What we do in the morning sets our vibration for the day and tells the Universe what we are ready to receive. It is a powerful time and one that we often miss. Setting a morning ritual in place can be challenging at first but I when we set ourselves up for a restful and rejuvenating nights sleep, the mornings come easier.
I get it. Mornings can be hard.
The alarm seems to go off a little too early and the thought of ripping those warm cozy sheets off your sleepy body is the last thing you want to do, right? Plus, the never ending to-do list is already forming and starting to swirl around your head. The cat is begging to be fed. You hear the kids begin to stir. Coffee seems like miles away and for some reason, you have this dull pounding thump in your temples.
It would be so much easier to just turn it all off and snuggle deeper into that new down alternative pillow you just purchased and go back to sleep.
Dreams of waking up, fresh wide-eyed and bushy tailed, ready to tackle whatever comes to you throughout the day seems like a fairytale setting only made for those who are “morning people”. Who are these people anyway?
I’ll tell you…
They’re people who get a good night’s rest.
Now, I’m not going to profess that I am an expert in sleep research – but I am an expert sleeper.
I’m really really good at it.
I’ve slept soundly in numerous trains, bus stations and ferries as I crisscrossed Europe for a summer, dead-bolting my backpack to the leg of a bench and tucking my passport into my undershirt. In college, I was cornered by the department chair, who had shoulders as broad as a line backer, asking me why I fell asleep in EVERY SINGLE LECTURE. She diagnosed me, on-the-spot, with narcolepsy, ADD and sleep apnea and demanded that I get a sleep study. In this study, where I slept in a hospital room miked with a camera, microphone and a spotlight, it was reported that I fell into REM sleep within 7 minutes of lights out. A record time apparently. No sleep issues. Just a really good sleeper. I am notorious for falling asleep, as soon as my head hits the pillow. Even if I reach for my book, two pages in and I’m out.
Now, this may sound like I’m bragging, and maybe I am a little, but this blissful slumber came to a screeching halt a few years ago when I started experiencing difficulty in my sleep pattern.
I would go to bed and toss and turn, mind racing – sleepville nowhere in sight. I would often wake before my alarm with a pit in my stomach, anxiety surging. It was infuriating for this champion sleeper / morning person.
That’s when I started to investigate my routine and see where I could shift areas to set myself up for a more rejuvenating nights sleep.
I’ll break this down into several categories:
- the “I could use a few more winks” sleeper
- the “why wont my mind shut down” non sleeper
- the “I’m about to give up and remain a zombe” anti sleeper
For the, I Could Use a Few More Winks Sleeper, I recommend the bare minimum Nighttime Ritual. No matter what, I do these simple steps and it sets me up for a restful night’s sleep with minimal fuss. It’s simple, easy and shifts the nighttime routine from usual, to sacred.
- Sleepytime tea
- Lavender essential oil (diffuse or topical)
I start brewing my tea soon after dinner and because it’s an herbal tea, you can steep it for as long as you wish, without going bitter. The longer you steep your herbal tea, the stronger ie more benefits you will derive from the botanicals. I like to steep my Sleepytime Tea for 15-30minutes. Also, this allows the tea to cool so that I can drink it faster, brush my teeth and use the restroom before passing out on the couch.
As a Dental Hygienist, I should also mention that brushing your teeth before bed will allow a more restful nights sleep. I have no scientific evidence to prove this exact statement. But it has to be right. Also, cavities + gingivitis. Brush your teeth.
For the lavender essential oil, you can either place 12 drops in your diffuser or place a few drops (mixed with a carrier oil) on your wrists, bottoms of feet, temples – or wherever your intuition is calling you.
Sleep tight x
For the, My Mind Wont Shut Down Non-Sleeper, there are a few more steps and while they may seem like just another thing to do, at the end of a long day, remember that these steps in the evening are what set us up for a more rejuvenated sleep and therefore a more bliss-filled day ahead. You can do it.
- Sleepytime Tea (after dinner, steeped for 5-30 minutes)
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Turn off the TV, phone, electronics an hour before you go to bed
- Purchase an old-fashioned alarm-clock
- Listen to a guided meditation as you fall asleep
By now, we have all read how blue light from TV, phone, and screen electronics can effect our brainwaves, keeping them activated and stimulated for over an hour after use. Therefore, if you are scrolling as you are lying in bed, even if you do eventually fall asleep mid-scroll, your brain is still activated for an additional hour after your eyelids are shut and you lose an entire hour of sleep that you’ll never get back. Plus, be honest with yourself – are you really researching how to make the World a better place or are you mindlessly finger swiping and opening a window to be triggered emotionally by someone else’s post? Why risk it? Just put your phone down and trust that 1. it will be there tomorrow and 2. you’ve got better things to do. Like, sleep.
Hence, the old-fashioned alarm clock. So many of us, me included, set our alarm on our phones and when we do so – we inevitably get side tracked and 30 minutes of precious sleep vanishes. Well, to be more precise – 30 minutes, plus the additional hour of stimulated brain waves. The easy solution is to go back to the good ol days and use an alarm clock. Now, when I say “old-fashioned”, I hardly mean a wind up clock. When I realized that I needed to get away from my habit of bedtime scrolling, I went down a deep rabbit hole of alarm clock options. When I say “old-fashioned”, this is where my search started, but I ended up with a blue-tooth essential oil diffuser multi set alarm clock and I LOVE it. Especially because the essential oil part of my nightly ritual is crucial (as listed above). If you are interested in the alarm clock that I purchased, you can find it here.
And for the final step, for those who have a hard time shutting it off and find your mind racing as your head hits the pillow – give your mind something else to think about + focus on. I like to put my earbuds in, set my meditation on my phone (in the other room) and then crawl under the covers and allow the smooth voice of Louise Hayes to lull me to sleep. This is especially effective when I am feeling a spike in my anxiety. Some of my favorite meditations are listed below:
The final level of nightime rituals, reserved for those who either really cherish their zzz or those who really struggle with it, I give you all the tools that I have in my toolbox. Some nights, my ritual is complex and layered and other nights, I pick a few of these steps and trust that it is better than doing nothing at all. And remember, the way we value our evening and nighttime rituals, sets our vibration for the day and tells the Universe what we are ready to receive.
For the, I’m About to Give Up and Become a Zombe Anti-Sleeper:
- Sleepytime Tea Latte
- Essential Oil Synergy
- No electronics + blue light
- Old-fashioned alarm clock
- Guided meditation
- Hot shower / Bath with sleepytime massage oils
- Melatonin / Sleepy Aid vitamins
- Book (if you make it that far)
I’ll be updating this blog with recipes to my ultimate Sleepytime Tea Latte, essential oil synergy recipes, massage oils and where I find the absolute best sleepy vitamins. But for now, it’s my bedtime and I need to catch some zzz.
So, until next time.
Sleep tight friends and I’d love to hear which of these rituals you are going to try tonight x Also, please share any additional steps you have in your nighttime routine so that others may be inspired to dream as sweetly as you do.