As I sat in our local coffee hang out with one of my besties I was stunned and saddened as she explained that her oldest son was suffering from severe anxiety from being bullied at school.
The mental and physical torture he was enduring had been happening for months and even though both of his parents were trying everything possible to rectify the issue, it was falling on deaf ears.
This boy was so kind hearted, well mannered and always smiling, of course a perfect target for a bully. He was now starting to withdraw and was suffering severely from insomnia. A good student who was now starting to become unfocused due to lack of sleep.
I went home and the thoughts of helplessness and disappointment that this gorgeous young boy and his lovely family - my friends were going through was tearing my heart out.
I got started! I put my head down and I got to work researching, creating until I put something together that I thought might help him.
The next day after school, I presented a special bottle to him. Something I had made especially for him to help rest and feel self love again. I called it "Sweet dreams". His eyes lit up and his mum sighed with relief "thank you" she whispered.
I wasn't sure if it would work but I though it was worth a shot.
A few days later my friend grabbed me after school "OMG it is amazing, its working!! He is sleeping!" she said. Not only was it helping him sleep but it was giving him a feeling of security. He would spray it around his room every night and sleep like a baby.
2 years on and I was chatting with another long time friend when she mentioned her husband was being tested for sleep apnoea. He had been a FIFO worker for years and had recently come home to a job that wasn't shift hours, he was having trouble changing his body clock. His sleep apnoea test had come back negative and he was sent on his way. Instantly my "Sweet Dreams" spray popped into my head. I told my friend all about it and we decided it was worth a shot.
So once again I went home and got concocting. Her hubby was keen to try it, he was at his whits end. So the day I dropped of the miniature spray their excitement at a possible ailment rubbed off on me! As I left I said "Make sure you let me know how it goes!!"
The very next day my phone pinged it was a message from my friend "It worked! but maybe a little too much" WTF had I killed him? Turns out he slept like a baby for the first time in a long time but not before being randy as a dog on heat. The oils I used in the blend have aphrodisiac properties especially on males, oops I may of forgotten to warn her about that.
I caught up with them the next week, after the first night the aphrodisiac side of the "sweet dreams" had worn off. He was loving the spray and they had even started using it on the whole family. They were all sleeping better than ever and it was showing in their energy levels during the day. They had told so many people about the wonder spray that they had 2 orders for me!
I was amazed and thought OK it looks like I need to get this baby bottled.
So early this year I re-branded it and released my DIY Bedtime Bliss Spray, I sold out within a day. And it has been my best seller since.
Until I released this product I never realised how bad the non-sleeping epidemic was. I had people contacting me weekly telling me about their non-sleeping journey and how they have tried everything.
As this was taking place I soon discovered my son was suffering from his own anxiety nightmare. Every night it would sneak up and steal his peaceful dreams from him.
As days past he changed and our bubbly, confident boy slowly slipped away into the negativeness of anxiety and lack of sleep.
Both my husband & myself suffer anxiety so we had some tools that we could use to help him. Simple things like listening and cuddles. When some one is feeling down and they are telling you about it, they really just need you to listen and that's what we did. We go to the source and started work on helping him through it, But I had to do more!
It was then that I made a choice to look into this further to see what options we had to help making sleeping again an enjoyable thing, to leave the pressure of the day behind so his body & mind could rest and repelenish.
After putting a plan into action and having success, I decided to write this blog on what I have learnt is troubling humankind and why adults and children are slowly being taking over by this sleep deprived epidemic and what they can do about it.
Some things that create our anxiety don't go away but there are things we can do to help theses feelings so we can drift off to dreamland. And there are so many reasons people can't sleep it isn't always anxiety based, a lot of people who contact me always say how they just cant stop their mind from working.
So lets start from the begining.
Our bodies are starved for the hormones they need to sleep!
Our bodies ability of waking during the day when it is light and sleeping at night when it is dark is a natural part of human life. Our exposure to light and darkness is what regulates our sleep habits.
When we are visually exposed to light it stimulates a nerve pathway to the brain. Here our brain initiates signals to the parts of our brain that control things like, hormones, body temperature and other functions that give us the feeling of feeling sleepy or wide awake.
This special center in our brains is called suprachiasmatic nucleus or the (SCN). The SCN is pretty much our body clock, it regulates pattern of activities that affects our entire body.
When we are exposed to the sun as it rises in the morning our "Body Clock" begins performing functions such as raising body temperature, and releasing cortisol to help us arise. The SCN also delays the release of other hormones like Melatonin which helps with sleep onset, until many hours later when darkness arrives.
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by our pineal gland. During the day, while it is light the pineal gland is inactive. However as the sun goes down and darkness falls our "Body Clock" or SCN turns on our pineal gland and it starts to naturally produce and release Melantonin into our blood. As a result the levels of the Melantonin hormone rise sharply and alertness drops and the land of sleepy dreams looks more inviting. The Melantonin levels should stay elevated for approximately 12 hours before the light of day triggers that body clock to rise and shine.
