Sleep Hygiene Tips for Better Sleep
To wrap up this series, here are a few final tips for quality sleep.

Toxic Life Situations

This aspect of sleep took me some time to work through. It turns out that the nightmares I’d had since childhood mirrored various unhealthy situations in my life. The nightmares stopped after I prioritized emotional healing and learned to set boundaries. It was a gradual process, but the nightmares became less frequent, mirroring my healing journey. They stopped completely when I had sufficiently healed emotionally and had consistent, healthy boundaries. That's why I'm so passionate about emotional healing and gentle boundaries today! They helped my sleep as well as my gut health and many other “chronic” issues I had. They were all tied to emotional balance and gentle boundaries.

Dietary Changes

Regulating hormones naturally without replacement therapy was very important to me. Lifestyle changes are different for everyone, but for me, it came down to choosing between temporary pleasures and long-term benefits, so I chose the latter. Little by little I made changes, tweaking here and there.

One such change came when I found that dairy increased swelling and caused joint pain. My doctors were on the verge of giving me a fibromyalgia diagnosis because of the joint pain and fatigue I had been experiencing, but I began limiting my intake of dairy and discovered that solved the problem!

As much as possible, I stay away from processed (boxed) foods and eat real food from the produce aisle. I eat organic to further reduce the toxic load and hormonal damage caused by things like pesticides. My hubby eats meat, so as much as possible I buy organic, grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free. The same goes for dairy and eggs.

Our bodies are wonderfully designed to keep hormones in balance. However, toxins can cause hormonal imbalances and make it difficult for our bodies to function as designed. Why challenge our bodies when we can support and nurture them?

Okay, ready for the final tip? These last two changes were my biggest challenges.

Wine and alcohol. I know, I know. Yes, I love my red wine, but it disrupts sleep and hormonal balance. Caffeine too, so I chose to get off coffee altogether. If that's not an option for you, then try cutting back to one cup in the morning. Caffeine increases cortisol, and I had quite enough of that already from everyday stresses in life, so I didn't need any more.

Summary

As much as possible, I support my body so it can function as it was designed based on my research. Each hormone and each body system works with our brain to keep everything in a state of balance (homeostasis). 

I'm not in the medical field, and as a certified aromatherapist, I can't diagnose, prescribe, or treat, but I do my research. And my training includes an in-depth study of anatomy and physiology, so I use what I’ve learned to benefit myself and share it with others so you may hopefully find some benefit also. I'd love to hear if you try any of these sleep strategies and if they work for you.

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