Final Step to Perfect Health
Last month we discussed 4 out of 5 steps, but we were waiting to see if anyone could guess the final step to perfect health. Do you know what it is? This key ingredient is fought by children, it is sought by teens, and adults can never seem to get enough....
We are not getting enough sleep and it shows in the circles under our eyes, in the forgetfulness we suffer from, and in the cranky tantrums of babes. We all know how important it is, but we often fail to receive the rest our body deserves.
WebMD recommends 10-12 hours for children at night. Is your child sleeping from 7p-7a? I admit my first child stayed up till 9p and I often explained to her preschool teacher that she just wasn't tired. When it was explained to me that I was passing her window of sleepiness, I listened carefully, and applied the new strategy. At first yawn, my child was scooped up, placed in bed, and enjoyed a calm 20 minute reading session.
There were definitely a few nights where she played in bed for a few hours, but soon my child learned to fall asleep by 7p. She began to wake up in the morning without an alarm, and the best part was, her daddy and I had 3 hours of ALONE time every evening. An early bedtime improved my child's temperament, her sleeping skills, her energy levels during the day, and my marriage.
I completely understand why parents allow the kids to stay up at night. We are often exhausted from our day, kids argue emphatically that they are not tired, and it is just seems like a lot of work to force them into bed. This is a cycle that is really hard to get out of and those lost hours of sleep are critical for their development.
There are endless studies that demonstrate how the brains' neural connections form while the body sleeps, so it will make your child smarter to get more zzz's. The digestive organs use the fasting period at night to regenerate and restore damaged cells and children experience growth spurts while sleeping.
We chose 7p for bed time because our kids have to be up by 7a but it didn't happen all at once. Every day that we had to wake them up, we explained, "your bedtime will now go back 15 minutes to help you get up earlier." They argued and made a big stink, but we used the preschool teachers advice to stay kind and firm. Within one week, bedtime was set at 7p.
My husband and I were so pleased to have a few hours together at night that we quickly took advantage of it. We started watching movies, working late into the night, and then we realized we were lacking sleep too. It was a very difficult change to move our bedtime back; we had always thought of ourselves as night owls. But, setting an early bedtime forced us to practice what we preach and the difference was profound. I can honestly say I have not used an alarm in over 3 years.
In a time when many of us live in busy cities with competitive jobs I understand that we have a bit of FOMS, you know, Fear Of Missing Something. But really you are missing something if you do not allow yourself 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
I had insomnia for 20+ years and I admit, it took a few weeks to acclimate. I wish I knew then what I do now about holistic healing. Here are some tips you can use to find that restful peace and avoid the dangers of sleeping pills.
10 Holistic Sleeping Aids
- Make sure all electronics are off in the bedroom and it is as dark as possible. Melatonin, the sleepy neurotransmitter is stimulated in darkness.
- Massage the soles of the feet, down the spine, and over the heart with coconut oil and a drop of lavender essential oil.
- Take an epsom salt bath and add a drop of lavender essential oil; the magnesium in the salts can often make you sleepy.
- Make sure not to drink caffeine later than 12p during the day which includes all coffee, teas, and chocolate.
- Do not eat at least 2 hours before bed and preferably 4 hours; digestion disrupts the sleeping process.
- Avoid excess sweets or fruit after dinner; sugar will spike an insulin surge and then crash. The crash will kick on the adrenals to help the system find equilibrium and they will use cortisol which wakes up the body like an adrenaline rush.
- Drink a small digestive tea, turmeric tea, or warm milk and talk about your day with your partner. Remind them not to be offended when their "shop talk" puts you to sleep.
- Read a really boring book or scientific journal; save the juicy fiction for a time when you want to be entertained.
- Coffea cruda, a homeopathic medicine made with natural plants, that is very effective in creating drowsiness.
- Turkey dinner, you knew that one, right? It has tryptophan, another sleepy neurotransmitter, but so does eggs, nuts, chicken, oats and beans. There is something to be said for the sleepiness that follows a warm home cooked meal with sufficient amounts of protein. So eat well and be well.
Thank you for reading my 5 steps to perfect health. I hope that they inspire you to seek your perfect health. If you missed one of the steps, the links are below. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comments below.
For a quick recap here they are:
5 Steps to Perfect Health