What’s the one thing every mom feels at the end of the day? You’re done, tired, ready to gratefully slip into the silence and get some much needed sleep. For me, thankfully, there are various natural remedies to combat those sleepless nights. I have them, as do we all. For me my cortisol levels spike in the evening, which means if I am not asleep by 10 PM I won’t fall asleep until midnight. If I am not asleep, then my family is not asleep, and so anything that will help all of us fall asleep faster, is key.
Start with Aromatherapy
There are certain aromas that are known for having relaxing and sleep inducing properties. My favorites are lavender, ylang ylang and chamomile. Some essential oils companies make specific blends made specifically to help you wind down and they really work! Whether you diffuse them in an diffuser or just place a few drops on a pillow or dilute and apply topically, the aromatherapy benefits work in as little as minutes. The alpha waves in your brain loves it and let’s our minds and bodies know that it’s time to let it go. Lavender, which has the most clinical research for relaxation, is known to help you fall asleep faster too. Who doesn’t need that?
Stop the Caffeine Early
Ever see a mom walking through Target at 4 pm with a latte in one hand and a toddler in the other? It’s not unusual to see moms walking around with a cup of coffee in their hands half the day. However studies show that caffeine needs about eight hours to leave your system, so having that last cup may seem to improve your ability to stay awake and focus, but it will not help you to fall asleep at night. Think about going to decaf if you feel the need to drink it after lunchtime. Decaf herbal teas that are made specifically to relax can work wonders too, and I love that I can get my minerals from a lot of herbal teas. Many herbal teas are full of antioxidants, vitamin C and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc, and also can naturally contain calcium, manganese and other nutrients essential for the development of strong teeth and bones.
The Easy Button
Remember, there is no on/off switch at bedtime, and the blue light may feel therapeutic but it’s not. Winding down is key. Try some Chakra aligning yoga moves, a little deep breathing or meditation to help move your body from chaos to relaxation. Clearing your mind, and shutting down those distractions allows you to release the to-do lists and start the rejuvenation. It’s over night that your body heals itself and so pick something that will help. Don’t read on the Kindle, read a book. Get textural with a cuddly soft blanket , grab a notebook and journal. Spending thirty to sixty minutes at night to build a routine of relaxing is something that can help the entire family. For me, that’s been the biggest help for my body. And for my family. Which brings us to the most important factor…
There’s Always Tomorrow
Yes, it’s so hard to stop when you have a full agenda. Do you feel like the evening is the only time you have? How many of us have those electronics in bed returning emails, scheduling social media, looking at business, or “winding down” with a stroll through Instagram, of Facebook. It becomes an addiction as well as a crutch that will stop you from connecting with the most important relationships in our life. Social media … business, it’s a time suck. By 6 AM most people have already looked at business emails, and we spend most of our lives working. So why allow the social media time-suck trap pull you in when you should be cuddling up. Don’t allow your phone to tell your brain to stay awake, or your iPad to stimulate your emotions, which is not good after a most likely very overstimulated day. Put it away, create a bubble of life that doesn’t involve television, Netflix, selfies and comparison.
Stop and Breathe
If you’ve gone into a coaching session with me you know I like to practice morning deep breathing. How about practicing some evening deep breathing. Breathe in, hold, breathe out… repeat. This is so soothing, and empowering. Blocks to the breathing waves are also blocks to the chakras. And when we breathe in oxygen it is transported in the blood to all cells in the body. It’s calming, and creates cellular vitality and moves those messages throughout the body.
Try one or all of these ideas to see if that makes a difference. Sleep is a part of a full wellness routine, and one that I take very seriously. Let me know if you’ve gotten those z’s and what your favorite way of winding down is. Perhaps it’s even a little roll in the silk sheets.