Herb-based Evening Rituals
What is it you think of when you lay your head down at night? Are you up thinking about your hectic work schedule, your midterm exam, a significant other, or was it that coffee you regrettably drank at 6:00 p.m.? What are the many fleeting thoughts, emotions and stresses that cross your mind as you try to gain those precious (often too few) hours of rest?
No matter what you seem to do, the inevitable time comes when the mind and body simply refuse to relax. This may be once a year, once a month, or once a week. Least to say it happens to everyone, and the fear of not being able to sleep tends to lord over you like the two week old laundry sitting in the corner of your room.
The average American sleeps about 6.8 hours a night and more than 40 percent of people are sleeping less than that-- yikes! Studies show that the body needs a healthy balance of at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Cutting down on hours of sleep due to a busy schedule or late night partying can take a substantial toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress. Over long-term periods, chronic sleep loss can begin to degrade your physical and mental health. All along, I thought I wasn’t a morning person, but I just needed to get more rest!
Luckily for you, Mother Nature has got your back in more ways than one. All around you lie a medley of plants just waiting to be put into a tea, tincture, salve or capsule that can naturally aid you in slipping into a dreamy slumber.
Over the years, I have developed a repertoire of night time rituals that have helped ease me into the evening with less stress and anxiety. Each one of us can find our own ritual that can help us attain a state of relaxation; here are some options to get you started.
HERBAL EPSOM SOAKS
½ cup of epsom salts
3-4 drops of Lavender Essential Oil (or any calming oil you like)
3-4 drops of CBD Oil
Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate compound that has been used for hundreds of years as a healing agent and pain reliever. It is most often added to hot baths and foot soaks as a detoxifying agent and helps to reduce stress.
This may make your skin feel a bit dry, so be sure to moisturize after your bath. Try a CBD topical salve to leave your mind and body feeling buttery smooth.
Lavender is a powerhouse plant with aromatics that will knock your socks off. Lavender has been scientifically proven to calm the nervous system and reduce symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and depression. Not only is it calming to the mind, but it’s cleansing to the body! Lavender contains strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Romans used to use Lavender oil in their baths in order to clean themselves before the invention of soap came, and in that era it was considered a fine luxury-- so pamper yourself.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it does not alter mood or perception of reality. CBD helps lower cortisol levels which in turn reduces your blood pressure, causing your adrenal system to relax. CBD has been known to help with sleep apnea, REM disorders and insomnia.
Allow yourself the time and space to enjoy a relaxing bath at least once a week. Listen to some calming music, read a book, or simply close your eyes and rest, even if only for ten minutes.
EVENING HERBAL TEA
1 pint mason jar
4 ounces of Lavender
4 ounces of Chamomile
2 ounces of Skullcap
1 ounce of Valerian Root
2 ounces of Passion flower
2 ounces of Rosebuds
1 ounce Lemon Balm
Add 5 drops of CBD oil to your tea for a boost of calming bliss.
Don’t have time to make your own blend? Any of these pre-bagged teas from the grocery store will do!
All of these herbs have bountiful effects on calming the body and mind. By decreasing anxiety, stress and tension, these teas are the perfect night cap. I’ve found that not only are teas relaxing before bed, but the act of preparation gives me something to do at the end of the night: a routine that I can follow to help me settle into my evening. Visit your local herb shop and chat with the herbalists on staff; they may have some advice to offer on creating a blend unique to you.
MASSAGE OIL RUBS
1 oz of CBD oil
5 drops of any calming essential oil (peppermint, chamomile, lavender, rose, etc.)
To prepare your infusion, simply drop a couple of drops of your essential oil into your CBD and lightly shake it up. Lightly rub the oil blend on your temples, down the sides of your spine, along your neck, and any other spots on your body where you may be feeling tension.
CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory helping to relieve inflammation from skin, muscles, and joints, as well as internal organs. It is also an analgesic, so instead of numbing pain it actually relieves it.
Give yourself a nice gentle massage with this CBD-infusion to help release muscle tension you may be feeling. By spending some quality time getting in tune with your body, you become more aware of where you tend to hold stress which then allows you the space to mindfully work through that tension on your own.
BOOST YOUR RITUAL WITH READING
When I feel my body beginning to enter a state of relaxation and ease I put on my comfiest clothes and curl up in bed with a good book and often a hot cup of tea. Kacie Mckoy of She Knows Media states: “According to the National Sleep Foundation, a relaxing reading ritual can prepare your body for sleep and help your mind separate your sleep time from the stresses of daily living. A winding-down ritual can help people fall asleep faster and enjoy a higher quality of sleep throughout the night.”
Not only does reading before bed help you go to sleep more quickly, it also lowers your cortisol levels and enhances cognitive function!
Find your unique night time ritual and let us know what works for you! Here at Skyline Isolations, we are always enthusiastic about what benefits you; we’d love to hear your story. Get in touch.
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AUTHOR: Claire Frausto