When was the last time that you had a really good night’s sleep that left you feeling refreshed in the morning and ready to embrace the day? The truth is that many of us do not get enough sleep and this leaves us vulnerable and unable to handle the stresses in our day. Mental, physical and spiritual bankruptcy affects our relationships with each other; makes us unproductive; and robs us of the ability to feel joy.
I too, have suffered from lack of good sleep and started searching for natural solutions. In addition to cutting down on caffeine and sugar, these are my three tips for a good night’s sleep.
1. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is my favourite essential oil for relaxation. Be sure that you are using a good quality oil as synthetic variants do not have the therapeutic properties of genuine Lavender essential oil. I have Lavender essential oil on my nightstand as well as, some unscented body lotion.
Put a small amount of unscented body lotion in the palm of your hand and add one drop of Lavender essential oil. Massage this mixture into the soles of your feet. Massaging your feet will relax your entire body and the Lavender-infused lotion will be absorbed into your system. The remaining lotion on your hands will be inhaled as you sleep.
2. Head Roll
A friend suggested this simple technique and it works. Simply lie on your back and gently roll your head slowly side to side nine times. This will help relax your neck muscles.
3. 4-7-8 Breath
I recently read about this breathing technique online. I wish I could remember where I saw it so I could properly attribute it because it is brilliant. I have tried deep breathing exercises before, but nothing has been as effective as this simple sequence.
Breathe in through your nose to the count of four. Hold that breath to the count of seven. Exhale to the count of eight. That’s it! The first time I tried it, I fell asleep quickly and did not wake up during the night. Now, it usually takes me two rounds to fall asleep naturally.
So, how does this work? When we are caught up in our busy-ness, we tend to breathe very shallow. Breathing in to the count of four expands your lungs completely while holding that breath to the count of seven allows the oxygen to be absorbed into your bloodstream. The first time that you do this, it might be difficult to hold the breath because your lungs and the muscles surrounding them will be unaccustomed to this sensation of being full. Exhaling to the count of eight will expel carbon dioxide. Excess carbon dioxide contributes to your alert state.
A simple, natural, no-cost technique that everyone can use to enjoy a good night’s sleep. If you awake during the night, repeat the neck roll and 4-7-8 breath again.
To learn more about the importance of sleep, please watch this short video from Deepak Chopra.
A good night’s sleep affects your attitude; allows you to access more areas of your brain to solve problems; and takes the strain off organs that have now had the opportunity to repair. When your physical and mental selves are strong, your spiritual self has the luxury to explore and expand.
If you have other natural solutions for a good night’s sleep, please feel free to share them in the comments below.