Think you're getting enough sleep? It's Sleep Awareness Week - of course during the time change! Read more about how sleep affects your overall health and ways to get better sleep without pills.
Do you have sleep deprivation? I’d almost bet you are sleep deprived. We’re a 24/7 world, always connected, always on, always awake.
Our bodies are wired to sleep when the sun goes down and rise when the sun comes up.
We have been sleep deprived since October 22, 1879. That is the day that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. After that day, it was game on for packing ever more into our busy schedules.
What is sleep deprivation and are YOU sleep deprived? I’m pretty sure I am, even though I try to get 8 – 9 hours of sleep every night.
Just because you go to bed at a decent hour doesn’t mean you’re getting enough sleep. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute offers this definition of sleep deprivation (and deficiency):
- You don’t get enough sleep (sleep deprivation)
- You sleep at the wrong time of day (that is, you’re out of sync with your body’s natural clock)
- You don’t sleep well or get all of the different types of sleep that your body needs
- You have a sleep disorder that prevents you from getting enough sleep or causes poor quality sleep
Even though I try to get into bed by 10 – 11 PM every night, it doesn’t mean I sleep the whole night through. Every once in a while, insomnia strikes and I get into a pattern where my body (read that my monkey mind) wakes up at 3 AM and it’s game on. At best, I toss and turn; at worst, I’m wide awake for the rest of the night.
One of the products I created for just this issue is Sleepytime Lotion. Put a squirt of it on your chest about 15 minutes before you go to sleep and drift off to lala land. Before you pop that sleeping tablet (and feel groggy and disjointed the next day), think about using a plant-based product like Sleepytime Lotion first.
Sleep deprivation can cause car and workplace accidents as well. How many times have you been driving and felt like you could nod off any any moment?
Christopher Barnes of the University of Washington wrote an article for the Huffington Post on how stress impacts your sleep. Show of hands – who is NOT stressed?
Barnes writes that work stress in particular plays a role in poor quality of sleep. Work is stressful sometimes, there’s no way to avoid it. Then, to make matters worse, lack of sleep makes you more stressed! He says that social support is good in stressful situations and having regular sleep patterns is even better.
- When you do not get the amount of sleep you require, you begin to accumulate what is known as sleep debt.
- Teenagers need the same amount of sleep as small children, and those over 65 need the least amount of anyone. The average adult requires a middle amount.
- It is estimated that fatigue is the cause of 1 in 6 fatal road accidents. (!!!)
- It can damage your skin, causing bags and wrinkles that worsen over time. In addition to this, it can weaken your immune system so you become sick more frequently. (AACK!)
- A lack of sleep can increase feelings of depression and anxiety.
Are you beginning to see why sleep is so important?
Breaking the Cycle of Sleep Deprivation
There are other ways to break this vicious cycle. I could go on and on about stress management, but really, how do you manage stress? The easiest way to manage your stress is to walk around the block. I’m not kidding!
When you move your body (even if it’s only for 10 minutes), your body releases endorphins. When your body releases endorphins into your system, they act like sedatives. You feel calmer and less stressed.
According to WebMD.com, even a small amount of exercise makes a huge difference. Regular exercise is proven to:
Sleep deprivation makes life harder. The bottom line – make sleep a priority.
How Does Aromatherapy Help You Sleep?
As an aromatherapist, I use a number of essential oils to calm your central nervous system and help you relax. I use several of them to make a wonderful non-addicting sleep aid for insomnia to use at bedtime to help you relax and sleep restfully. Along with Sleepytime Lotion, here’s another blend you might like to help you sleep:
Good Sleep Blend
- 10 drops of May Chang (Litsea cubeba)
- 10 drops of Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
- 10 drops of Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
- 2 ounces of Unscented Lotion
- 2 ounce jar with lid
Combine all ingredients into jar and stir well. Apply each night to your chest and back of neck, preferably about 15 minutes before bedtime.
I get my essential oils from Aromatics International – a wonderful small business who goes directly to a network of small distillers around the world for pure essential oils. You can purchase directly from them, too, there’s nothing to join and they offer free shipping.
I know the frustration of not getting a good night’s sleep. Please think seriously about moving your body and reducing stress with the amazing goodness of essential oils. I use them every night just for reducing stress and good sleep.
Please let me know what questions you have; I would love to talk with you about your needs and concerns. Simply fill out this contact form and I’ll take it from there. Don’t wait – let’s get started today.
As always, I am very grateful you chose to stop by.
PS – the above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Please see a qualified medical professional for any and all health issues.