Better Sleep Hygiene
Updated: Apr 13
"Restorative sleep should have been the first goal in my healing journey. " -K
April greetings dear friends, the showers are here and flowers are blossoming. What is emerging from its winter slumber in your life? Are you refreshing your routine? There are so many things blooming in my life and the lives of my clients. Are you spring cleaning to put your house on the market? Have you launched a new nutritional or exercise routine? Maybe you have started a new supplement to help with certain symptoms or to improve overall health and vitality. Whatever you choose to begin this spring I'm quite sure it will be successful.
Every month I write about the most prominent theme in my life or the lives of those I serve. Sometimes what I am sharing is something I wish I knew long ago, and happy that I have it now as a resource or practice. This time it is all about sleep. This topic has come up with literally everyone! Your body, mind and spirit deserve the best chance to heal itself overnight. The waking hours deplete us and restorative sleep repairs us. Your body cannot heal without this deep sleep. Do you have trouble reaching that deepest sleep called Delta? I have been analyzing sleep patterns and symptoms of recent clients and after some work I'm happy to report all of them are showing improvement or a total turnaround of their sleepquality due to better sleep hygiene.
The third stage of sleep is called Non-REM/Delta (Slow Wave) Sleep. This stage is responsible for about 25% of our overall sleep. During this stage the body can heal itself, the mind can rest and rejuvenate for the upcoming day ahead. If you are not able to reach this deepest stage of sleep nightly, or not long enough each night, you could have a much harder time with things like weight loss, pain relief, and mental clarity to name a few.
I'm not sure why it took me so long to write about the number one complaint of the people in my life. I suffered from chronic insomnia for many years. It resolved, but more recently I was experiencing on going disrupted sleep. I could fall asleep but not remain asleep. I guess I didn't write about this before because I had not mastered it myself yet. I have tried so many things over the years to improve my sleep hygiene. What is sleep hygiene? Sleep hygiene is a behavioral and environmental practice that was developed in the late 1970's as a method to help people with insomnia. Here are some ways I tried to resolve my poor sleep quality.
I started with my environment, my routine in the hours prior to sleep, guided meditations, sleep music, white noise, herbal supplements, essential oils, and as a last resort medication. I do not react well to pharmaceuticals of any kind and they simply didn't work for me. We are all different and respond to these supports in a variety of ways. It takes committment and patience to really find the right recipe for success. I finally found mine and I love learning the science behind this solution. Yes It will certainly be yet another new workshop soon.
Historically I have been a light sleeper waking up to the tiniest of stimuli. It was mostly due to my hyper-vigilence, I've been wired this way since early childhood. I do believe that lowering my stress, and improving balance in my body contributed to the success of my sleep. I used to approach each symptom like it was isolated. They are all related. Poor sleep led to increased pain because my body couldn't repair itself. Anxiety led to poor sleep, but poor sleep increased my stress. Chicken or the egg? No matter. What matter's is what works. My body's new balance is the result of a three pronged approach using water soluble, transdermal, and oral tincture CBD. Water soluble can be a powder you turn into a drink, or a gummy/jellie you chew and let dissolve in your mouth. Transdermal would be a topical cream, salve or oil. Oral tinctures (hemp-flower extract oil) go directly under the tongue to be absorbed. The combination has brought me to Delta, stabilized my inflammation, reduced my stress, and improved my digestion. All of the things that were keeping me awake.
Regardless of the order in which they were achieved the proof is in the daily results. The combination was so successful that I was able to cut back on dosing, and now I don't need the transdermal/topical pain cream. I don't run out of my supplements as quickly. I have had far fewer massage appointments, and I have not needed acupuncture in many months. Saving money never hurts! With hemp-based wellness as a practice, less can be more. I am thrilled to be sharing this with so many people who are having great results, the momentum is catching on.
1 in 3 Americans is sleep deprived and nearly half of children suffer from sleep disturbances.
Not getting enough sleep may cause problems with learning and retaining information, so if you are questioning your memory its good to look at all the potential contributing factors. When we get poor sleep we may have trouble focusing, making decisions, solving problems, coping with crisis or change. Sleep is EVERYTHING!
70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders, 90 million have snoring issues, and insomnia effects 30% of adults. I'm not going to get into sleep apnea, but it is a very underdiagnosed issue.
Better sleep hygiene can help you and those around you. It is the subject of my latest workshop. I am collecting case studies of those I have supported to present a very genuine account of things that work for a variety of people, and those they live with. Everything you choose to improve can have a ripple effect for those in your shared environment. So if you don't do it for you, perhaps consider it for those you love.
Here are some simple tips that I am piecing together for the workshop. Start with easy things to control, like making sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from your sleep area. Avoid heavy foods, caffeine, niccotine, chocolate, and alcohol before bedtime. OTC pain relievers, (especially headache formulas) all have caffeine. Are you taking anything else that contains stimulants like asthma or allergy medications? If there is a way to alter the timing of these doses it could really help. Spend as much time outdoors as you can and increase exercise earlier in the day so your workout doesn't keep you up. Try a structured sleep schedule that includes a short window for getting to bed each night, and waking up at the same time each morning. Have you been putting off that new mattress for too long?
In this workshop we are going to take a deep dive into all of the many ways we can enhance the quality of our sleep. Everyone will receive a sleep journal and printed materials to pick and choose the strategies they want to try at home. I'm looking forward to sharing what I have learned. For anyone who doesn't want to rely on pharmaceuticals, we will cover lots of alternative methods.
If you struggle with poor sleep I hope you will consider addressing it sooner than later. You deserve the restorative benefits of quality deep sleep. Check out my classes/events, and as always please don't hesitate to call with questions or to schedule a private session.
Till we meet again, -K