Having trouble sleeping?
It seems to be a pretty common complaint, especially in these challenging times. Maybe you’re waking up in the middle of the night and then staring at the ceiling for the next hour. Or are you just having a hard time dropping off to dreamland in the first place? Even my three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter who’s always been a terrific sleeper is waking up once or twice during the night lately and calling for mommy and daddy. Fortunately, she usually goes right back to sleep but her parents often don’t.
It’d be great if there was a quick and easy fix for sleep issues, but it depends on what the underlying cause is. Stress, of course, is a biggie. Eating or drinking too much before bedtime can make it hard to settle down, as can watching lots of stimulating TV or playing video games. Be sure to check if you’re taking any medications that could be affecting your sleep patterns. And remember, being a couch potato isn’t a good idea either; regular activity during the day can promote a good night’s sleep.
We all have some awareness of these possible sleep saboteurs and maybe have resorted to some outside help, like sleeping pills or melatonin, the healthier alternative. But, if you’re looking for a more natural way to ease into dreamtime, you might try some of these tools shared below.
Here Are 5 Sleep Remedies and Tools:
Our sense of smell is the most evocative of all our senses because it’s directly connected to the limbic system, the seat of our memories and emotions in the brain. Lavender, chamomile, marjoram oils are all classic ones to settle the nervous system. You can burn them in an aromatherapy lamp in your bedroom or put some on a cotton ball under your pillow.
Or, if you have a particular attachment to a scent that evokes feelings of safety and calm, you can have that nearby. For instance, Pond’s hand cream reminds me of my grandmother and always makes me want to snuggle into my bed.
Homeopathic Remedies or Flower Essences
When my boys were teenagers (they’re now in their 30s), our go-to solution for slowing down their brain for sleep was a homeopathic blend called “Moon Drops.” You also can research the specific nature of your sleeplessness and pick a corresponding remedy: Arsenicum for very restless sleep, Coffea Cruda to slow down a racing mind, or Lachesis for children who wake up with nightmares are a few examples.
Flower remedies can also be helpful. The Bach Flower remedy, Mimulus, is effective if anxiety is keeping you awake, and Rescue Remedy is a great all-round soothing remedy. I used to keep a few drops of that in a spray bottle by my bed when my teenage sons would be out late, and I couldn’t fall asleep.
The first step is to pin down what it is that’s preventing you from falling asleep or keeping you up if you wake in the middle of the night. If you wake up worried about those troublesome teenagers, you might try repeating to yourself, “My family is safe, and we are well protected.”
Or, if you want to program your unconscious mind for a good night’s sleep as you settle down, try repeating, “My sleep is deep and restful, and I awake feeling refreshed and invigorated.” If you want to add a boost to it, you can hold a beautiful stone or crystal that’s imbued with healing energy, I have a lovely rose quartz heart that everyone in my family has used at some point as “soothing stone.”
Whether it’s lullabies for your babies, soothing classical music, or gentle New Age instrumentals, music can be a perfect segue to a restful sleep. It can also serve to “entrain” your mind to associate relaxation with falling asleep. My two nieces listened to Jewel’s “Lullaby” CD from the time they were babies until they were seven or eight years old and it never failed to calm them down after a busy day.
There’s also fascinating neuroscience research that looks at which types of music are most helpful for creating an optimal resting state. British scientists came up with a list of 10 songs that are guaranteed to do reduce anxiety to the point of drowsiness, including one, “Weightless” by Marconi Union, which was specifically created to do so.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Often referred to as “tapping”, EFT is a therapeutic practice that draws on various theories of alternative medicine including acupuncture, neuro-linguistic programming, energy medicine, and Thought Field Therapy. You’ll find many EFT practitioners out there, but it’s easy enough to learn that you can also do it yourself.
Tapping is effective in reducing a variety of physical and emotional stresses, including those anxieties or fears that prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. You can find a terrific “cheat sheet” at Tapping.com that can take you easily through the process.
I encourage you to experiment with any or all of these powerful sleep remedies and tools to turn your sleepless nights into blissful dreamland journeys!
I’d love to hear what works for you in the comments section below!
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Life & Relationship Coach, Deborah Roth, MA is also a Counseling Astrologer, and Interfaith Minister. She leads women’s New Moon Circles and Full Moon TeleMeditations every month and loves designing creative, meaningful rituals for individuals and couples to energize their lives and relationships.