Sleep, elusive sleep. You either have a super healthy relationship with it or maybe it’s dysfunctional.
I’m here to share with you that after years of having insomnia, I have a
10 Tips To Get Better Sleep
- Epsom salt bath before bed
After I was diagnosed with MS in 2014, I started doing a ton of research on what I could do lifestyle-wise to take care of myself and over and over again I read about how stress and sleep play a huge impact on how our immune system functions. So I decided to try and get the elusive 8 hours of sleep to see if that made an impact. One of the things I immediately started doing for myself was having an Epsom salt bath 30 minutes before bed. I had been gifted with an essential oil sample of Lavender by dōTERRA and this was the first essential oil I fell in love with. 2 drops in my bath mostly every night and my sleep started to improve. Every now and again I’ll use Lavender & Frankincense but I’ve fallen in love with Ginger, Marjoram and Siberian Fir in my baths now for helping sore muscles after workouts.
The baths became an evening routine ritual to signal to my body that it was time to go to sleep. They help me downregulate, relax and sit instead of puttering around my house. They aren’t picture-perfect. I actually usually take the time to scroll Instagram for the day in the bath and connect with others through that platform.
- Avoid blue light before bed
The research says that exposure to blue light from devices can mess with your natural circadian rhythm and suppress the secretion of melatonin in the body which helps ease your body into sleep. If you’re working on a side hustle and on a computer there are apps like flux which you can install on your computer to suppress blue light in the evenings. Even iPhones
- Invest in an amazing mattress and pillow
We renovated our home in 2017. When we moved back in we decided to also invest in a new bed. After doing research we decided on an
- Diffuse essential oils in the evening before bed
After falling in love with Epsom salt baths with essential oils I invested in my first dōTERRA starter kit. I opted for the Home Essentials Kit because I got a diffuser with it. I started diffusing Lavender and Frankincense before bed and my sleep got even better. I couldn’t explain it other than the fact that I knew these oils were supporting my body in relaxing and de-stressing. I also knew that I was setting an intention for my body and signalling it that it was bedtime by doing the same routine every night. It was a signal to my body that it was time to start slowing down and resting. And sometimes I’d choose slow-moving oils like Vetiver that take forever to come out of the bottle so this taught me to slow down even more.
Essential Oil Tip: get a dropper bottle top for oils like Vetiver & Myrrh otherwise you’ll be standing forever watching the oil drip out of the bottle.
- Avoid screens before bed
Along the lines of reducing blue light exposure, reducing screen exposure is also so we stop all our racing thoughts. Whether we’re scrolling social media or watching TV these activities can sometimes let our thoughts run rampant. If you watch TV, scroll social media and it doesn’t impact your thoughts and is a perfect escapism method from the stress of the day then do you!
- Pick up an old school book
So my suggestion for escapism if that’s something that your brain needs so it’s not reeling in thought is to pick up an amazing book. Whether you love fiction or non-fiction grab something that allows you to find yourself in a story or learn something new. And curling up with a book is just perfect for downregulating our flight/fight system.
Another thing I started doing for myself was listening to guided meditations. I downloaded the Headspace app way back when and would listen to their free trials and then finally invested in an annual membership. I would put the meditation and lie down and for sure would fall asleep during the meditation. I would joke that I was meditating subconsciously and was still hearing the words despite being asleep and that served me really well initially. Now sometimes I’ll just put on a white noise app to fall asleep to.
- Try going to bed at the same time every night and before 10 pm
Have you heard about circadian rhythm? Here is an article by the National Sleep Foundation that explains it in more depth. But it’s basically a way that our bodies regulate based on lightness and darkness. By going to bed at the same time every night our bodies understand when to sleep and when to rise and more. When working on my sleep, I decided to get 8 hours to see if that had an impact on my health. I would go to bed at 9 pm and get up at 5 am. It’s been my routine for over 6 years and something that I try so hard to stick to no matter what because of how I feel when I sleep 8 hours.
The before 10 pm rule is if you are a fan of Ayurveda and have dug into research around the Dosha times you’ll know that our “second” wind is also known as Pitta time in the Ayurveda world. They highly recommend going to sleep before 10 pm so you don’t hit the Pitta time where we have the energy to accomplish new tasks.
- Reduce caffeine consumption
I don’t think I need to explain this one. Just cut it off earlier in the day or reduce the quantity you may be consuming during the day!
- Exercise but not too close to bedtime.
Have you ever done a workout late in the evening and had trouble winding down? It could be for several reasons but working out usually releases stimulating and happy hormones which are energizing to the body. I love a good workout later in the day but if I give my body enough time to wind down then it helps me get to sleep so much easier than if I do an evening workout. Even evening yoga sometimes for me is hard for my body to cue itself to sleep.
I hope these tips gave you some idea on how to get better sleep if this is something you’re craving. Would you pin the below image to Pinterest to help others find this information!? Thanks!
Oh and if you have any other tips post them below in the comments so I can learn from you too!