Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Five Things I Do To Get A Better Night's Sleep

Menopause is mean. It sucks the moisture out of our bodies, it messes with our hair, and it adds unwanted pounds.

It also robs us of precious hours of sleep....and I think that might be the worst part of all!

 

You are certainly better able to handle the challenges life throws your way when you are well rested. You make better food choices, have more energy to get up and move, and your skin looks more refreshed.

I originally got a Fitbit a number of years ago because I was feeling so terrible in the mornings, and really wanted something to track my sleep.

It was no surprise to me to see that I was averaging only about 4 hours of sleep per night. No wonder I felt so tired all the time!

I started to research natural methods to improve my sleep and help get me through menopause without collapsing into a sniveling heap in the corner.  I am not one to take medicines unless I'm actually desperate, so I really wanted to try and keep things as holistic as possible.

Here are some of the tricks I learned that are really helping me get a good night's sleep.

1. I try to stick to a consistent ritual of bedtime and time to wake..even on weekends. My iPhone has a "Bedtime" feature on the alarm clock which gives me a gentle reminder when my bedtime is near, and wakes me softly in the morning with calm chimes that start off on very low volume and get louder if  I don't turn the alarm off. It's far nicer than a jarring alarm clock, that's for certain! I honestly do not use an alarm most nights, unless I have an early meeting, as I tend to wake up the same time each morning regardless. I also find that when I set an alarm I don't sleep as well as when I don't set one, as it causes anxiety in me which disrupts my sleep. But when I do need that alarm, soft chimes are far easier to wake to than the awful screeching of my digital alarm clock, that's for certain!


2. I routinely set a peaceful mood in my home in the evenings to ease my body into a mode of relaxation.  As soon as I come home from work, the twinkle lights go on, my favorite diffuser goes on a 3 hour timer with some relaxing oils, and I start to feel the tension of the day leave my body. Dinner is made and enjoyed, and then it's time to get my mind into a true state of relaxation. The lights are dim, music is soft and calming, and the television is turned off at a reasonable hour. I do have a TV in my bedroom but I rarely watch it - I'd rather my bedroom be a place of calm and quiet, so once the TV in the living room is turned off, my body starts to know it's getting close to bedtime.  


3.My bedroom is my sanctuary, where I can shut the door and also shut out the outside world and the cares of the day. When I enter my bedroom in the evening, the drapes are pulled shut and my room becomes the coziest little cave, the perfect spot to wind down. My furnishings are neutral and calming, and I keep my bedroom very tidy and clean. My bed is made with great care each and every morning, without fail. After the bed is made, the pillows are spritzed with lavender water, which makes the whole room smell so fresh and clean. My sheets are changed every weekend, and all other bedding (such as blankets and quilts) routinely washed and changed as well. Often I'll swap out pillowcases midweek, which is an easy way to freshen the bedding without doing a full sheet change. Bed linens are dried with woolen dryer balls that I put a few drops of lavender on. There's nothing like the scent of pure lavender oil to help create a relaxing oasis in the bedroom! Slipping into clean, cool, soft sheets at the end of a long day is one of life's simplest pleasures, and one I never take for granted.


4. I take my makeup off every single night and follow my full skincare routine, no matter how tired I may be. The act of sitting at my vanity, removing my makeup with my favorite micellar water, and applying my lotions and potions is a calming ritual at the end of the day. I follow up the micellar water with a rose scented witch hazel toner, and then I use a few drops of frankincense mixed with rose-hip oil as my evening moisturizer - the scent is just heavenly and it really makes me feel pampered and relaxed. Last thing I do is brush my teeth, and then slide into my cozy bed.


5. When I get into bed I start up my essential oil diffuser, and diffuse a blend of lavender and cedarwood - about 4-5 drops of each. I pop my 3 mg melatonin tablet, drink a little water, and shut off the lights. Before long, I drift off into sleep, and more often than not the next thing I know, morning has arrived.  Occasionally I wake in the wee hours, but it's not as frequent as it used to be, and typically I can get back to sleep within a short time.

Don't get me wrong, there are some nights that all my little routines don't make for a peaceful sleep. But I've gone from a 4 hour sleep being my 'norm' to a 6+ hour sleep, and sometimes I even get 7 or 8 hours - that's a remarkable difference. I feel better, I have more energy, I get more done....it's amazing how little things can really make such a difference in our moods and energy. 

You can read more about how I use essential oils and how my journey began by clicking through to this post. There's also information on how you can get started with your own diffuser and starter set of oils - I think once you begin you will be amazed at how many uses there are for essential oils, and how they can truly help you on your path to a better, more balanced life. I'm convinced they have been key in helping me get a better sleep, and that's so priceless to me I could never give up my oils!

28 comments:

  1. Sanctuary of a bedroom is 100% what does it for me <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhhh to be young.....I never used to have any issues sleeping!!

      Delete
  2. I don't know much about essential oils but I've seen many people swear by them. Might look into it... and Lord, do I know the woe of extra pounds and little sleep that comes with menopause. Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not fun....but I feel a heck of a lot better on 6 hours sleep than 4!!

      Delete
  3. I do believe routine is key. I have been trying to be better about that. I do love using essential oils as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be hard on the weekends when I want to stay up a bit later and binge watch a show with my daughter...I have to try to be reasonable about it!

