Relax better - 5 calming plant extracts
More than 60% of Germans feel stressed in everyday life. In addition to numerous negative effects on health and well-being, stress also disturbs sleep and promotes problems falling asleep and sleep disorders. Find out here which herbal extracts relieve stress symptoms, best support the relaxation process and prepare you for a peaceful sleep.
Table of Contents
1. That's how damaging stress isStress is omnipresent in today's society and now affects more than 60% of people. When we perceive something as stressful varies from person to person and can have numerous internal and external triggers. According to a study by Techniker Krankenkasse, work, free time, family life or financial worries are among the most common reasons for feeling stressed. In the long run, this damages both our physical and mental health, disturbs our daily well-being and also has a negative effect on our sleep.
Stress and a lack of relaxation before going to bed ensure that the much-needed nightly regeneration is disrupted and the body cannot recover sufficiently. How exactly does prolonged stress affect our sleep and falling asleep?
2. Stress, Relaxation & Sleep
Stress basically describes the reaction of our body to a negative stimulus. Our brain then signals to the body that it should prepare for a load and increasingly releases the hormones cortisol, noradrenaline and adrenaline. These ensure that, among other things, the fat and blood sugar levels rise, blood pressure rises and the body is set on alert.
Cortisol also plays an important role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle and acts as a kind of antagonist to the well-known sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin makes us tired in the evening and prepares the body for the rest phase. Overnight, melatonin levels drop and our body produces more cortisol, which is then responsible for getting active and waking up again in the morning after sleep.
If we feel stress before going to bed, the cortisol level rises exactly when the body actually needs to rest. This often leads to problems falling asleep and promotes sleep and concentration disorders, which in turn has a negative effect on sleep and its important function for health, well-being and performance.
Certain plant-based extracts can naturally aid in relaxation and help gently release stress and tension. This is particularly important in the evening in order to quickly find a restful sleep. That's why today we're introducing you to 5 herbal extracts that can help unwind after a stressful day and get your body in the mood for sleep.
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3. The 5 best plant extracts for relaxation
Most people know hops primarily as the main component of beer. Because hops are said to have a calming and sleep-inducing effect, the extracts of the hop plant have been used for centuries to relieve restlessness and anxiety, nervous tension and sleep disorders.
» This is how hops work
Hop is particularly rich in healthy tannins and bitter substances, with the bitter substances humulone and lupulone in particular being essential for the sleep-promoting and relaxing effect of the plant. Studies also show that hops can have a calming effect on the central nervous system.
Hops are said to have a calming effect and promote relaxation, especially in combination with other calming substances such as lemon balm, lavender or valerian.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort is one of the best-researched natural tranquilizers, whose relaxing and mood-enhancing effects have been proven in numerous studies. St. John's wort offers natural support against anxiety and restlessness as well as mild to moderate depression.
» This is how St. John's wort works
The effect of the St. John's wort plant can be attributed to the fact that its ingredients have a positive effect on the hormone balance and in particular have a positive influence on serotonin, which is known as the happiness hormone. Since this in turn is decisive for the production of melatonin, the herb not only has a mood-enhancing effect, but also supports the body's own sleep-wake cycle. St. John's wort thus provides more relaxation in the event of stress and restlessness and also helps the body in a natural way to adjust to a restful sleep.
St. John's wort is also classified as safe and well tolerated - so only a few side effects are known. For women, however, it is important to be careful, because the effect of the birth control pill can be impaired by St. John's wort.
Lavender is rightly considered one of the most popular herbal tranquilizers. The extracts of the Mediterranean plant calm the nerves, relieve stress and tension and help the body and mind relax naturally. Lavender is often used against restlessness, anxiety or physical and psychological stress and supports the body even when there is a lack of relaxation or depressive moods.
» This is how lavender works
The ingredients of the lavender flower reduce the release of stress hormones and protect our nervous system from being overwhelmed by negative stimuli. At the same time, the production of the happiness hormone serotonin is influenced. This has a positive effect on our mood and in turn supports the conversion of serotonin into melatonin. Therefore, lavender not only has a calming effect, but also promotes healthy sleep and makes it easier to fall asleep.
The balancing effect of lavender extracts calms, reduces stress and helps with relaxation and preparation for sleep.
Balm (also known as lemon balm) is a versatile medicinal plant that is said to have a calming effect. Studies show that lemon balm extracts can successfully counteract the effects of stress by reducing anxiety, tension and insomnia.
» This is how lemon balm works
The lemon balm contains, among other things, essential oils and tanning agents. These influence important metabolic mechanisms and reduce the activity of the nerve cells in the brain. In this way, stress and fear signals are perceived and processed less strongly and, on the contrary, relaxation is promoted.
The popular plant serves as a natural relaxant for stress, nervousness, restlessness and difficulty falling asleep and is particularly popular as a tea.
Green tea is actually known for its invigorating effect, which is due to the nerve-stimulating ingredient caffeine. However, numerous scientific studies show that green tea also has a calming effect that reduces stress and can have a balancing and relaxing effect.
» This is how green tea works
In addition to caffeine and natural tannins, green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine acts directly in the brain and influences the regulation of some of the neurotransmitters that are crucial for our mood, such as norepinephrine and dopamine. According to studies, L-theanine has a proven positive effect on the psyche and reduces susceptibility to stress and anxiety disorders.
In this way, green tea offers natural support against the negative effects of stress, promotes the general state of mind and helps to prepare the body for a peaceful sleep.
Stress is harmful to health, can disturb sleep and thus reduce the important regeneration at night.
Hops have a calming and relaxation-promoting effect, especially in combination with other substances.
St. John's wort is a natural mood enhancer and offers support against anxiety and restlessness, mild to moderate depression and the regulation of a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
Lavender calms, reduces stress and nervousness and helps with relaxation and preparation for sleep.
Balm is used as a natural relaxant for stress, nervousness, restlessness and difficulty falling asleep and is often consumed as a tea.
Green tea and the L-theanine it contains reduce susceptibility to stress and anxiety disorders, have a balancing and relaxing effect.
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