Ask Charlotte: Will I Ever Sleep Again?
Hi Charlotte. Up until recently I have slept like a baby most of my life and have rarely woken up throughout the night. I've just gone through a relationship break up and find evenings to be the hardest as I stay awake ruminating. I'm mentally exhausted as I've also just moved house. Sleep was once a peaceful end to a stressful day, and now I'm stuck in a bubble of insomnia. What do you recommend for an overactive brain that just won't quit?
I'm sorry to hear that you're going through an difficult time of emotional transition. Relationship break-ups can force you to remap almost everything, you're used to factoring another person into your daily life and learning to tread new ground without them can feel daunting. Sometimes our brains do not respond well to change, and we can sink subconsciously into a state of fight or flight; and when the noise of the day fades away and you're left alone with your thoughts, it can feel like you have so much you need to process - resulting in insomnia and fatigue.
Natural remedies that work on easing your mental state are my go to when I'm going through sleep disturbances. Lavender essential oil is potent sleep aid that works on the olfactory system (the system that connects smell to the receptors in your brain), easing the mind into a state of relaxation. Think of it like a trigger, that snaps your brain out of the rumination cycle you fall into every evening. It is also high in Linalool, a naturally deriving plant compound with sedative effects. To ensure that you start to wind down for bed in good time, diffuse some Lavender oil around your bedroom an hour or so before. You can also extend it's sleep benefits and mix your own mist together (3 or 4 drops with some water) and spray onto your pillow.