Each of the ingredients in our Night Owl blend have been carefully selected to help relax you, and either soothe the stress that a baby and toddler can often bring into your life, or help you drift back to sleep whenever you’re able to get a chance.
Whilst it’s not a medicine, and will affect everyone slightly differently, there’s some fantastic research showing the benefits of each key ingredient for relaxation, sleep and reducing anxiety.
Chamomile is a natural herb for us to use, as its Latin name comes from the word Mater, meaning mother or womb. It’s meant for all the HotTea Mamas! It has long been used as a calming drink before bedtime, as it’s completely caffeine-free, and recent research has shown it can be beneficial in reducing anxiety. One clinical study showed that taking capsules containing German chamomile extract 220-1100 mg daily for 8 weeks significantly reduced anxiety rating scores compared to placebo in adult patients with generalized anxiety disorder (Amsterdam JD, Li Y, Soeller I, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009;29(4):378-382)
Rooibos is a similar, caffeine-free herbal ingredient that is now being shown to help reduce the level of cortisol in your body. This compound causes stress, but is reduced by the anti-oxidants, aspalathin and nothofagin, which are found in rooibos. In addition to this rooibos also contains magnesium and calcium – both minerals which play a role in a good night’s sleep. Studies published in the European Neurology Journal confirm that calcium levels spike during deep sleep. The brain uses calcium to manufacture the sleeping hormone, melatonin, which enhances the quality of your sleep. Other research has shown that magnesium deficiency can also lead to chronic insomnia (inability to sleep). Magnesium is also known as nature’s tranquiliser and has a calming effect on your nervous system which promotes deep sleep. http://sarooibos.co.za/rooibos-could-be-the-antidote-to-sas-poor-sleep-hygiene/
Valerian root’s original name in Old English was meant ‘heal all’, given how much it was used to treat ailments historically. Its relaxing properties have been well researched, and it has been shown that substances in Valerian called valepotriates improve co-ordination, relax muscle tissue and decrease anxiety. Amazingly, a randomized double-blind clinical trial showed the Valerian tablets (equivalent to 3gms dried herb) was as effective at treating insomnia as the powerful Valium type sedative Oxazepam (10mgs) but there were no morning after adverse effects with the Valerian as opposed to the Oxazepam (Dorn M: Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd 7(2):79-84,2000). We couldn’t help but include it in our blend.
Likewise, in laboratory studies an extract of Limeflowers was shown to reduce anxiety (Aguirre-Hernandez E, Martinez AL, Gonzalez-Trujano ME, Moreno J, Vibrans H, Soto-Hernandez M. Pharmacological evaluation of the anxiolytic and sedative effects of Tilia J Ethnopharmacol. 2007;109(1):140-145) and likewise a sedative effect was obtained when it was inhaled as an essential oil (Buchbauer G, Jirovetz L. Jager W: Arch Pharm 325(4):247-248, 1992). Its sweet flavour and aroma mean it doesn’t only have relaxing properties but is also utterly delicious.
Lavender has long been used to soothe frayed nerves, and help people drift to sleep. One particularly interesting open controlled study investigated the effect on aromatherapy on patients receiving dialysis and showed that inhaling lavender significantly decreased anxiety (Itai T et al: Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 54(4):393-397, 2000).