Do you have trouble falling asleep?

In the morning, do you feel as if you haven’t rested?

Is the lack of quality sleep affecting your concentration during the day?

Then, it is time you do something about it.  There has been many studies about the adverse effects of not having a good night’s rest. You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day. Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work and on the road also increases. … If it continues, lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

In order to get your body in “the mode” of bedtime, it is recommended you follow a nightly routine.  In this way, you will be essentially programming your mind to recognize it is time to shut off for the night (well, not really “shut-off”, but to get more Zzzzz’s).

This is a recommendation from a Holistic point of view.  Everyone is different; therefore, I am inserting alternatives in some of the steps. You do what you feel comfortable with.  Allow your intuition to recognize what is easiest for you.

All of these steps are NATURAL ways to get you to relax.  For some people, only one or two of these will work.  Others will feel all of them are necessary to get to the proper sleep mode without the need of prescription medication.

These are my 5 natural steps to a good night’s sleep:

1.  Exercise

Make time for one of your favorite physical activities for at least 20 minutes. Program yourself about two hours before bedtime to have a jogging, walking, or sport routine.  The key factor here is to sweat. You might dance, find a partner to walk in the park, or get a membership to a gym.
For more physical activities ideas during the day, check this out:phys activity options  And remember, do not begin new physical activities without first being cleared by a doctor.   
Activities such as soaking in a hot tub or taking a sauna are said may have health benefits for people who are unable to exercise regularly. It seems that activities that increase heat shock proteins may help to improve blood sugar control and offer an alternative to exercise in diabetics.
I have found that I get too wound up with dance, so when I need to rest for an active day ahead, a night time jog/walk is my favorite go-to exercise. In Florida rainy weather, the treadmill is my friend.  To keep it under 20 minutes, I do interval training.  If you want more info on interval training, feel free to reach me.

2.  Take Valerian, a natural sleep aid supplement

Taking this natural supplement to get you calm and ready for a good rest is great to follow a good sweat!
  • Valerian is an herb. Medicine is made from the root. Valerian is most commonly used for sleep disorders, especially the inability to sleep (insomnia). It is frequently combined with hops, lemon balm, or other herbs that also cause drowsiness.
  • Many Herbalists, Naturopaths, and Chiropractors recommend taking valerian root to relieve tension headaches, insomnia, anxiety, or for muscular pain because of its ability to act as a muscle relaxer.
  • Sleep Health from Nutrilite is Certified Halal. Its main ingredient is Valerian.
  • Sleep Health from Nutrilite is safe and natural, NSF International Certified.
  • Learn more by clicking on the picture on the left or clicking the link below:
http://www.amway.com/MarluMartin/Shop/Product/Product.aspx/Nutrilite-Sleep-Health?itemno=A8992
This is my go-to non-prescription sleep aid for nights I know will be short, due to an early morning meeting or workshop.

3. Get calm with a Herbal Tea

Drinking caffeine or any sugary drink, such as sodas or juice, in the last six hours of the day may reduce your ability to fall asleep, and increase anxiety.  A caffeine-free herbal tea, such as chamomile, tulsi, green tea, or peppermint, will reduce stress, anxiety, and some of them assist in calming your nerves and relaxing your muscles.
Tips:
  • Combine sipping a hot tea cup with soothing music, and it may get you in a restful mood.
  • Take it along with Sleep Health described above, and you might even feel ready for bed within 20 minutes of drinking the tea.
  • This tea is great at any time of day or night.  I sometimes add cinnamon or honey to it.
  • The tea described here, to the left, has the two most relaxing herbs mixed together to a form a smooth, soothing tea (chamomile and tulsi). It has zero calories, it is organic, and caffeine free. You can find it by clicking on the picture or below on the link:
Chamomile –

Sometimes excessive stress and anxiety may cause sleeplessness. Chamomile tea not only reduces stress and anxiety, but it also helps treat insomnia. Just like peppermint teachamomile tea has great benefits in relaxing the muscles and reducing irritability.

Don’t let it steep for any more than 10 minutes. The best time to drink this chamomile tea creation is about 30 minutes before bed. It’s widely regarded as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer. The sedative effects from the apigenin occur because it binds to the benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.
Tulsi , or “Holy Basil” – 

According to a scientific article published in 2014 in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, there is increasing evidence that shows holy basil benefits can improve physical, chemical, metabolic and psychological stress. More specifically:

“Tulsi has been found to protect organs and tissues against chemical stress from industrial pollutants and heavy metals, and physical stress from prolonged physical exertion, ischemia, physical restraint and exposure to cold and excessive noise. Tulsi has also been shown to counter metabolic stress through normalization of blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels, and psychological stress through positive effects on memory and cognitive function and through its anxiolytic and anti-depressant properties.”

Some other evidence of this stress-lowering effect includes the ability of holy basil to improve reaction times and error rates in human subjects compared to placebo.

4. Soak in the tub!

If soaking in the tub is not you, then behold these six health benefits of taking baths.
  • Being Horizontal In Water Helps Your Mood. …
  • Baths Can Help Relieve Skin Conditions. …
  • Bath Heat Can Help With Muscle Pain. …
  • Hot Baths Before Bed Produce Better Sleep. …
  • Steam Helps To Reduce Cold Symptoms. …
  • Salt Water Baths Calm Arthritic Pain.

Keep your bath under 30 minutes. There is some disagreement on the proper length of a bath, but it falls somewhere between 15-30 minutes. You run the risk of severely drying out your skin if you stay in too long. Wrinkled fingers is a good indication that you should start wrapping things up.

5. Relax

You might be saying, “Yeah, I wish!” because you are having trouble relaxing in the first place.  Try using one of the breathing relaxation techniques on my previous blog on relaxation techniques to fully relax:  http://lifehealthsoul.com/6-ways-feel-relaxed-seconds/
If you want my free relaxation breathing audio, join The Self-Love Club group on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/selflovebycoachmarlu/learning_content/   also featured at the bottom of the home page of this website, and message me AUDIO.  It is too large to post on here, but I can e-mail it to you.
Do all 5 steps above on nights you are most stressed.
Enjoy your night’s sleep!
– Coach Marlu