Getting less shut eye than Tiger Woods’ wife right now? Here are seven simple steps to switch off tonight!

76 per cent of Australians may suffer from stress or insomnia! The Blackmores Sleep Survey also found that 51 per cent of those who suffer insomnia blame stress for their lack of sleep.

“We are now a 24-hour society. It makes sense that the research showed the most common reason for insomnia was stress and the inability to switch off an overactive mind.” said Pam Stone, Blackmores Director of Education.

“Sleep is critical for the proper function of every aspect of the body. Attention span, metabolism, vision and muscle fatigue may all be affected by the amount and quality of sleep you get,” she added.

For the best chance at a good night’s rest, Stone recommends Blackmores’ Seven Steps to Switching Off:

1. Avoid caffeine and alcohol after 3pm – Caffeine speeds up your metabolism and heart rate. Its effects can last from 8-14 hours. A glass of wine may help send you to sleep but it more likely leads to an unsettled sleep which does not replenish your body effectively.

2. Sleep in a quiet, cool, dark room – Studies have found that the optimal room temperature for sleep is around 15-20 degrees Celsius. This reduces core body temperature and induces sleep.

3. Consider a relaxing herbal supplement – “Herbs like passionflower, hops and lemon balm relax an overactive mind and support normal sleep patterns,” said Stone. Blackmores Executive B Sleep Formula™ contains these ingredients.

4. Put your mind to rest – Keep a notepad handy to write down any pestering thoughts. Maybe call your own voicemail and leave a message. When the thought is out of your head it will put your mind to rest and your body will follow.

5. Get physical– Regular exercise will help to ease your tension by releasing endorphins (the “feel good” hormones) into your system. Regular exercise also promotes improved sleep quality by allowing smoother, more regular transitions between the phases of sleep. However, don’t exercise too late as the body still needs time to wind down. Give yourself about two hours between your exercise session and the time you plan to go to bed.

6. Get the right amount of sleep for you – While there are recommended amounts of sleep we should get each night, no one can tell how much you need better than yourself. Some people need as much as eight or nine hours and others find they function best on much less.

7. Maintain a regular sleeping schedule – Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help ensure good sleep patterns.

For more information about managing stress and insomnia or to speak to a qualified naturopath call Blackmores’ free Advisory Service on 1800 803 760 or visit Blackmores.com.au.

Blackmores Executive B Sleep Formula™ is available at all supermarkets, pharmacies and health food stores for RRP $19.95 (14 tablets, two week supply) $32.95 (28 tablets one month supply).

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