Sleep is the best medicine
In such unsettling times, the need for self care shouldn't be overlooked and good sleep is paramount for our wellbeing.
When was the last time that you properly had a good nights sleep? I mean a solid 7-8 hours and woke up feeling refreshed and bouncing out of bed? The majority would say that they can’t remember. Many of my clients say that most nights they're unsettled and their minds simply won’t shut off, they're tossing and turning, too hot, and then only falling to sleep as its time to get up.
We can’t under estimate the effect the pandemic has had on so many of us. The increase in the cost of living and now sadly we're witnessing the terrible scenes of war in Ukraine. It all takes a toll on each and everyone of us. A good nights sleep, the first step to a healthy mind and body, helps us cope. Sleep is vital for our health.
Aromatherapy can be a tremendous help. Essential oils can naturally bring balance, relaxation and calm.
Going to sleep and getting up in the morning at a similar time is crucial for improving your sleep as it keeps your body clock on time. Aim to keep the regularity as much as possible to get the true benefits.
Limit screen usage late at night. The screen light can disrupt our body by reducing the sleep hormone melatonin. Try to remove screens and devices from the bedroom and avoid using at least two hours before bed.
Do you have street lights outside your bedroom which keep you awake. Have a think about an eye mask. (I have a satin one which really does helps).
Herbal teas can help calm the mind. My favourites are Chamomile (pictured) and Lemon balm. Both are natural sedatives.
Soak away the day with a warm magnesium bath before bed. Add a few large handfuls of magnesium flakes and soak for a minimum of 20 minutes. Essential oils diluted in a carrier oil can work their wonders too. Read a book whilst soaking, mediate, do whatever helps you to relax. I just close my eyes and focus on breathing.
Getting enough exposure to natural light during the day is vital. On waking go and stand outside and raise your face to the natural sunlight - it will set you up for a better nights sleep. It also helps lift your mood as sunlight helps to produce serotonin, the happy hormone. There is no doubt that with the longer brighter days that we will start to feel more energised.
A diffuser in the bedroom with a gorgeous blend of soothing calming essential oils can be beneficial. I recommend using one with a timer. Put it on for an hour before bed to fill the room with the subtle fragrance and then for an hour, (or two maximum) when you’re in bed. The aroma can help calm and bring deep relaxation. I recommend adding 10-15 drops of your chosen blend.
Here are my ‘sleep recipe’ diffuser blends:
Warm and comforting.
A rich warm blend to ground and soothe helping to ease a restless mind and create a sense of calm. Vetiver - Sandalwood - Roman Chamomile
Vetiver is the most grounding in my experience. It creates a deep state of calm. (It must not be used if you are clinically depressed) Sandalwood is also grounding and its properties ease the mind. Roman Chamomile is a natural sedative and a powerful oil to help insomnia.
Encourage deep breathing with a herbal aroma.
Lavender - Myrtle - Sweet Marjoram - they refresh a tired mind and bring balance. Lavender is the panacea of essential oils. There is nothing this oil won’t do.Myrtle supports deep breathing and clears the overload of too many thoughts. Sweet Marjoram is a natural sedative and highly relaxing.
Failing that a couple of drops of lavender on a tissue tucked under the pillow can work wonders. Sweet dreams.