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Natural remedies for stress and sleep

Date Posted:8 July 2018 

Whether it be due to work, study or home life; we are all busy and unfortunately stress can take its toll on the body. Stress and poor sleep often go hand in hand, as it can be difficult to unwind for good night's sleep after a particularly busy or stressful day. Fortunately, natural remedies can help your body manage the effects of stress, reducing the risk of stress-related health conditions.


What are the symptoms of stress?

Stress can present in many different forms, and for some, the feelings of stress can be completely misinterpreted such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Low libido
  • Headaches
  • Tense and tight muscles
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Difficulty falling and/or staying asleep
  • Digestive disorders such as IBS, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, and nausea


What are skin conditions caused by stress?

Stress can have a direct effect on your skin also. Eczema and psoriasis are common skin condition known to be exacerbated and often triggered by stress. Acne and rosacea can also be worsened by stress, as well as acute rashes and hives following a particularly stressful event. To learn more about those skin conditions refer to our earlier posts What is eczema? and Acne - cause and remedies.


Most common symptoms of sleep deprivation

Stress can trigger a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and low energy throughout the day, while also making it increasingly difficult to wake up and get going in the morning. This is due to the hormone cortisol, which often becomes dysregulated during ongoing stress. The most obvious symptom of sleep deprivation is constant fatigue. However, lack of sleep can also impact on your cognitive ability and short-term memory, as well as increasing irritability and even promoting weight gain.


Best natural remedies for stress and sleep

  1. Herbs such as lavender, chamomile, passionflower, skullcap, valerian and lemon balm are all useful in calming down the over stimulated nervous system. These herbs can be used interchangeably for both stress and sleep. Using organic herbal tea for sleep is a relatively cheap option, compared to often pricey herbal medicines. To make a tea that makes you sleepy, it is important to use a therapeutic dose of herbs and infuse for 10-15 minutes. Tea for stress can also be sipped throughout the day, ideally in place of caffeinated tea or coffee. To learn which teas contain soothing herbs such as lavender, chamomile, passionflower, skullcap, valerian and lemon balm, see our earlier post The healing power of herbs
  2. Lavender oil for sleep can be used in an oil burner or diffuser in the bedroom, adding a few drops on your pillow before sleep, or even in a relaxing evening bath. Lavender for sleep works by providing a gentle sedative action and is particularly useful if you find falling asleep to be the main problem. Lavender is one of the best essential oils to relieve stress symptoms.
  3. Magnesium is an essential mineral used in over 300+ reactions in the body, but it’s most commonly known for relaxing tight muscles and assisting in sleep. Using magnesium oil or magnesium bath flakes for sleep is one of the best natural remedies, as it not only supports a good night's sleep but also helps your body to produce energy throughout the day.
  4. Using a sleep mask can be useful if your bedroom is too bright. For the body to sufficiently produce the sleep hormone, melatonin, it needs a dark room. If you live in a well light area and your bedroom is too bright, this could be hindering your sleep. An eye mask for sleep is a simple way to promote a good night’s sleep.
  5. Make a bath using organic essential oils and organic bath soaks. Aromas of essential oils will ease tension and relax  and rejuvenate your mind and body.