Good sleep for good health

How to get a better night's sleep

You’ll already know that you need at least 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a day. Not only is it needed for regeneration, but it reduces your risk of diabetes, heart disease and even dementia.

And people who sleep less are regularly found to overeat the next day. If you do get a restless night, increase the protein content of your breakfast the following morning – say a veggie omelette.

But what else does the latest science tell us about how to get a better night's sleep?


Good sleep for good health NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsColin Rose is a Senior Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

He is the Founder and Director of Research and Innovation of Uni-Vite Healthcare and author of a recent book Delay Ageing: Healthy to 100, where he reveals how to slow ageing and, therefore, help prevent later-life illness.


The sleep improvers you already know about ...

Critical to a good night's sleep are:

The right firmness of mattress

Minimising noise

  A moderate room temperature of around 17°C

  A dark room

And caffeine even 5 hours before bed can negatively affect your sleep.

And the ones you may not be aware of ...

1. Restrict alcohol

Don't drink alcohol in at least the last 90 minutes before going to bed.  It reduces sleep quality. More than two drinks for men and one for women can reduce sleep quality by 40%.

Good sleep for good health NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

2. Switch off light-emitting devices

Switch off electronic devices. The light suppresses your natural production of melatonin – the sleep hormone.

Ref: New Study Finds That the Wavelength of Light, Not Color, Impacts Sleep (

3. Daily exercise/activity

Exercise and physical activity during the day of at least 20 minutes improves sleep quality.

Good sleep for good health NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Ref: Healthy sleep needs a healthy day: boost exercise to beat your bedtime blues | ScienceDaily

4. Eat more plant foods

Increase the ratio of plant foods in your diet. There is evidence, quoted by The Sleep Foundation, that vegetarians sleep up to 30 minutes more a night.

Good sleep for good health NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

5. Choose gut-friendly foods

Foods that benefit gut bacteria – like onions, garlic and fermented foods – are positive, because they help synthesise vitamins and neurotransmitters like GABA that are needed for sleep.

Good sleep for good health NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals
Kimchi, beetroot sauerkraut, sauerkraut, cottage cheese, olives, sourdough bread, chocolate, kefir, pickled cucumbers


6. Don't eat for 2-3 hours before bed

Stop eating at least 2.5 to 3 hours before bedtime. Digesting food makes good sleep harder.

7. Avoid blood sugar spikes

Avoid all foods in the later evening that spike blood sugar levels – like sweet snacks or ice cream.

8. Increase foods that are linked to better sleep

Include in your everyday diet as many foods as you can that promote better sleep. They include oily fish (salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel), nuts, yogurt, leafy green vegetables and berry fruits.

Good sleep for good health NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

9. Try to get more magnesium

There is good evidence that magnesium has a calming effect, may help stabilise blood sugar and may even reduce depression. And the bonus is it’s good for the heart.

An effective daily intake of magnesium is 400mg for an male adult/350mg for a female. There is magnesium in avocados, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains.

Ref: Effect of magnesium supplementation on glucose metabolism in people with or at risk of diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of double-blind randomized controlled trials - PubMed (
Ref: Magnesium and depression: a systematic review - PubMed (

If you buy a magnesium supplement, I suggest magnesium malate, because malate can help increase your cellular energy during the day, so it has a dual benefit. It may also help reduce recurring headaches. Malic acid is found in many fruits, including apples.

Alternatively look for magnesium bisglycinate, which contains glycine. Glycine has been shown to improve sleep quality by reducing non-REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep and lowering core body temperature, a process that’s necessary to fall asleep.

Ref: Body temperature and sleep - ScienceDirect

10. Valerian – a traditional herbal medicine

Valerian has been added to natural sleep aid supplements for many years – often in combination with passionflower, lavender, chamomile, and/or l-theanine.  Of these, chamomile has the best data.

Good sleep for good health NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Valerian root does seem to have some sleep benefits according to this meta-survey (a survey of multiple studies) – but not all results are consistent. However, valerian has been known to cause vivid dreams and gastrointestinal symptoms in some people.

A dose is about 400 mg. It’s licensed for sale in the UK as a traditional herbal medicine, and worth trying.

Ref: Valerian Root in Treating Sleep Problems and Associated Disorders—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis - PMC (

11. Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces naturally. It signals to your brain that it’s time to sleep. Although melatonin supplements are NOT licensed for sale in the UK, supplements appear to be safe for adults when used for short periods, although more research is needed on their long-term effects.

One study found that a combination of magnesium, melatonin, and vitamin B was effective in treating insomnia regardless of the cause.

Ref: The Effects of Magnesium – Melatonin - Vit B Complex Supplementation in Treatment of Insomnia - PMC (

12. Relaxation

Finally, a short, simple but very effective deep breathing and relaxation exercise as you start winding down will help.

Good sleep for good health NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

See 6 Steps to Instant Relaxation on this website

Good sleep for good health NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Goodnight, sleep well and thanks for reading

I spend my time researching natural healthy living, including the new science of healthy, successful ageing.  And how to extend health span rather than just lifespan.

And if you enjoyed it, please send the link of this article to any friend or family member who might benefit.

Colin Rose

NutriShield Premium Health Supplement

Good sleep for good health NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsNutriShield Premium was originally designed by Dr Paul Clayton, former Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine.

It contains 6 different capsules, combining a total of 43 powerful nutrients to support healthy ageing and has been updated and improved every year since 2002 based on the newest longevity research.

See NutriShield Premium here.

Delay Ageing book explains the ageing process and how you can postpone it

Good sleep for good health NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Medical researchers agree that if you slow ageing, you also delay the onset of age-related disease. And we know that it’s not just nutrition. Sleep, reducing stress and cardio and strength exercise are also essential to longevity and ageing well.

My book Delay Ageing: Healthy to 100, published in 2020, explains the latest ageing science in an accessible way.

It’s been rated 5-star and I am sure you will get a lot of benefit from it, as so many have already.

Click here to go to the publisher's website where you can buy the printed book or Kindle version.

Good sleep for good health NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

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Buy our range of combination anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting health supplements online from Uni-Vite, a UK company.