It’s called a sleep pattern for a reason. Like anything, sleep – or lack of it – can become cyclical, with many of us finding we’re frequently tired, wired and wide awake at the same time every night. London-based acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner Annee de Mamiel shares her tips for a better night’s sleep.
If you can’t get to sleep
“Use a transitional ritual, like a bath or reading a book, to power-down your brain and disengage from the day,” says de Mamiel, who relaxes by writing in her journal. “Create buffer time before bed to allow your brain to disengage from work mode: checking your phone or watching the news simply reinforms neural pathways that fuel anxiety and, while your body may be ready for sleep, your mind won’t be.” She suggests ginseng and rhodiola supplements to help ease fatigue and stress before bed, while lavender and frankincense oils (found in De Mamiel Sleep Series Anchor balm) have a sedative effect.
If you wake up in the night
“Chinese medicine teaches us that each organ has a specific time when it is at its most active,” explains de Mamiel. “The liver is most active between 1am and 3am when it detoxifies the body. If you are often awake at this time, try bolstering the liver with milk thistle [taken in the morning]. If you’re a 5am to 7am riser, this is when the large intestines are most active, so try supporting your gut with pre- and probiotics. If you are fidgety or jumpy at night, but feeling fatigued, then check your iron levels as this could be the result of anemia.”
If you wake up tired
Many of us practice breathing in the evening to relax before bed, but neglect it in the morning. “If you’re not inhaling deeply and efficiently, it has a knock-on effect on your day,” warns de Mamiel. “Deep and focused breathing each morning oxygenates the body and helps to loosen up the intercostal muscles and the accessory muscles that are located in the neck, which is where we tend to hold stress.”
BETTER SLEEP ESSENTIALS
The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown.