We’re thrilled & feeling extremely lucky to have Julie Wright take part in our guest blog to find out more about creating the perfect personal sleep regime…
We’d love to hear more about your journey with sleep, tell us a little more about ‘WeSleep’ & how your success has led to you writing your fabulous new book ‘The Natural Sleeper’…
Thank you for having me as your guest! With a good night’s sleep, nothing can stop you, and you will most likely be able to achieve your life’s dreams. I believe sleep is one of the answers to becoming a superhuman.
Having battled with sleep issues for years, I embarked on a journey full of learning, discovery, and therapeutic experiments to resolve them. This gave me the idea to help myself and others with the issue of insomnia and poor sleep quality, as a powerful and meaningful career ambition. The idea is to re-energize sleep-deprived individuals by teaching them how to sleep naturally for optimal physical and mental health.
I started helping others improve their sleep through education, inspiration and experimentation with sleep improvement webinars and workshops. I teamed up with scientists, researchers, therapists, and coaches to develop my unique approach. It is about being inspired from a wide range of perspectives and cultures, contemporary or ancient, whether scientific or empirical, behavioural or remedy based.
Writing “The Natural Sleeper” is a natural progression to my mission as a sleep ambassador. “Natural can be defined in many ways, but in my book, I am talking about any non-medicated options, staying away from sleeping pills, prescriptions, and pharmaceuticals.
The Natural Sleeper was the opportunity to gather and structure all this knowledge to inspire readers to experiment and take a deeper dive into sleep solutions that they are attracted to, intuitively or cognitively.
‘The Natural Sleeper’ is an opportunity to pause, reflect, try new things, and walk away with a personal sleep strategy to become re-energized by learning how to sleep naturally for optimal physical and mental health – could you tell us about your own personal sleep strategy from the book?
The Natural Sleeper is the result of my personal experimentation, research, and findings. I tried and tested most of the options I present in the book. I still go through occasional periods of poor sleep or insomnia myself, but I now have my go-to sleep tool kit of options. And depending on the night’s circumstances, I quickly identify the reason behind my struggle and choose the best solution(s) to fall asleep.
I’ve defined four principles for a good night sleep, and they are pretty straight forward. It’s about doing a combination of the following:
- Managing my mind
- Unwinding my nervous system
- Relaxing my body
- And, slowing down my brain waves
In “The Natural Sleeper”, I introduce well known techniques and tools to achieve this. Personally, I like to vary the techniques to avoid boredom. Whether Breathing techniques for sleep; practicing progressive muscle relaxation; creating my own playlist of sounds and voice recordings for sleep which help me tremendously; using natural daylight as my ally to regulate my sleep and my mood; or creating my own pillow mist with the essential oils which make me instantly feel more serene.
I also use blue light filter apps for my screens and sleep tracking technology, but I do so with caution, knowing that the measurement from wearables is not the most reliable. I am also a big fan of Acupressure, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda to support my health and my sleep. In my book, I introduce many other natural solutions worth exploring in addition to adopting a great sleep routine and hygiene.
I am also incredibly supportive of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i) which is specifically adapted for chronic insomnia, with interesting psychological techniques combined with a specific sleep scheduling strategy.
Finally, when I need extra support, I use Homeopathic remedies and a mix of herbal tinctures (liquid drops): one is a mix of Valerian and Hops and the other is a mix of Skullcap, Ashwagandha, Passiflora and Oats. In my book, I list most of the natural remedies associated with relaxation and sleep, to make it easier for readers.
It’s important to know however, that you should always consult with a professional before moving forward with any of these remedies, to avoid any contra-indications. Each therapeutic regime is very much individual.
One of our favourite sections in the book is about aromatherapy - how important to you is it to include aromatherapy oils into your night-time routine?
