I was discussing insomnia, lack of restful sleep and trouble falling asleep with a client the other day. I realized that getting women to slow down and to honor their bodies with rest is one of the hardest parts of my job. Women are always trying to be everything to everyone. Many women are wives, mothers, business owners, and/or hold 40+ hours per week jobs. They are the main caregiver for aging or sick parents. They then over-extent themselves taxiing and attending their children's activities. I'm exhausted just thinking about it! This can leave little time for themselves and often they feel guilty for sneaking even 5 minutes per day for quiet time.
Sleep and restorative sleep, at that, needs to be a priority. It's one of the first places to begin when it comes to extreme self-care.
I remember growing up and my mother would forgo sleep to stay up until the wee hours of the night to clean, sew, bake or some other such project that she couldn't get to during the day because of her regular day to day duties. When I got married and became a mother, I also had the joy of hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue (I didn't know that then) and sleep was a must for me. I was commuting an hour to attend college full time. I had a 2 year old. I left my house by 7am and didn't return until after 6pm most days. I would do step aerobics in my living room at 9pm and face plant into bed at 10pm. Rinse and repeat.
Fast forward about 20 years and I had 4 children and decided to take on a new challenge for myself. Bodybuilding. My adrenal fatigue now advanced to drinking a pot of regular coffee a day, fear of driving because I'd nod off, and having barely enough energy to get in a workout daily. I could barely keep my eyes open during the day and at night, I was tired, but wired. Hopefully you don't know that feeling, and if you do, we need to talk.
Eventually, after a few months of that and experiencing increasing symptoms such as joint pain, hair loss, eye lashes falling out, rapid weight gain, digestive issues, and all of a sudden seeming to be allergic to everything under the sun, I sought help from a naturopath. And one of the first things I needed to work on was ALLOWING myself to sleep.
Doesn't that seem so silly? I had to make myself take a short nap, for starters. I had to quit caffeine after noon. These were just the baby steps that led to my finally being able to train myself to sleep, restore and wake feeling rejuvenated. I'm now able to fall asleep quickly, stay asleep (most nights), wake without an alarm clock and I no longer need to take naps. Yay! I want this for you, too.
Did you know weight gain and even the ability to lose weight is affected by sleep? Your body's detoxification mechanisms and hormonal regulation is affected by sleep. Moods. Dreaming is an important process linking us to our subconscious desires, hopes, needs and your intuition. Your body releases growth hormone at night which helps your body repair. There are so many processes that occur during sleep that it really is crucial. I want to help you get better sleep, too.
My Top Tips for Better Sleep
Keep the bedroom limited to 2 things: sleeping and having sex. Really. This is how you can train your brain and your body to sleep when your head hits the pillow.
Go to bed at the same time every night and wake at the same time, even on the weekends.
Drink some herbal tea before bed. I like chamomile.
Dim the lights, turn off the computer, shut down social media at least 1 hour before you plan to hit the sack. Ideally, you would also turn off the tv.
Create a sacred time 1 hour before bed that is all yours. Some ideas: Gratitude or daily journal; meditate; evening yoga; read a book
Take a relaxing detox bath: Epsom salts, a few drops of Lavender essential oil. Light a candle. Apply some luscious coconut oil or other oil to your body and then add some Serenity essential oil to your feet after your bath. Dress in your most comfortable pajamas and feel truly nourished.
What if you don't have time for a big bedtime ceremony?
No worries. You can still train your body and mind to wind down from a long day and learn to shut off.
Try Natural Calm or other magnesium supplement.
Give GABA amino acid or Melatonin a try. (check for drug interactions and with your physician or pharmacist first)
NO caffeine after noon, but preferably detox from it completely.
NO sugar. Sugar leads to blood sugar disruption and mood swings.
AVOID alcohol in excess. Track your sleep when you've had a few glasses of wine or beer vs having none. Which nights did you sleep better? Your liver will need to process the alcohol and sugar which may wake you up between 3-5am and leave you tossing and turning.
Diffuse essential oils such as Lavender, Balance, Serenity, Vetiver, Roman Chamomile, Frankincense, or find a custom blend that works for you.
Use crystal energy: Amethyst next to your bed or even under your pillow will work as a natural sleep aid and help you establish a regular routine. It even helps keep you from oversleeping.
I hope you find some of these helpful. Try one or try them all to create your special routine for better, more restorative sleep. Choose at least 3 of these to begin and add to them as time allows. I will usually take one night a week, when my schedule allows, to go full out and pamper myself with a full routine. This may take some effort in the beginning, but will be so worth it when you can rise with the sun, have full energy throughout the day without relying on caffeine and sugar, feel happier, leaner and are ready to embrace life.
I'd love to hear from you. Let me know what worked and what didn't. What custom blend of bedtime magic did you create to help you sleep better and nourish your inner goddess? Reply in the comment section below.
*If you would like more information regarding doTERRA essential oils, feel free to contact me or comment below.