June 3, 2016
What’s the one thing all Moms agree on? We’re tired and we don’t sleep well. Luckily, there are various natural remedies to combat those sleepless nights. The more of these you combine, the faster you will fall asleep and stay asleep.
There are certain scents that are known for their relaxing and sleep inducing abilities. These include lavender, ylang ylang and chamomile. Some essential oils companies make specific blends specifically for night-time and they really work! Whether you diffuse them in an oil diffuser or just place a few drops near your bed on a stone, a sachet or a pillow, the aromatherapy benefits work in as little as minutes. The alpha waves in our brains love it and tell our minds and bodies that it’s time to chill. Lavender is known to help you fall asleep faster too. Who doesn’t need that?
Cut the Caffeine
It’s not unusual to see women walking around with a cup of coffee in their hands half the day. But that’s a detriment. Studies show that caffeine needs about eight hours to leave your system, so having that last cup by 2pm can improve the ability for you to fall asleep at night. At least consider going to decaf if you feel the need to drink it after 2pm. Decaf herbal teas that are made specifically to relax can work wonders too.
Wind Down Time
Remember, there is no on/off switch at bedtime. Winding down is key. Take 15, 30 or more minutes to make the transition from activity to rest. This can be done in several ways. Try 15 minutes of meditation to relax both mind and body. Can’t meditate? Try just sitting. Clear your mind and shut off sounds and distractions. Some people like to keep a journal to write in before bed. Write lists, write thoughts and feelings, poetry, whatever you’d like. Write it and release it. It’s therapeutic to many people as well as a creative outlet. Maybe you used to knit or paint or crochet? Try it again. Those can be de-stressing activities at the end of the day too. Many people (like myself) like to read at the end of the day. I can’t fall asleep without my 30+ minutes of book time. There’s nothing like escaping with a good book–a feel good book that leaves you calm and peaceful. The key is to spend that last hour or so before bed doing quiet and calming activities. Which brings me to my next point.
Powering Down Earlier
Yes, it’s so hard to do isn’t it? We bring phones to bed, iPads practically attached to our hands, laptops, you name it. It’s certainly addicting to say the least. We’ve all fallen prey to the time-suck and trap of scrolling feeds. It’s that blue light that’s not good for us though. Not only does it tell our brains to stay awake, it’s over stimulating, which is not good after a most likely very overstimulated day. Our brains are being told to stay awake and that makes it take longer to fall asleep, even after we power down. At the very least, some phones have a night-time setting that dims the light and cuts the blur light. Use it.
Try Deep Breathing
Anyone who practices yoga knows the power of deep breathing. Some people count specific seconds–in for 5, hold for 3, out for 5. But you can also just breathe in a deep manner that feels comfortable for you (since we are all different). Be sure to breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Deep breathing sends calming and soothing messages to our brains.
Try one or more of these methods to see if that makes a difference. Settling down earlier actually can help too. Setting a bedtime schedule works for many women as well. Also, make your bedroom a de-cluttered, relaxing haven and add comfortable blankets and sheets. Plus make sure it’s dark enough without distracting lights from clocks or even from outside street lights or neighbors houses. Black out curtains can be your new BFF’s.