Sleep is the Best Medicine

In such unsettling times, the need for self-care shouldn’t be overlooked and good sleep is paramount for our wellbeing. Mandy Pitcher shares some valuable advice on how to sleep better… 

When was the last time you properly had a good night’s sleep? I mean a solid 7 to 8 hours and woke up feeling refreshed and bouncing out
of bed? 

The majority of people would probably say they can’t remember. Many of my clients say most nights they’re unsettled and their minds simply won’t shut off; they’re tossing and turning, too hot and then only falling asleep as it’s time to get up. 

We can’t under estimate the effect the pandemic has had on so many of us. Then there’s the  increase in the cost of living and now sadly we’re witnessing the terrible scenes of war in Ukraine. It all takes a toll on each and every one of us. A good night’s sleep, the first step to a healthy mind and body, helps us cope. Sleep is vital for our health. 

Tips for better sleep

Aromatherapy can be a tremendous help. Essential oils can naturally bring balance, relaxation and calm. 

Going to sleep and getting up in the morning at a similar time is crucial for improving your sleep as it keeps your body clock on time. Aim to keep the regularity as much as possible to get the true benefits. 

Limit screen usage late at night; screen light can disrupt our body by reducing the sleep hormone melatonin. Try to remove screens/devices from the bedroom and avoid using them at least two hours before bed. 

Do you have street lights outside your bedroom that keep you awake? Have a think about an eye mask (I have a satin one, which really helps). 

Herbal teas can help calm the mind. My favourites are chamomile (left) and lemon balm – both are natural sedatives. 

Soak away the day with a warm magnesium bath before bed; add a few handfuls of magnesium flakes and soak for a minimum of 20 minutes. Essential oils diluted in a carrier oil can work wonders too. Read a book whilst soaking, meditate, do whatever helps you to relax. I just close my eyes and focus on breathing. 

Getting enough exposure to natural light during the day is vital. On waking go and stand outside and raise your face to the natural sunlight – it will set you up for a better night’s sleep. It also helps lift your mood, as sunlight helps to produce serotonin, the happy hormone. There is no doubt that with the longer, brighter days, we will start to feel more energised. 

Calming and grounding aromas

A diffuser in the bedroom with a gorgeous blend of soothing, calming essential oils can be beneficial. Using one with a timer is a good idea; put it on for an hour before bed to fill the room with a subtle fragrance and then for an hour (or two maximum) once you’re in bed. I recommend adding 10-15 drops of your chosen blend. 

Here are my ‘sleep recipe’ diffuser blends:

l Vetiver, Sandalwood and Roman Chamomile: a rich, warm blend to ground and soothe, ease a restless mind and create a sense of calm. 

Vetiver is the most grounding oil in my experience, creating a deep state of calm (it must not be used if you are clinically depressed). Sandalwood is also grounding, while Roman Chamomile is a natural sedative and can help ease insomnia.

l Encourage deep breathing with the herbal aromas of Lavender, Myrtle and Sweet Marjoram, helping refresh a tired mind and bringing balance. 

Lavender is the panacea of essential oils – there is nothing this oil won’t do. Myrtle supports deep breathing and clears the overload of too many thoughts. Sweet Marjoram is a natural sedative and highly relaxing. 

Failing that a couple of drops of lavender on a tissue tucked under the pillow can work wonders. Sweet dreams.

Mandy Pitcher 

Tel: 07545 261205


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