Confession: I’ve never pulled an all-nighter. Even in college while most of my friends were up studying or partying I just couldn’t bring myself to stay up all night. A good night’s rest has always been a priority of mine even at times when sleep really wasn’t cool like in college or graduate school. So now that sleep is the new black thanks to Arianna Huffington's new book The Sleep Revolution, I’m thrilled that my lifelong habits are on trend.
As a mother of two children under five and a business owner I value sleep even more and it’s not always easy to get. One way to ensure good quality sleep is to create a nightly bedtime ritual. The same way we establish a routine for our children before bed, it’s vital we do so for ourselves as well. My nighttime ritual has different components to it and while some of it varies day to day the one thing that remains constant in it is the use of essential oils. This past year I was introduced to the power of essential oil by my close friend and yoga teacher. She encouraged me to incorporate the oils into all areas of my life which I am extremely grateful for. Below is a sample routine of what I do before bed. Even if you only have five minutes before bed and need to shorten this routine essential oils can be utilized and effective in aiding in your sleep.
- One hour before going to bed (aim for the same time every night) turn off all electronics. By now most of us are aware of the research around the light from our phones, TVs, and tablets and how that affects our melatonin (sleep related hormone) level.
- 45 minutes before bed have a 10-20 minute bath with Epsom salts and a calming essential oil such as lavender, cedarwood or Serenity blend. All three oils are known to have properties that support sleep and relaxation. Epsom salts are naturally occurring minerals made of magnesium and sulfate and are known to cause feelings of calm and relaxation.
- 20 minutes before bed place a drop of vetiver oil on the bottom of your feet and a drop of lavender on your pillow. Vetiver has a very calming and grounding effect and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for many thousands of years to promote sleep. Lavender referred to as “the calming oil” also supports the sleep process.
- 15 minutes before going to sleep and already in bed begin your nightly gratitude practice. Many of us are familiar with practicing a general gratitude routine. I have found it is more meaningful and energetically powerful to think of three very specific things to be thankful for that took place in your day. So rather than saying I am grateful to have good friends look for a specific incident that took place today. For example I’m grateful my friend Nicki reached out to me today to invite me to lunch. It can be as small as I’m grateful the lady at the bank held the door for me or I’m grateful that the package I was waiting for came today. When we begin to cultivate an attitude of gratitude we invite more calm into our life which in turn improves our sleep.
- 5 minutes before bed do some deep breathing with three breaths in and three breaths out while saying an affirmation to yourself. There are many options for affirmations that can be found In Louise Hay’s book You can Heal your Life or in Gabrielle Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie iPhone app. Some of my favorites before bed are “all is well in my world”, “everything that I need to know is revealed to me in the perfect time-space sequence” and “I am calm, safe and ready to sleep”.
Our next blog post will be exploring essential oils in your morning routine to spark motivation and inspiration for your day!
For daily inspiration follow Jessica on Instagram @lightandlotus and subscribe to her newsletter at Lightandlotus.com. To learn more about what essential oils she uses and how to obtain them email her at email@example.com