Sleep is very important to me and it’s been on my mind lately, especially during the excitement of the holiday season. In this blog I share 7 tools for better sleep you may not know about. Sleep is a body, mind and spiritual experience. Here are a few tools for all of them.
7 Natural Sleep Remedies For Your Body Mind and Spirit
The holiday season is full of parties, family gatherings, shopping and lots of fun. With all these activities sometimes it’s hard to get a good nights sleep.
Even under normal circumstances many people struggle to sleep well. In fact the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 30 percent, or 40.6 million, of American adults are not getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep a day and it effecting their health.
Often, it’s hard to unwind when you’re busy. Sleep deprivation once is awhile is not a problem. But you need good sleep to be healthy.
The Importance of Sleep
For our mind, studies show that good sleep enhances our learning and problem-solving skills. It also improves our abilities to focus, make decisions and be creative.
On a physical level, sleep helps heal and repair our heart and blood vessels as our body relaxes, and blood pressure and temperature drop. While sleeping you make and release growth hormone to rebuild cells. While sleeping your body regulates the hunger hormones (leptin + ghrelin).
Adequate sleep help maintain your natural body weight. Too little sleep hampers your metabolism and contributes to weight gain.
Our brains sweep themselves clean of toxins during sleep, a process that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, researchers say. During sleep, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically, washing away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells during waking hours. Read more about the study here.
Arianna Huffington says in her TED talk if you want to be more successful, get more sleep.
From a spiritual perspective, getting enough sleep energizes us with power, creativity and intuition. Our body is an energetic vibration. When we’re energized, we’re more inspired. We’re happier. We’re in the vibration that allows us to to connect with our Inner Guidance. New ideas come forward
I am convinced we need good sleep to support our body, mind and spirit.
You’ve probably heard of basic things like avoiding caffeine, regular exercise, and creating a good sleep environment. But sometimes that’s not enough. Here are a few more tips you may not know about.
1. Put Your Feet Up
Putting your feet up for 15-30 minutes is a simple strategy to encourage good sleep. It works by moving the lymph fluid through the body using gravity in reverse. Putting your feet up reduces muscle tension and improves circulation and lymph movement.
There are 2 effective ways to do it. Lie on the floor and rest your feet on a chair or couch at a 90 degree angle (easiest). You may also lie on the ground or bed and rest your legs straight up against the wall (more difficult). This is known in yoga as legs up the wall pose.
I like to read a book or listen to a podcast while I’m resting there for 30 minutes.
2. A Special Bedtime Snack
If you wake up between 1 am and 4 am this is your stress hormone cortisol spiking. Here is a recipe to help you sleep through the night. ½ banana sprinkled with 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt and 5-10 organic raw cashews. This combination of nutrients will give your body enough of the micronutrients it needs to almost instantly make more serotonin (your feel good calming neurotransmitter).
Cherry juice is a natural source of the hormone melatonin and amino acid tryptophan.
A study at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at LSU showed cherry juice increased sleep time and sleep efficiency. Coauthor of the study Frank L. Greenway, says “Proanthocyanidins, or the ruby red pigments in tart cherry juice, contain an enzyme that reduces inflammation and decreases the breakdown of tryptophan, letting it go to work longer in your body.”
Have 2 tablespoons of tart cherry juice concentrate in the morning and the evening. If you don’t like the taste add it to smoothie in the morning or a cup of chamomile tea in the evening.
Magnesium is an essential mineral many people are deficient. Having enough magnesium helps us sleep. When using Magnesium oil, the skin absorbs only the magnesium it needs and gets to bypass any digestive problems.
How to use it: Spray on arms, legs, and stomach daily about10-20 sprays per day. It will tingle on the skin the first few times it is used, and this is normal. It should fade after a few applications, but you can dilute with more water if it bothers you too much. I like to spray in on before bed, let it sit for 20 minutes and then moisturize with coconut oil. I like this brand of Magnesium Oil.
5. Kundalini Mantra Meditation For Falling Asleep Faster
Reciting a mantra will relax your mind and help you get to sleep more easily.
Sa Ta Na Ma is a kundalini yoga mantra for sleep. This is a mantra with five sound currents. The fifth sound is “A.”
It balances the brain’s hemispheres. Poor sleep and insomnia are frequently caused by a lack of balance in the chemicals of the brain. The Sa Ta Na Ma mantra promotes balance and returns us to our regular, healthy mental state. Recite this mantra for three minutes at the beginning of the night or if you wake up and can’t get back to sleep. Here is a recording to follow along with.
Yoga Nidra is also called yogic sleep. It’s designed to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, release physical tension, relax brain-wave activity, and balance the left and right sides of the brain.
Here is a beautiful guided Yoga Nidra Meditation to help you fall asleep.
7. The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise
This technique comes from Dr. Andrew Weil. It’s incredibly simple and effective. It’s a slow and patterned breathing that helps oxygenate the blood and promote relaxation.
It’s best done sitting with your back straight but once you learn it any position even lying down is fine. Dr. Weil recommends to “place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.” Follow these 5 steps:
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
- Repeat 3-4 times or until you feel relaxed.
Enjoy these Natural Sleep Remedies for better sleep. You’ll sleep well and wake up refreshed, ready to start a brand new day. You’ll feel more joy and appreciation all day long and miracles will show up.