Remember that song? It was written in 1965 and here we are in 2015 with sleep difficulties reaching an epidemic proportion. Women, men, and even children are affected by this stressful condition. A good night’s rest is the foundation of health and well being. More and more evidence points to lack of sleep as a contributor to declining physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Along with good eating habits, happy and healthy relationships, work we enjoy, and exercise, a good night’s rest is an essential ingredient in our health regime.
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 14 years ago and this blend continues to be the most popular.
Some people fall asleep easily and then wake up at 3 in the morning while others take many hours to fall asleep. These are the two common patterns. Anything less than 7 hours of sleep is considered not enough. Even those of us who are good sleepers may not be getting enough rest.
I believe that most of these difficulties are due to stress and also due to some of the foods we eat. So, what can we do to cut down on stress levels and what are foods we should avoid to safeguard our sleep health? Please continue reading for some tips and a way to get started.
Substances to Avoid
Coffee, Soda, and Alcohol: These are substances that affect our energy in some way – be it stimulating or sedative. Try drinking water and herbal teas which contribute to your well being and create balance in your body, mind and spirit, rather than a roller coaster effect.
Sugar: The impact of sugar is a spike in energy and then “fall down” and a vicious cycle of “up” and “down”. There are many healthy treats that you can find in the health food store that can satisfy your sweet tooth without causing damage. (Editor's Note: Look for anything LGI - Low Glycemic Index.)
Nicotine: This one I think goes without saying.
Stress: I put this under “substance” because it has become a metaphorical substance in all of our lives. It is a common refrain – “I am so stressed out” that we all speak and hear on a regular basis.
How do we eliminate the toxin of stress? We can empower ourselves to significantly decrease its impact on our lives by doing things that ease stress levels. Some of my ‘stress busters' include:
Other habits and practices that help improve my sleep:
You deserve not only to get a great night’s sleep each night, but to maintain optimum health so that you can. The two, I believe go hand and hand. Start today on your (Sleep) Health Regime because you are the most precious being on the planet.
Courtesy of Essence of Vali
founder and president of Essence of Vali
She loves incorporating essential oils and aromatherapy into every day life for therapy, medicine, and beauty, addressing all levels of mind, body, and spirit.