Spring has officially arrived. The extra hours of daylight are giving us newfound energy to stay out a little later and enjoy the season, but with longer days come shorter nights. Many people do not experience the natural rhythms of sleep and suffer from insomnia or disrupted sleep, and losing an hour can feel like a nightmare, but rest easy—we’ve got solutions. If you aren’t able to fall asleep, or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, consider a few of these helpful tips to get those precious—and essential—7-8 hours.
For Night Owls
If you are in the habit of staying up too late, create a bedtime ritual that you can stick to that will help you avoid distractions and fall asleep earlier. You’ve probably heard it before, but cutting down on screen time an hour before bed is one of the easiest ways to help lull you to slumber. It is also helpful to turn down bright overhead lights a few hours before bed because a darker environment lets the body know it’s time to rest. As you’re winding down, sip a cup of tea infused with relaxing herbs, like the Oatstraw and Chamomile found in our Stress Tea. Sipping tea while reading a good book is a tried-and-true way to get some zzzs.
Dinner Went Late
Oprah once said that she consumes an entire day’s calories before 7PM. Kudos to Oprah, but for many of us, that is not quite realistic. If you have a late dinner, the challenge is settling your stomach before bed. Try rubbing Mighty Mint Rescue Cream on your stomach before you go to sleep. Peppermint is known to aid in digestion and reduce bloating.
If you can’t put your thoughts to bed
We’ve all been there—you can’t wait to go to sleep, but your brain just won’t shut off. Try to empty your mind at night. Sketch out a list of all the things you have to do and the things that you are worrying about to stop them from running through your mind so you can rest peacefully. Not watching the late evening news or reading a newspaper can also help out with this. Aromatherapy rituals can also be a great way to quiet your mind before bed. Place a few drops of grounding essential oils like Sandalwood or our Chill Aromatic Alchemy into the palm of your hands, rub your hands together and take a few deep breaths to calm the mind. See breathwork exercises.
How to Stay Asleep
Do you wake up in the middle of the night, and begin thinking about everything you need to do the next day or maybe what you forgot to do? Keep a shot glass with 2 dropperfuls of Passionflower Sleep Tincture on your bedside table and take it when you wake up to help you fall back asleep. See breathwork exercises.
BREATHWORK FOR BETTER SLEEP
Breathwork exercises can be extremely beneficial for getting a good night’s sleep.
Deep Belly Breaths
One method we rely on for before-bed anxiety is deep belly breaths. Gently place your thumbs on your belly button with your palms crossed at your stomach. Begin to breathe into the belly. If this feels difficult, or you seem to be breathing deeply, but only in the chest, gently press down on your belly as you inhale through the nose. When you exhale, your belly will rise. Try taking 5 minutes before bed each night to breathe. To ease your practice, lie down on your back with your knees bent.
Nadi Shodhan Pranayama
Alternate Nostril Breathing, or Nadi Shodhan Pranayama, is an effective tool for helping you fall asleep or getting back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night. This breathing technique directs your attention to counting your breaths, so think of it as the grown-up alternative to counting sheep. Sit comfortably with your spine straight. Place your ring finger over your left nostril and your thumb over your right nostril. Breathe in. Then, press your thumb gently over your right nostril and breathe out through your left nostril. Breathe in through your left nostril, then cover your left nostril and breathe out through the right. Breathe in through the right and back out through the left. Follow this pattern for 9 rounds of breath. This type of breathing allows your mind to focus on counting rather than on what is keeping you up.