10 Tips for Restless Sleep

One of the most common issues I have faced with my clients is restless nights. Not getting a good nights sleep can have detrimental effects to your well-being physically and emotionally, causing unnecessary stress on one's life. We have a wide variety of aromatheraputic products to aid your sleep professionally formulated by a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist. Consultations are also available.

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There are a lot of factors that can attribute to a restless night and I truly believe a holistic approach yields the most benefits. That's why I listed below 10 tips to help your insomnia that should be used in combination with aromatherapy. 
 

Body + Environment + Mind

1. Get More Sunsunlight

Have you ever noticed how tired you are after spending the day at a sunny beach, even though you just sat around and enjoyed the scenery? Sunlight is such a powerful tool that we often forget about. Being outside relieves stress and provides your body with the necessary sun to balance your internal clock. We as humans need the sunlight to tell us when its day time. This may seem obvious, but when you get up before sunrise, drive to work, work all day in a dull lite office, and go home to cook dinner and watch tv. Where is your sunlight? Take 20 minutes out of your day to go on a walk outside, throw the ball around, bask in the sun. Just don't forget your sunscreen.

2. Pay Attention to What you eat and When

We eat food because it gives us the energy we need to function properly throughout our day. We eat to live. However, the food that we eat now-a-days can be said to cause a "you live to eat" mentality. I would be lying if I said I never craved ice cream and thought about it all day until I bought one. But it is important to have a healthy mentality when it comes to food. We eat to nourish our body. So when its midnight and we are craving that last piece of pizza or a bowl of ice cream, we need to realize that this is living to eat and not eating to live. Our bodies do not need this extra energy, so when we try to go to bed the task of falling asleep is difficult. Having a mindful way about what you are eating and when you are eating will have a big impact on your sleep schedule and the natural rhythm your body goes through on a daily basis.


3. Exercise Daily

yoga exercise
Everyone can agree that exercise is good for your well-being. It it not, however, directly related to sleep. Exercise can improve energy and will keep you up. So its a good idea to workout in the morning rather than late at night. Exercise is also a great stress and anxiety reliever. And anxiety
is directly related to insomnia. So if you have bad anxiety, or are under constant stress, implement a workout schedule. Three times a week for 30 minutes is a great start. Youtube is a great place for free workouts. I personally use Yoga with Adrienne and Fitnessblender.


4. Clean up Before Bedtime

Now that you have taken care of your body, its time to take care of your environment. Often times we lay in bed and think about all the things we need to do the next day. We think about the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, or the laundry that hasn't been folded. These thoughts can lead to a more stressed and restless mind. Taking the time to clean up before bed, even 5 minutes, gives oneself a clearer mind and a stress-free home to wake up to.
 

5. Decrease Light at Night

As getting enough light during the day is important, so is getting enough darkness at night. There are a lot of factors that can disrupt the light and dark cycle our bodies need. A major culprit of this is our trusted technology. Blue light emitted from screens trick our body into thinking its daylight, effectively messing up our internal clock and preventing our bodies from starting the processes of falling asleep aka releasing melatonin. Many smartphones now-a-days have the option to turn on a "night shift" in which the light emitted from the device is warmer. Although it is helpful, there is still the computer and the television that emit blue light. Its best to avoid technology an hour or so before you want to go to bed.

If you live in the city or a populated area, its also a good idea to invest in black out curtains,
like these. They make such a difference. The second apartment I lived in there was a flood light right outside my windows, I could see everything clear as day in my room at night. This really effected my sleep schedule, often leaving me lying awake for hours at night. I bought some blackout curtains and even put blankets above the curtain rod and push pinned the sides. After that I slept so much better.

6. Try White Noise

Some people need complete silence when they sleep, others have the TV on all night. Yet there are problems with both these scenarios. The sleeper who needs total silence will often wake at any sound, and the TV sleeper has the blue light emitted from the screen. White noise can be of use to both of these types of people. And I am using the term white noise lightly. Technically, white noise sounds like radio static and can only be generated by technology. I am using the term lightly to describe a soft repetitive sound. My favorite is rain noises or a crackling fire. These noises can be played through your phone by Youtube or various apps. They help you drown out any unwanted sounds and help your mind relax. Its always worth a try.


7. Adjust the Thermostat

Your natural body temperature rises when you are awake in the daytime and falls at nighttime. If your natural sleep/wake cycle is out of wack, your surrounding environment's temperature can be of some help. A good range for sleep is 60's to low 70's, you will need to play with the temperature to get your best nights sleep. I sleep with the thermostat on 65, if its lower I have trouble falling asleep because my feet are freezing and if its hotter I end up waking up in a sweat.

8. Create a Nighttime Routine

One of the biggest battles for some people in the war of insomnia is the mind. We often are too stimulated to quiet our mind. That is why it is so important to create a nighttime routine. I know this sounds kind of silly, but making a routine and going through the motions of getting ready for bedtime will allow your mind to prepare for rest as well. Fixating on a specific time to go to sleep can cause anxiety when you are unable to fall asleep at that hour. Instead, create a routine and follow the motions, when you are done go to bed without thinking of time. Eventually your mind will start listening to your internal clock and know when you do those actions, its time for bed. Animals are great at this. They know when its time to go to bed, wake up, and eat all by their internal clock and daytime/nighttime environmental cues.


9. Meditate

Meditation Mindfulness


Another tool to help your head get into the right mindset for sleep is meditation. This can mean different things for everyone. Some people find peace in yoga, focusing on movement and breathe and releasing thoughts. Others simply stop for a few minutes, and focus on a mantra such as " I will have a good night's rest", or not focusing on anything at all and trying to clear the mind. Some people can turn to focusing on prayer. Finding the best way for you to meditate may take time, it could be very traditional, or unique to you. Learning how to let your brain shut off will help you fall asleep faster.
Aromatherapy can be of great help here, aiding in quieting the mind and evoking calm. Try our Meditation Roller Ball for aromatherapy support. With essential oils of exotic ylang ylang, spiritually awakening frankincense, and resinous myrrh this roller can help you unwind and find inner serenity.
 


10. Schedule a Doctors Visit

Make sure there is nothing physically wrong with your body. This can include anything from nutrient deficiencies to nasal cavity abnormalities. Your body often gives you clues as to what is wrong. If you feel there is something off, you should listen. If you are having insomnia, its a good idea to get a check up with your doctor.
 
 
Further reading and information:
The effects of sunlight on sleep:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4031400/
The effects of eating times on sleep, as well as information on our internal clocks: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/874f/b39a9a8659494224f99d18a3e842fb3db5bd.pdf
The effects of meditation on sleep: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2012.00054/full
The effects of blue light emitted from technology on sleep: https://www.nature.com/articles/497S13a

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