Getting a good night's rest is essential for optimal health and for achieving that 'fresh faced' look. The ultimate goal is to get the right amount of hours you need and achieve restorative REM stage sleep. Try incorporating some of these tips when you need a little extra help and prepare yourself to awaken refreshed and energized!
Clean & Organize
First, clear out anything that is not sleep essential (like your electronics and stacks of papers.) If you create your room to feel like it is made only for rest, your mind and body can relax naturally. Keep your room clean. It is hard to feel rested when you are staring at piles of laundry that need to be dealt with or dust bunnies that are hanging from the corners of your ceiling.
Pick out some art that soothes you or keep the wall space blank if that is what is tranquil to you. Paint the walls a soothing color to match the blue sky or tranquil sunset. Try 'Black Out' curtains for keeping out unwanted light. The sun rises in the east, so an east facing window may get brighter even before your alarm has had a chance to go off.
Himalayan Salt Lamp
Pick up one or two Himalayan Salt Lamps (or Himalayan Salt Candle Holders) and turn on one hour before you go to bed. The salt purifies the air and omits negative ions which make your room smell and feel like the ocean. Negative ions can be up to 10 times increased when you are at the beach and can improve sluggish energy. Positive ions come from the use of electronics like cellphones, microwaves, computers and iPad's. Too many of those positive ions can make you feel fatigued. That's one of the reasons why many of us feel so amazing while we are at the ocean. These lamps have a short range so if you want the ocean air to engulf your whole house you will need at least one for each room.
If you like aromatherapy, you will love incorporating relaxation oils at bedtime. One of my favorite essential oils (that I like to use in my diffuser) is called Purification from Young Living. It's primary use is to eliminate odors and to purify the air. When I walk into my bedroom following the use of this oil and the Himalayan Salt Lamp, the room feels like I'm breathing in high quality oxygen.
There are several other oils that promote a rest like Lavender, Frankincense and Vetiver. On nights that I have more difficulty getting to sleep, I'll put a drop of Lavender essential oil on my pillow. I also keep my Epicuren Lavender hand and body lotion by my bedside and recommend to use on your hands before hitting the pillow.
Yoga & Stretching
Once you are in bed, try a few poses or stretches to quiet your mind and body. Start with easy pose (sukhasana) and sit with your legs in "criss cross apple sauce" as my 4 year old son would say. Close your eyes and take 6-10 deep breaths. Sit up tall and strait stretching your head and neck high towards
the ceiling. Next, try Butterfly pose by touching the bottoms of your feet together and stretching your knees as far towards the bed as it is comfortable. You shouldn't have to move much from your easy pose position to get into this new pose. It only requires connecting the bottoms of your feet so they touch. Now, try a couple neck rolls by moving your neck from side to side to the back and facing forward again. Roll your shoulders backward and forward and finish in child's pose or continue stretching if you feel like it. To do Child's pose, sit on your knees and stretch your arms as far as you can reach on the bed leaning forward. Have your big toes touch underneath you. Take a few deep breathes here as well.
Cheers to replenishing your mind and body and waking rested and strong!