Sleep & Relaxation

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    Why can’t I sleep?

    Can’t sleep? There are several factors at play surrounding how easy it is for us to get to sleep and how good that sleep quality is.

    Various health conditions can have an effect on our ability to enjoy a good night’s sleep, such as:

    • Stress

    • Insomnia

    • Restless leg syndrome – the sensation or urge to keep legs moving

    • Menopause - hot flushes can make sleep uncomfortable

    • Sleep apnoea – when breathing is regularly interrupted during sleep

    Environmental and lifestyle factors can also disturb your sleep or stop you from sleeping in the first place, including:

    • Excessive caffeine – it can block our bodies natural urge to fall asleep by blocking the chemical responsible for triggering this – adenosine

    • Consuming too much alcohol just before bed

    • Exercising late in the day – the stress hormone cortisol is emitted, which disturbs sleep

    • Phone, tablet and laptop screens – the blue light they emit suppresses the production of melatonin (which makes us sleep)

    Visit our Sleep & Relaxation Wellness Hub for more tips, expert advice, FAQs and more.


    It’s not just a coincidence that all humans tend to sleep at night, it’s what we’re programmed to do. When it starts to get dark, light-sensitive cells in your eyes communicate this to your brain. Then, the hormone melatonin is released, and this initiates a series of events that finishes with sleep.


    Now, modern life can interrupt this natural process, so there are certain things you should do to get you on track to better sleep.


    Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet and has a temperature of around 16 – 18°C. Don’t be tempted to drift off in front of the telly in bed, in fact, it’s best not to have a TV in your bedroom at all. Make sure you leave smartphones and tablets as far away from your bed as you can handle, too, so you’re not tempted to switch them on and mess up your melatonin levels with all that blue light!


    Yoga, stretching and other gentle activities before bed can also help you prepare for better sleep.


    Want to get to sleep faster at night?

    There are lots of factors that determine how much sleep you need a night, one of them being your age. On average, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night to function at our best.

    Having a bedtime routine will help you to sleep better. Find a routine that works for you such as sticking to a schedule, turning off technology and writing down your thoughts.

    If all else fails and you’re still struggling to sleep and relax in general, we have a few products here at Holland and Barrett that could help you out. Ranging from valerian supplements to lavender sleep kits, there may be a product to get you on track to better ZZZs.

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