Boost Your Sleep Routine: Aromatherapy Tips for World Sleep Day 2024

National Sleep Day 2024

Boost Your Sleep Routine: Aromatherapy Tips for World Sleep Day 2024

The NHS website states that nearly one in three of us suffer from poor or disrupted sleep. As it’s World Sleep Day this month we have compiled our best aromatherapy research and advice on how some pre-bed practises can boost your ability to relax and support a healthy sleep routine.  Disturbed sleep can impact your brain’s functioning in all sorts of ways, from memory power to regulation of emotions, so it’s important we’re regularly rested and recharged. Even short-term sleep deprivation can affect brain function and can impact our metabolism, social functioning and energy.

To support getting enough sleep on a regular basis, it’s important to build up to a good bedtime regime throughout the day, which is something most of us do subconsciously.  There are many reasons why you may struggle falling or staying asleep, some physical, some emotional and others environmental.  We have compiled a short trouble-shooting breakdown of some of the common sleep inhibitors that you may be able to resolve yourself at home…

Troubleshooting your Sleep Problems

  1. A busy mind that can’t still itself is a common reason why people struggle to switch off and sleep.  You may have daunting or endless tasks to undertake the following day, or you may be prone to analysing the day you’ve just had.  But to help empty your busy mind, consider doing a  ‘Brain Dump’ before sleep!  When you go to bed, pop a note-pad and pen by your bed – don’t be tempted to use a phone, a pad and pen is far more therapeutic and the blue light from your phone can disrupt sleep too by inhibiting your sleep hormones.  The idea of the Brain Dump is that before snoozing, (or if you wake in the night), you can write down your concerns and to do list on the pad, ready for you to tackle the following day.  The act of removing those thoughts from your head should help clear your mind a little and help you feel less distracted.
  2. Physical Discomfort can also be distracting and annoying when you’re trying to enjoy the cosiness of your bed.  Before you get in, make sure you’re all sorted with comfortable pillows and breathable bed clothes – try to stick to natural materials with a little stretch so you’re not restricted in movement.  If your bed itself isn’t comfy, a mattress topper is a great way to rejuvenate tired mattresses on a budget and makes for a great night’s sleep when spritzed with a bit of Lavender Floral Water to help you feel calm and relaxed.
  3. Fluctuating Temperatures either in your sleep space, or your own body temperature can have a huge impact on sleep. A room temperature of around 18-19°C is recommended for optimum comfort…any warmer than this then a fan with a little bowl of iced water beside it with a sprinkle of Jasmine Essential Oil can help bring air temperatures down.  Being too chilly can be equally unsettling, so a hot water bottle is a cost-effective way to stay warm through the night, with a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil on the cover to soothe and comfort.  Body temperature can fluctuate for hormonal reasons too so if you’re susceptible to hot flashes, keep some drinking water and a little hand-held fan by your bed for those sticky night sweats!
  4. Simply Not Tired!  If the fact of the matter is that you’re still raring to go at bedtime on a regular basis, start by assessing your lifestyle and your daily routines.  A great diet and regular exercise can help us relax.  Of course, the opposite is also true so it’s worth pondering whether you have had a good balance of movement and brain stimulation during your waking hours.  Did you sleep in later so your routine has become disturbed?  Or have you overdone it on stimulating food (sugar) drink (caffeine, alcohol) or activities (think TVs, smoking and phones).  Really delve into your days and look at the structure of it to see if you can make tweaks going forward.

World Sleep Day 2024

Good Pre-Sleep Practices

Have you heard of Yoga Nedra?  We’ve all heard of regular Yoga but ‘Nedra’ is the term used by Yogis to represent the restful, peaceful position for calm and sleep and is often used at the end of Yoga session.   To try it, simply find a quiet space and lie on your back with your head supported, your feet about hip width apart and your palms face up a little away from your body.  Then starting at the feet, tense your toes and feet, then release and let go. Then do the same with your calves, thighs, pelvis and so on until you reach your face and head.  Visualize letting go of the day and all your tension and feel the weight of your body as if it were sinking into the floor and if thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge and then release them.  This will help you get into a deep state of relaxation and can help you manage intrusive or distracting thoughts prior to sleep.

Relaxing the body’s pressure points can also help you physically relax just before sleep or if you wake in the night.  All you need to do is to gently massage the centre of each palm with your thumb and this will stimulate a reflex point known to soothe, calm and promote rest.  Try keeping one of our Aroma-Rolls by your bed to help with this; they are ready to use blends of oils (we love the Goodnight Blend, designed to support your sleep) which you can roll onto your palms, wrists or temples during the night. Our Goodnight Essential Blend is one of our best-selling Essential Oil blends and contains a synergy of Essential Oils including Lavender, Vetiver, Chamomile, Geranium and Bergamot.  It was formulated by our expert aromatherapists to help relax and soothe the senses and is a wonderful natural alternative for a restful night.

Don’t Force the Sleep Process

One of the most frustrating things you can do to yourself is try to force your body into sleep.  It can lead to you feeling annoyed and even distressed that sleep is evading you and could lead to a cycle of worrying about it before you even go to bed.  Experts suggest trying to stay feeling positive and enjoy the feeling of resting; visualise some peaceful thoughts and sleep may naturally take over.  If you are really struggling, it may be worth getting up and going into a different room, reading or listening to soft music, journalling or meditating.  Try a warm milky drink and pop a diffuser on with a few drops of gentle Chamomile Essential Oil in it.  Don’t be tempted to light a candle or oil burner in case you do drift off…most diffusers have time settings on them so are a safer option.  Some low lighting like fairy lights or LED candles can be really soothing if reading – definitely don’t startle your senses with bright lights and never be tempted to peek at your phone!  Only when you feel really sleepy should you head back to bed.  Sleep can be hindered in so many ways, we have chatted about a few of them so far, but of course there are other things like medications and health conditions that can affect your sleep so if you’re concerned that sleep issues are ongoing, it’s always best to contact your GP for further investigations and support.

Better Sleep Combo products

Make a Difference to Someone Else’s Sleep

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a warm roof over our heads so if you are interested in supporting someone who doesn’t enjoy the luxury of their own bed or a safe space, there are lots of things you can do to help.  Shelter and Centrepoint are amazing charities that help millions of people who are struggling with homelessness or bad housing.  You will probably also have a Night Shelter close to you as these exist in most towns and cities, to provide temporary accommodati

on and a bed overnight for those who need it.  Donating financially or with your time to charities like these as well as the Salvation Army who run Night Shelters can be hugely beneficial and can help provide safe, warm sleep to those who need it most.

If you need some support with your own sleep, do check out our social media pages this month which will be packed with tips and advice on the subject, and to help raise awareness for National Sleep Day 2024.