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It’s 10 pm and I should be curled up in bed with my silky new gutschlafen sheets, sipping herbal tea and reading a good night story, preparing for a well-deserved night´s sleep, or at least a couple of hours sleep before my daughter wakes me up demanding for my presence.
Except that my mind keeps buzzing with thoughts. I think about the pile of shirts that I have to iron. I think how I forgot to call my friend for her birthday. I think about how I turned into an angry mum today over something insignificant, and I feel guilty. I ask myself whether I truly am connecting with my kids in a meaningful way and what they one day will remember me for.
So I wonder what would help me or rather trick me into falling asleep? And here is what I found: my latest sleep hacks that transformed my bedtime into a stress-free experience.
1.The right ambiance: the mattress, the bed sheets, the lighting. Everything counts. I recently bought new Schlossberg Bedsheets and a Roviva Mattress from gutschlafen that now I feel have taken my recovery time to a whole different level. Every hour of sleep counts on that mattress plus I feel my posture is changing too.
2. It’s been only recently that I learned about the so-called deep breathing 4-7-8 technique, pioneered by the US sleep expert Dr. Andrew Weil. He claims that this trick can make any insomniac drop off to sleep in under one minute. I have never been able to exactly calculate the time, but the method is simple: breathing in for 2 counts, holding the breath for 7 and exhaling for 8. I am not sure whether it is the technique or just the deep breathing, but it definitely has a calming effect on my mind and relaxes even my muscles. I’ve even been trying this technique with my kids before they go to bed.
3. Essential oils – I love essential oils especially in winter and my favorite ones are the ylang-ylang and marjoram, which is known as the “herb of happiness” to the Romans and “joy of the mountains” to the Greeks. This oil is really soothing and relaxes the nerves. I love to apply 1-2 drops to the inside of my wrists and a few drops at the back of my neck almost every night before I go to sleep.
Historically, the ylang-ylang flower has been used to cover the beds of newlywed couples on their wedding night. That’s because this powerful oil helps to balance male and female energies, supports focus and restores peace.
Essential Oils are amazing for supporting healthy sleep, and the best part is that they are totally natural. This means you can actually use them in your children´s room too.
There are countless options you can choose like chamomile and frankincense, lavender, also known for their balancing effects on emotions and restless behaviour. It very much depends on your personal tastes for your bedroom scents. My favourite ones are Young Living.
4. Everyone tells me how reading is the best way to calm your mind but recently I have been trying some new apps with bedtime stories and meditation. The ones I really like are Calm Bedtime App & Headspace. You may also enjoy the Sleep Sounds app to use as white noise. It’s another awesome app for the iPhone, and it will send you into dreamland with hundreds of soothing sounds, gentle lullabies, and hours of relaxing music.
5. Calming tea or Curcuma latte – My grandmother used to give me warm milk with a dash of sugar in it to help me fall asleep on restless nights, but since I don’t drink milk anymore I learned about teas and bananas. Bananas are very good to calm you down before falling asleep. As of the teas – my favourite calming tea is Welleco Fortified Calming tea and Shotimaa Emotional Detox