Most people experience the occasional sleepless night or two at some point in their lives. When that becomes a pattern of not being able to sleep over several nights or longer, it obviously starts to have an impact on all areas of your life, including both physical and emotional health.
Lack of sleep in itself becomes stressful as you start to imagine yourself having another sleepless night and of course, because you worry about that - invariably that is what can happen.
Sometimes not being able to sleep is caused by a specific incident or sometimes by a whole series of things that are happening - these can be anything from diet, lifestyle, hormones, work, stress, money and relationship problems. If your days are spent worrying and stressing about things, then it becomes almost impossible to simply switch off and relax when bedtime comes.
Sometimes, a few simple lifestyle changes can help your natural sleep pattern to return:
- Remember that relaxation doesn’t start at bedtime. If you spend your evening being busy, it’s almost impossible to suddenly ‘switch off’ when you get into bed.
- Start to include a ‘winding down’ ritual into your evening. This also includes turning off devices an hour (or more) before bedtime. Use the time to do something relaxing and enjoyable (but not too stimulating) such as taking a bath or reading a book while sipping a cup of relaxing herbal tea.
- Try not to become too stressed if you haven’t been sleeping well. Remember that your body is still getting much needed rest simply by lying in bed and relaxing. Like most things in life, the more we think about something, the bigger it gets.
- If you can’t get off to sleep or wake in the night, simply focusing on your breathing (instead of things that worry you) helps your body to relax and your mind to switch off. If this doesn’t work, you can imagining yourself doing something you find boring (such as housework!) which can take your mind off any worries that you might be thinking about. This often works better than imagining (or thinking about) something that you find exciting.
- Finally, essential oils can really help. Many studies have shown that using essential oils during the evening and before bedtime (as well as during the night) can really help to alleviate sleep problems. Sometimes, this might not happen instantly but it can have an ongoing effect, so don't give up if for any reason this hasn't worked for you right away. My favourite essential oils for sleep are Lavender, Chamomile and Marjoram – all of which have a mildly sedative action on the nervous system which can also help to reduce anxious thoughts. The Audra James Sleep Range is the result of my 20+ years of formulating essential oil blends for Sleep and contains 2 potent Sleep Blends. Sleep Rollerball can be inhaled deeply before bedtime to relax and also massaged onto temples, back of neck and also the feet. Sleep Drops is a Diffuser blend that can be used during the night as well as added to a pre-sleep bath or shower treatment. Both can be used together or individually. For more information please see Sleep here https://audrajames.com/collections/wellbeing/products/sleep
Information in this article is note intended to replace medical advice. Please see a qualified medical practitioner with any concerns you have.
Photo Credit: Matthew Henry