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Sleep Struggles?

Sleep Struggles? 9 tips to wake up feeling nourished.

Who struggles with getting decent, quality sleep? I did for a long time. In fact, I still have times when I struggle, but overall, I manage to get what I need, and I feel nourished when I wake up. 

What has made a difference? Number one thing I did, was to make sleep my number 1 priority. 

Did I simply say – i’m going to get ‘x’ number of hours every night sleep and do it? Nope.

But what I did do was look at what I was doing throughout my day to help achieve a nourishing sleep at night. I recently heard the statement from Dr Daniel Amen – “Is this good for my brain? Yes or No?” which, without realising I had been doing for the past year. Now I just make it a formal part of my questioning. A slight twist is – “Is this good for my sleep?”. Ultimately what is good for my sleep will ultimately be good for my brain. Win Win!

So – what are the things that I ‘try’ to do each day to help me sleep and wake up feeling nourished?


1. Go to bed same time every night.

I try to go to bed at the same time every night and try to turn the light off at the same time every night. Whilst I do use electronics in bed (one thing I am working on not doing!) I aim to turn off my light at the same time each night. The reasoning behind this, is that your brain actually LOVES routine. Your brain will start to wind down your body to get ready for sleep in those few hours before bed. So – tip 1: Aim to go to bed at the same time each night and switch lights off same time each night.

2. Blue Blocking Lights.

I use Blue Blocking lights to light the house at night. I have young children in my house that get up at night. So I use Blue Blocking night lights in my house. These lights plug in like a normal night light, but the difference is they have a Red LED globe. This reduces the amount of blue light we are exposed to overnight which helps us get a better quality sleep. If by chance, I need to get up overnight to help the kids, I am not overly stimulated by being exposed to blue light, and I can get back to sleep quicker and easier.

3. Do a brain dump.

Sometimes I have thoughts going around and around in my head and I have trouble switching off. Don’t we all! So, I do a brain dump. This sometimes looks like a ‘to do list’ or it sometimes looks like journal writing where I write about a topic or subject. Other times it is a bunch of scribbles where I am getting out the ‘inner mean girl’ to get the negative thoughts out of my head and flipping them. Sometimes it is a brainstorm of ideas I have been holding onto. This is such a good fun way to get these ideas out of my brain to let it rest, knowing I don’t have to hold onto it anymore. 

4. Eat well.

This is an area I am working on. When I eat well – highly nourishing food in the form of unprocessed foods, I feel so much better! I sleep so much better. But, I am human and my daily intake doesn’t always look like that. But making the effort to simply eat nourishing foods, I definitely sleep better as a result. 

5. Body check in.

I check in with myself to see what my body needs. This has been one of the most amazing ‘side effects’ of using essential oils in my daily life. It has allowed me to check in with both my physical and emotional needs. Maybe its aches and pains or maybe its emotional responses. I can choose an oil that will help to support my bodies needs in that moment that will help encourage sleep. I will apply oils topically to my body to help in the areas that need nourishment to help me sleep. 

6. Setting up a sleep supporting environment.

Where you sleep, you need to respect and nourish your space. When my bedroom is messy, and cluttered (especially near my bed) I simply do not sleep well. My brain goes into overdrive and I can’t switch off. But when my space is clutter free and clean, I can relax and I feel nourished, supported. I also love diffusing essential oils. If I want to diffuse oils, I generally set up the space around 30min before I am heading to bed. Sometimes I use a sleep spray and use calming/relaxing essential oils in a spritzer bottle and spray a light spray over my pillow and linen. Using the scent of essential oils, the brain relates that smell to the routine of sleep, linking the two actions together. After 10 days of using the same scent during sleep time – the brain will link that scent to the time for sleep and will start to prepare the body to go to sleep. Our awesome is our brain!

7. Drinking enough water.

Most of us are chronically dehydrated. We simply do not get enough water. Our brain is made up of about 75% water so we need to get adequate water throughout the day to ensure our brain can function properly. If we get enough water throughout the day, our brains can work efficiently during sleep to repair and nourish our bodies and memories. So, (as a rough guide) aim to get 35ml water for each KG of body weight. So a 50kg person should aim to drink 1750ml or 1.75L of water a day.  A 100kg person should aim to drink 3500ml or 3.5L per day. Please note: this is simply a guide for a ‘normal’ person and does not take into account any illnesses or life changes such as pregnancy or breastfeeding that may need different calculations.

