Are You Getting Enough?

SLEEP. Are you getting enough SLEEP?

Most of us know that a good night’s sleep is really important, despite the fact that we don’t always make getting the amount of sleep our body needs each night a priority. But if you have ever spent a restless night, you are well aware how you can feel the next day–irritable, tired, and out of sorts.

If this is a regular occurrence, it can have severe consequences, including:

  • poor concentration and focus
  • difficulty with memory
  • impaired motor coordination
  • high blood pressure
  • weakened immunity
  • weight gain
  • accidents (due to fatigue)

If you’ve experienced insomnia, whether temporary or chronic, you may be wondering what can be done for it, outside of medicating. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to avoid the grogginess or habit-forming nature of many pharmaceutical drugs.

Here are some things to consider to help you achieve better sleep:

Diet

It’s best to avoid spicy, sugary, and greasy foods in general, but especially before bed since they can cause heartburn and restlessness. Caffeine and alcohol can have a similar effect, especially when consumed in the evening.

Routine

Set a routine that you follow each night, and get up at the same time each morning. If need be, you can work up to this, for example, by retiring 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach a bedtime that will allow for a full night’s sleep (typically about 8 hours).

Exercise

Performing sleep inducing exercises can help relieve stress and restlessness. Yoga or any aerobic exercise is especially good for sleep, preferably when performed earlier in the day.

Gadgets

The blue light that cell phones, computers, and tablets emit suppresses naturally occurring melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. It’s best to eliminate gadget use in bed and limit it at least one hour prior to your bedtime. iPhones have a night shift option that you can pre-set to automatically dim your phone during a specified time frame. You can also purchase special blue blocker glasses that offer protection from the effects of the blue light.

Essential Oils

Lavender and chamomile are wonderful for supporting restful sleep. Mix 1 cup of purified water and 4–5 drops of your essential oil of choice in a spray bottle. Mist around your bedroom before going to sleep. You can also add a couple of drops of the oil to a diffuser or apply some directly to the bottoms of your feet (most easily absorbed there). Be sure to choose essential oils that have been responsibly sourced and properly distilled. Reach out to me if you need help.

A warm drink before bed is yet another way to get the body and mind in a relaxed state. Try these soothing beverages before you hit the pillow:

Banana Peel Tea

Ingredients

  • 1/2 organic banana, including the peel
  • 1 cup purified water
  • Optional: Dash of cinnamon

Instructions

  • In a small pot, combine water and banana. Bring to a boil. Simmer 10-20 minutes
  • Add cinnamon if desired
  • Strain and enjoy

Turmeric Golden Milk is another wonderful sleepy time option. It also helps to balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation.

Turmeric Golden Milk

Step 1 – Make a paste

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic ground pepper (preferably freshly ground)
  • 1/2 cup purified water

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat and stir continually until it turns into a paste. Remove from heat and let it cool. Store in a jar in the fridge for a few days.

Note: Black pepper significantly enhances the absorbability of the turmeric so make sure you include it. Chemistry my friends!

Step 2 – Golden Milk

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of your favorite non-dairy milk (I prefer almond, hemp or coconut)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon turmeric paste

Sweetener of your choice, i.e. stevia, maple syrup, date paste (to taste)

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, taking care to prevent it from boiling. Turn off heat, stir in sweetener and enjoy.

If convenience is your thing, Gaia Herbs makes a delicious premixed Golden Milk blend of turmeric, dates and herbs. You can get some here.

Chamomile Tea – No recipe required. Simple and relaxing

Pleasant dreams.

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