Did you know that 1/3 of Americans are not getting enough sleep at night? With the high speed of our society these days, I don’t think that stat is that surprising. Between our high-stress modern world and all the electronics and social media, it is hard to pull ourselves away for some quality zzz’s.
It is time we start focusing on our sleep habits because they are directly linked to our overall health and well-being. Did you know that sleep is necessary for growth, learning and memory, and recuperation of the body’s systems? It can also directly impact our ability to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. On top of all of that loss of sleep can influence our emotions, behavior, and decision-making abilities. If you haven’t caught on yet, we need sleep to essentially function at optimal levels. It’s kind of important!
How much sleep do we really need?
How many hours of sleep are you getting at night? Check out the research paper from the National Sleep Foundation that was a result of a world-class study that took more than two years of research to complete. In the research, you will find the latest recommended sleeping chart by age.
How to improve your sleep
If you find you are not getting the recommended amount of sleep each night, there are some tips you can start following for a better night’s sleep.
– Stick to a sleep schedule (same bedtime each night) even on the weekends
– Relaxing bedtime ritual (we will get into this more later)
– Exercise daily (be sure to not exercise less than 3-4 hours before bed)
– Sleep on a comfy mattress and pillows
– Do not drink alcohol or caffeine before bed
– Turn off all electronics (best if you leave your phone in another room)
– Be sure your bedroom is dark, no lights
Most importantly, you must make sleep a priority. To do this, you might need to schedule it like all your other daily activities.
Relaxing bedtime ritual
Let’s get you off to a great start on your bedtime ritual in a natural, balanced way. If you know anything about essential oils, you know how relaxing and calming they can be. This makes them a great go-to for bedtime. They can be used internally to calm the nervous system and promote relaxation, and they can also be used aromatically and topically to help create the soothing environment you need to fall asleep.
Keep in mind that an essential oil that works for me might not be the one that works best for you. You will need to do some trial and error to find your perfect bedtime ritual with essential oils. Several oils have calming benefits, so pick just one and start there. Here are some of the more popular calming essential oils.
Lavender: Commonly used for its calming properties, the light floral aroma makes it useful for creating an environment perfect for peaceful sleep. Can be taken internally, applied topically, or diffused for aromatic use.
Serenity: Comes in both a softgel and oil form and is formulated specifically for sleep. Multiple studies show the benefits of all the ingredients in Serenity on improving sleep. Take 1-2 softgels 30 minutes before bed and diffuse the essential oil in your bedroom at night.
Cedarwood: The warm, woody scent promotes a peaceful feeling that can help the mind and body unwind before bed. Can be applied topically or diffused for aromatic use.
Bergamot: With its calming and soothing aroma it can help promote a sense of calm and harmony when used before bedtime. Can be applied topically or diffused for aromatic use.
Frankincense: The soothing characteristics of Frank can help induce feelings of peace and satisfaction, while promoting feelings of relaxation. Can be applied topically or diffused for aromatic use.
Here are more essential oils that are beneficial for their soothing and calming properties on the mind and body.
– Roman Chamomile
– Clary Sage
– Ylang Ylang
How to use essential oils at bedtime
Diffusing is going to be the easiest way to use essential oils at bedtime, and it also will benefit everyone in the room. It is best to place your diffuser next to your bed and start it 10-15 minutes before you would like to fall asleep. This gives plenty of time for the aroma to start filling the room with the relaxing oil(s) you pick.
Remember, not all of the oils you use in your diffuser need to be the calming and relaxing ones. You can mix some calming oils with other essential oils that you like to make a blend that you love. The point is to have an aroma that is enjoyable for you while also being relaxing. Here are some diffuser blends to give a try.
Are you someone who enjoys a nice warm bath or shower before bed? Did you know you could add essential oils to your water and make your bedtime routine even more relaxing? Add a couple of drops of your favorite relaxing oil to your bathwater, to some Epsom salt (then place in your bathwater), or simply add them to your shower floor to enjoy the calming aroma.
Another great way to enjoy the aroma of essential oils while sleeping is by making a linen spray for your sheets and pillows. Just add a few drops of your favorite calming oils to a spray bottle with a couple of ounces of water to spritz your bed and pillows each night.
Here are a few combinations you could try:
– Lavender & Cedarwood
– Ylang Ylang & Sandalwood
– Vetiver & Bergamot
– Serenity & Balance
To use your bedtime essential oils topically, the best place to apply them is to the bottom of your feet. Did you know that you have a reflexology chart on the bottom of your feet? There is a spot that correlates with different parts of your body. Applying your oils to the bottom of your feet in a nice massage will help you relax and get the benefits of those oils throughout the night. Check out the reflexology chart below.
Remember, it will take some trial and error, but when you find your perfect blend of essential oils for bedtime, you can start implementing your new bedtime routine for some quality zzz’s.
So as the saying goes, Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite!