According to the CDC, over 33% of adults in America sleep less than the recommended 7 hours per night. Sleep deprivation is linked to various health issues, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cognitive function, and mental health. It also has a negative impact on workplace productivity, costing US companies billions each year.
Getting a good night’s sleep requires a little planning and preparation. Developing a nighttime routine helps regulate the body’s internal clock. Disconnecting from electronic devices at least two hours before bedtime helps to set the mind and body up for sleep. Though challenging, allowing time to relax and unwind from the day’s constant activity is crucial for a good night’s rest.
Here are some other tips:
- Drink 8 ounces of tart cherry juice, one in the morning and one 1-2 hours before bedtime. Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Studies found that consuming tart cherry juice increased sleep time and improved sleep quality for adults with chronic insomnia.
- Avoid eating, caffeine or alcohol after 6 pm.
- Try CBD. CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant that can help improve sleep. Brands I like are Charlottes Web, Straight Hemp, and PlusCBD.
- Essential oils are a great way to prepare for sleep, whether using a diffuser, inhaling a few drops from your palm and taking three deep breaths, or applying with a base oil to the bottom of your feet for a relaxing foot massage. Lavandin Super essential oil is a cross between lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia). According to Jane Buckle, RN, Ph.D., in a clinical trial, lavandin super was more effective for relaxing patients than regular lavender. Take three drops of lavandin super essential oil, and add a tablespoon of your favorite oil. Sesame oil is a good choice since it is a grounding oil. Additionally, adding five drops in a diffuser is a nice way to nod off.
- Exercise – regular physical exercise can promote better sleep. However, it is not recommended to exercise prior to bedtime as it may make it difficult to fall asleep. A thirty-minute walk each day in nature is a great way to incorporate exercise into your routine. Yoga and Tai Chi are also highly effective in calming the mind and body.
- Music –Many apps provide calming music.
- Meditate – It’s hard to turn off our thoughts however, with practice, you can bring a state of calm and relaxation to the mind and body. Lay in bed and focus on your breathing. Start by taking three deep breaths through the nose, then breathe normally. If thoughts creep in, that’s ok, continually bring the mind back to the breath, and you will find yourself drifting off to sleep.
- Tea – curl up with a good book and make a nice cup of tea a few hours prior to going to bed. Teas that promote sleep are lemon balm, lavender, chamomile, valerian, skullcap, passionflower, oat straw, and hops.
- Golden Milk is a revered nourishing beverage in the practice of Ayurveda. It is known to promote sleep, calm inflammation and soothe digestion. Enjoy a cup every night before bed.
Golden Milk Recipe
- 1 cup of whole organic whole milk or planted based milk
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg – a natural sleep aid
- A sprinkle of black pepper – activates Turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon of Ashwagandha (optional)
- One chopped date
- A half teaspoon of ghee – clarified butter- Ghee is revered in Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cooking. It’s made by Coconut and cinnamon for topping
- Honey or maple syrup to taste
- Place milk in a saucepan over low/medium heat.
- Bring to a low boil.
- Add all ingredients except the honey or maple syrup. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool to a drinkable warm temperature.
- When the mixture has cooled, add sweetener and sprinkle coconut flakes and cinnamon on top.
Try this at home!
Wash your feet prior to getting into bed with warm water and your favorite soap. Take 3 drops of lavandin essential oil mixed with a tablespoon of sesame oil and massage it into your feet. Put a towel under your feet so as not to stain your sheets. Take three deep breaths and lie back and relax.
Try this at work!
If you are feeling stressed and need a break, apply two drops of lavandin essential oil between the index finger and thumb. Massage the pressure point for four to five seconds, taking slow, deep breaths. Repeat on the other hand.
Wishing you a good night’s sleep!
Article by Maria Tabone
Check out Maria’s Wellness 101 Course:
Wellness 101: Ayurvedic Wisdom for Modern Times
A three-part series with Maria Tabone and click here for more info
Welcome to this inaugural edition of the WisdomFeed+ Newsletter!
Here’s the video version of a brand new episode of The StreetSmart Wisdom Podcast.
In this thought-provoking episode of The StreetSmart Wisdom Podcast, Jon Kabat Zinn and Sherry Turkle discuss what really matters in the digital age. From artificial intelligence to mindfulness to anxiety, they explore the ways in which technology is shaping our lives. This episode is a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the effects of technology on our lives. It will not only entertain you, but it will also make you think about the ways in which technology is shaping our world.
Stay tuned as we offer more resources including WisdomFeed+, courses, summits and more.
Finding Your Inner Peace: A Practical Guide to Stress Management with The Wellness 101 Toolkit
- Stress Reduction Video: A classic video from mindfulness pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn.
- Yoga Nidra: A complete Yoga Nidra practice for restful sleep with Ashley Baer
- Guided Meditation: An 8 minute meditation from Dr. Richard Miller, Founder of iRest.
- Seated Yoga: A wonderful yoga practice for home or at work with Rachael Frodyma.