Melatonin cannot be fooled!!! it only comes out in the dark. Even if the pineal gland is switched "on" by the clock, it will not produce melatonin unless the person is in a dimly lit environment. In addition to sunlight, artificial indoor lighting can be bright enough to prevent the release of melatonin.
Serotonin is a hormone that helps us maintain that "happy feeling". It helps us sleep which in turn keeps our moods under control. If our Serotonin levels are low it may cause depression, and symptoms of anxiety, fear, insomnia and fatigue.
Negative Ions help the brain produce serotonin which helps relieve tension and also play a role with melatonin, which is synthesized from serotonin.
Normally the word negative you think bad right? But in this situation they are GOOD! Negative Ions are oxygen atoms charged with extra electron. They are created by nature, the effects of water, sunlight, air and the earths inherent radiation. You can absorb and feel these negatively charged ions greatly in places of nature for example the beach, moving water, rain forest, mountains, and after a thunderstorm.
Negative ions In high enough concentrations will attach themselves to positively charged particles, this causes allergens, pollen, mold and germs to be to heavy to stay airborne. Which ultimately clears the air of mold spores, pollen, pet dander, odors, cigarette smoke, bacteria, viruses, dust and other hazardous airborne particles.
The benefits of negative ions in our homes and busy city community are normally reduced due to less than a tenth of what are found in country environments. This is greatly because of the excess pollution but also due to excessive use of equipment such as air conditioners, electrical equipment like televisions, clothes dryers, computers, phones, radio's produce positive ions.
So how does this effect our sleep?
This is our bodies natural way, it is how we are made!!
But we are stopping our preventing our natural way! The exposure to light & positive ions from phones, tablets, computers, TV and even our household lights & electrical equipment is slowing down our production of Melatonin & Seratonin which is in turn preventing us from falling asleep and staying asleep!!
We need sleep!! But we need less sleep with age! Chances are though that you and your kids are still not getting enough. The Australian Sleep Health Foundation recommend:-
Children between the ages of 6-13 years = 9-11 hours
Teenagers between 14-17 years = 8-10 hours
Adults between 18-64 years = 7-9 hours
Our minds are so filled with "To-do's, parenting problems, work issues, schedules, bills, school issues, homework, etc" that we go to bed feeling overwhelmed. We lay in bed dwelling on these problems, issues and as we continue to think our brain continues to work until we develop an anxiety that either prevents us from sleeping or prevents us from having a full relaxing sleep.
Technology might make our lives easier but as discussed previous it also plays a huge role at depleting the hormones and negative ions that are important ingredients for a good sleep routine!
Believe it or not sleeping clothed actually effects your sleep! Our body temperature is a key factor in good sleep! Cortisol is released when the SRN or "body clock" raises our body temperature when the sun rises to help us wake. However to much of this chemical in the body but it can do a lot of damage. When you sleep naked, it helps keep your body temperature at the optimal ranges so your body can better create cortisol. If you sleep overheated your cortisol levels tend to stay high, even after you wake up. This can lead to increased anxiety, cravings for bad food, weight gain, and more. Sleep naked so you can keep your body temperature down and sleep well so your body can properly produce and regulate cortisol.
Keeping your sleeping environment below 21 degrees (c) every night can help your body regulate its melatonin and growth hormone levels. These chemicals help the body prevent aging and are essential to living a healthy life. When you sleep in PJ"s or clothes, your body temperature rises and prevents effective use of these hormones.
So sleeping naked has so many benefits deeper sleep, slows aging, comfort factor - no drawstrings or clothes getting tangled in sheets.
And there are so many other health benefits too like:-
*Body breathing - Giving our private parts, armpits, and feet a chance to breathe can lower risk of skin diseases. As these areas are normally covered all day, this is the time they should be FREE!
*Happy Sex Organs - The correct room & body temperature for sleeping allow male testes to remain cooler which helps keep your sperm healthy and your reproductive systems functioning as normal.
The cooler and more airy sleeping conditions for woman can help prevent yeast infections. Yeast loves & grows better in warm, moist conditions.
*Better Sex life - Sleeping naked gives a greater chance of skin-on-skin contact with your partner. And we all know skin on skin contact can also lead to a more active sex life. This contact releases copious amounts of oxytocin, which is the neurotransmitter that helps you feel those special feelings about your partner.
*FREEDOM - You can not get a better feeling than being completely natural and naked. The feeling of laying in bed between the cool sheets, being unconstricted of underwear, bra's etc. Its a feeling of freedom & happiness!
