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Sleep! It’s so important for our health yet so many of us fail to get enough or at least enough quality sleep, which is what matters. Lack of sleep can have a huge impact on many areas of our health, and in particular stress! Talking about stress, this month sees the beginning of the exam period for many students. Feeling nervous before an exam is completely normal but for some it’s a time of severe stress and anxiety. Thankfully there is plenty we can do to support both sleep and stress levels.


We all need different amounts of sleep but, as mentioned, quality is what matters. Normally 7-8 hours is advisable for most adults, but if you’re under stress, especially for a long time, then aim for 8-10 hours.

When it gets dark, our body releases a hormone called melatonin. It makes us feel drowsy and affects our circadian rhythms, so is vital for sleep! The tips below include ways to support your levels of melatonin.

10 Top Tips for a good night’s sleep:

  1. Turn off all electrics (eg phones, lap top, routers). Blue light from screens interferes with melatonin.
  2. Don’t drink caffeine beyond midday or at least 4 hrs before bed.
  3. Ensure your room is completely dark. Use black out blinds/curtains and turn off all lights.
  4. Start the winding down process 1- 2 hrs before you want to sleep. Eg switch off the TV, put away work, turn off the laptop!
  5. Don’t have sugary foods late at night, as it causes an imbalance in blood sugar levels which can wake you up in the night.
  6. Try having tryptophan foods in the evening. Eg Oats, turkey, dates, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Tryptophan converts to serotonin and then to melatonin.
  7. Don’t drink alcohol late at night (as it wears off it has a stimulatory effect, often at 3am ‘ish).
  8. Avoid/limit day time naps. If you do, make sure it’s before 3pm, and no more than 30-45 minutes.
  9. Exercise! Regular, daily exercise promotes sleep and the endorphins released help reduce stress. However, be careful with high intensity exercise late in the evening as it can raise cortisol levels (same hormone that is released when we’re under stress).
  10. Go to bed at the same time and wake at the same time, every day. Have a night time ritual that you can stick to eg a relaxing herbal drink, reading a book in bed.


What supplements can we take to support sleep?

Here are a few of our favourites which we’ve had good feedback on, from customers:

Other options:



There are some great natural products which are suitable for young people, to support their stress and anxiety levels. Here are some of our favourites, again which are popular with customers:

Please note: some supplements, although suitable for children, need to be taken at a reduced dose, so please let us know the age of your child and we can advise you on this.

In addition, diet and sleep are also key, so try to get the right nutrients in to their diet and the ‘bad stuff’ out, as well as ensuring they get enough sleep. Easier said than done I know!


Dietary support for stress and anxiety

  1. Cut the sugar! – especially fizzy drinks, fruit juices and fruit smoothies – switch to whole pieces of fresh fruit , berries and dark chocolate (70-85% cacao) instead. Too much sugar causes an imbalance in our blood sugar levels, which then makes us less able to deal with stress well, affecting our moods.
  2. Have protein with each meal – eg nuts/seeds/eggs/chicken/fish/meat/beans/lentils/tofu. This helps to balance blood sugar levels and provides the building blocks for a healthy brain function.
  3. Eat good fats! – salmon, sardines, mackerel, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, These are needed for a healthy brain function, including moods.
  4. Cut the caffeine (tea / coffee) – switch to green tea (has theanine in and a lot less caffeine)
  5. Eat every 3 – 4 hours to ensure your blood sugar levels are balanced. When blood sugar levels are out of balance it has a knock on effect on stress levels.

The following nutrients support your adrenal glands (which release stress hormones), so include these foods in the diet:


If you have anyone in your house taking exams we hope they go well!

Please feel free to come in and talk to us about any of the above. We would love to help!