It’s common knowledge that adequate rest is one of the most basic and most important elements to living a healthy, balanced life. But with the many worries and stresses that surround us at work and at home, achieving a good night’s sleep can sometimes feel out of reach.
Besides the many unfortunate health issues, a lack of sleep can create, struggling with this particular issue can create feelings of helplessness, overwhelm, and heightened emotional stress, as well.
Luckily, there are several easy and natural additions to your daily routine that can make a very positive impact on your sleep experience and leave you feeling restored and rejuvenated in the morning.
When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, one of the first steps is often one that’s overlooked: creating a safe, nurturing, calming environment.
Designing your space to be conducive to rest can be one of the most significant changes you can make to achieve better sleep every night.
Two hours before bedtime, dim the lights and take some deep, belly breaths. Light a candle, and put on some calming music – nature sounds are especially centering for the mind!
Put away your screens, and turn off your phone.
Brew a cup of hot tea – chamomile, valerian, and kava kava teas are excellent natural relaxing agents to bring in as you’re winding down.
You can also make a relaxing pillow mist with the magic of aromatherapy.
Just combine peppermint, lavender, vetiver, and ylang-ylang essential oils in a spray bottle with a little water, and spritz your pillow before laying down.
The essential oils begin reacting immediately with your brain to reduce anxiety, calm your mind, and create a peaceful environment within the body that’s perfect for a good night’s sleep.
Set aside some time every evening to connect with your mind and body through focused breathing techniques or meditation.
There are many fantastic meditation apps and programs available online to guide you through mindful breathing exercises or meditation courses – whether you are looking to spend 5 minutes or an hour on your practice!
Or, just spending a few moments focusing on your breath can create an oasis of peace in your mind and body, preparing you for a restful night’s sleep.
Breathing techniques such as deep belly breathing, counted breathing, and diaphragmatic breathing can all be especially helpful for those who have insomnia.
When you’re awake in the night and struggling with relaxation, try breathing in through your nose for a count of four, holding in the breath for a count of five, and exhaling through your mouth for a count of seven. Repeat five times, or as long as is needed to feel the effects.
The practice of yoga is another gentle, nourishing way to promote healthy movement of the body’s tissues and eliminate toxins from the body. It also reduces stress and calms the mind, readying you for sleep.
Make sure to choose restorative yoga poses in the evening, to ensure that your body moves into a calm, deep breathing state.
Simple poses like child’s pose, legs-up-the-wall, or gentle twists encourage you to settle into your body and the present moment.
As mentioned above, deep breathing can have a significant effect on stress and tension and is a perfect complement to gentle yoga poses before bed.
CBD, or hemp extract, is one of the most exciting new products on the natural stress-relief market today.
Hemp flower and CBD-infused salves, in particular, provide accessible and easy-to-use vehicles for the beneficial properties of CBD, which are thought to promote better digestion, a reduction in stress and anxiety, and deeper, more restorative sleep.
Incorporate CBD into your bedtime routine by utilizing hemp flower and CBD products infused with hemp extract.
All of these methods allow the beneficial cannabinoids in CBD to enter the bloodstream and interact with the endocannabinoid system, supporting the body in regaining balance.
This aids in detoxification, restoration, and, you guessed it – it also aids in helping you surrender to deep, REM-cycle sleep all night long.
Give your feet some love with a reflexology foot massage!
Reflexology is an ancient form of massage that works with the body’s natural balancing systems to detoxify and relax the internal organs, through gentle contact with points on the feet.
You can use olive oil, coconut oil, or your favorite cream or lotion to massage your feet while keeping them moisturized.
Start at your toes, gently massaging each one, making a note of any tender spots.
Then move on to the ball of your foot, paying particular attention to any calloused or sensitive areas.
The arch of your foot contains the reflexology points that correspond to many of your vital internal organs, such as the kidneys, liver, and stomach, so go slowly and gently, If one of your organs is struggling, you may feel tenderness at the corresponding point on your foot.
Finally, move on to your heel.
This area can help connect you with the earth, with the relaxation inherent in grounding and centering at the moment.
If you choose, anointing your feet with essential oil can be a perfect closing to the massage, as the feet are uniquely able to absorb the beneficial properties of essential oils and transfer them to the bloodstream.
Peppermint, lavender, ylang-ylang, or clary sage are particularly relaxing, centering, and activating for feelings of self-compassion and peace.
Another easy way to assist your mind and body with preparing for sleep is to enjoy a sea salt bath – and if you choose to incorporate essential oils here as well, you multiply the benefits!
Soaking in warm water with sea salt relaxes your musicals, tendons, and ligaments. It allows freshly oxygenated blood to flow in and out of every area that may be aching or calling out for attention.
The minerals in the sea salt also aid the body in its detoxification process, and the warmth of the water is excellent for a worried mind – it’s almost impossible to feel stressed when soaking in a hot bath!
No matter how lonely or frustrating it can begin to feel when dealing with insomnia or even less-than-satisfying sleep, you always have options.
Try one or more of the techniques mentioned above to create a restful environment, connect with your breath, and enjoy the benefits of natural remedies like essential oils and CBD.
We feel confident that you will see a positive change in your sleep patterns, and over time, will be able to count on waking up in the morning feeling rejuvenated, restored, and ready to take on the day.