A good night’s sleep. It’s something we tend to put on the back burner. Whether you’re an up-all-hours entrepreneur, an anxious new parent, a late night social butterfly or a Netflix junkie, we’re all a little sleep deprived. In fact, over 70 million Americans are. Not only does a lack of sleep affect our overall performance in work and play, it can also be detrimental to our health… and our physical appearance! It’s said that people who have an average of 7-9 hours of sleep feel more beautiful and look younger.
The truth about sleep: We transition in and out of different phases of sleep throughout the night. For the first 30 minutes after we lay our heads, we go into a light sleep stage. After this, we are transported into dreamy “deep sleep” – an essential stage that allows our body to renew by stimulating the growth and development of cells, repairing muscles and tissue, and boosting our immunities. About 70-90 minutes from when we’ve have first fallen asleep we transition from deep sleep into REM (and I’m not talking the 80’s cult band). REM is a sleep stage in which our body renews our mind and memory. During this phase, neurotransmitters –like serotonin and dopamine– are replenished and build up “happy juice” that enhances our mood during the day.
So stay healthy, happy and beautiful with these simple tips and natural alternatives for a proper night’s sleep:
Tip #1: Stay Active During the Day
When you exercise daily, you will sleep more deeply. Make sure to exercise at least 30 minutes per day for a restful night’s sleep.
Tip #2: Cut the Afternoon Habit
Like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant and can keep us wired throughout the day… and night! Keep these babies at a minimum by cutting the midday latte and that late night ciggy. What am I saying!? Just don’t smoke.
Tip #3: Skip the Night Cap
Even though we’ve been conditioned to think that swingin’ back a nice bourbon before bed will “knock us out”, drinking alcohol before bed reduces your sleep quality and causes you to wake up later in the night.
Tip #4: Don’t Go to Bed Staring at Your Phone, Computer or TV
When you stare at a backlit screen, your body thinks it’s day time and this throws of your melatonin (a natural hormone that regulates your sleep/wake schedules). Sleeping in a dark room causes your body to produce more melatonin, aka “the Dracula of hormones”, and will prepare your body for sleep. Eating fruits that contain melatonin can also help. These fruits include pineapples, bananas and oranges.
Tip #5: Create a Stress Relieving Bedtime Ritual
Meditation, a calming bath, aromatherapy, a good book, soothing tea… whatever calms your nerves and prepares your body for relaxation will induce sleepiness. Plus, after all that work today, your body deserves it!
“When I started my practice as an aromatherapist, I did not know how prevalent an issue sleep difficulties were until one of my private clients asked that I create a blend to help her sleep. As my private practice grew and I launched my line, Essence of Vali the demand for the sleep blend also grew. That was 13 years ago and this blend continues to be the most popular. ”
-Valerie Bennis, founder of Essence of Vali
The natural herbs of Sleep Apnea Relief allow you to breathe deeper, exchange oxygen and CO2 more efficiently and relax into sleep.
Let this all-organic blend of over 30 carefully chosen herbs – including Valerian root, chamomile, passionflower, and kava kava – calm your body and mind and carry you into a full, peaceful night’s sleep.
Relax with Essensheas’s detoxifying dead sea salt bath soak of essential oils lavender, rosemary, peppermint.
Massage Beauty Water’s organic fragrant gel onto your acupressure points and find yourself lulled into dreamland.
Soft and luxurious, Malpaca natural pillows support a good night’s sleep by holding their shape.
A natural “farmaceutical” to keep monsters out of the bedroom, this spray contains the essential oil of lavender which is an aroma therapeutic aid to induce sleep.
Crazy Cat Lady’s “Chamomeow” calming cream makes an excellent travel companion for nervous travelers. Apply to your temples and pulse points to melt those jitters away.7