Parched skin. Dark under eye circles. Visible wrinkles. Not getting enough sleep isn’t pretty, and over time enough sleepless nights can age you quite significantly.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, an estimated 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia regularly. That’s a lot of people counting sheep or resorting to pharmaceutical sleeping aids. I’ve personally grappled with bouts of insomnia, and after experimenting with all the medical advice out there – dimming lights before bed, drinking milk with honey, taking valerian supplements, etc – I’ve found a few simple, natural tricks that help me fall and stay asleep.
About an hour before going to bed, add five drops each of organic lavender and chamomile essential oils to a diffuser. Both are calming oils that soothe your nervous system and help ease any lingering stress from the day. Once the air is sufficiently scented (about 30 minutes), turn off the diffuser and get ready for some restful yoga.
Many of us spend the majority of our day sitting in front of a computer. Even if we exercise regularly, our inactive office-bound muscles need to let go of pent-up energy at the end of the day. The Bed Time Yoga Routine by instructor and author Tara Stiles effectively releases physical tension and primes your body for sleep. The routine can be done on a yoga mat, firm carpet or in bed. The Bed Time stretches are lifted directly from Tara’s book “Slim, Calm, Sexy Yoga,” but she also has an additional online Insomnia Routine for extra serenity.
However, it’s almost impossible to fully relax if your thoughts are still racing. The meditation at the beginning of Tara’s routine is helpful in slowing down your ‘monkey mind,’ but what honestly works for me is the Quiet Mind Flower Elixir by Lotus Wei. Put five drops of this blossom-derived liquid – made of Bird of Paradise, Passionflower, Lotus and more – under your tongue and after a minute swallow the rest with a sip or two of water. It puts me right to sleep. Another option is taking a Calcium Magnesium or Magnesium Oxygen supplement, both of which calm nerves and ease you into dreamtime.
Add these techniques into your nightly routine and finally get the healthy, beauty sleep you need!