Sleep – we’ve been doing it all our lives, so why aren’t we that good at it? Be it money troubles, an unsettled child, or a bumpy mattress, everyone seems to have something like the Princess with her Pea, that stops them snoozing like they should. And a bad night’s sleep leads to all sorts of problems, from general grumpiness to mild depression, aches and pains all over, and bad skin and dark circles round the eyes. So we consulted life coach Sheridan Williams, well known for her work with clients with insomnia, about easy ways to implement small but sign?cant lifestyle changes to combat sleep issues. We also tried and tested the various sleep remedies on offer on the High Street to find out what could work for you….
Sheridan suggests: “Blue light has been shown to interfere with melatonin production and as such disrupts our sleep. Whether you invest in a pair of blue light blocking glasses, switch to LED lights, swap your light bulbs for ones that emit less blue light or go for the budget option of donning your sunglasses if you have to work on the computer close to bed time, restricting the amount of blue light before you sleep will significantly improve the amount of shut-eye you get. For added benefit, add a drop of lavender oil on your pillow and it shouldn’t be long before you are sleeping like a baby.
“The unconditional love of a pet has also been shown to relax individuals and help promote sleep. There is much debate about letting your pooch snuggle up to you in bed but for those willing to try it, the long term benefits can outweigh any negative short term issues. Or why not explore the option of a trained clinical hypnotherapist? They can help you let go of the stressors keeping you awake at night.
“Self-directed meditative visualisation has time and time again proved itself a key player in helping promote sleep. A lesser known martial art called Vadha has produced one such meditation that proves popular with my clients. Start by focusing all the energy in your body then release it, allow your body to filled with a blue gas representing your stress, concerns and fears then allow the gas to drift from your legs arms head etc into the pit of your stomach so that it creates a ball of energy. Feeling your muscles relax as the gas leaves them, finish by projecting the ball out of your body shooting it out of your head and into space. For those with vivid imaginations, you can watch it shoot through the wall over the rooftops and up into the sky while your body now feels relaxed and empty and ready for sleep. For those less visual in outlook, a Louisiana State University study suggests that drinking a glass of cherry juice in the morning and evening will help you sleep up to 90 minutes longer. Montmorency tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, the hormone known to regulate the sleep cycle. In addition, the ruby red coloured juice has been shown to increase the level of tryptophan by preventing it breaking down in the body also promoting sleep.”
If you’ve tried all the above but still aren’t sleeping as you should, maybe you need a little assistance. Forget pills and potions from the doctor, why not invest in a natural sleep aid? We found that SeaScape Sleep Oil worked wonders when applied to the temples just before bedtime. Described as a ‘lullaby in a bottle’, the sleep oil recently won silver at the Pure Beauty Awards. Or if it’s an unsettled child that’s preventing you from getting your eight hours, you can aid their sleep with the Puressential Baby Balm relaxer, which is 100% natural and made with five essential oils, which can work in the same way to soothe children over six months into a restful sleep.
Essential oils and aromatherapy products are great as natural and successful ways of aiding sleep and there’s a multitude of candles and oils that you can burn in the hours before bedtime, to release an aroma designed to help relax the body and mind. The most effective seems to be the Neal’s Yard organic aromatherapy calming candle which releases a subtle smell of soothing rose and geranium oils, not as ‘in your face’ as a pure lavender one, favoured by many manufacturers. And if you’re at Neal’s Yard – pick up a tub of their beauty sleep body butter, a great smelling, luxurious moisturiser you let soak into your skin after a relaxing evening bath, which is scented with sleep-inducing oils and keeps skin supple, meaning no more nights lying awake because of itchy skin!
Whatever the problem preventing you from sleeping, the chances are there’s a remedy. It’s all about finding what works best for you. Sweet dreams, Belles!