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Nearly one in two Australians have suffered from insomnia in the last six months, according to Blackmores’ Sleep Survey. In addition to this alarming finding, over 60 per cent of people who suffer from insomnia suffer for two weeks or more at a time.


A Harvard Medical School Special Health Report has revealed that lack of sufficient sleep can lead to a range of ill effects, triggering mild to more serious consequences.


“Insomnia is a very real problem for Australians. We have all been a little tired or had the odd night of restless sleep but if your sleep is consistently of a poor quality it can be dangerous not only for your health but if you’re performing tasks such as driving while fatigued,” says Blackmores Director of Education Pam Stone.


“If you’re finding you’re getting to sleep but not getting a deep and sound sleep there are some options for you to help manage your sleep over the long-term and wake up ready to take on the day,” says Stone.


Blackmores has just launched new Sleep Sound Formula™ a herbal supplement containing valerian and lemon balm plus magnesium. It helps you sleep deeply and soundly.The specially chosen valerian extract in Sleep Sound Formula™ has been shown in scientific studies to support the body’s natural ability to sleep soundly and deeply. Lemon balm has traditionally been used to relieve restlessness and irritability. Magnesium is important for healthy muscle function. Low magnesium is associated with increased night time wakefulness.


“Getting your sleep patterns right is not going to happen overnight. It takes time to assess your pattern and manage it into a rhythm that works for you,” adds Stone.


Blackmores 10 Point Sleep Sound Plan can help you get a deep, sound sleep. Try the following:


  1. Keep a sleep diary – this can help you pinpoint potential triggers for insomnia


  1. Cut down on caffeine


  1. Stop smoking


  1. Don’t drink alcohol for at least two hours before bedtime


  1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even onweekends


  1. Limit fluids before bedtime to minimize night-time trips tothe bathroom


  1. Keep the bedroom cool, dark, and as quiet as possible


  1. Take a hot bath before bedtime


  1. Use relaxation techniques before bedtime


  1. Try a herbal supplement containing magnesium such as Blackmores Sleep Sound Formula™ to improve sleep quality.




Sleep expert, Professor Ron Grunstein from the University of Sydney told delegates at the 2010 Blackmores Research Symposium held in May that in order to improve metabolic health in the community, we need to promote more and better sleep. Prof Grunstein believes that lack of sleep is a risk factor for many of our lifestyle issues such as overweight, the blues and diabetes.


A Harvard Medical School Special Health Report states:


  • A study concluded that 24 hours of wakefulness had the same deleterious effect on driving ability as that of a blood alcohol content of 0.10%
  • “A number of studies of hand-eye coordination and reaction time have shown that such sleep deprivation can be as debilitating as being intoxicated”
  • “Sleep deprivation is so debilitating that it is sometimes used as a component of military interrogation”
  • “After two or more nights of short sleep, people usually show signs of irritability and sleepiness. Work performance begins to suffer” and “people are more likely to complain of headaches, stomach problems, and sore joints. In addition, people face a far higher risk of falling asleep on the job and while driving”
  • A growing number of studies have linked long-term sleep deficit with significant health problems including viral infections, weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, mental illness, mortality


Other alarming facts about sleep from The National Sleep Research Project:


  • If you take less than five minutes to fall asleep, you are probably sleep deprived
  • “A new baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first year”
  • “The NRMA estimates that fatigue is involved in one in six fatal road accidents”
  • “Teenagers need as much sleep as small children (about 10 hours) while those over 65 need the least amount of sleep”
  • For the average adult, eight hours sleep in considered optimal
  • “Some studies suggest women need up to an hour’s extra sleep a night compared to men”

Corliss, J ed. A Harvard Medical School Special Health Report: Improving Sleep: A guide to a good night’s rest. Boston MA:Harvard Health Publications. 2010 (available

The National Sleep Research Project.

For more information about managing insomnia or to speak to a qualified Naturopath.

Published: Jun 18, 2010 12:38pm

Last updated: Jun 18, 2010 12:38pm

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