8 Assessing sleep quality. 

I function so much better in this world when I get the quality sleep I need. So when I say quality sleep, I am not talking about the number of hours I get. Each night that is different for me. I judge the quality of sleep by ‘how I feel’ when I wake up. If I wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated – then to me, that was a night of quality sleep. If I wake up feeling tired and flat, despite an appropriate number of hours sleep, then that was a night of poor quality sleep for me. So, if you continuously wake up feeling flat and tired, maybe it is worth investigating the reasons why. Is it one of the steps above? Or is it something else medically that needs to be investigated?

9. Reducing caffeine intake.

This one is kind of obvious but reducing the amount of caffeine you drink. I only try to have coffee in the morning before lunch. Ideally, no coffee would be better but I’m human and have human weaknesses. I really look forward to sitting down with a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning before the kids wake up. Sometimes I add a drop of essential oil (such as peppermint) to give me a boost so I don’t need that extra cup.

So, next time you have trouble sleeping, or feel as though you are not getting the quality of sleep you deserve, look at your day and make improvements to wake up feeling nourished.

New Years Goal Setting with Aromatic Anchoring

Jemma Bailey New Years Goal Setting with Aromatic Anchoring notebooksNew years is upon us. Many people make new years resolutions and never stick to them. By February it’s all over – feeling deflated and despondent, many just give up. I must admit, I am usually one of those people. So much so, I have refused to make a new years resolution for the last few years.

But this year is different. I have been creating and cultivating what my new year is going to be for the past few months. Most of 2018 was my year of learning.

It was a year my mental health plummeted and I was diagnosed with PTSD. My relationships with those I love the most started crumbling. I left the job I had worked in for over 10 years, and the career I had been part of for 16 years. Panic attacks and high anxiety just simply to get in the car to get to work accumulated in breaking point. This spilled over into my personal life. I was on edge – all the time. Luckily for me, specialist treatment called EMDR (or Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing) helped me immensely. Whilst this is not the end of the story for me, I have come along way in a few short months.

So for me, the rest of 2018 was about learning. About being on a journey to learn and rediscover myself. How to learn to cope with this diagnosis and not to let it BE me. Not to let it control my life as it had done for the last few years.

Jemma Bailey Do something today that your future self will thankyou for pen new years goal

Looking forward to 2019, I have been planning the new me. I have been creating gentle shifts in patterns that are small, tangible, relatable but add up. I have taken small steps in the right direction but I have also chosen an essential oil to anchor into all of my plans for myself for the year.

So why would an essential oil help with my planning? It helps to create an aromatic anchor to connect me to my goals for the year. The trick is to treat your goals as if they have already happened. Rewrite all of your goals as if they have already happened. Write it after asking yourself the following questions:

  • How does achieving these goals make you feel?
  • What does it look like for you?
  • How does that life smell?
  • What does is sound like?

Really get down to the nitty gritty focus on those goals. Do you see yourself sitting in your new house, with views of the ocean, hearing your kids run around in the back yard  laughing and playing whilst you are sipping a cup of tea and reading the new crisp book that you have been waiting all week to read? Or If you have always wanted to have a veggie patch; do you see yourself in your vegetable garden, hearing the gentle buzz of bees on the flowers whilst you gently pull the weeds and smell the dirt on your hands? I hope you get the idea of how to really focus in on those goals.

Now, this is the cool part. By using an essential oil, we can trigger that memory, time and time again. It all starts with the Reticular Activating System (RAS) in our brain. RAS is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information so the important stuff gets through. Your RAS takes what you focus on and creates a filter for it. It then sifts through the data and presents only the pieces that are important to you. An example of this is when you buy a new blue car. Then ALL you see for the next month is the exact same blue car you just bought. The RAS has been highlighting the blue car as being important to you. All of this happens without you noticing. The RAS programs itself to work in your favour without you actively doing anything.

In the same way, the RAS seeks information that validates your beliefs. It filters the world through the parameters you give it, and your beliefs shape those parameters. The RAS helps you see what you want to see and in doing so, influences your actions. So this is where the essential oil comes in. Choose an oil that you want to link this goal memory to. Every time you go over your goal and work towards your goal, use you oil. Roll it on, diffuse it, inhale it. Use it every single time. Then as you have events that maybe feel as though your 2019 goal is being derailed, or you are just having a an overemotional time, use your oil. It will help to bring you back to your goal.

So, I guess you are wondering which oil I have chosen? Which is going to be the oil that helps to anchor me into my goals for 2019?

