I know it sounds ridiculous, but sleep has escaped me since high school. After burning both ends of the candle in college, then living in London where it seemed no one slept, and now in my thirties with a demanding toddler, a “flexible” work schedule (read: I work ALL hours), too much caffeine throughout the day, and an endless list of “to-do’s” – I still cannot sleep well. It all keeps my mind from falling asleep.
Gaining a restful nights sleep can make a world of difference to a person’s day, state of mind, and health. It has been said that a good nights sleep can result in better concentration, better decision making, positive moods, and can help us gracefully.
However, as explained in Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution, 40% of Americans get less than the recommended minimum of seven hours per night and that “We are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis.”
But how do we sleep better?
Herbal teas? Fail! White noise just made me want to turn the TV on and watch a show. Counting sheep – forget it! Reading a good book caused me to stay up even longer so I could finish said book while I munched on junk food. So as much as I doubted them I decided to test out OILS; Essential Oils to be exact.
*Now if you have insomnia, you should make a doctors appointment and get professional assistance; however, if like me you need a little help to calm down and relax before bedtime, continue reading.
Essential oils to look for:
- Lavender helps relieve stress and uplifts the mood. Use in small doses as the smell can also have an uplifting effect, which can keep you awake.
- Chamomile has a calming effect.
- Valerian aids relaxation, calms, and fights fatigue.
Go to a store and sniff out the oils that you prefer. We all have different preferences so what suits one may not suit us all. Try the oils alone or mix together to create a blend. And do not be afraid to ask questions to the experts working within the essential oils business. Living within Sonoma County we are lucky enough to have experts on our doorstep.
Some essential oils can be used directly on the skin and others should be used with a diffuser, this is where you need to speak with an expert. If you do prefer using the oil on your skin, make sure you do a test patch as rashes are definitely not sleep aids! Some benefits of a diffuser are not having to worry about rashes or needing to clean oil patches off sheets/towels. Diffusers disperse the oil throughout a room. Please make sure to never leave anything plugged in or lit while you sleep and only use the diffuser for 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. This not only creates a calming atmosphere but will help ease your mind into the part of the night when you need to switch off and sleep.
To aid a better nights sleep also try:
- Cutting back on caffeine (awful I know, but try saying “no” after 3pm) and drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Decrease your sugar intake.
- Flip or change your mattress as back problems can disrupt sleep and have you waking up groggy.
- Check magnesium levels as not getting enough causes sleep issues.
- Switch off all technology an hour before bedtime. No cellphone, laptop, TV, etc.
Tell us what helps you sleep better? Comment below or tag a photo @SonomaCountyMomsBlog