Tips for Better Sleep

I’m sure a lot of people are not having the best time sleeping through the night right now. And a lot of them are probably turning to Melatonin supplementation for help. But should you? Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted by the pineal gland and acts as a signaling molecule for a whole hell of a lot of things in your body, like when it’s time to fall asleep or not. Generally I’m not a big fan of messing with the body’s innate hormone production. Melatonin production is highly rhythmic, and thus can confuse the hell out of your body if you’re not precise and consistent with supplementation. Turned into a zombie because of DST last month? That feeling can be constant when you start messing with your own body’s production of melatonin.

If you are having trouble sleeping, you may get far better lasting results by optimizing your environment and habits instead. These include, but are not limited to:

  • No device use at least 1-2 hours before bed (the blue light suppresses melatonin production)
  • Eliminate all blue light after sunset (same as above, try using Hue lights at home and turn them red with the sunset)
  • Create a cool environment (I aim for 68F, with a fan)
  • Block out all city light from your bedroom
  • Wear an eyemask when you sleep
  • Journal for 15-20 minutes before shutting down at night to get stressful loops out of your head
  • Have a calm and relaxing shutdown routine that starts 45 min before bed
  • Supplement with 250-400mg of magnesium
  • Supplement with other botanicals (essential oils like Cedarwood, Lavender and Valerian are great to diffuse bedside as you drift off. Cedarwood is known to be a natural way top boost Melatonin production)
  • Use a weighted blanket

This doesn’t mean melatonin supplementation is worthless. If your schedule has recently been messed up or you have recently traveled across time zones, supplementation can play a role getting you back on track.

Bottom line: If you’re changing time zones, or otherwise trying to alter the timing of your circadian rhythm, use melatonin (3-5 mg). Otherwise, do the heavy lifting by modifying your sleep environment and routines.

Good Sleep Good Life

SLEEP…..elusive for many, never enough, and the phrase “sleeping like a baby” is a joke because actual babies wake up A LOT during the night. I should know. My 21 month old is just now sleeping though the night! Lol

Getting more sleep is one of the major reasons I bought my essential oil kit. Bryce had such a hard time calming down at night and my anxiety issues would mean when my head finally did hit the pillow I would just…lay there thinking….totally not sleeping. Anyone with me here? I know I can’t be the only one. So frustrating because I would be SO exhausted yet my mind just would not shut off.

The first thing I did when I got my kit was diffuse lavender that night in Bryce’s room. I also massaged a drop of Lavender on each foot. And a miracle happened. My kid fell asleep. Like in 1/2 the time it normally took. I started thinking maybe there was some truth to this oil thing.

I started looking up essential oil combos for sleep and anxiety and found a lot. Apparently sleep is a popular subject in google land.

I placed another order and tried popular oils like Cedarwood, Lavender and Peace & Calming. Cedarwood and Lavender have been the winners for Bryce. We have made up a roller ball that he applies to his neck every night before bed. Valor has been great for my anxiety and I now fall asleep much faster and more importantly, stay asleep!!

Below are the most popular essential oils for sleep. I encourage you to try as many as you can and find “your” magic sleep combo.

If you are interested in purchasing essential oils I recommend getting Young Living’s Starter Kit because it includes 11 oils PLUS a diffuser.

Click here to order and for more info.

Sleep Oils2

Vetiver

  • Emotionally Grounding
  • Promotes calm and relaxation
  • Use for aiding better sleep

 

Cedarwood

  • Calming, purifying properties by stimulating the limbic region of the brain (centre of emotions)
  • Combats hair loss and stimulates hair follicles
  • May assist in skin problems (acne and eczema)

 

Lavender

  • Calms the mind
  • Diffused or used topically for calming effect
  • May assist in soothing muscular discomfort

 

Peace & Calming

  • Relaxes and calms
  • Promotes a calm emotional and mental state
  • Eliminates dark mood and thoughts
  • Rub into feet to promote relaxation and sleep
  • Consisits of Blue Tansy, Patchouli, Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang

 

Stress Away (Available as an Oil & Roll-On)

  • Gentle, fragrant blend that brings a feeling of peace and tranquility to both children and adults and helps to relieve daily stress and nervous tension.
  • Helps with normal, everyday stress, improves mental response, restores equilibrium, promotes relaxation and lowers hypertension
  • Consists of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, Lavender

 

RutaVaLa (Available as an Oil & Roll-On)

  • Promote relaxation
  • Helps overcome negative feelings
  • Aids in relieving tension
  • Consists of Ruta graveolens (rue) oil, valeriana officinalis (valerian) root oil, and lavender oil

 

Young Living Sleep Essence

  • Unique sleep-enhancing properties in a softgel vegetarian capsule for easy ingestion
  • Consists of 4 powerful essential oils that have sleep enhancing properties: Lavender, Vetiver, Valerian and Ruta Gravelens + combined with the hormone Melatonin = a powerful all natural sleep aid.

 

Roman Chamomile

  • Relaxing and calming for body and mind
  • Promotes sleep
  • Used for skin care and skin regeneration
  • Stabilizes emotions that are linked to the past

 

Valor

  • Calming and helps anxiety
  • Balances energy
  • Diffuses anger
  • Builds confidence
  • Consists of Black Spruce, Blue Tansy, Rosewood, and Frankincense

 

 

 

Bryce Sleep
Here is a picture of my son napping recently with our cat. Now that is a good sleep!

Adventures in Sleep Training

I am in the midst of trying to sleep train my 1 year old. Trying being the key word here.

In my mind, it would go like this:

Little boy sleeping with teddy bear

The reality is this:

Crying baby do not want to sleep

Most nights I invariably give in and hold him, rocking him to sleep or singing 10 renditions of “Hush Little Baby” while rubbing his back in the crib. This sleep training is more like sleep work. For me.

And then, when I ask people what I should do to get Bryce to sleep I get everything from “let him cry it out till he exhausts himself to sleep” to “my sister used to just drive the twins to sleep each night” to “my kid is 6 and still sleeps with us” It seems sleep and kids is a hot topic. With no clear answer in sight.

Being a working mom I already have mommy guilt for being apart from him most hours of the day. So I don’t want his last memory every night to be of mommy leaving him hysterical in the crib. Plus I have tried having him cry it out. He just makes himself vomit and then I am cleaning that up in addition to having a non sleeping child. The joy.

At the end of the day he eventually falls asleep (and yes, we HAVE been known to drive around the neighborhood at night to get the kid to sleep. No judgements please. I am finding in parenthood that exhaustion makes every parent do something they thought they would never do). And someday he will be a teenager and I will go from not being able to get him to sleep to trying to get him UP.

So maybe I need to change the idea from sleep training to sleep bonding. After all, pretty soon he will be too big to do this. And boy is he cute when he does.

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