A deep, restful night's sleep is a powerful productivity tool, key to any self care practice and a natural mood enhancer. However, if it becomes increasingly elusive, it can be the source of a lot of stress, anxiety and dis-ease in the body. As our modern life places more and more demands on our nervous system, with access to information 24/7, lack of sleep and it's overall quality is becoming a common complaint. Amongst my own Wellness Coaching clients, it's a major cause of concern and a trickles into every other facet of their lives.
Personally speaking, I'm an incredibly light sleeper - the slightest noise from the local wildlife in my area or garbage truck wakes me up. The worst time for me is 3-4am. If I wake up at this witching hour, it's unlikely I'll get back to sleep until 5am, which is when I usually get up in any case. This in turn causes me to lie there, with thoughts looping around and become increasingly frustrated! My sleep quality drastically suffered when I first separated from my ex husband. The huge life changes and no longer having a warm body in the bed next to me meant that I was tired and drained all the time. 3am became an hour I learned to habitually dread.
It's no secret I'm a huge advocate of morning routine's as a way of powerfully starting your day. However this struggle with sleep has encouraged me to create my own night time ritual, and the difference it has made is truly life changing. This is in no small part because it's simple, effective and easy to implement - the three pillars of healthy and sustainable change. Take what resonates with you, leave behind what doesn't and even try implementing one or two of the tips below at a time.
My night time ritual:
1. Mighty Magnesium - One hour before going to sleep, I take 1 magnesium tablet. This complex promotes muscle relaxation, helps nervous tension and mild anxiety. As such, it's incredibly conducive to helping you not only fall but stay asleep.
2. Digital Detox - This hour prior to sleep is then dedicated to calming down my nervous system. My phone is switched to night mode and my laptop is shut down for the day. I also dim the lights in my bedroom and turn on my salt lamp, which assists with our circadian rhythms (the bodies biological clock). I might turn on some meditation music, or read my book - anything that calms my mind and doesn't involve a screen emitting blue light on my face!
3. Tea Time - Whilst I'm winding down, I make myself a cup of Evening Tea. There are plenty of brands that make a herbal blend to promote relaxation, and this particular one is made up of Lemon Balm, Fennel, Chamomile, Lime Tree, Peppermint and Lavender. It never ceases to amaze me how half way through the cup, each time, my eye lids begin to droop!
4. Lavender Love - This is the newest addition to my ritual, and it makes me feel so incredibly nourished. I place 1 drop of Lavender oil on the soles of my feet, the middle of my chest, my temples and finally on my pillow. Touching my body in this way, slowly and lovingly rubbing the oil in, really encourages deep feelings of self care. We often underestimate the power of smell, and I'm quickly realising that my body now associates the oil with the thought 'lights out!'.
Since incorporating this ritual in my life, I've noticed that I now not only stay asleep, but the quality is so much deeper. As a business owner, I love what I do and who I serve - but like all of us, my average day pulls me twenty different directions! Dedicating this last hour to stillness and softness means that I am falling asleep with a gentle smile on my face, rather than allowing my mind to pull me into stories of the past or future.
Here's to you taking some time out this evening and creating a ritual of your very own. I'd LOVE to hear from you in the comments below - what's 1 tool that you'll be trying out tonight?
Inspire a soul sister to create a ritual of their own, press share below xo
In love and gratitude