Sleep Hygiene Solutions
When our difficulties with sleep are on-going, this usually points to the need for lifestyle changes. Adjustments early in the day can have a great effect later that evening when you are trying to relax and get to sleep. You probably already know about these suggestions, but for whatever reason, you are not currently implementing them in your sleep hygiene routine (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog : )
• Caffeine is considered a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system; and we drink it because we want that ‘kick’ of alertness. Caffeine works very hard to keep you alert (i.e. awake). Ask yourself: How much caffeine is in this cuppa [you fill in the blank here]. How many of these am I drinking in a day? And how late in the day am I having my last cuppa? How long does it take for the drug caffeine to work its way out of my nervous system? (You may need to do some research to answer this last question, but it may well be worth it).
• Meditation & Yoga are each mindfulness modalities that help you focus on your breathing and be present in the moment rather than allowing the mind to engage in racing thoughts or the body in multitasking. These are calming practices that help bring the nervous system back into balance.
• All things electronic also stimulate your nervous system and contribute to keeping you ‘awake’ (e.g. TV; smart phone; computer)
• Stop eating within 3 hours of sleeping; How are you going to sleep well if your digestive system is still hard at work?
• Read The Mayo Clinic’s article: 5 Ways to Sleep More Soundly
• Read The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s: In Brief: Your Guide to Healthy Sleep
Sleep & Holistic Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the perfect modality to pair with your sleep hygiene efforts. Essential oils generally fall into three broad categories of effects: Sedating • Balancing • Stimulating. There are many essential oils that are considered ‘sedating’ (think lavender) and ‘balancing’ (think geranium). If you are going to DIY a sleep blend, please use a reliable aromatherapy encyclopedia/reference such as ‘The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness’, by Nerys Purchon & Lora Cantle to determine which may help you with sleep. Alternatively, work with a certified aromatherapist. In Canada, to find a certified aromatherapist, go to the cfacanada.com website. In the US, go to the naha.org website.
Do your research in order to determine which essential oils are safe to use with a particular type of person (e.g. child, senior, someone with a specific health issue, someone who is pregnant, etc.). And then blend at the lowest and safest concentration levels. Clearly label your bottles.
Write down your recipe so you can refer to it when it is time to blend a new batch.
This information is for education purposes only & in no way is meant to serve as medical or professional advice. We are not responsible for any products made in use of these oils or the outcome of any application thereof. As always, we recommend testing all blends.
Sharing experiences with essential oils is an effective way of learning to utilize these powerful gifts from nature. With this knowledge we can take control of our personal health. Products and techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The information on ljturtle.com is only provided for educational purposes, and further research should be done on each essential oil to be assured of its proper usage for each individual. Aromatherapy is not meant to be a replacement for care under a qualified health professional, but should be considered a complimentary modality.
Please remember that anything discussed here does not constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. The above is the author’s opinion.