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 surrounding us at work and 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.
Luckily, several easy and natural additions to your daily routine can positively impact your sleep experience and leave you feeling restored and rejuvenated in the morning.
One of the first steps is often overlooked when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep: creating a safe, nurturing, calming environment.
Designing your space conducive to rest can be one of the most significant changes you can make to achieve better sleep every night.
Relax with an App:
Solitaire Bliss is also a great game for calming the mind because it puts you into a light meditative state. It gives the mind something to focus on rather than the tasks for the next day or the stress from the current day. Solitare offers a low-risk game that helps diffuse tension and helps you sleep better at night. Studies show that our decision-making can improve when we are in a calm, meditative state.
Put away your screens, and turn off your phone.
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!
Brew a cup of hot tea
We recommend chamomile, valerian, and kava teas, which you can learn more about on kava guides, 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, says startsleeping.org.
Just combine peppermint, lavender, vetiver, and ylang-ylang essential oils in a spray bottle with a bit of water, and spritz your pillow before lying 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 sometime every evening to connect with your mind and body through focused breathing techniques or meditation.
Many fantastic meditation apps and programs are available online to guide you through mindful breathing exercises or meditation courses – whether you want 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 benefit those with 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 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 significantly affect stress and tension and perfectly complements gentle yoga poses before bed.
Hemp extract, or CBD, is one of the most exciting new products on the natural stress-relief market today.
In particular, hemp flower and CBD-infused salves 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.
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, noting 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.
Soak in a Hot Bath
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, 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 abovementioned techniques 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.