How you sleep at night dictates how you feel and perform in the waking day. It’s the time to restore and rejuvenate and ultimately, protect our overall health and well-being. On the flip side, a lack of sleep has been linked to poor performance, mood instability, low levels of concentration and even car crashes and relationship problems. For many of us, getting a good nights sleep is a luxury we rarely receive. However, sleep is not a luxury, but a necessity and an often overlooked component in the maintenance of our general health. Most people know to exercise and eat well, but alongside that, sleep ranks just as high in importance. In fact, without sleep, you may be counteracting your physical performance and ability to eat well; with a lack of sleep correlating with unhealthy eating patterns.
In order to give sleep the attention it deserves, establishing a ritual is everything. Maintaining a healthy bedtime routine to establish your body’s clock and the time in which you clock off. So we’ve compiled some suggestions below, incorporating some of the oils from the new line that will best harness a deep, restorative sleep.
Take a vacation from technology… The pros and cons of the digital age are continuously documented. While our connectivity to the world is optimized, so are our anxieties about parting from our devices and our inability to switch off.
Not only is it important to make time to switch off, but technology has a direct effect on sleep quality. Robust scientific data continues to document the role of light in promoting wakefulness. A study by researchers at Harvard Medical School found that, compared to reading a paper book, those who read from tablets took an additional 10 minutes to fall asleep. While ‘nomophobia’ – the fear of not being able to access your phone – is an increasingly widespread problem. The National Sleep Foundation recommends turning off all devices at least an hour before bed. So make time to switch off, put aside your phones and laptops and allow an hour’s ‘me’ time before bed.
Run a hot bath or have a hot shower… So brought into question, is what you should do during the hour window before bed. A simple adjustment of your shower schedule could actually help promote rest. The transition from the heat of a bath to a cooler room temperature signals your body that it’s time to slow down and rest.
Incorporating oils into your wash-time routine is an additional support in aiding relaxation, slowing the mind and body into a meditative state. Inner Rest is a botanical blend that will help to anchor restlessness, allowing the mind to drift and the body to relax. The oil combines the notes of Lavender, Rose, Clary Sage and Sacred Frankincense – scents that boast soothing and sedative properties helping overstimulated systems unwind.
Apply oils to pillow… Applying lavender to your pillow is something that has been long suggested for inducing sleep. Apply 1-2 drops to your pillows to support rest throughout the night. We suggest Inner Rest or Inner Balance.
Apply oils topically… Essential oils are trans-dermal, meaning they penetrate your skin. The organic compounds are inhaled through your skin, getting to work on your body’s physiology almost immediately. Within 90 minutes, almost all the oil is absorbed. With research suggesting this is the most effective way to support sleep; it seems a great method to try.
Use a diffuser… Using a diffuser is an ideal way of accessing the benefits of your oils directly through your environment. Numerous studies into the effects of olfactory exposure have shown to reduce sleep disturbance and improve overall mood. However, aside from the science, taking time to incorporate aromatherapy into your life encourages you to incorporate time for well-being.
Lavender, Ylang-ylang, Roman Chamomile, and Marjoram are ideal oils to aid sleep, all keynotes in Inner Rest, Inner Balance and Outward Temper.
Read a book… Sound like the advice your Mum used to give you? Well, perhaps Mum had a point. The National Sleep Foundation suggests a relaxing reading ritual can help separate your sleep time from the stresses of daily living. While reading in itself improves cognitive function, reduces cortisol levels and even mitigates mild health concerns.
Meditate… If restlessness and the inability to calm a racing mind are preventing you from sleeping, meditation might be the answer. Meditation helps to anchor, ground and ease the mind and body while putting restless tension at bay. While you can process emotion and memory from a calm perspective, helping the body to unwind and de-stress from emotional realities.