I hope that you’ve been finding some of my sleep highlights and suggestions insightful. Knowing that sleep is a critical component of wellness, it’s worthwhile to care for this aspect of your body’s health just as you would your diet and exercise routine. I’ve experienced chronic insomnia firsthand and let me tell you, it’s not fun.
Getting the quality sleep we need can be a multi-faceted endeavor, as each of us is unique in our physiology and energetics. Conventional medicine uses the higher force intervention of sleep medications, but these can create long term dependence with lasting side effects on memory and attention, among others.
When I graduated from naturopathic medical school, I took an important oath that all naturopathic doctors take: ‘Primum Non-Nocere,’ or ‘First Do No Harm.’ Part of this oath is to use the least force interventions FIRST to work with the body’s innate healing capacity. What worked for me the most in my healing journey from chronic insomnia was probably the most gentle intervention you could imagine – clearing my energy – I’ll share more on that later.
Let’s get back to basics with lifestyle factors that can have an impact on sleep quality:
Diet – Are you dependent upon that morning cup of coffee? Do you notice peaks and plummets in your energy throughout the day, leading you to snack on carbs or sweets, grab some chocolate, or fill up another cup of java? If so, your blood sugar and cortisol levels are probably yo-yo-ing.
How you start your day sets the tone for how you will sleep. Loathe the idea of giving up coffee? You might not have to. Think about adding in a scoop of collagen protein, MCT oil, or even 1/2 tsp of butter to turn your morning cup of Joe into a meal that won’t jack your cortisol levels leading to a crash in a few hours.
Stress Levels – Is your mind buzzing with that eternal to do list? If so, it might be time to create your nightly unwinding routine to support your nervous system in easing into sleep. Check out this healing meditation on my YouTube channel for support in releasing the day.
I absolutely love a yin or restorative yoga practice close to bedtime, ending with vetiver or lavender essential oil applied to the soles of my feet, adrenals, and back of the neck. Lavender helps to soothe the mind and I have found the deep earthy smell of vetiver to be the most effective at grounding the nervous system before bed.
Exercise – How much are you moving your body during the day? Moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow-wave sleep, or that deep sleep where the brain and body have a chance to rejuvenate. Exercise can also help to stabilize your mood and decompress the mind – a process that is important for naturally transitioning to sleep. Just be sure to give yourself at least a couple of hours before bed to transition to sleep as aerobic exercise boosts endorphins and core body temperature – both of which can be stimulating.
I think we’re all more affected than we realize by the nature of the critical time that we are in. Even if we seem to be in a routine with work/life, there is still a huge amount of subconscious pressure that you can’t easily quantify. Consider being gentle with yourself as we transition into winter, less is more during this darker cooler time of the year. If we pause and take our cues from the natural world, trees and plants sink their energy deep into their roots.It’s an important time to conserve our energy and to resource ourselves. This will go a long way to support our resilience through winter and as we become extroverted once again as flower buds start to take shape in spring.
AND, if you’re looking for a total mind-body reset come spring, consider signing up for my Yoga and Energy Healing Retreat, in collaboration with the beautiful Haramara Resort.
It has been a dream of mine to co-facilitate a yoga and energy healing retreat for quite some time now. I happened upon the perfect spot over a year ago when I did a personal retreat at Haramara. I just reserved this beautiful spot for April 3-10, 2021.
Haramara resort is located outside of Puerto Vallarta near the neighboring of Sayulita. It is set on a lush hillside overlooking the ocean. It is a beautiful eco-luxury resort and really the only place I have visited where I said “I have to come back!”.
The land at Haramara is special – it is sacred land previously occupied by the local Huichol tribe. The owner of Haramara built the resort with the intention of keeping the native vibe fully intact. It is the perfect place to unplug – all of the open air cabanas are spaced far apart, so you feel fully immersed in the terrain, and electricity is limited to the main dining and pool areas. A visit to this land is deeply healing in and of itself.
Together, we will experience:
~twice daily yoga at your pace
~guided breathwork, meditation, and chakra clearing
~group energy work for healing and renewal
~rituals for transformation of energy and patterns
We will also have opportunities for:
~temezcal (Aztec sweat lodge)
~walks into the neighboring town of Sayulita
Unplug, tune into nature and receive support on your journey – I hope you can join us!
To learn more, click here.