Creating a consistent, healthy sleep schedule is incredibly important to whole-body health and wellness. You can’t be productive and busy without making time to be unproductive and not busy. Human beings need rest.
Did you know that one in three working adults are sleep deprived? They cite the reasons for their lack of sleep are stress and worry. Sometimes, worry and wandering thoughts creep in when we aren’t intentionally choosing our thoughts and instead allowing our minds to drift to all the things we have to do and accomplish in a certain time period. These thoughts can be amplified around certain times of the year, such as birthdays or holidays. Many of us worry over what Christmas or birthday presents to buy, what recipes to cook for Thanksgiving, or even thinking about all the things that have to be accomplished the next day.
What’s the solution for all these stresses and anxieties? That’s right: sleep and rest.
7 steps to great sleep
If you find that you have trouble sleeping, try making these small changes to your nighttime routine.
1) Turn the lights down. Try turning off your main lights and flip on a lamp or two, to give your bedroom the atmosphere of warmth and coziness. This helps you to make your bedroom a sanctuary. This means doing all work outside of the bedroom, and using your bed only as a place for sleep and sex. Also, eliminate or drastically reduce the amount of time spent on mobile devices in your bed. Studies show that blue light from your phone significantly affects your sleep and can potentially cause disease! Reducing any other ambient or outside noise and light will also help you get into a restful mindset.
2) Get a head start on your sleep – this means earlier in the day, avoid caffeine after lunch and alcohol and smoking close to bedtime. Try to avoid afternoon naps, and make sure you’re exercising regularly and eating a healthy, balanced diet. Make sure you eat dinner no later than three hours before you’re ready for bed.
3) Power down both your electronic devices and your body. Try journaling your feelings from the day, or meditating on your anxieties to learn where they came from and how you can eliminate them (keep reading for more information on this step).
4) Get into a routine of sleeping and waking up at the same time every day. As soon as you wake up, do some sort of physical activity while exposed to natural light. Water your plants, make some breakfast, or do some light stretching.
5) Don’t go to bed angry or worried. Do your best to make amends or express your feelings in a healthy way before getting into bed. According to one study, going to bed angry can solidify those angry feelings into your long-term memory and lead to future sleep deprivation.
6) Take an epsom salt bath. This will relax your muscles and calm your mind before you get under the sheets.
7) Finally, using herbs such as lavender oil, chamomile, passion flower, California poppy, ashwagandha, and many others can calm your nerves and relax your muscles before sleep, without any side effects. Andi Lynn’s offers natural, gentle herbal solutions to help you calm your mind and body during stressful times. Our Pillow Drops are made of all-natural schisandra, California poppy, skullcap, chamomile, and passionflower. Schisandra is known to be an adaptogen that provides adrenal support – it helps the body process cortisol to release excesses. If you use Pillow on a regular basis it will work itself out of a job as it supports returning to the norm. Each herb quiets a different element that can cause sleeplessness. Poppy has been shown to quiet pain. Skullcap is traditionally known to quiet physical nervous energy. Chamomile has been shown to quiet indigestion; it’s a cooling herb. Passionflower has traditionally been known to quiet errant thoughts.
If you’d like to read more about our top tips for a good night’s sleep, check our our blog here.
Difference between Sleep and Rest
Furthermore, letting your body rest doesn’t necessarily mean sleeping (though a full 7 to 9 hours does make a world of difference). If we set our intentions and mental focus on specific, easily accomplished activities in the present, we leave no room for unwanted worrying and give our brains a rest.
Dr. Aviva Romm suggests that much like setting time aside at night to sleep, we should also set aside time to worry. Meditating on our anxieties in a specific amount of time clears your head and makes room for creative, expressive thoughts to come to head and not allow the worry to rule your life.
As your local Baton Rouge herbalist, Andi Lynn’s is here to help you and your family have a fun, healthy, and happy life. We’re committed to helping you get the rest you need – in both your body and mind. We have a list of collaborating providers to support you in all aspects of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. We are here to help you achieve your wellness goals. Never hesitate to reach out to us through email or social media if there’s something we can do for you or if you’re looking for a specific herbal solution!