CREATING A ROUTINE TO ACHIEVE QUALITY REST AND SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL DURING TIMES OF ELEVATED STRESS.
Our body rests, restores and repairs itself when it sleeps. This is why getting adequate sleep is so important when you’re stressed – but achieving quality sleep is easier said than done when those external stressors never end! Creating an environment and routine to help prepare your body and mind for rest are key. Always ensure that your sleeping quarters are dark, cool, quiet, and free of electronics.
Beyond that, there are supplements that can help promote sleep along with daily practices that set your body up for a good night’s rest.
CIRCADIAN RHYTHM: THE SLEEP CLOCK
Your body uses light signals to help regulate your sleep wake cycle, also known as your circadian rhythm. Exposing yourself to bright light first thing in the morning can help to reset your circadian rhythm. Getting adequate light throughout the day, avoiding excessive use of sunglasses, and dimming lights in the evening all contribute to a better rhythm and a better night’s rest.
MELATONIN: THE SLEEP HORMONE
Melatonin is the hormone that helps get our bodies prepared for sleep. As we age, our brains naturally produce less melatonin. Other factors such as excess stress, sleep disturbances and light exposure at night may also contribute to insufficient melatonin. Supplementing 20 minutes before bedtime may help you to fall, and stay, asleep.
MAGNESIUM: MUSCLE MELTER
Did you know that a constant state of stress leaves your body needing more magnesium to cope? Deficiency has been linked to sleep problems. Magnesium is a key nutrient for muscle function as well as neurotransmitter and hormone regulation, which help to calm the body and mind. Try a low dose to relax tense muscles and gradually increase as needed.
DIFFUSER: ESSENTIAL SLEEP RITUAL
What’s the best way to distribute the relaxing scents of essential oils at bedtime? You can put a drop or two on your temples, wrists or chest, but an essential oil diffuser can add beauty and serenity to your surroundings while lightly misting essential oils throughout to help you fall, and stay, asleep.
ESSENTIAL OILS: SCENTS OF RELAXATION
Our sense of smell is directly wired to our brain’s memory and emotion centres. Since certain essential oils are known to help promote relaxation, using them as a part of your nighttime routine can trigger your brain to wind down and get ready for rest. Lavender is one essential oil praised for its sleepy scent!
CALMING HERBS: THE GENTLE SLEEP SOLUTION
If you’re looking for a natural sleep solution that won’t cause drowsiness the next day, calming herbs may be your best bet for a sound slumber. Herbs such as magnolia, ashwagandha and passionflower can help to manage stress levels and promote relaxation.