How to get more sleep – the natural way
Whether it’s due to stress, caffeine or digital burnout, almost half of women in the UK are sleep-deprived. This exhaustion could leave you feeling listless and sluggish, or it could even lead to long term health problems. If you are finding it hard to drop off, here is a list of natural ways to get to sleep.

1. Digital detox

A quick Instagram scroll before bed can quickly turn into an hour. As well as delaying your sleep, the blue light from our screens has been proven to disrupt our sleep patterns. This means that checking out your friend’s latest holiday snaps is likely to activate your brain rather than wind it down.

You could either completely ban your phone from the bedroom, or simply switch it off an hour before you intend to sleep and try reading instead. Create a comfortable sleeping environment you look forward to crawling into, and stick to a set nighttime routine.

2. Limit caffeine

Your morning latte, mid-afternoon Americano and evening tea soon add up, and we manage to consume a lot of caffeine in a day without even realising it. This can wreak havoc on our sleeping patterns. Try to limit your coffee to one to two cups per day, or switch to tea or green tea for a lower caffeine dose. It's also best to avoid caffeinated drinks in the evening.

3. Aromatherapy

Relax your mind and body ready for sleep with the calming scents of essential oils. Lavender, jasmine and bergamot are all known for their sleep-inducing properties. Try applying to your pulse points, or spritz some sleep spray on your pillow.

4. Your cup of tea

Adding a cup of herbal, non-caffeinated tea to your nighttime ritual can help you unwind just in time for dozing off. Certain types of tea can also aid your digestion and help to release stress. Chamomile is particularly effective, and mint tea can ease any mild stomach upsets.

5. Work it out 

Exercising at some point in your day helps to physically tire your body. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try to gently increase your physical activity, even if this only means 10 to 20 minutes of yoga in the morning or an evening walk.

Find more health and wellbeing advice on the GP Nutrition blog.