Have you noticed trouble sleeping or relaxing? I frequently get asked about herbs that can aid with our zzzzzs. While we are blessed with many herbal allies that can help us catch a few winks, becoming aware of the patterns to your sleep can help you develop a more holistic strategy, as well as make a better herbal match.
Here are some guiding questions to help you learn more about your sleep patterns:
What is your typical bedtime routine, if you have one?
What kind of electronics are in your sleeping space?
What type of lighting is in your sleep and living space?
What does a typical evening (or the few hours before you go to sleep) look like for you?
How much have you been able to move your body during your waking hours? (i.e. walks, runs, cycling, strength training, flexibility training, etc.)
Do you typically spend most of your day indoors?
Do you typically spend most of your day in fluorescent or LED lighting?
Do you spend a large quantity of your day on a computer, tablet, cellphone or around other electronic equipment (i.e. X-Ray machines, digital displays or consoles, televisions, digital recording gear, VR equipment, etc.)
How much time do you spend on Social Media daily?
How much time do you spend watching TV, movies, etc daily?
How much of your day to interact with news media - television, online, newspaper, etc.
Imbalances in this area may indicate the need for additional support of your lifestyle habits, endocrine, adrenal, or nervous system.*
Do you go to bed at the same time daily? If not, how often do you follow a "bedtime"?
Do you run hot while you sleep? All over?
Do you run cold while you sleep? All over?
Do you fall asleep like a brick?
Does your body relax or remain tense as you prepare to sleep?
Does your mind chatter with past events, lists, circular thoughts, or anxieties as you prepare to sleep?
Are you feeling or experiencing mild or moderate depression?
How long does it take you to fall asleep?
How long are you able to sleep uninterrupted?
How often do you wake during the night?
Do you wake up regularly at the same time most days of the week? Every day?
What times of the night do you wake? For what reason?
Imbalances in this area may indicate the need for additional support of your circulation, adrenal, endocrine or nervous system.*
Eating Habit ?s:
How soon before going to bed do you eat your last daily meal?
What time of day is it when you eat your last daily meal?
When in the day do you typically eat your heaviest meal?
Do your meals reflect a balance of veggies, fruits, grains, starches and protein throughout the day?
What is your daily water intake?
Do you eat spinach or other dark leafy greens regularly? Beets? Oats? Root veggies?
How often do you eat fast food?
Do you prepare meals from fresh or scratch ingredients daily?
How often do you eat pre-packaged/prepared meals?
What is your daily soda/sweet beverage intake?
What is your daily caffeine intake?
What is your daily alcohol intake?
Do you prefer sweet, salty, oily or crunchy foods/snacks?
How many snacks do you munch on daily?
Imbalances in this area may indicate the need to support your digestive, adrenal or endocrine system.*
Do you categorize your hair as oily, dry or in-between? Is it seasonal?
Do you categorize your skin as oily, dry or in-between? Is it seasonal?
Is your hair thick, fine, textured, wiry, non-existent?
Is your hair straight, wavy, curly, unsure?
Do you struggle with split ends?
Does your scalp run oily or dry?
Do your nails split or break easily?
Do you experience muscle stiffness before, during or after you sleep?
Do you struggle with congestion of the nose before, during or after you sleep?
Do you experience congestion in your chest before, during or after you sleep?
Do you wake with phlegm in your throat? Is it difficult to clear?
Do you experience seasonal or environmental allergies?
Imbalances in this area may indicate the need to support your lymphatic, respiratory, immune or integumentary (skin, hair, nails, +) system.*
This is but a sample list!! Working with an herbalist can certainly better help pull the whole picture together and create a great custom plan for you; but I suspect you may have already identified some areas that could be affecting your sleep. If you'd like a bit more guidance in uncovering herbs suited for you, feel free to book a 1:1.
*Please be reminded that as an herbalist, I am not a licensed medical professional. Information and services offered here are for your edification, and are not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any disease.