SO WHATS THE SOLUTION
1. For our kids & Adults create an hour before bedtime of wind down time. This means NO screen time (mobile, iphones, ipods, TV, tablets)!! This creates our brain the opportunity to release that wonderful hormone melatonin. Enjoy 20 minutes of a relaxing quite activity, colouring in, puzzles, reading, chill out in a dimly lit room.
2. Remove all positive ion transmitters from bedroom!! Use an old fashioned alarm clock not your phone, turn off power points in room, you can even use a Himalayan salt lamp or Ionic oil diffuser. I actually have named our office the positive ion room! All devices are stored, & charged in this room. We also keep all power point turned off unless using item in house.
3. Prepare for bed, toilet, teeth, water bottle, then maybe listen to a relaxing music or meditation for 5-15 minutes. You will find that you and your children will ease into sleep easily after this.
4. Loose the Clothes & sleep naked!!
Other Tips, Tricks and My favorites:-
-PEN & PAPER- I like to keep a pen & paper beside my bed. If there is something that pops up that I can't stop thinking about I can write it down!
-COLOURING IN- Believe it or not colouring provides a low-stress way to relax, Mandala colouring also enhances meditation and balances energies. You can get free downloads here.
-MEDITATION, SLEEP STORIES & BODY SCANS- Body Scans are the bomb for anybody who needs to get their brain to STOP before bed. My kids and hubby love them. It is an amazing relaxing way of refocusing your mind and energy on your self. I can now do this myself however if you are beginning guided ones are best.
When it comes to meditation a lot of people say it is too hard but kids actually find it easy and adults if you persist you will find it gets easier and you will love it. Start off with guided meditations and short time frames for example 15 minutes. Not only is it great to ease into sleep but its also a great way to prepare for your day.
My kids alternate with body scans & sleep stories. Sleep stories are soothing tales that mix music, sound and incredible voice talent to help you drift into dreamland.
App's that I use are:-
Calm - Body Scans, meditation, sleep stories, peaceful sounds! This app has everything if you are really keen you can purchase items however there is plenty of free options. This is an all round favorite for me and my whole family.
Smiling Mind - If you want a meditation for kids then this is it!! they have options for school, sport, kids, adults, teachers and more! My kids especially love the "Cloud Guy" meditation (for those who don't know "cloud guy" is from the movie Trolls.)
Ananda - This is probably more for the more experienced with meditating. I prefer having meditative music while meditating, the tones get me to where I need to go. I am at a stage where I do not enjoy guided anymore as I can fall into my meditative space quickly. This app is great for that.
-MUSIC - Meditation isn't always everyone's thing. Music is also meditative if you can find the right type.
-The Clean Living Clinic's PURE MAGNESIUM OILS- Magnesium in the form of magnesium oil is also an impressive infection fighter. It is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and amino acids. More benefits include, greater energy, more relaxed muscles (and stronger connective tissues), better sleep, improved mental function, alleviate headaches, arterial health, better reproductive function, and better hormonal balance for men and women (and reduced PMS).
-100% PURE ESSENTIAL OILS- Essential oils like Lavender and Bergamot are rich in linalool and linalyl acetate, compounds that have well-known relaxing properties. Diffusing aromatically in the bedroom or applying them diluted topically can create a calming and peaceful environment, perfect for getting a good night’s sleep.
Bedtime Bliss Spritz works with 100% pure & organic essential oils. The blend contains Lavender, Marjoram, Ylang Ylang, Hawaiian sandalwood, Orange to help calm nerves, relax body & mind, lift anxiety & stress, relax & relieve tension, soothe, balance and harmonise emotions and create a feeling of self love, confidence, joy and peace. It's benefits include calming nerves, mind & body, sedative, lift anxiety, soothes and harmonises emotions, relaxes and relieves tension, aids in exhaustion.
Simply lightly spray this spritz around your room, or on your bed linen, or even the bottom of your feet before sleeping to help calm, relax body & mind, balance emotions and create a feeling of self love, confidence, Joy and peace.
Yoga has a stimulation effect on nervous system and brain, which will benefit the quality of your sleep. Specific poses will increase blood circulation to the sleep center of the brain which will balance the sleep cycle. Yoga's focus on breathing increases oxygen in the body providing clarity Practicing Yoga will help relax and relieve stress, tension & fatigue helping you fall into dreamland faster and improve the quality of your sleep. When I am not at visiting Kara at my favorite Yoga studio Canungra Yoga I use an amazing app:-
Down Dog - I love this app! My Yoga studio is 30 minutes away and I cannot always justify losing an hour in travel no matter how great it is. So this app is my next best thing and I love it!!
Sleep is so important to our lives as it not only effects us but everyone around us!! These things may not help everyone but they are worth a try if it helps give you peace & sweet dreams.
What YOU can is enough
Love this blog? Want more? I can help you succeed on your chemical free journey easily and affordably. Learn more here
***These statements have not been evaluated by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration and The Clean Living Clinics product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
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