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Natural Remedies to Help you Sleep and Relax

Natural Remedies to Help you Sleep and Relax

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Feeling a little crabby and like you crawled out of the wrong bed?

All of us have days when we wake up feeling like we crawled out of the wrong bed, got no sleep and aren’t quite ready to face the day.

Whether this is because lack of sleep, anxiety or just that the bed isn’t comfortable isn’t the point of this article.  The issue is – how do we avoid it in the first place?

I can certainly empathize with how this crab crawling out of a clam shell probably felt. Tension and little sleep used to be a much more frequent occurrence when I traveled.  However, since I travel more frequently of late I’ve had to adjust by learning natural ways to reduce my anxiety and improve sleep quality in any situation.  Here are my favorites.

1.   Aromatherapy.  Most commercial fragrances give me headaches; however, natural essential oils either wake me up or calm me down without any side effects.

Aromatherapy is my favorite choice for relaxation and I use it prolifically – in lotions and creams, ointments, antiseptics and even in sprays.  I also use aromatherapy at home even when I am already relaxed so that I can replicate the memory and feelings when I am traveling just by surrounding myself with the same fragrance.

The essential oils that I prefer for sleep and relaxation include lavender, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus.  I will often create a special custom blend to take with me as both a spray and a moisturizing ointment.  I will use the ointment as a hand sanitizer or under my nose as a virus repellent and aromatherapy when I am on the plane.  I use the spray on the pillows and sheets in my hotel room.  The spray blend I have created actually repels insects (an added benefit in most hotel rooms) as well as providing me with a feeling of relaxation and sense of wellbeing.

2.  Restful Herbs.   Herbs have been used for centuries to promote restful sleep.   If the ones you try at first, don’t give up.    I personally cannot use chamomile or Valerian which are very popular for many people.  They actually make me jittery and restless but others swear by them.   My selection is a little unusual and may not work for you; however, the message is – experiment.  Don’t listen to what everyone says is right if it doesn’t work.   The herbs that work well to help me sleep include the following:

  • Hops. When you saw this you probably immediately thought of beer which may seem strange when talking about sleep.  However,  hops is a flower that is often used in tea (and yes beer). It is believed to reduce restlessness and tension.   I have included it in my sleep blend tea recipes that are also used for my sleep gummy recipe and find that it relaxes me fairly quickly.
  • Catnip. Known as a favorite of cats, it seems to have the opposite effect on many humans and can promote relaxation and sleep. I use catnip in my sleep blend tea and sleep gummy recipe that I take when I travel.
  • Melatonin.  Melatonin is naturally produced by the body and helps induce sleep.  Melatonin production can be interrupted when traveling since you may not have control over your exposure to light.  Watching TV in your room, light coming through an improperly blocked window or even that ipad or reading light next to you on the plane may reduce the amount of available melatonin and your sleep cycle.   I use melatonin in my sleep tea blend.
  • Magnesium. This essential nutrient when used properly relieves my muscle tension, leg cramps and reduces my overall stress levels.

3.   Tea Blends.  I talked about teas above but I want to put special emphasis on the power of a custom tea blend for relaxation and sleep.   I created my own sleep recipe tea blend that I take with me when I travel.   I simply add hot water to my customer blend in the evening about an hour before bedtime and enjoy it as a tea.  Since every hotel today has a coffee maker of some type and cups, it’s easy and convenient.

4.  Music or White Noise.  I am fortunate to live in the country; however, this makes me particularly sensitive to the sounds of the city and noise when I am surrounded by people.  The unfamiliar bumps and scrapes and slamming doors in a hotel room combined with the tension created from being in crowds can make sleep evasive.  When I travel I take some form of white noise or music player  – usually more than one.

On the plane, I use my iPhone loaded with the sounds of the ocean and waves or rain falling. These sounds cut out most distractions if I am trying to rest or read on the plane.

In the hotel room, it is not comfortable to wear earphones with an iPhone and the speaker just isn’t sufficient to provide quality white noise when I sleep.  I usually take an iPad or speakers that connect to my computer and load it with my music and sounds. Since I use iTunes I can have the same selections on my iPhone as my computer for economy and convenience.

I am not a doctor or licensed specialist.   This post reflects my opinion and remedies that I use.  These may not work for everyone.  You should consult a doctor before using any natural remedy.

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