Day to day life can get really busy so it might not leave enough time for getting a full 8 hours’ worth of sleep to help you power through the day, but Fusion Health Naturopath, Erika Morvay tells otherwise. Calming the Shen can help make you more productive and in turn ensure you get through a gruelling day and rest easier at night.
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Here are the top three tips to get you powering through the day and help you sleep like a baby at night.
1. Get some exercise
Getting your blood flowing with some regular movement and exercise can help clear your mind and be more productive. Taking 20 minutes out of your day to go for a walk on your lunch break or hit the gym can help you focus better by changing up the scenery from a computer screen to the outdoors. For example, focusing on your breathing while going for a run allows you to prioritise yourself and move away from the stress and anxiety keeping you up at night.
2. Clear your mind
According to the National Health Survey of 2014-15, anxiety-related conditions were the most frequently reported with one in twenty Australians reporting both an anxiety-related condition and a mood (affective) disorder. Meditation can help with a number of things like self-awareness and stress management, so taking 10 minutes out of your day to meditate can help manage stress and anxiety in some people.
If meditation doesn’t help, there are a number of Traditional Chinese Medicines, Ayurvedic and Westerns Herbal Medicines to help calm your shen. Used for centuries, the following herbs can provide additional support for managing symptoms of stress and mild anxiety and let you rest better at night:
3. Helpful herbs
In Traditional Chinese Medicine insomnia can be attributed to disturbance of the Shen. Considered to be our mind and spirit, the concept of Shen is closely related to the heart-organ meridian system and at nighttime is located in the heart space.
Holy Basil, also known as Sacred Basil or Tulsi, Withania and Magnolia Bark are used to assist in the management of general stress symptoms. These herbs may treat an array of concerns including mild anxiety, irritability, restlessness, tiredness, nervous indigestion, poor concentration, forgetfulness and stress‐related sleep disturbance.
Tip: If symptoms of mild anxiety or nervousness interfere with sleep, the herbs mentioned above may be combined with sedating herbs 30-60min before bed.
Known for its sedative properties, Ziziphus has been used in both Western and Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine for managing symptoms such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, excessive dreaming, light sleep and mild anxiety.
With sedative, anxiolytic and hypnotic effects, Passionflower has been used in Western Herbal Medicine to help relieve symptoms of nervous restlessness, insomnia and mild anxiety.
Thanks to its sedative and hypnotic action, Albizia has a history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine to manage symptoms of insomnia, irritability and forgetfulness and is often used in combination with other sedating herbs.
Renowned for its calming and relaxing qualities, Polygala is frequently used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help with symptoms such as insomnia, agitation, stress, mild anxiety and nightmares.
Tip: All sedating herbs mentioned above are recommended to be taken 30-60min before bed.
Note: Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist, please consult your healthcare practitioner.