I know how it is- every night you fall into a deep restorative sleep and wake feeling energized and refreshed.
In the last month, me neither. Recent events, interruption to our routines, high levels of stress, and rapid changes to our lives have been the biggest challenge many of us will ever face. It is not surprising that our sleep can be disrupted.
Good sleep is pivotal to overall health, both physical and emotional. If you think about it, how likely are you to eat well, get out and exercise, or feel emotionally resilient if you haven’t slept well? My mom always told me, “Things will look better in the morning,” but for this to be true, we must get a good night’s sleep.
What can you do? Here are some tangible things you can do to help bring back a restful night’s sleep.
Herbs: Chinese medicine has a few key formulas that can really help you to fall and stay asleep.
- An Mian Wan: This is a great formula to help people who are feeling anxious and restless. (The ‘wired and tired’ folks.)
- Gui Pi Tang: A great nourishing formula for people who struggle staying asleep and tend to have a mind that churns and worries, along with some possible bloating or digestive issues and cravings for sweets.
- Suan Zao Ren Tang: A formula for those who can’t sleep and are starting to feel slightly irritable, or angry, and depleted. You also may wake with a slight amount of sweating.
- Jia Wei Xiao Yao San: This is great all-around formula for stress. If you are feeling irritable, stressed out, have some stomach upset, and feel ‘stuck’ this may be the formula for you.
Habits: Do these things on the regular to help you fall into a restful slumber.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule: This one can be hard to implement. I suggest trying this for one week to see if it makes an impact on your sleep. This is especially good for folks who struggle to fall asleep.
- Keep a journal: Before bed, write down all the things on your mind. Dump the thoughts first, then list out things you can be grateful for right now.
- Get outdoors! Regular exposure to natural light helps to reset circadian rhythms, making it easier to fall asleep at night and to wake up in the mornings.
- Keep your room dark and cool
- If you can’t sleep, get up and change locations: Remember, your bed is really good for two great things only- sleep or sex. If you are not sleeping, get yourself up and head into another space until you feel sleepy again.
Stuff: Things you can pick up that can help.
- Eye mask: Keeping your rooms as dark as possible can really impact your quality of sleep.
- White noise machine
- Teas or tinctures that contain Kava: We love HerbPharm’s Anxiety Blend, which is available at most co-ops.
- Epsom salt baths with essential oils, especially lavender: Soaking for 20-40 minutes in a bath with around 2 cups of salts, and a little lavender, can calm your body and spirit and help you fall asleep faster.
Recipe for a good night’s sleep
- Walking shoes
- Sleepy time tea / Kava tinctures
- Journal with a great pen
- A good book that isn’t too exciting
- Epsom salts
- Lavender essential oils
8 pm – Turn off all screens and take a long and leisurely stroll.
8:30pm – Brew yourself some Kava tea and journal your day by dumping your brain and getting it all down on the page. Finish your journaling with a specific list of things you are so grateful for and one coincidence in your life that ended up being so good for you. If you still have some tea left, open your book and read a bit.
9pm – Run yourself a hot bath and add in two cups of Epsom salts and a few drops of lavender essential oils.
9:30pm – Find a quiet place and do a guided sleep meditation.
10pm – Lights out, curl up in your cool and dark room and have a great night’s sleep.
If these tips don’t work for you, you may need more support. Acupuncture and a custom herbal formula have been used to treat poor sleep throughout history. Contact us or book online, and let us help you!
(written by Julie)
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels