Sometimes we can find it really hard to relax.
Whether it’s stress, anxiety or something playing on your mind. At times it can feel just impossible to switch off.
There’s nothing worse than a sleepless night; looking at the clock, counting down the hours before you have to be up again for work. We’ve all been there, in fact, two thirds (67%) of adults here in the UK suffering from disrupted sleep. 77% of people also said they felt tired in the mornings, again a sign of a poor night’s sleep.
Dr Doug Wright, Medical Director at Aviva UK Health explains, “As well as suffering from general fatigue, people who regularly don’t get enough sleep are at higher risk of serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Sleep deprivation can be very distressing and often has a negative effect on mental health.”
If, like millions of us, a good night’s slumber is something you can only dream of; there are simple lifestyle changes that could really helpful us to relax, unwind, de-stress and help us on our way to the land of nod.
We think a good place to start is by making sure our bodies have the best vitamins and minerals they need to put us in the best possible position to battle everyday stress and anxiety. We’ve taken the best and most effective ingredients, and blended them into one delicious, mix berry flavoured drink, to be enjoyed hot or cold before bedtime.
Here, we give you the lowdown on our super 7 tried and tested, stress busting vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, this hero vitamin contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system. This converts the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate levels of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Research shows that taking Vitamin B6 supplements before bed leads to better quality of sleep and feeling more refreshed on waking. It’s calming effects don’t end there, as it’s also known to ease anxiety and irritability in women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Copper is an often overlooked mineral which contributes to the maintenance of normal connective tissues and in generally keeps our bodies in check. Studies have also shown that if Copper and Zinc levels in the body, this can cause sleep disturbances. If daily stresses are giving you premature greys, it’s worth noting that copper is also known to contribute to normal skin and hair pigmentation.
Taking just an 4mg extra of zinc a day can make a major difference to the health of cells, which in turn makes your body better able to fight infections and diseases. Zinc reduces oxidative stress and damage to DNA that helps protect against chronic diseases; altogether putting you in the best possible position to feel relaxed and oh so zen.
Vitamin B5 deficiencies, although rare, can cause tiredness and fatigue. Referred to by many as “the anti-stress" vitamin; Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid is used by the body’s adrenal glands to produce sex and stress hormones. Ongoing research suggests that people under higher stress may benefit from an increase in B-Vitamins.
Chances are you have had “a nice cup of tea” to help you relax. Studies have shown that this relaxing effect is actually caused by the presence of a neurologically active amino acid, L-Theanine. L-theanine not only creates a sense of relaxation, but research also suggests it can actually improve the quality of sleep by lowering anxiety and promoting relaxation.
Chamomile has long been used worldwide for it's wonderfully calming effects, whether in tea, or essential aromatherapy oils. Chamomile is widely regarded as a mild tranquilliser and as such, has been shown to induce sleep in research trials. Studies have also showed that chamomile has calming properties for patients with anxiety disorder and helps to regulate mood.
This popular plant often found in teas needs no introduction. Used the world over for some 2000 years, lemon balm has long been a go-to ingredient to calm frazzled nerves and anxious minds. Ancient Greeks were said to have recognised lemon balm for it’s ability to treat anxiety, promote sleep, and sooth agitation. Modern day research shows they were onto something, proving that consuming lemon balm had positive effects on stress and mood.
RELAX Drinkable Vitamins by Pink Cloud Beauty Co are available at www.pinkcloudbeauty.co at £24.99 for 28 daily sachets.
Aviva Health Wellbeing Report. Sleepless cities revealed as one in three adults suffer from insomnia. Available from: https://www.aviva.com/newsroom/news-releases/2017/10/Sleepless-cities-revealed-as-one-in-three-adults-suffer-from-insomnia/
Loughborough University. The world’s largest-ever online ‘sleep census’ reveals a sleep-deprived planet. Available from: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2016/november/the-worlds-largest-ever-online-sleep-census-reveals-a-sleep-deprived-planet.html
Nakade M, et al. Can breakfast tryptophan and vitamin B6 intake and morning exposure to sunlight promote morning-typology in young children aged 2 to 6 years? Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3423069/
Aspy DJ, Madden NA and Delfabbro P. Effects of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and a B Complex Preparation on Dreaming and Sleep. Available from: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0031512518770326
Wyatt KM, et al. Efficacy of vitamin B-6 in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: systematic review. Available from: http://ebm.bmj.com/content/4/6/182
Zyba SJ, et al. A moderate increase in dietary zinc reduces DNA strand breaks in leukocytes and alters plasma proteins without changing plasma zinc concentrations. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/105/2/343/4637488
British Nutrition Foundation. Minerals and trace elements. Available from: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/minerals-and-trace-elements.html?limit=1&start=1
European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA). Available from: https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2009.1211
Nutrifacts. Vitamin B5 Deficiency. Available from: https://www.nutri-facts.org/en_US/nutrients/vitamins/b5/deficiency.html
Stough C et al. Reducing occupational stress with a B-vitamin focussed intervention: a randomized clinical trial: study protocol. Available from: https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-13-122
Mason, Russ (2004). 200 mg of Zen: L-theanine Boosts Alpha Waves, Promotes Alert Relaxation. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. Available from: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/10762800151125092
Rao, TP et al. (2015). In Search of a Safe, Natural Sleep Aid. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25759004
Avallone R, Zanoli P, Corsi L, Cannazza G, Baraldi M. Benzodiazepine compounds and GABA in flower heads of matricaria chamomilla. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280015310_Benzodiazepine-like_compounds_and_GABA_in_flower_heads_of_Matricaria_chamomilla
Gould L, Reddy CV, Gomprecht RF. Cardiac effects of chamomile tea. Available from: https://accp1.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/j.1552-4604.1973.tb00202.x
Amsterdam JD, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy of generalised anxiety disorder. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3600416/
Scholey et al. Anti-Stress Effects of Lemon Balm-Containing Foods. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4245564/
Luojus MK, Lehto SM et al. Serum copper, zinc and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in short and long sleep duration in ageing men. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2015 Oct; 32:177-82
Here are our top tips on how can transition from working from home to going back to the office.