How to sleep: The hot drink which may ‘reduce’ insomnia symptoms – just one cup can help

Cheryl promotes vitamins to help with sleep on Instagram

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If you have insomnia for less than three months, it is called short-term insomnia. Insomnia that lasts three months or longer is called long-term insomnia. For most, sleep problems tend to sort themselves out within about a month, according to the NHS. It adds: “Most people experience problems with sleep in their life.”

The Sleep Foundation (SF) says: “Lemon balm, also known as Melissa officinalis, is a member of the mint family and smells slightly sweet and citrusy. The most common forms of lemon balm are tea and essential oil.”

SF says historically, lemon balm has been used as an antiviral and antibacterial medicine to treat infections and viruses.

The orgainstion says: “It also shows potential in helping restless sleepers at night.

“Drinking a cup of lemon balm tea at night may reduce symptoms associated with insomnia.”

It adds: “A cup of lemon balm tea a night may be a good option for you if you’re struggling with restlessness and anxiety before bed.

“Adding it to your evening routine as a way to help you reduce stress before bedtime may help you get more shut eye.”

There are also some drinks which can have negative consequences. Caffeine and alcohol can stop you falling asleep and prevent good quality sleep.

Caffeine interferes with the process of falling asleep, and also prevents deep sleep.

Therefore, it is recommended that people cut down on alcohol and avoid caffeine close to bedtime.

Caffeine can be found in other sources too. These include:

  • Tea
  • Some fizzy drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Energy drinks
  • Some pain relievers.

Everyone needs different amounts of sleep. On average adults need seven to nine hours, while children need nine to 13 hours. Toddlers and babies need 12 to 17 hours of sleep, every day.

The NHS says: “When people have problems falling or staying asleep, it’s often referred to as insomnia.

“However, it’s not until the difficulty sleeping starts to significantly affect you during the day that it would actually be considered a medical condition.”

In fact, it’s thought that a third of Brits will have episodes of insomnia at some point.

The NHS says the cost of all those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus.

It says: “Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, coronary heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy. It’s now clear that a solid night’s sleep is essential for a long and healthy life.”

“Some people are naturally lighter sleepers or take longer to drop off, while some life circumstances might make it more likely for your sleep to be interrupted, like stressful events or having a new baby,” the NHS states.

If poor sleep is affecting your daily life or causing you distress, you can talk to your GP.

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