Better, Natural Sleep
Do you find yourself struggling to fall asleep? Do you need help to wind down at night? Do you need tips on how to relax before bed? Well if you've answered yes to any of these questions, then keep reading.
Have you heard of the 10-3-2-1-0 rule for sleep? It is simple to remember and has some key habits to help improve your quality of sleep.
10: No more caffeine 10 hours before bed.
3: No more food or alcohol 3 hours before bed.
2: No more work 2 hours before bed.
1: No more screen time (phones, TVs, computers...) 1 hour before bed.
0: The number of times you hit snooze in the morning.
Why? Why does this method have these cut-off times?
Let's take a look.
10: Caffeine is a stimulant. We know this. That is why so many people use it to wake themselves up or get out of a mid-day slump. Did you know that about half the caffeine from your cup of coffee is still in your body 6 hours after consuming it? It typically takes 10 hours for the caffeine to no longer be in your body. Some medications even have caffeine. It can help your body absorb the medicines quicker, but may be keeping you awake at night.
3: The muscles that digest food need time to do their thing. So if you eat too soon before bed chances are those muscles will be working while you are trying to fall asleep. This can make falling asleep more difficult. Drinking alcohol late in the day can reduce REM sleep. It may also cause sleep disruptions.
2: This one applies to mental or physical work. We need to relax to prepare for sleep. This includes our brain and our body. This one is somewhat intuitive. If you fill your mind with work-related concerns right before bed, you will likely have a harder time calming your mind for sleep.
1: Screens (TV, computer, phone...) all emit blue light. Blue light reduces the production of melatonin. Blue light right before bed makes it difficult to fall asleep. It also reduces the time spent in REM sleep. So turn off those devices an hour before going to bed.
0: Typically just before waking up we are in the REM stage of sleep. That means if you are in the habit of snoozing you are disrupting that stage of sleep. If you can get ready in 10 less minutes, why not just set your alarm back 10 minutes?
Natural Sleep Aids
Maybe you already do all of this, but still have sleep troubles. Before you reach for the OTC sleep aids, hear me out. There are a LOT of side effects associated with OTC sleep aids. They can include:
- Chest pain
- Drug dependence
- Excessive drowsiness or deep sleep
- Dry Mouth
- Digestive problems
Are you concerned yet? That's only some of the possible side effcts.
Well, what if I told you there are NATURAL sleep aids that do not have all of these side effects? Sounds too good to be true, right? But they exist. These sleep aids can help calm your mind and body to help improve your quality of sleep.
doTERRA's Serenity Sleep System
I love this sleep system because it helps my mind go to sleep when I have so much going on. Let's take a look at the individual pieces.
Serenity Restful Blend
doTERRA created a blend called Serenity. It is a blend of Lavender, Cedarwood, Coriander, Ylang Ylang, Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, and Vanilla. This blend was specially formulated to create a calming atmosphere. It promotes relaxation, encourages calm emotions, and can lessen feelings of tension. All of these are wonderful to help in high-stress moments during the day or to create the perfect atmosphere for sleep.
- Put a few drops in your hands and inhale it deeply.
- Apply to the bottom of your feet (or your child's feet!) before bed.
- Diffuse at night for a restful sleeping environment.
- When stressed, apply a few drops of Serenity to your pulse points.
- Add Serenity to diffuser jewelry for a calming effect throughout the day.
- Add Serenity to an Epsom salt bath to prepare for bed.
The great thing about doTERRA oils is they go through a rigorous test process to make sure they are pure. With doTERRA you know EXACTLY what is in the bottle. The never add hidden ingredients.
Serenity Restful Complex Softgels
Lavender: helps calm the nervous system and encourages healthy relaxation and sleep when ingested.
L-Theanine: may lower stress by increasing the concentration of GABA in the brain, supporting relaxation, and making it easier to fall asleep faster and sleep better.
Tart Cherry: may make it easier to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, as well as improve the quality of sleep as a natural source of melatonin. I know some people who have been drinking tart cherry before bed for years for this purpose.
All of this together may help calm your nervous system and support healthy relaxation which may result in better sleep quality. Even better...it does it without all of the awful side effects and is non-habit forming.
Serenity Stick + Valerian
This is the newest addition to the Serenity family and many people are LOVING IT!! The Serenity Stick + Valerian contains the Serenity Restful Blend and Valerian essential oil. Valerian promotes a calming and restful environment. It has been clinically studied as part of a restful sleep protocol.
You apply this to the bottoms of your feet, pulse points, or wherever you want before bed. It is safe to use on the whole family and free from parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances.
You CAN have better sleep without all of the harmful side effects. One thing I absolutely love about doTERRA is if Serenity isn't your key to better sleep...there are other options. My sleep oil is Vetiver. If you want to learn about other sleep oils and healthy sleep habits, check out this block post.
Or check out these posts about other great sleep oils.