A while back we chatted with Australia’s leading sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo. With over 9 years of academic qualifications, Olivia has been featured on The Today Show, writes regularly with Daily Mail and partnered with global brands
Sealy Posturepedic and Ikea.
Now, she’s here for Mama Body bringing us her 4 top tips for bedtime anxiety.
If you’ve ever laid in bed with your mind racing, felt unable to switch off or woken up in a fright around 3am - this is for you. With all these signs signalling high levels of anxiety, as a sleep expert this tells me that you’re likely to struggle to fall and stay asleep, and that when you do sleep, you’ll wake frequently and feel exhausted in the morning. Obviously far from ideal, these tips will help
you remedy all this and more - provided you take action immediately and implement from tonight.
Remember - this isn’t just about your sleep. It’s about your waking life - which should, and can, be anxiety free.
#1: Your phone contributes to bedtime anxiety
If you’ve ever found your anxiety increasing at the end of the night while you’re on your phone - this is the exact reason why:
Light from your phone controls the circadian rhythm - with light, your brain secretes cortisol, the hormone to make you feel anxious.
Light also suppresses melatonin, the hormone to make you feel calm and sleepy. Essentially, phone light = more anxiety, less relaxed. And think ‘night mode’ is enough? It’s not. it only changes your bodies ability to produce melatonin by 4% - so even with night mode on.
#2: Use lavender liberally
Lavender was found to reduce anxiety by 45%.. only one percent less than sleeping pills, which reduced it by 46%. While you can’t take sleeping pills each night, you can take lavender.
Apply it to your pillow, diffuse it, roll Mama Body's Calm Essential Oil Roller on pulse points + inhale when needed. it’s completely natural.
And what if you’re allergic or can’t stand the smell? Sweet orange oil is my next go-to: it provides similar relief to lavender as it triggers the same calming neurotransmitter pathway.
#3: Yes, sleep + calm tea’s actually work.
Following up from above, another way to ingest lavender is to drink it - perfect if you like a bedtime tea. Another ingredient to look for is chamomile - it helps your body produce calming hormone GABA.
GABA is helpful for those under stress too, counteracting stress hormone cortisol - which can make you feel wired through the day and sabotage your sleep at night.
Mama Body's Chill Out Mama has both chamomile and lavender, so if you’re looking for an anti-anxiTEA; this is one is for you.
#4: Meditation isn’t the be all and end all.
Yes, meditation has been shown in research to increase melatonin levels by 400% for long term meditators. Yes, it can triple the amount of deep sleep you attain. But.. it’s not for everyone.
If meditation brings on more anxiety - don’t force yourself to do it.
Instead, read a book, journal or listen to tranquil music.. all of these are relaxing and may serve you better.