I am finally able to lay down my head hoping to hear Morpheus’ sweet music in my ears. I mean, why not? I am exhausted from all of the day’s activities and nothing would make my body happier than a good night’s rest. But what comes next brings me to tears.
The past few weeks have been a little tough, to say the least. Coming from a hectic summer schedule and heading into an even more treacherous September can surely get the better of you. Sometimes you look forward to the end of the day just so you can lay your head down on a soft pillow. My brain was not having any of it!
I knew sleep was essential to a healthy functioning body…I was now on a mission.
It took me 3 weeks to get be back into “fall mode”. I believe the hardest part is knowing your headed into Fall when summer is not yet over… the sleep anxiety creeps up on you and all you can do is surrender. Surrender?? Really?? No way!
It estimated that over 20 million people in the US alone suffer from occasional sleep disorder, and over 40 million form chronic long-term sleep disorder. With our hectic and busy lifestyles, sleep disorder is a sign of the times. There are over 70 types of sleep disorders, which one did I have? And why was it so difficult to manage?
Once I began researching, I established my difficulty to fall asleep and stay asleep was mainly due to my overactive brain reminding me of all the things I did not get done during the day, and all the things I would have to get done the following day ( ie. sign of the times). I was an insomniac.
I was suffering from insomnia, but what could I do about it?
If I did not find a solution soon the lack of sleep would cut a gash into my days that would soon become irreparable. What I knew for sure was that I was going to fight this without any medication. Do you know how many Americans are addicted to sleeping pills and anti anxiety medication each year?
I was not going to become a statistic
I have always been a firm believer in natural health remedies, and for those of you who follow my blog know I am an advocate of all things natural. I knew I could do this on my own.
This is what I discovered during my trial by candle light…
1. A sleep routine was essential
I was heading off to bed with the anticipation of knowing I would not be able to fall asleep. This created an even greater anxiety. What did I do to change this?
Instead of heading off to bed at what ever time I finished doing what I was doing, I established a pre-sleep routine. Why do we do everything we can to establish a healthy sleeping routine for our children, but completely ignore all the positive research associated with a good sleep routine for ourselves? Just like with children, our minds work better when we know what will happen next.
I realized setting up a healthy sleep routine was like singing a lullaby to myself…
After dinner I prepare and drink an incredible herbal tea which contains some amazing caffeine-free tea leaves (roobios, linden, lemon balm, verbena, anise, cinnamon, orange and lemon, oatstraw, hops)
Each of these ingredients serves a purpose which I was somewhat familiar with, but the synergy of these leaves really made a difference for me, so pretty and so sublime!
The blend is so natural and sweet tasting I also share it with my teenage son the night before a big test or important swim meet.
2. Time for myself & keeping track of time was essential
I take time for myself. Just 20 minutes in the bath with a great relaxing bath and body oil, or just 15 minutes sitting in an armchair in my kitchen reading a magazine or book. I make sure it’s not an electronic device of course. I know reading long articles or books on the iPad in the evening really stimulates my brain and that was quite palpable. The Sleep Foundation makes a point of this as well. This brings my evening to 8 pm or so. I found that keeping track of time helped my routine immensely. I wanted to be on track with my goal of falling asleep at the same time every evening, give or take a few minutes. I had always underestimated the importance of an established sleep cycle. It doesn’t mean I have to force sleep on myself, this would never work, but essentially coaxing my brain into “sleep mode”. What else could I do?
3. The beauty of pure essential oils!
I absolutely love essential oils and have experimented with different blends for different uses (I absolutely love this one!). One thing I try to do every night is spray lavender oil, diluted with water in a spray bottle on my pillow and sheets. I also tried different dilutions and oils to put me into ” sleep mode” and discovered that a blend of lavender, roman chamomile,and clary sage in a diffuser work wonders for me!
What I love most however is using essential oils with a carrier oil for massage purposes! The carrier oil I found to work best for me is jojoba oil as it is the most similar to our skin’s natural sebum and is more easily absorbed into the skin.
My go to blend is the Esprit Blend , but I also like experimenting with this homemade blend:
2 tablespoons of jojoba oil, 10 drops of lavender essential oil, 10 drops of roman chamomile essential oil
(You can find information on different dilution methods here.)
I massage this blend under my feet before crawling into bed…It is incredibly helpful because you benefit both from the massage and the virtues of each of the essential oils in the blend.
4. And then came the Sleep Formula
During my research I also discovered that some of the herbs contained in the Wellness Tranquillity Herbal Blend were also available in capsules, as supplements. Lemon balm hops, and Chamomile for instance… Absolute extraordinary gifts from Mother Nature!
A few months ago, I searched far and wide for a company with integrity and openness about their products and actually partnered with a manufacturer to come up with a Sleep Formula blend that could help so many get a good night’s rest. At the time, I did not foresee needing it myself!
The best part is that it does not contain any fillers or additives, nor artificial colours. I guess that was the whole point, right? Manufacturing a product that I would use myself without any hesitation at all?
You’ll find more info here abour the individual ingredients in this natural supplement.
So as part of my routine I take an all- natural capsule when I feel I need it, and when I do, it helps me rest better for longer, without feeling drowsy in the morning. I know for a fact I cannot become addicted to Sleep Formula as all of its ingredients have been used by numerous users before me. Most of its components have been traditionally used for centuries! Consider lemon balm for example!
5. What do I do next?
Once I prepare psychologically for bed time, I dim the lights, but don’t necessarily turn them off…I continue with my reading (although this is not recommended for everyone), inhale the wonderful scents my room is flowing in, conscious of the fact I don’t have to worry about tomorrow until tomorrow. I dive deep into positive thoughts and know, that whatever is done is done for the day and I cannot change anything. I can only look forward to the next day and make the best of it.
No anxiety. Sleepy eyes. Lights off. Goodnight. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…………………
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Stay tuned for more insights on reaching your health goals!