A well rested family also makes for a more peaceful family. Several months ago I was lucky enough to attend a workshop with herbalist & nurse Donna Bryant Winston where we discussed how to get better sleep.
Getting enough sleep, something not always easy for moms, is critical for our mental and physical well-being. It’s also important for our growing children.
Are you longing for better sleep? Lack of sleep can put one at a greater risk of obesity due to high stress hormones. It also decreases melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone which is released at night and makes us feel sleepy. Insufficient rest can also cause high blood, poor memory, a weakened immune system, and poor concentration. No wonder my grandmother always said everything looks better after a good night’s sleep!
My Top Tips for Better Sleep:
Limit screen time before bed.
Ipads and computers send out a blue light which makes the brain more alert and suppresses melatonin.Try downloading f.lux on your computer and ipad. It’s a free program that warms the color of the screen. It syncs your electronics with the sun. During the day the screen looks normal, but as the sun sets the color of your screen gets warmer. I love it!
Use your bedroom solely for sleeping and keep it as free from clutter as possible.
Trust me, I know this is easier said than done. I’m married to a television addict who insists on having a TV in the bedroom.
Keep bedrooms as dark as possible at night and keep electronic devices such as clocks at least 5-10 feet from your bed.
If your child is afraid of the dark and needs a nightlight try using a Himalayan salt lamp. They create a soothing pinkish orange glow and have been proven to help improve asthma and allergies.
Spray your child, yourself, or your bedding with this spray of relaxing essential oils. Or, make your own simple spray by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to a small spray bottle.
Drink herbal tea.
There are tons of sleepy time teas on market. Try Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime with Valerian, Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night tea, or make your own blend with herbs such as chamomile and passionflower. For children try Traditional Medicinals Organic Nighty Night blend for kids.
Take a magnesium supplement at bedtime.
I am a huge fan! I take magnesium every night. It is a natural sleep aid and muscle relaxer. Be sure to use a blend that allows your body to actually absorb it or use a cream. I only use Goodnight Lotion. It does make a difference. I’m head over heels for this stuff.
Still having trouble falling asleep? Try one of these techniques:
- In your mind, list everything you are grateful for.
- Practice a loving kindness meditation. Send loving kindness and blessings to every person you can think of. Start with your immediate family, then your extended family, then to co-workers, moving outward even to the clerk at the grocery or the gas station attendant.
- Recite a prayer over and over again as a form of mediation or try my grandmother’s technique, say the rosary. She swore by this to put her to sleep.
- Try SleepyTime Herbal Extract.
- Do yoga in bed. Try this sequence.
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More healthy living tips can be found here.
Use the Self Care Planner to help you help keep track of taking your supplements, daily meditation practice, how much sleep you’re getting, and more. It will help you pin point what practices are helping you sleep better and teach you to develop habits that will nourish and sustain you.
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