"Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the permission slip go unsigned, and don’t mess up that presentation tomorrow, and I can’t believe that story my neighbor told me today and is it true that its physically impossible to sneeze with your eyes open, and…."
Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. Just when it’s time to let go and drift off, your mind decides to take off running. Your eyelids were heavy and you couldn’t stop yawning an hour ago while you packed the kids lunches and loaded the dishwasher, but now here you are.
What to do? Millions of people turn to sleep medication every night to fall and stay asleep. Do the drugs work? You bet – swallow one of those babies, and 30 minutes later your eyes will be closed and you’ll still be breathing. That’s sleep, right? The scary truth is, we know just enough about the brain and how sleep works to alter it with innocent-looking little pills - we can induce a state that sure does look like sleep. But a full understanding of the mechanisms at work? Nope.
Take the popular sleeping pill Ambien for example. It hit the market after attaining FDA approval in 2007. Fast-forward a few more years, and reports started surfacing of some weird things going on. Check out this 2011 New York Times headline: “A Drug That Wakes the Near Dead” The drug? Ambien. Taken daily by millions to induce sleep, it could also apparently “wake the near dead.” A flurry of studies ensued to explain how a sleeping drug was waking people up from comas. Possibly great for coma patients. Possibly not-so-great for the everyday person turning to this same drug to “shut down” his or her brain each night.
And that’s the thing – “shutting down” is not what sleep is all about. As stated, we can induce a state that sure does look like sleep. But in very real ways, it isn’t. Real healthy sleep is an extraordinarily busy time for the brain. Its busy doing vitally important things that can’t be done while running your waking life; things like repair and reorganization, clearing out toxins, and improving memory.
So back to the question above – what to do?
We suggest turning to nature once again. It’s kinda our thing.
Nature has a ton to offer us here. The following plants and their essential oils are some of Mother Nature’s strongest tools to help us rest....and the key ingredients in our newest blend!
Clary sage essential oil has so many benefits it deserves its own article (hm…stay tuned), but one of the big ones is reducing actual blood plasma levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone.” Less cortisol = easier relaxation = gentle transition to healthy sleep. Yes please.
Lavender essential oil, old friend, we’ve covered you quite a few times already (most recently, here). Lavender is very well known to produce feelings of well-being, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote restful sleep.
Vanilla is widely known for its soothing scent, and has been shown scientifically to have an effect on brain chemistry similar to that of Prozac – but without the Prozac! Improving one’s sense of well-being and calm is certainly an important component of resting well.
Roman Chamomile – research consistently confirms the calming, even sedating effects of this amazing plant and the oil derived from it. We especially love the title of this study (which is a meta-analysis of Chamomile’s existing scientific research): Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. One of the direct studies linked in the article found that “chamomile extract is a herb having benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity.” Care to guess what drug is classified as a 'benzodiazepine producing hypnotic activity'? Yep, Ambien. And most other sleeping drugs too.
Marjoram has been shown to reduce sleep disturbance and improve overall well-being even during hospitalization, and especially when combined with Lavender.
If you're rummaging through your collection of tiny oil bottles right about now to see if you have these on hand, Stop! You must have missed our not-so-subtle hints...hey, are you sleeping ok?
Don't worry. We’ve got you.
(No, not like that! See, she's fine.)
We admit it, it's an edgy name.
We like things edgy.
And we like rest and we like peace, don't you?
So, friends and followers, if you’re a human who has a brain, and if you would like your brain to function well, you need our new Rest In Peace blend in your life and on your night stand. That’s just all there is to it.
Get it here - and sweet dreams!