      Delete
  4. Oh boy can I relate! I still have kids that are young enough to need me and drive around early, early and late, late. That messes with my routine almost as much as peri-menopause. It's a conspiracy I tell you! 😉

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't miss that, Kim!! Once the kids start driving it's a mixed blessing, that's for sure!

      Delete
  5. I got all relaxed just reading this! Haha. I love my Micellar water. Where can I get some of that rose petal witch hazel? I never thought of spritzing my pillows. I love cleaning with Thieves.
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love cleaning with Thieves also!! I got the witch hazel toner on Amazon - if you live close to a large drugstore they may have it in there also. Amazon is my go to since we are 30 mins from any of the chain drugstores.....which is not a bad thing, believe me!

      Delete
  6. Your bedtime routine is much like mine, except I don't run my diffuser at night simply because I can't sleep with any kind of light! I suppose I could cover up the little "on" light somehow, but I just don't bother, lol. I use the same witch hazel as you do - in fact, I think I first read about it on your blog! Love that stuff. The one thing I haven't experienced during mentalpause (as I call it) is the weight gain. In fact, I've lost weight! However, all my weight is now around my waist and tummy because everything shifted. Oh, the joys of womanhood! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My diffuser light shuts off completely....as much as I like the soft light of it, I can't sleep with lights either, Melanie! I do have little LED plug in nightlights in the bathroom, which keeps us from having to turn on any lights if we have to get up in the wee hours!

      Delete
  7. Good Afternoon Debbie, I wish I had this information when I was going through the menopause as I had such a difficult time. I am pleased to say it is well behind me now. The unfortunate thing is that the body changes after menopause. I find the texture of my skin is totally different.
    I love your night time routine and I was surprised to see that you use Rosehip oil as well. I add a couple of drops of rose oil to the rosehip oil, and my complexion has never been so good, although addmittedly, not as good as pre-menopause, but that is just the way it is. For years I tried using creams and then it was suggested I try oil and I haven't looked back.
    Have a lovely day.
    Best Wishes to you.
    Daphne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rosehip oil is new to me, Daphne - I have been using facial oils for a while, but I was buying them from Clarins. I'm trying to eliminate more toxins from my life so as I use up other products I am looking for natural replacements - so far, so good!

      Delete
  8. You're doing all the good things to do. Maybe try 5 mg Melatonin. That's what I had to do for sleep.
    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried taking 2 of the 3 mg's for a few nights to see how that worked but funny enough I slept worse than with the 3 mg's - how weird, right?

      Delete
  9. I love my bedroom to be a sanctuary. No TV just quiet and I have a diffuser too. I try to go to bed at the same time each night that helped me to get more sleep too. I love all the things you are doing to take care of yourself. Sometimes we get so busy taking care of everyone else our needs fall to the side lines. So happy you are doing so much better.
    Hugs,
    Kris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's amazing how a little sleep can really help you feel so much better about everything, Kris! I definitely make better food choices when I've slept well, and I think so much more clearly!

      Delete
  10. I think I might make up and try spritzing my pillow case with the lavender water. I do take Melatonin and still dealing with hot flashes as went off prempro. Taking a low dose of med but it has not helped much and makes one gain weight! Don't need that! Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My hot flashes have diminished, Nancy, but when they were bad I was taking some over the counter stuff at night - I took something called iCool - that was pretty good and also I took these am/pm menopause tablets by Natrol, called Complete Balance. They were also helpful! I never took any hormones...of course I'm not sure what I may need in the future, I guess time will tell!

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. Ha ha I got pretty sleepy writing it as well!!

      Delete
  12. I feel relaxed just reading about your routine! Love the rose petal witch hazel. Will have to check out the rose hip seed oil. We have a diffuser in the bedroom and the Urban Farmer likes the lights that come with it so I usually wear a sleep mask. Melatonin is disruptive to my sleep. "They" say it is good for the body to treat or alleviate symptoms for certain conditions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How strange that melatonin doesn't help you, Donna, that's a shame!! I got 7 hours last night, how awesome is that? :)

      Delete
  13. I'm not in menopause yet, possibly pre-menopause and so I read your post with interest, and will try to remember your helpful tips for when that day comes... ugh, so not looking forward to it! I like your routine at night, it is comforting to have the same things to do each night, and all of your ideas to make bedtime cozy. I run my diffuser as well quite often during the day but not at night. I want to try cedarwood and lavender together, I haven't tried those. Sounds wonderful :) Glad that all of these things you are doing have made a difference for your sleeping habits! Hugs to you today :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a separate diffuser in the living room that I run during the day and evenings, I absolutely love my diffusers!! I could use another one for my office....but for now I have a tiny oil warmer that I use with a tea light and that seems to do the trick! I often use peppermint and orange at work to help me focus, especially when I'm working on invoices.

      Delete
  14. Oh joy. I have so much to look forward to in a few years...lol! Thanks for the tips and the warning Mountain Sister!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just you wait, my friend! Mine started in my mid 40's I'd say, and I don't think I had/have it as bad as some others do! The not sleeping thing is awful though....sigh.

      Delete

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment...I truly love reading your comments and I try to respond to each and every one of your sweet comments right here on my blog page!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
09 10