Sleeping is incredibly important to our health and to those around us. I’m not a morning person, but I’m even worse if I don’t get good sleep. After having a baby sleep is even more important. So I had to reset how I approach sleep. That’s really something to think about. We train ourselves to eat healthily, workout, but many may not think about the benefits of creating a healthy sleep workout or routine.
Here are the basic rules we recommend adding to your routine to create a strong foundation (adjust as needed – we are all different):
- No caffeine after 4PM
- Limit alcohol intake 2 hours prior to bed
- Avoid screens an hour before bed (this is absolute)
- Eliminate light entirely (try blackout blinds or sleep masks)
- Regular exercise (3-5 days per week, but not late in the evening)
- Dim the lights in the house (think about screens, and atmosphere lighting)
Now add a few of these to the menu for the perfect sleep routine:
Breathing in essential oils has been proven to provide benefits, but did you know it can help you sleep? The use of essential oils for medicinal purposes has an ancient history, going back to early Egyptian, Chinese, and Roman societies. Ever hear of the Hippocratic Oath? That’s the ethical pledge taken by physicians for centuries (now, often taken by students upon graduation from medical school). It’s named for Greek physician, Hippocrates, who studied the effects of essential oils and was a proponent of their healing, health-promoting properties.
Researchers have found that a blend of sleep-promoting essential oils worked more effectively to improve both sleep quality and quality of life than acupressure.
Batting your eyes
Have you heard of the asleep paradox? One University of Glasgow study found that if you try to stay awake, your brain will actually make you fall asleep. So I’ve found it very helpful to lay down and drift my eyes open and shut telling myself to stay awake, my body response is to fight me trying to keep my eyes open and I fall asleep. Give it a try, it may just work!
Meditating the mind
Meditating apps are abundant, meditating on your to-do list, your day, whatever helps you. There are even meditating options just for sleep. Just clearing your mind helps you find sleep an easier dance partner. I meditate by writing down the most pressing things on my mind so that my brain can relax and know that it doesn’t have to worry. I also like to mix this with a diffuser of essential oil blends into the bedroom. Try this Diffusers Delight Collection.
Supplements to induce sleep
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep and awake cycles. and this supplement can be taken for those who really need help balancing those cycles. We love this in lozenge form from Nature’s Way. Melatonin, not your thing? Check out these Bach Original Flower Essences Sleep Melts that harness the power of White Chestnut to help the mind relax and easy into sleep.
Drinking a warm beverage
Drinking a cup of hot water with lemon or a cup of tea (sans caffeine) can do wonders for the body to put it in a sleepy state. The warm beverage has an effect that makes some relaxed to welcome sleep. We recommend trying Mighty Leaf’s Chamomile Citrus Blossom Herbal Tea or Pukka’s Night Time Herbal Tea.
Breathing exercises to calm the body
Lying in a comfortable position in bed, follow this sequence about five or six times:
- Breathe in for 4 seconds
- Hold breath for 7 seconds
- Slowly breathe out for 8 seconds
White-noise app to drown out the noise-pollution
When my daughter was born we used a white-noise machine for her and it was so soothing. So we turned up her monitor a little louder in our room and it really started to help us. You can download an app on your phone to play white-noise or rainstorms. Having this to drown out external noises like traffic or city noises works wonders.