Our brains are being bombarded with more information than ever before. In a single moment, we are checking emails, scrolling through social media, answering phone-calls and running through mental check-lists. So, it’s no surprise that our over-stimulating lifestyles are wreaking havoc with our sleep…
But sleep problems are not exclusively an issue for adults. Children are suffering too. So, what can we do to aid slumber for ourselves and our families that doesn’t involve popping a pill? We speak to our experts to find out.
According to the World Health Organisation, we are in the midst of a sleep loss epidemic, with two thirds of adults in developed nations not getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night.
In the UK, an estimated one third of adults suffer from chronic insomnia. In fact, according to research, NHS spending on sleeping pills has trebled in the last 10 years. And in July last year, a Consumer Reports survey of 1,767 adults revealed that nearly one-third of people who complained of sleep problems at least once per week said they had used an over-the-counter or prescription sleep drug in the previous year.
The effects of sleeplessness can have a major impact on our sense of wellbeing. In his recent bestseller, Why We Sleep, the neuroscientist Matthew Walker wrote, “The decimation of sleep throughout Western nations is having a catastrophic impact on our health, our life expectancy, our safety, our productivity and the education of our children.”
And a 2016 report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, claims that insomnia increases the risk of heart attack, cancer, obesity, depression and more.
ADULTS & SLEEP
With so many of us not getting enough sleep, what solutions are available that don’t involve popping a pill?
Emma Burwash, Seed’s Naturopath, said: “Research shows that millions of people suffer from a lack of sleep each year and are seeking medical help for the problem.
However, some sleeping drugs are only recommended for short-term use because they can lead to psychological dependency and lose their effectiveness over time.
“I recommend people who are suffering with insomnia and/or overuse of sleeping pills to explore more natural routes. While prescription medication may on the surface provide an easy fix, that fact is that people need to consider all aspects of their lifestyles, from diet to stress levels in order to get to the bottom of their sleeplessness.”
Emma’s top tips for adults:
CHILDREN & SLEEP
Children are in the midst of a sleep loss epidemic of their own. In fact, according to NHS data, hospital attendances in England for children under 14 with sleep disorders has tripled in the past 10 years. Ten times more prescriptions of common sleep medications such as melatonin were subsequently written for children over the same period.
Poor sleep in children has been linked to a greater risk of obesity, lower immunity, mental health issues, lack of emotional control and poor school performance.
“Sleep issues are a growing problem”, said Emily Guiver, Seed’s Baby & Child Sleep Coach. “Both of my children were diagnosed with sleep disorders, so I have personal experience of sleep deprivation and the effect this has on parents.”
Many aspects of how we live today can interfere with children’s sleep. These include:
Said Emily, “I have seen a big rise in families in need of support for their children’s sleep over recent years. Many people who come to me are unable to find the adequate help they need from their GP. They do not wish to medicate their children and are looking for other more holistic ways to overcome their sleep problems.”
“When I meet families who are chronically sleep deprived and feeling overwhelmed, my job is to help empower them to make positive changes and implement routines and techniques. I find that these can make a significant difference almost immediately.
“When everyone starts to get more sleep, the difference it makes to the general health and happiness of not just the children but the family as a whole is amazing.”
Emily’s top tips for children as follows:
Adele Wimsett – Essential Oils Practitioner – natural solutions for adults and children
Essential oils have been used throughout history to support wellbeing. Lack of sleep can be a tough nut to crack, so the more tools you have in your toolbox, the better! Providing very few side effects, these gifts of the Earth work in synergy with our bodies to help us drift off into dreamy slumber!
It is important to choose therapeutic grade oils such as doTERRA, which have been robustly tested to ensure purity and effectiveness. Please don’t buy these on line as they are likely to have been tampered with.
Lack of sleep is a huge problem for children and adults alike, but help is available and solutions do exist – everyone should be entitled to a good nights sleep!
Child Sleep Coach – Emily Guiver. If you’re struggling with your baby or child’s sleep, dealing with multiple night wakings, early morning wakings or resistance to bedtime, Emily can provide a consultation and bespoke sleep plan package tailored specifically to your family’s needs and parenting style.
T: 07830 446991 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Naturopath – Emma Burwash. If you are seeking more natural solutions to help improve your sleep, Emma provides a personal consultation to help identify the root cause of your sleeplessness and a specific programme to suit your individual needs.
T: 01494 876870 / E: email@example.com
Essential Oils Practitioner – Adele Wimsett. If you are seeking a subtle yet powerful natural approach to your own or your child’s sleeplessness, Adele offers a free consultation to assess and support your needs.
T: 07833 470231 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org