Sleep is essential to our physical and mental health. There are lots of things that can pull us out of our natural rhythm with sleep, from the heat of the summer months to anxieties about life and the times we’re living in.
When you do fall out of rhythm and can no longer sleep, the matter should be addressed right away. A lack of sleep not only depletes our vital energy, it also increases our metabolism so much that even when we get the opportunity to rest, we can’t. Rest is essential to our health. It’s during stillness and sleep that the body repairs and replenishes itself, and creates new energy to take us into the next moment. If the body does not get sleep, we move further and further out of balance, and little by little, various systems of the body grow weak and fatigued and less capable of bringing us back into balance. The last thing you need, especially when going through a difficult time, is to become ill or lose your ability to bounce back.
Below are a few natural things that can help with insomnia. If you think you don’t have time to do some or all of them, please reconsider. Sleep is not something we can skip.
Throughout the day, drink an Oat Straw Infusion. This will help bring a frayed nervous system back into balance. In the summertime, drink it cold. Other seasons, you might enjoy it at room temperature.
At night, about 60 minutes before bed, drink a cup of herbal tea that can aid with sleep. One option is lavendar tea. Another option is a blend of lemon balm, peppermint, and skullcap.
After your tea, put yourself in a restorative Viparita Karani pose for 15-30 minutes. In Viparita Karani, it’s almost impossible not to relax if you give it time. The increased blood flow towards the head triggers the baroreceptors in the neck to tell the body to relax.
Pranayama & Meditation bring balance and restoration to the nervous system and quiet brain activity. 45 minutes per day is ideal, but even just 20 minutes in the morning, as a start, can help reduce anxiety throughout the day.
I recommend buying your tea herbs and flowers in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs or Jean's Greens, or a local shop you may know of. Boxed tea bags have less potency because they are older and have been exposed to air for too long.
The energy of caring for yourself is a tonic in and of itself. Natural remedies work on insomnia, and they are healthier for you and our environment than pharmaceuticals. If these simple ideas don't help enough and you still can't sleep, consider giving yourself more support. Find someone who can help you find your way back to center before you slip too far.