Integrative Options for Sleep

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Sleeping complaints are so common! Our busy, modern lifestyles can make getting good rest seem impossible. Most of us are familiar now with the usual recommendations - limit caffeine, exercise but not just before bed, and other sleep hygiene strategies. These are certainly good suggestions, but here are some more options that may be new for you to try:

Limit your blue light

f.lux- This is a free software download for your laptop, iPad or iPhone.  Screens normally have a blue tint. The f.lux software changes the tint of your screen with the time of the day. Late at night it will use more of a red tint, which allows you to complete your work or reading just fine, but doesn't have the insomnia producing effects of the blue tint. NOTE: If you are doing photo editing or other work that requires you to see colors accurately, temporarily disable this (easy to do!)

Put your active mind to rest

Write down your to do's, worries, excitement for the next day and then put them to rest. I don't think this can be said enough. So simple, yet so effective.

Try some breathing exercises or a simple meditative practice before bed.

Still need more?

If you continue to have difficulty falling or staying asleep, here are some herbal remedies to try:

  • Consider the herbs hops and/or valerian.  Both are readily available from a variety of health food stores or online.  
  • For many people, a hot cup of chamomile tea is enough to gently induce sleep.  Traditional Medicinals, Yogi Teas, and Mountain Rose Herbs all have calming tea blends as well. 

And some essential oil options:

  • There are many essential oils that can help with promoting more restful sleep. Lavender and cedarwood are some of our favorites. I love my diffuser at night for sleeping. You can also try mixing these into some coconut oil (or your other favorite carrier oil) and using topically before bed. Try bottoms of feet, wrists, behind ears.  Sleep cream recipe below! 
  • Epsom salt bath - add a few drops of lavender and/or Stress Away to a cup of epsom salt, then add to warm bathwater. Soak for 20 minutes before drifting off to a peaceful night of sleep.

 

Sleep Cream

  • 1oz coconut oil
  • 3-4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3-4 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 3-4 drops Peace & Calming essential oil blend

Mix well and store in a glass jar. If using for children, try using 2 drops of each per 1oz of carrier oil. If using for infants suggest starting with lavender alone, no more than 5 drops per 1oz of carrier oil. You can diffuse lavender safely for infants of all ages. Need some oils? 

As always, please consult with your medical practitioner prior to taking supplements, particularly if you take medications. I buy our bulk spices and herbs at Mountain Rose Herbs. They also have a variety of organic teas available if you don't want to mix your own. 

See this post for why I use Young Living oils.