Sleep loss can be to blame for a wide range of issues, some of which are well known, such as an irritable mood and impaired concentration. Others less so, such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Whatever the grievance, the solution is the same: get the required amount of sleep night.
This is easier said than done of course, and the fact you are reading this suggests you have not yet found an effective solution.
The good news is, making even small dietary tweaks can help to reset your body clock.
With this in mind, a growing body of research makes a strong case for drinking herbal teas before bedtime.
One promising tea is lemon balm, an infusion derived from the lemon-scented herb that belongs to the same family as mint.
What’s more, evidence shows that lemon balm increases GABA levels in mice, indicating that lemon balm may act as a sedative.
Its sleep-inducing benefits may be attributed in part to its proven ability to alleviate stress and anxiety, both of which can cause sleep loss.
For example, one study found that taking lemon balm eased the negative mood effects of laboratory-induced psychological stress.
Participants who took lemon balm self-reported an increased sense of calmness and reduced feelings of alertness.
According to the NHS, one approach is to keep regular sleeping hours.
“This programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine,” explains the health body.
As the NHS website explains, most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep every night.
“By working out what time you need to wake up, you can set a regular bedtime schedule,” it says.