Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care. . . .
—William Shakespeare, MacBeth
To look and feel good, consistent, restful, and sound sleep is essential. Sleep has many benefits not only for your looks, but for your overall health, not to mention disposition. But you already know that, so I am not going to elaborate about it.
To have optimum health, I believe you need a good night’s sleep every night of your life, but I must admit, I have spent many a night not sleeping at all. In those cases, I always make a deliberate decision that staying up all night is worth more than the cost. But 355 days of the year, I go to bed and get six to eight hours of sleep. Six out of seven nights a week, I go to bed at the same time.
Benefits of sleep
Sleep is absolutely necessary for you to feel rejuvenated. It is necessary for maintaining emotional balance, good health, and to look good. You must have sleep for harmony in your body. Physical exercise, essentially physical exhaustion, is a good remedy for sleeplessness. Walk, ride a bicycle, run, work out. It’s important to tire yourself out physically, especially if your mind is “working out” and spinning full time. Stress is held in the large muscles, and one must first use the muscles to be able to release the tension in them.
I never had trouble sleeping until I started my own businesses. Ever since, I have problems off and on. When I first started the nonprofit charitable organization to assist Denver’s elderly in need, I began to have sleepless nights filled with worry of how I could keep the doors open and make payroll. I’d put my head on the pillow, and my mind would start whirling with all the problems of that day and the next.
A remedy for sleeplessness
So I thought, “I’ll start reading before I go to bed.” Thomas Jefferson said he never went to bed without the “reading of something moral, whereon to ruminate in the intervals of sleep.” Reading really helped refocus my mind, but I read interesting books and novels on subjects I really enjoyed, so I stayed up late and missed sleep from reading, too!
Then I bought a copy of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. That did the trick, unless I was really stressed. Two pages maximum and I would be out. It takes so long to try to figure out those Russian names and follow who is whom, that between the confusion and then boredom it was easy to fall asleep.
Rituals are important. Try meditating, yoga, reading, herb teas, and tinctures when time for sleep approaches. Following a regular bedtime routine gives your body and mind a gentle alert that soon it will be time to completely relax and slip into slumber.
Make a tea of:
1/2 ounce peppermint leaves
1/2 ounce rosemary leaves
1/2 ounce sage leaves.
Add honey; sip and relax.
Dancing Willow Herbs, a company in Durango, Colorado, (888) 247-1654, puts out a catalog of products including a tea called Peaceful Slumber that you may want to try. It contains hops, chamomile, lemon balm, passion flower, and valerian.
Make a sleep pillow of lavender, hops, and mugwort. The lavender is relaxing and smells wonderful. The hops are a sedative, and mugwort helps you remember your dreams. You should only make your own or only use one made by a good friend, because just like food (see next paragraph), negative “vibes” can be transferred into the herbs and then into the pillow and ultimately into your body and psyche. Vibrations are everywhere and they can be transferred.
The first time I ever heard of the transfer of vibes was from my sister. Years ago, she was going to the ashram to do volunteer work. I asked her what she did there and she said she cooked. She stated how she was privileged to be chosen to be one of the cooks. My brother and I laughed and thought, “Yeah, well, we’ll honor you and allow you to cook for us, too.” But like so many other things I used to laugh about, I understand now and do believe.
You know vibrations exist. You cannot deny it. When you walk into a room or a party, you pick up on the tone of the place through the vibrations. Choose then, through herbs and oils, which kinds of vibes you desire in your sleep pillow. Take two pieces of three to six-inch square cloths, sew together, and fill with the herb(s) of your choice.
Sleep face up and save your good looks. Sleeping night after night with your face squished against the pillow can really make you look older. When your skin is smashed against the pillow, it can give you early, undeserved lines. Also, fluids can accumulate in the under-eye area, making you look puffy and tired in the morning.
Other thoughts on sleep
- Insomnia can be related to or a direct cause of an emotional problem, indicating an imbalance.
- Alcohol can interrupt sleep.
- Long hot baths with essential oils of lavender and ylang ylang promote relaxation and sleep.
- Homeopathic remedies can help relieve sleeplessness.
- Herbs such as valerian, skullcap, chamomile, hops, blue vervain, wild lettuce, and passion flower have long traditions for inducing sleep.
- Calcium, magnesium, inositol, niacinamide, and biotin have all been recommended for sleep.
- Biofeedback, visualizations, meditation, hypnotherapy, and acupuncture can all help.
- Essential oils to aid sleep include bergamot, lavender, neroli, marjoram, chamomile, rose, sandalwood, verbena, and ylang ylang.
Richard Shane, author of several books about sleep, believes that falling asleep is a spiritual process and that we must let go with trust to go to a place we don’t know. Give this a thought at the end of your sleep-inviting routine or ritual. Sleep well!
For more information and beauty tips you can purchase Beauty, Health and Happiness–A way of life an online version for only $2.99!