No matter where you are in the world!
Some of you may struggle to have a good nights sleep even at home, so when travelling it may pose even more of a challenge. As a frequent traveller and Certified Wellness Coach, I would like to share with you my secrets to successful sleep when away from home.
I am a true believer in using natural ways to facilitate and set the mood for successful sleep. If we tend towards medication, it may be a fast yet temporary relief, so what we are truly looking for are habits that will produce sustainable ways to falling sleep effortlessly.
Here are my recommendations:
1 Set the mood:
- Your room should not be too cold or too hot. In fact, a slightly cooler room is preferable, anywhere between 60 and 73 Fahrenheit is perfect.
- Dim the lights and perhaps even light some candles and play relaxing music.
- If your pillow is not what you are accustomed to, ask the hotel for a more suitable one. Nowadays most hotels have “pillow menus”.
- Your room should be dark. If you can still see your hand in front of your face when all the lights are out then use an eye mask. Darkness is really important for your body to produce melatonin (the hormone that helps you sleep).
- Try to get to bed before 11pm, and definitely no later than midnight (this is when melatonin starts producing).
- Take earplugs with you in case there are unfamiliar sounds that may disturb your peace.
2 Stop screen time:
put away your gadgets 30 minutes before you go to sleep, not even the TV! Again, by exposing your eyes to the blue light of the screen affects the circadian rhythm by inhibiting melatonin production and the information will stimulate your mind. So you definitely want those screens off well before you go to bed!
3 Take with you some herbal teas:
Chamomile, Valerian Root and Linden are excellent for relaxation. You could also try either Yogi Tea’s Bedtime or Clipper Organic Sleep Easy Infusion. Slowly and mindfully sip on your warm drink and take some deep breaths and believe that you will have a great night’s rest.
4 Essential oils:
I love to use essential oils. I carry many with me and each one has a specific purpose. Sometimes rooms have strange smells due to new paint or carpeting, so I have a spray to freshen the room. Before you go to sleep spray some on your pillow. Try Lavender and Bergamot, both are high in linalool and linalyl acetate, both well known for their relaxing properties. My favourite is doTerra’s Serenity These are for external use only, however doTerra Serenity Restful Complex Softgels and SleepDrops for Adults by Sleep Drops are two great products that can be taken internally.
5 What you eat before bedtime:
- Avoid simple carbs and sugar as they can spike your blood sugar and boost your energy. A definite no-no! Eat proteins and vegetables and a small amount of complex carbohydrates such as nuts and seeds.
- I would also recommend taking a Magnesium supplement in the evening as it plays a key role in regulating the body’s stress response system as well as increasing GABA which helps the body relax and has a stabilizing effect on our mood. What a bonus! (Consult your doctor on how much you should be taking if you are on other medication). For general health, sleep and stress: 100-350mg daily.
- Last caffeine intake before 1pm.
- Avoid alcohol. Even though drinking makes some people drowsy and helps you fall asleep initially, it has a negative effect on the central nervous system, your circadian rhythms, your sleep cycle and suppresses melatonin. Another no-no!
And lastly… prepare your mind and body for successful sleep. It’s essential that you shift into a successful sleep mindset. If you are telling yourself continually you can’t sleep, the chances are you wont! So start by telling yourself a new story: believe and feel you will now start sleeping well, and you will!
So after you have sprayed your personally chosen pillow with relaxing essential oils, had your herbal tea and supplements and you have created optimal external conditions for rest, lie down in bed, place your hands on your heart and breathe deeply and believe you will sleep well. As your breath deepens and your mind calms you will begin to feel your body relaxing, and try not to try, and just allow yourself to slip into a successful nights sleep.
Successful Sleep checklist:
- Herbal teas
- Candles and lighter
- Relaxing music
- Essential oils/drops of choice
- Magnesium supplements
- Nuts and seeds
- Positive mindset!