You may have read my blog a few years ago called, “Yes, I Used to be a B*tch” It was about lack of sleep. Which usually means stress. Many of you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I was barely surviving in LA just after leaving my six-figure job as a lawyer. I had no money and I was completely stressed out. Every night, I went to bed at 10pm and woke up at 1am and couldn’t get back to sleep. It was ridiculous. I’d wake up, and with my eyes still closed, guess the time on my digital alarm clock. 1:03? 1:05? 1:07? I usually nailed it on the head. It was kind of a joke I had going with myself. But not too funny because I knew how crummy I’d feel the next day.
I became super neurotic about being in bed by 10pm so that I could at least get a few hours of sleep. That meant I was not having fun. And when I finally went to the doctor, I went from not sleeping enough to sleeping too much. At first I thought the sixteen hours/night was awesome. It was exactly what I needed. Maybe for ONE night. But it continued with the meds I was prescribed (which frightened me) so I went to another doctor, who was as shocked as I was to learn that the prescription I was taking was commonly used to treat paranoid schizophrenics!
Well, not TOO big a shock – I was out of my mind from being overtired! I guess that first doc thought I was a nut. But the second doctor put me on a prescription that I stuck with for years until I became an essential oil junkie.
Then, one night, I decided to cut my usual pill in half. I put lavender on my feet, I put a blend of chamomile, sweet marjoram, ylang ylang and sandalwood in my diffuser and I slept for eight hours. I kid you not. I didn’t even wake up to pee! I got the same result the next night.
Life can be stressful and the holidays, in particular, can be even more so. What you really need is rest. @hayleyhobson (Click to Tweet!)
With all the rich, heavy food you’re eating, and the increase of alcohol and sugar, perhaps the stress of being around family members (you know which ones), chances are you’re not getting much sleep, and what you are getting probably isn’t very restful. If you’re not careful, you’ll run yourself down, stress out your immune system and by January you’ll be sick.
So, here are some tips to help you guarantee some rest this holiday season (and all year round!).
The Right Environment
Your bedroom should be a quiet, peaceful place to wind down in. Get supportive pillows, the right amount of covers so you’re not woken up by being too hot or too cold. Minimize noise-making technology. If you keep your cell phone by your bed, have do not disturb hours so it doesn’t even vibrate. You shouldn’t have a TV in your bedroom, but if you do, turn it off at least an hour before you go to sleep. Even if you have it on mute, the light will keep stimulating your eyes and they really need a break before you can sleep restfully. Same goes for laptops and tablets.
Cut Sugar and Caffeine
Try to avoid caffeine and sugar in the evening, even if that creme brulee looks irresistible. The last thing you need is to be fighting off the stimulants lingering in your body while you’re trying to fall asleep.
Add Essential Oils
Here’s my nightly regime: A couple drops of veterer on my feet, lavender on my neck, the chamomile blend I mentioned earlier in my diffuser, some cedarwood at the base of my skull, a dab of chamomile under my nose and, because I have IBS issues, a blend of stomach aid blend of anise, caraway, coriander, fennel, ginger, peppermint and tarragon. I sleep so well on a regular basis now that I feel great if I have eight hours of sleep, but I can survive on five or six and it’s not a national crisis anymore. No more b*tch. I wake up when the sun comes up and I feel GOOD.
I know it’s going to be tough to add a bunch of new things to your life if you’re in the midst of trying to survive the holidays, but trust me when I say your body will thank you for it.
Do you have some tricks for helping yourself get to sleep and stay there for the whole night?
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
* DOWNLOAD HAYLEY’S FREE “HAPPY, HEALTHY HOLIDAY GUIDE” HERE.