As I was flipping through my diary from last year, I was reminded of the sleep troubles I used to have. Not only would it take hours for me to fall asleep, it was shallow and inconsistent with me waking up at 4 a.m (every night!) unable to smoothly doze off again. I made a few changes to my bedtime routine and found ways to upgrade my sleep. I’m not a health practitioner by any means, this is simply what’s helped me and I’d love to pass it on.
I decided to add epsom salt in my bath during a detox phase, after reading about it’s abilities to help with the body’s cleansing process. I was also informed that it relaxes sore muscles and provides pain relief. After my first epsom salt bath, I was hooked! Not only did I feel like a new person when getting out of the bathtub, I slept like a queen later that night. As a bath addict, I’m certain it was the salt that did the trick. Although I love warm baths in general, the epsom salt noticeably affected my sleep in a positive way.
I typically add 2-3 dl epsom salt in my bath, but I’ve read about people pouring up to a liter of it (would not recommend that since I’m uncertain about the effects).
Chamomile tea is a classic hot relaxing beverage, perfect before bedtime. This tea has a very calming impact to the body and mind. I usually add half a teaspoon powdered reishi mushroom. Best time to drink is 1,5 hour before tucking yourself in so you don’t have to run to the bathroom when you’re all settled in.
I became aware of weighted blankets due to my brother, who as a child had issues with sleep deprivation. As a solution he was offered a weighted blanket which puts pressure on muscles and that way relaxes the body. The heavy blanket made a difference for him which inspired me and other family members to try it out. So when I begin to toss and turn the blanket is a must.
Double check that your pillow is actually doing you a favour. What I discovered when removing mine was that I slept deeper. My guess is that the pillow caused neck and/or spine tension instead of the opposite. Alternatively, try a thinner pillow.
While reading about different vitamins and minerals that could potentially help with sleep disturbances, one supplement was constantly brought up: magnesium. Again, I’m not a doctor or physical health practitioner, all I can attest to is that magnesium (pill form) did me good. From what I understand it has a calming effect by relaxing the nervous system and muscles.
Lavender and lemon essential oils
Lavender oil is known to be linked to relaxation and winding down. I love essential oils, and while trying out different ones lemon quickly became a refreshing favorite. Every night I sprinkle a couple of drops of both lavender and citrus oil on my bed before climbing in.
There are plenty of yoga videos on Youtube focusing on night time relaxation. My favorite channel is “Yoga by Kassandra”. Her night time videos include pose combinations for stretching, loosening up tensions in the body and overall relaxation. The best part is that the yoga sequences are done in bed. Once the session is completed, all you need to do is get under the covers. Ps! learn the poses by heart, you’ll understand why in the final point.
Here’s a big one: shut off all technology!
This one should be a no-brainer but even I have the tendency to sleep with my phone next to me at times. The best way in this day and age, to properly unwind, is to turn off all electronics! and preferably have no electronic equipment in your bedroom. Try it out! Besides giving your eyes and body a break, it will bring peace of mind by removing the urge to constantly reach for the phone to check something or distract yourself. The saying out of sight out of mind could be very applicable in this case. Enjoy true silence and quality time with yourself before you fall asleep.
I hope this was of help to you and I wish you a relaxing deep sleep