The benefits of getting a good night’s sleep is widely known. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you’ll be tired, groggy and cranky the next morning. But there are other side effects you may not even know about.
Sleep deprivation can also impact your eating habits, your quality of life, and your hormones!
But, don’t despair! Getting a good night’s sleep is easier with a few simple tips and tricks. I’ve been putting these into practice ever since I learned about them.
Just Say No
Sometimes we don’t realize how our every day activities negatively affect our sleep. Here are some simple things you can watch out for and avoid to improve your sleep.
Avoid Stimulants Later In The Day
Caffeine is a stimulant of the central nervous system. The half-life of caffeine (time taken for the body to eliminate one-half of the caffeine content) in healthy adults is approximately 5 to 6 hours. Many factors affect this half-life: for example, in pregnancy, the half life may be increased to as much as 15 hours. For this reason, it is best to avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening.
Caffeine isn’t the only stimulant to avoid though. Nicotine and ginseng are also stimulants. Even exercising late in the day can be stimulating. So, be careful to keep the hours before bedtime free from all stimulants, chemical or otherwise.
Avoid Bad Food
While many people understand that there is a connection between how they eat and how they sleep, for most it just boils down to not eating greasy pizza and a double scoop of cappuccino ice cream before bed. However, the food/sleep connection is much deeper. Since food choices play such a big role in your overall health, including hormone function and pain and inflammation, it is reasonable to assume that your sleep will be affected by your food choices indirectly through these associated health issues.
However, the connection is also a direct one. As an example, eating a high carb diet has been shown to reduce sleep quality, making it take longer for you to fall asleep and reducing the amount of time you spend in restorative sleep. In general, the earlier and lighter your evening meal is, the better your sleep will be.
Here are the top foods to avoid before going to sleep:
Just Say Yes
Taking things away from our day that we crutch on for energy can be difficult. I would suggest gradually removing things from your diet instead of going cold turkey (unless you find you do better that way!). I also recommend saying yes to sleep-promoting actions: add these things to your daily must-do list!
Balance Your Hormones
Of the 50 different hormones that course through your body, some actually help you to get to sleep and stay asleep. When your hormones are needing support, your sleep can be affected. Women in the early stages of pregnancy often find that they sleep more, whereas one of the common signs of menopause is insomnia.
The latter is estrogen during menopause. High estrogen levels are associated with a more positive mood, clear, elastic skin, greater energy and mental sharpness, and sound sleep. So, as estrogen levels lower, the opposite effects will often occur.
But progesterone levels are also affected during menopause. Progesterone increases production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps sleep. Low levels of progesterone can result in symptoms of anxiety, restlessness, and trouble sleeping, including a tendency to wake frequently during the night. A woman’s body stops producing progesterone once she enters menopause.
But menopause is not the only time that these hormones fluctuate. They are always fluctuating because they are affected by many factors and are especially volatile shortly before and during menstruation.
I support my own hormones using two key products:
Clary Calm is dōTERRA’s proprietary blend of essential oils containing Clary Sage, Lavender, Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Fennel, Carrot Seed, Palmarosa, and Vitex. This combination is such an incredible support for your hormonal balance. Roman Chamomile and Lavender is calming and reduces inflammation in the nervous system while Carrot Seed and Vitex are powerful herbs that help your body digest excess estrogen. When this oil penetrates your largest organ (your skin!), they are readily available for your body to use. You can purchase Clary Calm here.
Phytoestrogen is amazing for women pre-, post- and during menopause. Here’s why…
Beginning as a young adult, almost every function of a woman’s body is controlled by hormones. A balance of normal hormone levels will influence a woman’s good health and emotional well-being from her early teens to her transition through menopause.
This dōTERRA blend of standardized plant phytoestrogens supports the body’s hormone balance, gently and naturally. It also includes concentrated flax seed lignans to promote healthy metabolism. Eating right, exercising, and balancing hormone levels can help women sleep, in addition to reducing uncomfortable issues associated with PMS and the transition through menopause! You can purchase Phytoestrogen supplements here.
Use Natural Sleep Aids
Instead of using over-the-counter sleep aids, I have an amazing alternative that will knock those pills out of the park! Before I give you these amazing alternatives, here are some reasons you should seriously consider getting rid of these sleep aids:
Known side effects of sleep aids:
- Burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty keeping balance
- Daytime drowsiness
- Dry mouth or throat
- Impairment the next day
- Mental slowing or problems with attention or memory
- Stomach pain or tenderness
- Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- Unusual dreams
Wow! What an incredible list! I never want anyone to experience these side effects!
And you never need to! I will show you a few options that are natural, plant-derived alternatives that are gentle enough to not cause any side-effects. (Note: some oils can affect sensitive skin, but, in this case, we will be diffusing them).
Serenity oil is a calm and relaxing oil that provides a unique user experience. This perfectly balanced, tranquil blend can be sensed immediately, transporting the user to a state of blissful repose. doTERRA Serenity combines essential oils renowned for their ability to create a restful environment at bedtime. Apply one to two drops to the hands and inhale throughout the day to help reduce life’s daily stressors, or diffuse at night to help quiet a restless baby or child. The addition of Cedarwood, Ho Wood, and Vetiver essential oils gives doTERRA Serenity a grounding aroma that encourages a tranquil atmosphere when it’s time to wind down.
doTERRA Serenity can be used in conjunction with doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels. Diffusion of the doTERRA Serenity essential oil blend creates a relaxing environment while the softgels promote a restful night’s sleep.
Experts recommend that adults get at least 7–8 hours of sleep every night. Unfortunately, about 33 percent of Americans are not getting the recommended amount of sleep per night, and approximately 1 in every 5 adults in the United States experiences occasional sleeplessness or difficulty sleeping.
Depriving your body of sleep has been linked to many health risks and places a tremendous burden on virtually every organ system in your body. Lack of adequate sleep affects our ability to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight; influences how we feel, learn, and behave; negatively impacts our cardiovascular health and overall wellbeing; and can reduce reaction time and interfere with our ability to drive. Getting adequate sleep is essential to recover physically and mentally from the demands of daily life. Quality sleep is vital to how you feel each and every day because it is essential to support your body’s natural recuperative and restorative processes.
DIY Sleepy Time Roller Blend
This fast and easy roller blend makes it simple and inexpensive to get to bed. After you turn on your diffuser of Serenity Oil, roll this blend on your wrists, neck and the bottoms of your feet.
- A roller bottle
- Carrier oil like coconut oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Frankincense essential oil
- Myrrh essential oil
- Chamomile essential oil
- Fill the roller bottle with coconut oil 2/3 of the way
- Add 3 drops of each oil to the bottle
- Put the cap on and shake
- Roll the blend on your wrist. Is it strong enough? If not, add one drop each until you have your desired blend.
Have any sleep blends you love and want to share? Or, did you try this blend and want to share your story? Comment below to share your story!
Would you like to learn more about how to sleep naturally?
doTERRA’s Essential Oils For Sleep eBook has what you need. Download it now for free.