It is no secret that I have seriously struggled with sleep over the last year or so. The perfect storm of anxiety, hormonal fluctuations, challenging life events and day-to-day stress brewed together to make this one of my most difficult years ever for sleep function. Do you know when you are lying there trying so hard to fall asleep, but all of that effort and concentration just leads to more pressure, which makes it even more impossible to fall asleep? Now imagine that repeating itself over and over again for more than a year! This challenging sleep cycle took over my life for many months and it had many repercussions.
My lack of sleep created a negative feedback loop that enhanced my anxiety and stress, made me irritable, increased my brain fog, caused me to become chronically exhausted and decreased my overall quality of life for a period of time. I really struggled. I know how integral sleep is for overall health, which fueled my concern. The human body needs adequate sleep to maintain numerous essential functions including digestion, hormonal balance, damaged tissue repair, detoxification, strengthening the immune system, fighting illnesses, mental health, and more.
The one positive aspect of all of my frustrating sleep issues? I have tried seemingly countless products and supplements for sleep aid and have been able to collect a list of the ones that I have found to be the absolute most effective. By implementing a blend of all of these products and various practices such as energy healing, yoga, and meditation, I was able to turn around my sleep issues and am feeling much better. I can only hope that I went through these challenges for a reason – to help someone else out there who may be struggling with sleep.
One tactic that really helped over the last year was re-creating my sleep area to make it much more comfortable and enjoyable. A big part of that was introducing this weighted blanket! It really helps to keep me from tossing and turning in the night. Whenever I use my Gravity Blanket, I wake up feeling much more rested. Oh, and this company now has a cooling blanket for anyone who tends to run a bit warm in their sleep!
Nue Co.’s Magnesium Ease Spray & Sleep Drops
Nue Co. is a brand that I have used for a long time and it always delivers. Its products are all natural, chemical-free and cruelty-free. Nue Co.’s Magnesium Ease Spray is a God-send for stress relief. It is a lavender and arnica oil infused magnesium body spray that helps to relieve tension throughout the body and mind. The Sleep Drops are another favorite of mine that significantly help me when it comes time to winding down before bedtime.
Even those of us who do not suffer from sleep issues should likely be supplementing with magnesium. It is a mineral that used to be much more readily available in the soil, so we would easily consume enough of it in our produce. However, modern farming practices have seriously depleted the essential mineral that is partially responsible for so many bodily functions. One of those functions is physical relaxation, which obviously has value when it comes to falling asleep.
In addition to its physical relaxation properties, magnesium is a precursor to GABA which is a neurotransmitter that induces a state of relaxation in the brain. GABA is one of the only neurotransmitters that is an inhibitor – AKA it essentially inhibits some of the signals jolting around in our brains, making it easier for us to fall asleep and sleep soundly. Without it, your brain is physiologically incapable of shutting down. My favorite magnesium supplement is Innate Response’s Magnesium 300 mg.
Social CBD “Relax” Lavender Pen
CBD has been another God-send for me this year. I consume it a number of ways including in Kikoko CBD tea, infused honey, oil tinctures and even in vaporizer form when I am feeling extra antsy prior to bedtime. My favorite pen that I can fully stand behind is Social CBD’s “Relax” pen. It works to help calm me down whenever I need it – it really has never failed me. It is formulated with essential oils like lavender, which also help to relax me for sleep. I know CBD may not be for everyone, but it definitely has worked for me, so I feel compelled to share it.
thisworks Portable Diffuser
Speaking of lavender essential oils, I absolutely love putting them in my diffuser. About 15 minutes before I climb into bed, I add a few drops of my organic lavender essential oil to my diffuser and let the calming steam disperse around my bedroom. When it comes time for me to slide into bed, the relaxing oils have filled the air and my lungs and, more times than not, my eyes start to become heavy shortly after my head hits the pillow. I love my portable diffuser by thisworks because I can take it with me anywhere to ensure that I have a sound sleep – even when traveling!
Sonic Sleep App
I have found that, especially when I am traveling, I have become super sensitive to sounds when I sleep. One thing that has really helped me with this is the Sonic Sleep App. It offers calming sound options like white noise and pink noise, which the developers refer to as “sleep masks,” that work to simultaneously relax your mind and block out outside noise to make falling and staying asleep much easier for you.
It is important to remember that these products alone are unlikely to cure your sleep issues. You should also incorporate a combination of regular physical activity, meditative practices, and a nutrient-dense diet comprised of whole, mostly plant-based foods to ensure that you are doing everything in your power to fuel your sleep.
Please note: I have not been paid to mention any of these brands or products. They have genuinely helped to reduce my sleep issues and I hope they can help you too!