I have chosen Magnolia. Emotionally, Magnolia is a calming oil that enhances the heavenly feeling of genuine connection with others. It highlights valuing one’s true beauty, worth, and divine nobility. It helps to encourage the emotions of radiance, authenticity, heartache, low self esteem and worthiness. Magnolia is right for me.

What essential oil or oil blend are you going to choose to help you cultivate your 2019?

 

Jemma Bailey goals connected to heart post it note doTERRA magnolia essential oil

How to: DIY Essential Oil Display

I was scrounging around the local recycling centre (a favourite pass time of my hubby’s. I love him so I go… Ha Ha.) Anyway, I digress. I came across this photo frame that was a perfect size to make a new display for my oils. The one I had was lovely, but it was now too small for my needs. It didn’t fit all of my oil bottles in! With doTERRA convention around the corner I knew I needed another one. Why not upcycle something that was only going to waste. This, with a number of other items we bought came to $5. Bargain.

 

Here are the steps I did to create my lovely new oil display so you can make one for yourself! Don’t have oils to put in your display? Your missing out! You can get started on your oily journey here.

 

Step 1. Measured up the photo frame to create the stand that I was going to attach to the back. You can see how I did it in the video below. (The video is a bit hit and miss as I don’t have a tripod and was filming one handed!)

The wood I used was pine, 40mm x 8mm and cost around $5.70 and I needed 2 lengths. I also bought 2 lengths of 6mm wooden dowel which were around $3.60 each. You can use wood sizes to suit your frame. I used wood that was just wide enough to hold an essential oil bottle, so I didn’t need it to be any bigger than this. The wooden dowel is used to stop the oil bottles from sliding off my shelf. This is optional but I like the look of it.

 

Step 2. I cut the wood using a hacksaw. My wood wasn’t very thick so cutting it this way only took me a few minutes. I was too lazy to get out hubby’s mitre saw. I then sanded back the edges to make it smooth.

 

Step 3. I then glued the frame together and nailed it together. As I’m not a carpenter, I’m not too hung up of ‘how it looks’. I like the look of DIY being slightly rustic. If you want to make it look a bit nicer, wait for the glue to dry first, before you nail it together. It will also make it a bit easier!

 

Step 4. Next I measured up the positioning for the slats. This actual cm apart is up to you. I started with a large gap at the bottom as I wanted to store 10ml roller bottles and Spritzers on this shelf. (In this picture, it is actually the 1st slat from the top – you will see what I mean from the finished photo). From there, I tried to keep the rest of the slats even. They need to be tall enough to hold 15ml essential oil bottles, but also tall enough to be able to get them off the shelf easily.

 

Step 5. I then glued and nailed the slats into place. As before, If you wait for the glue to dry, it will make nailing in place a easier.

 

Step 6. Back to the photo frame. I didn’t need the backing where the fold-put stand was or the glass so I removed those. I then needed to removed the tabs that hold these in place. I show you how to do that in the video below.

 

Step 7. I then spray painted the photo frame. I chose black and silver for my frame. I wanted the back of the display to be black, so I sprayed the black of my frame black so it all tied in together once it was finished. I did 2 coats, I also sprayed the display stand black at this stage. You could wait until the backing ply board and wooden dowel was attached to the stand but I chose to do it now. Once the back of the photo frame was dry, I spray painted the front Silver. I did 3 coats on the front as I wanted it extra shiny.

Step 8. I cut some ply board the size of the frame. We had some left over from another project so I didn’t need to buy any more. I measured the wooden dowel and cut to size. I stray painted both the ply board and the wooden dowel.

 

Step 9. Once it was dry, I glued the wooden dowel and the ply board backing into place. I secured the back with nails and touched up with a little more paint. The pic below is my finished display stand and the photo frame ready to be joined together. As the photo frame is a ‘feature’ and not a vital component, I just glued these together and didn’t use nails. If you want to, you can secure using nails.

 

Step 10. I wanted the frame to be secured directly to the wall to protect my oils, as I wasn’t sure how heavy the display stand and the oils would be together. Hubby secured it for me using these flat screws. I then gave them a quick spray with some black spray paint. (If you look closely – you can see where hubby scraped my frame with the drill. Aaargh!)

 

Step 11. This is an additional step if you choose. I wanted some cushioning for my oil bottles, so I cut some black felt to size, and lined the shelves with it. I didn’t glue them down, so that way I can wash them if required.

