I love a weekend nap or sleeping in on a rainy morning. It is comforting and comfortable. Those rare afternoons I have no commitments, no real things to do and no errands, it is nice to read a good book and doze off. I feel refreshed and even a little spoiled by doing this every now and then. Sleeping in and waking up when my body wants to is always a treat and not something I can do all the time. I have always appreciated sleep and do my best to honor and treat myself well with it. It is not however always easy to obtain that ideal sleep.
Being consistent about bedtimes went out the window at our house last year. Our son was enrolled in an online virtual school and had a lot more flexibility in his day. School now started at 9 and since it was a short trip to the dining room turned classroom, this also meant he didn’t need to get up as early. He started staying up a little later and sleeping in a little further but I noticed a difference in him from this change. He was more focused in his schoolwork, more energetic and awake during the day. While not as strict on time for bed, he also didn’t resist us as much getting in there when we finally said it was time. It seemed we had found the balance of schedule to his body’s rhythm for sleep.
It is nice to not to have to live by an alarm or at least have one that aligns to our natural sleep rhythm. Sadly not enough of us have that luxury, myself included. My day usually starts between 5:12 and 6:00. That is now always fun to get up at that time but duty calls right? The problem is we don’t always back up the support to make that time easier by going to bed earlier. For me it can simply be a matter of not being tired yet or having too much on my mind. Other times I easily go asleep only to wake up a couple hours later unable to go back to sleep. The natural schedule of my body is different than the schedule I must meet every day. Most of us as a result of this go through life tired.
When we are looking to improve our health, sleep is one of the key areas to focus on. Quality and quantity of sleep matter because it is our body’s recharging time to reduce stress, rebuild and restore. When we don’t get enough sleep our body’s do their best to power through but we leave it susceptible to threats like a weakened immune system, low energy, no appetite controls and more. Lacking the right kind of sleep is one of the biggest determinants to achieving health goals.
Improving our sleep is not easy sometimes either. Most of us are overly stressed, lacking enough movement, water, nutrition and more that make it uncomfortable to sleep. We toss and turn, thinking about our day, what we need to do, what happened and what we forgot to do. Our body’s feel stiff, restless and fidgety. Sleep doesn’t go well and before we know it the alarm is going off telling us it is time to do it all over again. Maybe we can “catch up” on sleep over the weekend right?
If sleep is important than it is also important we deal with these other factors in our life. We may not be able to find that job that gives us the flexibility to start our day at a time more aligned to our needs but we can change our day to support sleep. That starts by proactively addressing the stress. Stress causes so many health concerns including impacting our diet, energy, mental well-being and sleep. We have to get a handle on it and find that way to bring it in check so we can really dig deeper into making the necessary improvements for better health. For some this can mean we start taking walks or doing something that releases stress. For others this can be more drastic like changing our environment where stress is toxic. I have found a lot of support through the doTERRA Adaptiv products. The natural formula is helpful in finding that space I need to come at stress from a point of calmness. (Learn more at: https://doterra.me/c4pBYZxL )
Dealing with stress though is only step one. While it’s a major step and will help we also need to deal with the other aspects of our lifestyle including nutrition and exercise. Eating well to ensure we have the nutritional needs of our body met each day has it’s own set of challenges but it is necessary. It is truly more important than any task on our to-do list. When we don’t fill these needs our body doesn’t have what it needs to get through our day without some part of us being weakened. This is a big cause of why we can start to feel run down, seem to catch colds often or don’t feel energized. Changing even just a few things in our diet make it possible to build the path to better nutrition. I started with kicking my soda habit and from there worked on changing what I ate. The doTERRA Nutritional products have been a big help for me here in changing my appetite and getting cravings under control. (Learn more: https://doterra.me/0iwNlOgF )
Lastly, what I have found helped me the most was just being honest that I needed more rest. When I stopped letting my day be the reason I couldn’t sleep at night, I felt better. I listened to my body when it said it needed rest and I gave it to myself. That includes naps on weekends or sleeping in but it also includes going to bed earlier during the week. When I feel tired I make going to bed a treat by turning on the warming blanket, diffusing Serenity and Breathe on the nightstand and turning the lights low. It feels like an oasis where it is safe to rest and let my body and mind have that time to recoup. (Learn more about what I diffuse at night here: https://doterra.me/gwZ08ECF )
Improving our sleep is not a one day change. For me it took intentional small improvements that I continue to make in my life to support sleeping well. This all very much comes down to honoring our health and treating ourselves in a way that is loving. Yes we all have busy lives and crazy things that happen but when we truly want to be successful at all of that it starts with sleep. We can come at things stronger, more focused, energized and healthy when we ourselves feel our best. That is living naturally well.
For questions or more information, visit me at dragonspitapothecary.com