyle or food choices you can fit to your specific needs. Oodles of successful (and busy) individuals use meditation for next level of productivity. The impact of well-curated dietary choices on focus and cognitive function has been widely acknowledged. So, if you feel too busy to follow rituals that can markedly improve your sleep - as well as focus and productivity - the question is not where do you find time to include them, rather… can you afford not to?
2. Is my anxiety affecting my sleep habits?
While the relationship between these issues can often be complex and unique to the individual, research findings at Neuroscience 2018, (the annual conference of the Society for Neuroscience) have suggested that sleep loss and anxiety are closely linked. The less sleep you get, the more anxious you feel. The more anxious you feel, the less sleep you get. It’s a cycle many insomnia and anxiety sufferers find hard to break. The upside is: what is good for one can often prove helpful for both. So, take a deep breath, cause it’s time to form some rituals. Create space for yourself to process thoughts with set journaling time and/or roll on some oils that are proven to ease stress and anxiety. It’s also important to ensure you are meeting (and beating) your minimum required for health across diet, hydration and exercise. Breaking things down into smaller, actionable steps can make the process easier, then before you know it - it’s sleepy time.
3. Can poor sleep really impact weight loss?
Absolutely! The link between weight issues and sleep has been long observed. Not so clear cut though, is the role fatigue plays in your weight gain or weight loss because there are layered contributing factors.
A few things that come into play here are:
- Hormones - specifically Leptin and Ghrelin production, which are impacted by lack of sleep and can tamper with your hunger and satiety sensations if tired. This will make sticking to healthy eating plan really hard.
- Midnight snacks (beware) – being awake simply means more you have time to eat due to stress or boredom
- Metabolic repercussions - for glucose metabolism and hormone function were found to be associated with lack of sleep, making weight loss gets harder
- Motivation - feeling too tired to prepare healthy meals or exercise can impact your motivation for wellness
- Building and repair of fat burning muscles - without the deep restorative stages of sleep this process is difficult for the body.
4. My child is struggling with sleep - sometimes taking ages to fall asleep or when he does, he wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep. How can I approach this? Which products could I start with?
Good sleep - the kind where you rest deeply and can settle yourself if you wake - is actually a learned behaviour, so we need to teach our kids how to sleep before expecting them to do it well… tough to do if we struggle ourselves! Routine and rituals are important here, be diligent and this will pay off in the long run. Think structured wind town time, less screens (if any) in the evening and a set bedtime that you adhere to without fail.
For short term assistance, the Goodnight Essential Oil Roll On works beautifully, while for longer term behaviour change our Mind Time Kit can help frame out your little one’s mindfulness and set them up for better, more restorative sleep as they grow. Speaking of growth - kids do tend to stay in deep sleep longer than adults while they’re growing. Sleep talking, night terrors, bed wetting or sleep walking are all ‘deep sleep’ stage issues, so disruptions can be common - and distressing - for both of you. This can be helped by ensuring your child is not too stressed or overtired by the time they fall asleep.
5. Can I give the supplements or tincture to my children?
We recommend a healthy balanced diet as a priority for kids, over supplements as these are only designed to be temporary solutions, not a substitute for proper nutritional support with whole foods. That said - they are perfectly safe for your little person. Both blend’s ingredients have been chosen by a qualified homeopath with the whole family in mind so the TGC Tinctures are fabulous natural options for your whole family. Go for reduced doses depending on the age of the child and we always recommend discussing further with your health practitioner at any time you feel unsure. To reduce the dosage to suit your family’s needs, the following guide may be helpful:
1/8 standard dose
1/4 standard dose
1/3 standard dose
1/2 standard dose
Adult dose (unless your child is on the smaller side)
6. Is it safe to use the supplements or tinctures when pregnant or breastfeeding?
Our magnesium spray is safe for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding - in fact this can assist with many of the struggles common during this time. As there are no specific clinical trials done on pregnant or breastfeeding women using our Deep Sleep Supplement, while this is probably safe, we do recommend checking with your practitioner first.
7. Is it safe to use essential oils whilst pregnant or for my baby?
The flexibility and gentle nature of essential oils makes them a fabulous option for little people. We use pure, therapeutic grade essential oils (nothing nasty added) so feel confident in recommending them to all members of the family with correct dosage. Some ways you can do this are:
- If your little love is still cooking, the essential oils in our Goodnight blend are all safe to use. Go for the Goodnight Essential Oil in a diffuser to help achieve some calm (before the storm!) and get the rest you need to head into your next life stage.
- The Goodnight Essential Oil Roll On works beautifully applied to the bottom of their feet before topping with a pair of cosy socks (to prevent them from touching the oils). This can form a simple bedtime ritual and help shape the wind down process too for their own mindfulness process around sleep.
- For tiny brand new humans, you may prefer to use our Goodnight Essential Oil in a diffuser inside (or close to) their room.
8. I travel for work and always suffer jet lag which really impacts my work. What I can do to help without taking sleeping pills?
The short answer is - loads! Keeping routine is key, so our top tips for jet lag prevention include:
- Adjusting to your new time zone before you take off (allow at least several days or a week to do this).
- Taking your sleep rituals on the road with you with aromatherapy, silk eye masks and even a magnesium bath soak if you plan to have a bath in your hotel room.
- Staying hydrated to prevent brain fatigue while in flight (and afterwards).
- Bringing healthy snack options on board and making sensible food and drink choices while away
- Grounding (with bare feet on sand or grass) when you arrive.
9. My husband is a shift worker and he always struggles with sleep during the day - any advice?
Working against the body clock is hard, but not impossible. The trick is to adapt as best you can with tricks such as:
- Sleeping with black out blinds, ear plugs and our Sleep Mask is manage noise as well as the sunlight dependent sleep/wake hormone melatonin.
- Getting outside in the evening light for some exercise.
- Maintaining a healthy nutritious diet and packing well balanced meals for shifts.
- Sticking to routine wherever possible, even though this will look different to the average persons.
10. What’s your absolute non-negotiable top tip for a good night’s sleep?
Ritual is queen - find what works for your needs and stick to it without compromise. Personally, essential oils or a bath work well for but, the beauty of creating you own ritual is that it’s specific to you. Everybody is different.
11. What are your suggestions for restless leg syndrome? It usually happens an hour after getting in bed.
Magnesium can be a great tool for restless legs - in fact this is a common symptom of magnesium deficiency. Using our Sleep Ritual Bath Soak will help calm restless legs, replenish your magnesium and sooth muscles at the same time. The addition of lavender to this product makes it a triple threat for relaxation.
Adding our Magnesium Oral Spray for day time use will help you to top up further, though we recommend lifestyle changes to support health ongoing. Some ways you can protect magnesium in the body (and assist restless legs) with diet and lifestyle are:
- Manage your stress. Stressed bodies use magnesium faster, so make time for mediation to tone down your stress response.
- Where possible to avoid caffeine and alcohol which can impact cortisol or nervous system balance and work as diuretics - meaning you lose more of the water-soluble minerals like magnesium while at the same time have more need for them.
- Loading up on leafy greens, almonds and plenty of fruits and vegetables is key to get a balance of vitamins and minerals in.
Still got questions?
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