Step 12. My finished Oil Display, with all of my beautiful oils! Plenty of room for new oils to be added!

 

Bonus: I have included a pic of my old oil display that I made the same way. The saddest part about this stand, is that I love this gorgeous ornate frame. I was from a much larger frame that I cut to down to size. I regret that now as it was beautiful. Originally, the frame was gold and silver. I wanted to tie some black into it. I randomly wiped globs of petroleum jelly over the frame. I sprayed the frame black. When it was dry, I wiped off the globs of petroleum jelly to reveal the gold and silver underneath. The effect was truly lovely!

 

If you have any questions just give me a shout! I would love to help you and would love to see your beautiful stands.

Jem x

My 5 favourite diffuser blends for Sleep

At some point in our lives, we have all had trouble sleeping. If I was a betting woman, I would bet some of you do too. So, I want to share with you, some essential oil sleep blends with you. I have 5 trusty sleep diffuser blends that I LOVE using. It depends on my mood to which one I choose, but these are all on high rotation in my house. 

1. “Sleepy Snuggles” Diffuser Blend

Juniper Berry – When diffused, Juniper Berry provides a cleansing, refreshing aroma. It is perfect in a sleep blend as it has a calming, grounding effect. Just be warned – it drips out of the bottle really fast!

Vetiver – One of my absolute favourite oils! Vetiver has a rich, exotic, complex aroma. Vetiver’s calming, grounding effect on the emotions, it is an ideal oil to add to a sleep blend. This oil is extremely thick and takes “forever” to come out of the bottle.

Bergamot – When diffused, Bergamot promotes a calm relaxed environment. Bergamot is unique among citrus oils due to its ability to be both uplifting and calming to the emotions. As an added bonus it smells divine!


2. “Her Sleep Blend” Diffuser Blend

So we already know the reasons I love vetiver and juniper berry. Exchanging the citrus smell of bergamot for the woody, herbal, floral scent of clary sage, changes with whole tone of this diffuser blend.

Clary Sage – The main chemical component of Clary Sage is linalyl acetate, part of the esters group, making it one of the most relaxing, soothing, and balancing essential oils. When added to a sleep diffuser blend, inhaling Clary Sage promotes feelings of relaxation.

 

 

3. “Peaceful Sleep” Diffuser Blend

This oh so simple sleep blend is simply divine. It uses two of the oils that are part of the Home Essentials Kit. If you haven’t yet purchase your essential oils, (and you aren’t already working with someone else) you can do so here. (You will join my oily team).

Lavender – Called the ‘swiss army knife of oils’ because it is so useful for so many things. But most people know lavender for its calming and relaxing qualities. Add a few drops of Lavender to pillows, bedding, or bottoms of feet to relax and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. But added to the diffuser and its the bomb!

Easy Air –  Is a blend of essential oils including Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lemon, Cardamom, Ravintsara, and Ravensara. When Easy Air is diffused at nighttime, calms the senses for a restful nights sleep. It is especially useful during the winter months to feel clear when breathing during the night. 

 

4. “Sweet Dreams” Diffuser Blend

Adding Lavender Peace to Juniper Berry is simple ‘the bomb’!

Lavender Peace – combines essential oils renowned for their ability to soothe the senses and calm emotions. These include Lavender Flower, Cedarwood, Ho Wood Leaf, Ylang Ylang Flower, Marjoram Leaf, Roman Chamomile Flower, Vetiver Root, Vanilla Bean Absolute, & Hawaiian Sandalwood Wood. Lavender Peace is soothing to the senses and calming to the emotions.


5. “Sweet Sleep” Diffuser Blend

Finally, adding cedarwood and marjoram to lavender just creates a divine blend. Marjoram is an understated oil but it has many great benefits. Despite being one of the the herb oils, it has a gentle aroma. 

Cedarwood –  It has a grounding aroma that evokes feelings of spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Diffusing Cedarwood is especially beneficial after a difficult day to create a relaxing environment.

Marjoram – Has a uplifting, herbaceous aroma that was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness. Marjoram creates a positive, calming aroma and promotes feelings of calmness and ease. Added with cedarwood and lavender it is simply divine.


I hope you like my favourite diffuser blends just as much as I do!

As an added bonus, why not try one last diffuser blend. Diffuse 3 drops Frankincense, 3 drops Lavender and 2 drops Wild Orange. Bliss!

Jem x

P.S. Bonus Sleep tip – add a drop of Vetiver straight onto your big toe. Let me know how you found it 🙂