Sleep …We all need it, but are you getting enough??
So many common illnesses such as stress, gut health, energy levels, hormone balance are worsened by lack of sleep, and yet for many people a good night’s rest remains very illusive.
Personally, it’s rare I have trouble sleeping, but this could be because as a Clinical Hypnotherapist who has helped many people with sleep challenges. And from this I’ve learnt how creating good habits, beliefs and sleep rituals in the home (aka sleep hygiene) really help support this important part of our day.
Keys to creating good sleep hygiene
- Winding down and having rituals to reduce stress early – read a book, listen to music and take a hot bath to get yourself de-stressed. Essential oils and epsom salts are a great addition to the the bath
- Reducing blue light exposure – that means limiting TV, phone, computers right before bed
- No food for two hours before bed – eat nothing after 7pm ideally. And naturally no stimulants (coffee, black tea or chocolate)
- Darkness – making the room dark and screen free (no TV or phone in the bedroom, use dark blinds and turn of any artificial light) supports melatonin production, which regulates our body clock
- Distract your mind – breathing exercises are helpful if you need to quieten your mind, as are some essential oils we use (see below). Lay in your dark room, close your eyes and breathe in for 4, out for 8 continuously until you fall asleep.
- Get extra help – if calm breathing isnt enough, doing some meditation or hypnosis is great to focus the mind on relaxation with much less effort – I have an album on iTunes here
For someone having sleep issues, implementing all of these consistently for 4 weeks will usually yield great results. Remember, if you have created a habit of poor sleep and a mindset that accompanies it, give your mind and body time to readjust to this.
The addition of essential oils for sleep support
On-top of the above rituals, we also use essential oils as part of our night-time ritual to support sleep routines and help our brain know clearly; NOW is the time to rest. Here are the top 5 things I do as simple evening oil rituals which really assist in getting a great nights sleep.
- Listen to my body; if I feel tired I go to sleep!
- Make the room dark and totally technology free
- Diffuse oils in the bedroom, ideally starting prior to bedtime so the aroma fills the room when I enter
- Apply oils topically to the skin to support relaxation
- Listen to some relaxing music (with no vocals) if the mind is extra active
Our simple essential oil night time routine
Each night as part of creating a dark relaxing space in the bedroom, we diffuse doTERRAs Restful blend “Lavender Peace” with some extra Cedarwood in our bedtime diffuser. Two or three drops of each is enough, depending your diffuser size.
Lavender Peace is a beautifully formulated blend for a good night’s sleep and with its vanilla tones is a popular choice in many homes (plus the kids love it!). The addition of extra Cedarwood gives it a more woody aroma which I really enjoy and find extra grounding and relaxing.
If someone is extra germy, I will also add in 1 or 2 drops of OnGuard or Easy Air, to this diffuser blend.
Getting oils onto the skin allows their chemical properties to send additional messages of relaxation to the body. My favourite Bedtime roller blend = 12 drops Reassuring blend “Peace” and 3 drops of Copaiba, in a 10ml roller topped up with carrier oil.
Peace is an earthy Combination of oils to clear and calm emotions, and I find it really helps switch my often noisy mind off and quickly transition it into a more still and tranquil state. The addition of Copaiba is optional, but I really love the calming effect that this oil has one my nervous system so toss it in for good measure.
Some people like to use other oils like Clary Sage or Juniper Berry at bedtime to, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find your favourites.
Application; my sleep blend goes on my wrists, temples and behind the ears.
For kids – My son has his own oils and loves to apply the kids version of Lavender Peace to his feet and back of neck at bedtime – this oil is known as “Calmer”.
The Big guns – Vetiver
For someone who is having extra persistent sleep challenges and wasn’t getting results, another popular sleep oil is Vetiver (aka liquid sleep). This is in both the Lavender Peace and Peace blends, but can also be purchased alone.
Vetiver is great for sleep when applied directly to the big toe and base of feet then rubbed in at bedtime.
How is your sleep??
This oil also works wonders for restless children or anyone with anxious feelings or an overactive mind.
About the author
Bree Taylor Molyneaux is a Brisbane based women’s self-care and wellness coach specialising in emotional self care. Read more of her blogs on self care and essential oil wellness here.
She most often supports women with challenges in fertility, pregnancy + birth, birth trauma, motherhood + parenting and travels Australia offering workshops on emotional self-care , low-tox living & holistic wellness solutions for families.
As a trained a Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner, HypnoBirthing® educator, and personal renewal facilitator, Bree also supports women all around the world with 1on1 coaching and also has a range of hypnosis downloads available on iTunes.