Ten Natural Sleep Tips for Summer
Posted on 05 December 2016 by Leonie Satori
Longer days and late sunsets in summer make it so much more challenging to get a good night's sleep. In Australia, summer also brings with it the Christmas holidays, and worries and anxieties associated with family or children can also impact on your sleep routine. Most people know that getting a good night's sleep is essential for overall health, so this article discusses some quick and easy ways to naturally obtain a better night sleep, without relying on prescription or over the counter medication.
A Darkened Room: encourages a good night of sleep and the production of melatonin, a natural sleep hormone. If you are unable to block out sunlight or street lights from your windows, use an eyemask or a folded handkerchief over your eyes to create darkness.
Soporific Herbs: help to encourage drowsiness and deep sleep. These kind of herbs are often quite aromatic and include valerian, hops and chamomile. These relaxing herbs are often best administered in a tea or infusion and should be consumed shortly before bed time. Our signature blend Snooze Tea contains a blend of aromatic soporific herbs and nervine herbs for a nice relaxing slumber.
Relaxing Essential Oils: help to calm the mind and body through the olfactory system. The most well known relaxing essential oil is lavender, but others such as cedarwood, marjoram and frankincense can be used in combination to help with sleep onset and maintaining a deep sleep. Organic essential oils can be used in aromatherapy diffusers, added to a warm bath or a few drops added to a tissue or handkerchief under your pillow can work wonders for a good night sleep.
Massage: especially foot or scalp massage can help to relax the muscles and encourage drowsiness at bedtime. Use a combination of the above essential oils in your favourite carrier oil and massage your feet for 5-10 minutes before bed time. If you can manage it, get someone else to give you a foot massage or a nice head scratching ... oh, yeah.
Meditation: is especially good for those who have difficulty sleeping due to mental clutter or ongoing worries. 'Counting sheep' is one of the best known meditation techniques for sleep, but a sleep mediation need not be so cliched, in fact CDs, breathing meditation or even visualisation meditation can help to relax the body and empty your mind of worries.
Exercise: is a great panacea for all health concerns. Physical activity helps to reduce stress hormones, can help to alleviate anxiety and can get you physically worn out by the end of the day so that you have no option but to sleep soundly. Aim to get your physical activity in several hours before you head into bed, keeping up a regular routine can not only help with sleeping at night, but also can invigorate your mind, improve alertness through the day and ultimately is better than any medication or sleeping pill.
White Noise: creates a natural sound barrier for those who are sensitive to noises while they are sleeping. White noise can be as simple as a quietly droning ceiling fan or as elaborate as a seaside sound CD playing in your bedroom.
Magnesium: is a mineral often deficient in a modern diet. Magnesium nourishes the nervous system and helps with relaxation of muscle fibres, making it an ideal supplement for those suffering from sleeplessness due to stress, strain or worries. Magnesium can be used as an oral supplement, or for some, using a topical magnesium spray can provide fast relaxation and relief from cramping or restless legs.
Routine: forms the foundation of health in Ayurvedic medicine - the science of life. Ensuring that your sleep patterns are regular helps with your body's own production of sleep hormones and ensures that you have a complete and restful sleep. A regular waking time, even on weekends or after a late night out can help to maintain balance in a busy life. Where possible, avoid a famine and feast pattern of sleep as this can produce further sleep issues.
Intimacy: in a loving relationship can help with feelings of well being, helps with relaxation, stress release and like exercise helps with encouraging a sound sleep . And what better way to end a busy day and encourage a nice relaxing slumber?
Rather than relying on one remedy, I find that a combination of the above techniques will help to improve sleep during hot summer nights. Maintaining a sleep routine, regular exercise, using relaxing essential oils and herbal tea, including meditation and intimacy is all part of a healthy life and can contribute to a balanced healthy sleep.
About the Author
Leonie is a Naturopath & Medical Herbalist with a passion for good food, healthy living and of course, herbal medicine. When she is not consulting in her Naturopathic clinic in Lismore or blogging about nutrition, Ayurvedic Medicine or natural health, she is studying yoga, growing her own herbs and vegetables or quietly walking in the natural bush land in Northern Rivers NSW.
Contact our health centre in Lismore to book an appointment with Leonie in our naturopathic clinic.
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