Last weekend, we celebrated Victoria Day here in Canada and it was beautiful! Because of the holiday, I took a little road trip to Ottawa to see my long time girlfriend Nina and by chance I also got to see the Ottawa Tulip Festival.
While i was visiting Ottawa, I also got a lesson on Insomnia.
Nina has trouble sleeping so she went to a health food store to seek advice. The real trouble is calming down her stressed-out mind so she can relax and fall asleep. Lucky for Nina, the Wellness Consultant at the store didn't just give her supplements or a tincture. Instead, she asked: “Do you have a bedtime ritual?”
“Lol! What’s that?!” was basically Nina’s response.
The consultant explained, it's something special you do for yourself that helps you calm down at the end of the day.
Of course, I’m a big fan of bedtime rituals and not only because they help you sleep. Taking time at the end of the day to check-in with yourself is an important part of self-nurturing. And the energy of nurturing is key for a woman's health, especially for a woman who is trying to conceive.
Lavender and vetiver oils for deep sleep
One of my favourite self-nurturing practices is to rub lavender cream into my feet. And guess what? The wellness consultant at the Health Food Store suggested rubbing a combination of lavender oil with vetiver oil into your feet every night for restful sleep.
Lavender is already a favourite essential oil of mine. I use it regularly for muscle aches and pains but I’d never heard of vetiver so I looked it up.
I found that vetiver oil has a soothing and calming effect on the central nervous system and is a wonderful oil to help quiet an overactive, exhausted, or stressed mind. It’s also commonly used for treating ADD, ADHD and Autism. Source.
Nina said massaging the oil into her feet made her feel like she was walking on cushiony clouds. When I tried out the recipe, I felt transported into la-la land I was so drowsy! We both slept like babies after using the aromatherapy blend so I'm going to share it with you below. But first I want to tell you why sleep is so important for your fertile health.
The effects of sleep deprivation on fertility
I found this article, that suggests if you’re trying to conceive, and you’re not sleeping for at least eight hours a night this could have a major impact on whether or not you can conceive. Because a lack of sleep means your endocrine system becomes compromised and this in turn affects ovulation.
Since the endocrine system controls all of the hormones in your body, when you’re sleep deprived your body can’t produce the necessary hormones such as leptin, which is required for regulating your appetite and weight. Leptin also plays an important role in female fertility. If you are not sleeping well, your leptin levels will tend to decrease, which may cause irregular ovulation; as well as, irregular or decreased menstrual cycles.
A simple 3-step bedtime ritual for restful sleep
I know it can feel like, ugh one more thing I need to do! That's how Nina felt too when the Wellness Consultant told her she needed a bedtime ritual. And yet, once she tried it she was completely hooked.
Here's my simple 3-step bedtime ritual to get you into bed happy and on time:
1. Set a smart-alarm on your phone at least 30 minutes before your designated bedtime. Ideally, you need 8-hours of sleep which means if you have to wake up at 6am, your bedtime is 10pm.
What I do is set a beautiful ringtone that makes me feel happy when it rings. I have a Samsung Galaxy and my favourite ringtone is ‘Birdsong by the lake.' I have it set for 10:15pm which gives me enough time to get ready for bed, write and meditate before lights out at 11pm.
2. Play some soothing music as you brush your teeth and get ready for bed. My favourite relaxation music is by Gary Stroutsos, specifically his CD Pacific Moon. Play whatever sounds soothe your soul. It helps signal your mind and your nervous system that you're now making the transition from the ‘do-do, go-go' mode of your day into ‘rest and relaxation' mode necessary for falling asleep.
3. Spend 3 – 5 minutes massaging your feet with your favourite foot cream or use a blend of lavender and vetiver oil. W
hether or not you're ttc, if you have trouble relaxing and getting to sleep give this simple essential oil recipe a try. I absolutely love this concoction and standby it's effectiveness for sweet slumber. Here is the recipe I got from Nina:
Sweet slumber aromatherapy blend
15 ml of almond oil (or just use extra virgin olive oil from the kitchen)
5 – 6 drops of lavender 100% essential oil
4 – 5 drops of vetiver 100% essential oil
Mix in a small glass container and swish until all the oils are well blended. Apply generously onto the soles of your feet and massage for 3 – 5 minutes per foot.
If you have trouble sleeping, promise yourself you’ll do this ritual tonight. And if it helps to keep yourself accountable, post your promise to the Yoga Goddess facebook page or tweet it out.
Join us for Infertility Awareness Week!
This is your last chance to join my free webinar with Lunapads founder, Madeleine Shaw. It's only 2 days away!
On May 28th, discover how tampons can affect your fertility. And how eco-positive periods can actually help you conceive more easily.
Menstruation is at the heart of a woman’s fertile health and feminine well-being. And May 28th marks the first-ever May MENSTRAVAGANZA educating women and girls in the developing world about menstrual hygiene.
That’s why Madeleine Shaw and I have decided to change the date of our webinar to Wednesday May 28th to mark the specialness of the day.
Whether or not you're trying to conceive, if you use tampons or commercial pads and your feminine health is important to you, then this webinar is for you!
On Wednesday May 28th at 4:00pm EST (1:00pm PST), Madeleine and I will share how tampons (and commercial pads) affect your fertile health, and how to conceive more easily with eco-positive periods.