Entering Dreamland: Natural Remedies for Restful Sleep
Restful sleep has eluded me for as long as I can remember. It’s often very hard for me to turn my mind off, and when I do finally fall asleep, I wake up at the touch of the softest breeze or the sound of footsteps on the stairs in my hallway. I also have allergies that make it difficult to breathe at times, which results in extremely vivid and bad dreams. Too often, I awake at 3am and will toss and turn for hours. Over time, I have learned of myself that if I can’t fall back asleep within 15 minutes of laying awake, I need to get up and read or write to quiet my mind. Decluttering my mind through writing or escaping into a good book usually does the trick within an hour and then I’m back to bed and fast asleep. Sometimes I turn to supplements and other sleep aids. There are many sleep aiding supplements that qualify as natural. Natural remedies for restful sleep include GABA and Melatonin, which have been shown to be of great assistance in helping achieve a restful night’s sleep. But the two things that have helped me ease into sleep mode most are a great herbal tea and a magnesium rich Epsom salts bath.
The stress of our daily lives can drain us of the proper amount of magnesium, as can improper diet or chronic ailments and fatigue. We can help our bodies replace this important mineral, which aids in cell and immune system function, through a nice relaxing Epsom salt bath, magnesium oil applied topically to the skin, or through oral supplements. I like to enjoy an Epsom bath with a few drops of lavender, or a mix of orange and eucalyptus essential oils. Aromatherapy itself is an amazing tool in helping restore emotional balance and, therefore, in calming nerves and tension, thereby helping us drift swiftly to sleep. (More to come about that soon!)
Tea is another one of my tried and true methods for winding down before bed and, ultimately, enjoying a night of restful sleep. My favorite go-to sleepy time tea is Rest Assured by Choice Organic Teas. The herbal blend of valerian root, passion flower, catnip and chamomile are a perfect way to relax after a long day. Catnip has a mild sedative and warming effect on the body, while chamomile, passion flower and valerian root help calm nerves and soothe stress and tension. Take a moment while you enjoy your tea. Quiet your thoughts and simply slow down.