Sleep is key for good health, and during these times, most of us are struggling to get a good night’s sleep. Today, I’m sharing this “how to sleep better now “ post in hopes that we can all get some well-deserved shuteye. This is not a sponsored post, they are tips and ideas that I have collected through the years and what’s working from me currently. This is also not medical advice, so do your research.
Sleep, that elusive activity that is now a series of nightmares, tossing and turning, and overall just restless movements. Sleeping during a pandemic is no simple thing, and I’m here to help. At the beginning of it all, I thought nothing about this pandemic – I’m not stressed, this will be over soon. Week two hits and I’m like, oh – I can’t sleep. Week three, I decided to take this into my own hands and now on week who knows what, I can truthfully say I have some semblance of a routine (different than my usual, non-pandemic nighttime routine) that has given me some restful nights. I’m not saying these things are perfect, but they have helped me reach a state where I can get at minimum six hours of rest a night, if not more.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
You’ve seen them all over the internet, and for good reason. They really do work – if you remember to put them on. Here’s the thing – your circadian rhythm (the one that controls your sleep) is regulated by light. The science behind it:
“A part of your hypothalamus (a portion of your brain) controls your circadian rhythm. That said, outside factors like lightness and darkness can also impact it. When it’s dark at night, your eyes send a signal to the hypothalamus that it’s time to feel tired. Your brain, in turn, sends a signal to your body to release melatonin, which makes your body tired. That’s why your circadian rhythm tends to coincide with the cycle of daytime and nighttime.” – Sleep Foundation
Here’s the issue. Once nighttime falls, we are still surrounded by light – ambient room light, TVs, cellphone screens, so it confuses our bodies and your brain might not send that signal of “release melatonin” because it’s still seeing all this light.
My suggestion: once the sun sets, reduce the light in your home to a minimum and put on a pair of blue light blocking glasses. This will allow your body to relax and release that melatonin because you are controlling the light all around. These particular ones are from the eye doctor, as they also have a bit of prescription in them. You can get non-prescription glass online, just search for “blue light blocking glasses”.
Aromatherapy is Key
Hear me out, I’m not here to sell you essential oils or whatever it is people think when they hear the slightest mention of essential oils. Essential oils are part of my every day life and I love them – for their scent, their health benefits, and overall how they make me feel. Young Living is the brand I love, and my friend Patti has gifted me some, as well as I’ve bought some from other sellers. I’m not loyal to just one brand, but make sure that whatever I’m using is 100% essential oil.
I have two diffusers, one in the living room and one in the bedroom, both going most of the day with whatever oil I feel in the mood for. In the bedroom thought, I stick to calming oils like lavender, cedar wood, valerian, and chamomile, which I start diffusing when I get into my nightly shower so when I come out, the room is covered in the scent. Do some research on oils, there are medical papers out there that prove their benefits.
My suggestion: if you have the space, place your diffuser right on your nightstand so that you’re not only getting the aromatic benefits, but also the humidifying benefits. It’s like having a tiny humidifier in your room – and there’s some research behind how this helps lower hospital infections and protects against flu season.
CBD Won’t Get You High
CBD oil, where have you been all my life?! Yes, I know it’s not FDA approved, but that means nothing to me in terms of my health, so let’s go with it! There are dozens of CBD companies out there, but the one I love and use is The Healing Rose Co. These are all the reasons why:
“Founded in 2016 and based in Newburyport, MA, The Healing Rose is a MDAR [Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources] licensed processor handcrafting body care and oils using 100% USDA Certified Organic essential oils, carrier oils, butters, waxes, & herbs. Our products are infused with CBD Hemp Extracts that are 3rd party tested for pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, microbiological contaminants, & harmful nutrients/elements. Additionally we offer extracts for individuals and businesses who are looking for a reliable source for MA compliant Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD Hemp Extracts. Our team handcrafts every product, from raw ingredients to finished product, in small batches with love and healing intentions.
We are a woman-led company that believes in only using 100% natural ingredients that are cruelty free, paraben free, & GMO free. We are found on the shelves of over 150 unique companies’ shelves across 22 states and counting. We have plans to one day be a B Corp and we make sure to pay our employees well and always give back to our community. Our ethics and morals are the fabric of our company and we believe in always using GMP standards when producing our products in our facility.”
I mean – how could you not love them so much?! Plus, most of their products come in glass, which we all know by now is better for the environment than plastic. Oh and their transparency is incredible, with a tab called “Lab Results” that shows the consumer every last bit of data.
“Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series” – the research here.
My suggestion: give CBD a try, not only for anxiety, nerves, and stress, but also for aches and pains. It’s helped with my sciatica so much – I ingest it orally as well as slather the salve on my legs, back, or neck when needed.
Hydrate Your Skin
You’ve heard it before, your skin is the largest organ on your body and making sure to use non-toxic lotions and body butters is key. I’m a fan of body butters more than lotions because I’m always cold and lotions seem to be just as cold when I apply them, versus a body butter that melts into my skin and offers my some warmth.
Here’s the thing: so many lotions, body butters, and the likes are packed with fragrance, alcohol, and other toxic substances that are endocrine-disruptors (don’t believe a word I say, please do your own research) and are not even hydrating your skin, but drying it out even more. Find yourself a body butter like my suggestion below, from Organic Bath Co.
“Hand crafted to deliver luxurious moisture and create a Zen-like calming experience, our 100% organic PeaceFull Body Butter has everything your skin needs to become the soft, luminous skin you remember. Inspired by our best-selling Drenched formula, PeaceFull features dreamy Lavender Essential Oil to transport the mind to a state of relaxation. An extravagant blend of exotic Moroccan Argan, Jojoba and Sunflower Oils deeply hydrate, leaving skin supple and smooth. Shea Butter heals irritated skin as it shields from dehydration, leaving skin drenched in all day moisture. Because a little goes a long way with this emollient body butter, your skin will feel whisper soft for many days to come!”
Here’s the research if you don’t want to do the work: “Health and societal effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products.” Click here to read.
My Suggestion: This body butter, hands down. The ingredients are shea butter, sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, organ oil, and an essential oil blend. I personally know the founder and owner of Organic Bath Co., and she sources everything from ethical places, as well as some of the best Bulgarian lavender oil in the world. Nourish your skin with natural ingredients and you’ll see the difference.
Sweet Dreams are Made of Magnesium
If anything, this is one of my sleep holy grail products. Magnesium is truly something we are all deficient in (don’t believe me, look it up) and it’s best absorbed trans-dermally (meaning through your skin). That’s why you feel so relaxed after an epsom salt bath, because there’s magnesium in there. But as someone that actually hates baths and will only take them if I’m feeling like total trash, I needed a way to get magnesium through my skin and that’s where Cook’s Organics Sweet Dreams Magnesium Cream comes in.
With only these ingredients – magnesium, certified organic coconut oil, certified organic shea butter, certified organic beeswax, and certified organic aloe – it’s definitely a part of my bedtime routine on the daily. In case you don’t want to research (but I beg you, do it), here are some research links about magnesium:
Stress Relief in a Bottle
Sometimes, not everything I slather on my skin works on extra stressful days and mid-pandemic, I realized I needed some extra help and knew that the best way was from within. This Stress Remedy by Pure Synergy is a life saver, and I’m almost out of the bottle because I’ve been taking it daily. A blend of stress-relieving organic herbal extracts and adaptogens, helps to foster balance and calm while lifting your energy and focus. Here’s what they have to say about it:
- Promotes a healthy response to everyday stress
- Fosters a more balanced mood & supports a sense of calm
- Supports balanced & steady energy levels & endurance
- Helps boost mental clarity, concentration & alertness
- Made with organic ingredients, Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free
The herbs in this are: Ashwagandha Root Extract, Cistanche Stem Extract, Eleuthero Root Extract, Gynostemma Leaf Extract, Holy Basil Leaf Extract, Lemon Balm Leaf Extract, Magnolia Bark Extract, Rhodiola Root Extract, and Schizandra Seed & Fruit Extract, all of which play an important part in stress balancing.
One of many research pieces on Ashwagandha: “The findings suggest that high-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract improves an individual’s resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life. High-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract can be used safely as an adaptogen in adults who are under stress.” Click here to read.
My suggestion: one in the morning and one at night, as they suggest on the bottle, brings me peace and quiet, even on insane days.
In conclusion, this is a product heavy guide on how to sleep better, and if you aren’t in a position to purchase them, meditation and yoga are said to be the best ways to ease into sleep and bedtime. Plus, they’re free! I personally have slowly (meaning I’ve done it four times in the past four months) wanted to get into just some yoga and meditation, but it hasn’t caught on. I’ll keep trying, and that’s all we can do. Note this post is link heavy, but none of them are affiliate links. These products I buy with my hard earned money and love supporting businesses that align with my research and beliefs. Sleep well, my friends – and thanks for reading.