by Melissa Chichester
When we achieve that momentous occasion of getting a solid night of rest, it is amazing how our bodies can react! When we are well-rested, we are more mentally alert and feel better physically. Although it may seem impossible to balance a busy life with healthy sleep habits, small lifestyle changes and supplements can help you get the rest you not only need but deserve!
Small changes can lead to remarkable benefits when it comes to sleep habits. Use the following recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation to create a healthy sleeping environment:
Although National Sleep Awareness Week isn’t until March, why not make it a personal goal to improve your sleeping environment by then? Jot down your unhealthy sleep hygiene habits and track your progress in a sleep journal from now until mid-March to monitor how you feel and what you have changed.
Vitamins, minerals, herbs, and even essential oils can also support better rest to further relaxation at the end of the day.
One of the most common sleep aids is melatonin, a hormone that is naturally produced by the body and is involved in the sleep cycle.
As a supplement, melatonin is useful during times of occasional sleeplessness, like what is experienced with jet lag.**
Melatonin can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.** It may also support healthy blood pressure levels already within a normal range.** Melatonin’s effects on blood pressure may help support restful sleep and a relaxed mood**
Valerian root is a perennial flowering herb native to Europe and Asia. It has been used in herbal healthcare practices for over 2,000 years. In Sweden, valerian was even used in wedding ceremonies to ward off “elves!”
As a beneficial herb, valerian is traditionally used to promote feelings of rest and relaxation.**
Valerian root is also available in essential oil form for diffusing before bed.
Lavender oil is well-known for being a calming scent that is beneficial for meditation, massage, and promoting relaxation. The National Sleep Foundation notes that some studies have found that diffusing lavender essential oil is useful for relaxing the body making it easier to ease into sleep.
Chamomile flowers are best known for their role in tea but are also found within calming blends in herbal supplements. Traditional chamomile can be found as a holistic ingredient in sleep blends, like Puritan’s Pride Calm Tabs® and our Super Snooze melatonin blend.** Chamomile essential oil is also diffused to help promote a relaxing environment.
Passion flower plants are tendril-bearing and produce very showy and vibrant flowers. Around the world, passion flower is desired for its beautiful foliage, but in some regions, including the Caribbean and South America, the fruit is used to make juice. Native Americans traditionally used the roots and leaves for making tea. Today, passion flower is popular as an herbal supplement that is used by individuals with hectic lifestyles for its soothing properties.**