"Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move mountains."
In my 20's, I worked full-time the 7pm to 7am shift as a Labor and Delivery Nurse. Even with youth on my side, I still can recall the effects it had on my life even to this day. I was a zombie. I walked around sleep deprived much of the time, just so I wouldn't miss the daylight. I could get away with it then, but not now.
With sleep as one of the most important things to nourish and restore our health and happiness, I don't understand why smart women skip sleep to pack more in an already packed day (I know I am guilty of this too).
Without quality sleep on a consistent basis, our hormones get out of balance. This, in turn, can wreak havoc on our minds, our digestion, our emotions, our metabolism (yep, we can get fat from too little sleep), our sex drive, and even our frame of mind.
Oftentimes, if we feel tired, we think something is wrong. Nothing is wrong. We're most likely just tired. We need rest. If we've spent time in our lives ignoring the signals of our bodies, as I've mentioned before, the signals will get louder.
Here are some of the sleep rituals I follow, and I hope you find some helpful.
How to get a Deep Sleep
(or how to move mountains)
~Create a Sleep Sanctuary
I like my bedroom dark and cool, and what it's meant for.
Sleep & Sex.
I personally like wear an eye mask for total darkness.
One thing, I need to do myself is clear my nightstand of books. I once read that it is bad Feng Shui to have clutter near your bed (or anywhere for that matter). Create a tranquil, quiet space.
~Make Sleep a Priority
Carve out the time you need to get what your body requires. Schedule it. Most us need 7 to 9 hours a night. If you don't know, go to bed at the same time for a week and get up without an alarm clock. You will get a better idea of how much sleep you need. You might have a lot of energy at night, but if you can't get up in the morning, your rhythm is off.
Most of us run around all day, and we wonder why we can't settle down at night. We need to shift gears. I have a cut-off time for phone and computer, 7pm during school year, 8pm (okay 9pm) during summer. I wind down, turn down the lights in the house, and set the signal to everyone it's DOWN TIME. Have a cup of tea, about an hour or 2 before bed (see recipe below).
~No Caffeine, Alcohol, or maybe even Chocolate
Of course, I break from this ritual occasionally. A satisfying night out with friends and a few glasses of wine is usually worth the blah feeling the day after. Or, I used to enjoy a nice dinner out and savoring some chocolate treat. Since quitting coffee, I have recently become aware that if I eat chocolate late, it makes my heart race. People have their own tolerances to caffeine. Some can't do coffee after noon time, and others can drink a cup and go right to bed.
~Listen to your own Rhythm
Knowing your daily sleep needs (as above), and also be sure to get sun exposure as soon as possible in the morning. What helps you unwind from the day? Do that.
~Let go of your Worries
I love notebooks, and I love list. I might write down what needs to be accomplished the next day, and also, if I am struggling with a particular worry, I write it down. If I can't write it down, I once heard "Give it to God," the divine, the Universe, or whatever you call it. I repeat this mantra several times in my head.
~A relaxing Epsom salt bath, with a 5-7 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
I rub my feet nightly with a blend of Young Living Essential Oils, usually Lavender, Peace & Calming, and Valor, Vetiver, Cedarwood.
~Be Well-Nourished and Stable Blood Sugars
Did you ever wake up in the middle of the night hungry because you didn't eat great that day? I have. Although I am pretty careful with my nutrition, it is always evolving as I learn more and more (about myself).
I may take an herbal sleep remedy, but I more often take just my powdered Magnesium (I like Natural Calm).
~Read Inspiring Stuff
A few pages of beautiful words usually does the trick for me.
I'd love to hear from you. What rituals do you use to get a good night's sleep? I'd love to know.
Let's move mountains,
1 Part Lavender
1 Part Chamomile
1 Part Lemon Balm
~Blend equal parts of the follow bulk dried herbs (found at health food store, or online) in a storage container. I combined about 1/4 cup each.
~Add 2 tsp of herbal mix to 1 cup water
~Steep for 10 minutes, covered, to preserve medicinal oils.
~Add honey or stevia, if desired.
~Aim to drink at least an hour before bed.
~Savor the aroma.