3 Simple Techniques to Improve Sleep

Can’t sleep at night? Hard time shutting off your brain when it’s time to sleep? Do you experience getting a second wind late at night? Or do you wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time falling back to sleep? 

I can relate! I’ve always been a night person, and seem to tap into my creative side in the quiet hours of the night when everyone is asleep. Now as a new mama to a 11 week old baby, you might think the night owl in me is in her element.  It’s been an interesting balance craving both sleep & the quiet moments at night when my husband and baby are sleeping and I can harness some excess creative energy.  These are 3 tips that I practice when I know I need my sleep & it’s time to quiet my mind.

1.     Elevate your legs up the wall. This can be practiced in bed by resting your legs up by your headboard, so when you get sleepy you can pivot around in bed and sleep soundly. This restorative posture (Viparita Karani) has many known benefits of increasing circulation, moving stagnant/restless energy, and reversing the flow of energy in the body.

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2.     Belly Breath. With your legs up the wall, rest your hands at your lower belly.  Inhale imagine filling your lower belly as if you were filling up a balloon and exhale slowly and easily.  Deep diaphragmatic breaths are deeply calming to the nervous system, and help with harmonizing emotions.

3.     Serenity essential oil. This 100% pure organic essential oil blend has been called “Sleepy-Time Potion,” and is a designed to be a calming & relaxing blend. The essential oils in the Serenity blend are lavender, sweet marjoram, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, sandalwood and vanilla bean extract. I like to place this oil on my chest and neck as I prepare to elevate my legs up the wall & practice deep belly breaths.  Diffusing this oil in your bedroom as you go to sleep will also aid in a restful deep sleep.

As I read about putting my baby to sleep, in creating healthy sleep habits I think how much I’d like to get on the same healthy sleep cycle. A take-away is watching for drowsy signs and “catching the wave” when baby is drowsy to put them down to sleep then, before adrenaline kicks in (or that second wind) and they really resist sleep. Establishing healthy sleep habits for babies & for ourselves can be tricky… so if you’re anything like me, you know you love your sleep yet sometimes it’s challenging to shut the brain off or give yourself permission to rest when you’re drowsy.  Try these 3 simple techniques & I’d love to hear your experience!