I love essential oils. Isn’t it incredible that the essence of medicinal herbs can support our wellbeing? I am also fascinated by the fact that our reaction to aromas is very much individual and instinctive. We all respond differently to a range of scents. For example, Ylang Ylang does not relax me but it works very well for many. I also use ready-made pillow sprays, pulse balms or rollers, and I swear by essential oil burners or diffusers. If I have time, I might add some drops of essential oils in my evening bath. The trick for me though, is to use organic and sustainably produced oils.
Is there a particular aromatherapy oil or blend that works best for you?
Yes, somehow my favourite blend is Roman Chamomile and Neroli combined, which is my own personal home-made mix. But frankly I like many others, of course lavender but I personally also respond well to Orange, Mandarin, Frankincense and Cardamom. To each their own!
When did it become clear that ‘natural’ therapies were best when trying to get a good night’s sleep?
Natural sleep is about supporting our innate processes and turning to solutions, remedies, therapies, and techniques to heal the human body and brain without drugs, pharmaceuticals, or artificially created chemicals, to minimize risks and side effects.
Sleep medication - even over-the-counter - can be helpful to fall asleep at night, but it often causes dependency, grogginess during the day, memory loss, confused state, and other negative side effects—making natural sleep remedies all the more appealing and important.
Which sleep issues do you struggle with & which have you found to be the most common?
Personally, I tend to fall asleep fine, but might wake up in the middle of the night. I have my mental check list ready to determine what might cause my overnight awakenings. And I try to solve the issue(s) immediately before I become too alert. Is it anxiety or worries? Alcohol or caffeine? Sugar imbalance? Elevated body temperature? Needing to go to the toilet? Disturbing lighting or noise etc? In “The Natural Sleeper”, I provide a practical check list to help readers get faster towards a possible cause. It is always clear to me, that the quality of my nights’ sleep depends on how I spend my days, on which events I’ve faced and which choices I made during the day. Especially if I don’t spend enough time outdoors during the day. All of these are the most frequent causes for poor sleep.
Your book is full of amazing sleep tips, is there one that stands out as the most important thing we should do to ensure a restful night’s sleep?
It wouldn’t be fair to select only one tip, because the answer will depend on each individual’s circumstances and sleep is the result of a complex orchestration of natural and biological processes. In my book “The Natural Sleeper”, I present many options and explain why they work, which should make it easier for readers to select what might work for them.
That said the most important in my view is to maintain regularity in your sleep wake schedule, even on bad nights, and expose yourself to as much outdoor natural daylight as possible. Avoiding putting pressure on your sleep and making sure your mind is quiet and peaceful, is equally important, however.
In my book, I have incorporated some simple sleep remedies, including daily sleep-promoting habits to incorporate into your daily rituals that anyone can use, as well as keeping your body healthy and your mind balanced, maintaining a routine, creating a sleep-inducing environment, respecting your individual genetic predispositions, and managing other health conditions.
I teach readers how to create a perfect sleep space, how to calm your mind through mind management techniques, how to optimize your sleeping position, how to practice the most efficient body relaxation techniques as well as some complementary and alternative therapies like acupuncture, herbal remedies, acupressure, sound therapy, essential oils, breathwork, moon milk, essential oils and more.
We’d love to know which Kiss the Moon product is your favourite from our range?
No pun intended, but I love the LOVE product range! The Rose Ritual Bedside Set made with Rose and Frankincense essential oils (hand cream, pillow mist, and night-time face oil).
And also the DREAM Sleep Balm made with Lavender and Bergamot. Such lovely products!
I hope we can create a Kiss the Moon gift set with my book “The Natural Sleeper” as I find your product range so compatible with my own principles!
About our sleep educator:
Julie Wright is an entrepreneur, speaker, sleep ambassador and author of “The Natural Sleeper: A Bedside Guide to Complementary and Alternative Solutions for Better Sleep [Tiller Press / Simon & Schuster]. She is the founder of WeSleep, a wellbeing provider focused on sleep, providing webinars, workshops, lectures, discussion panels, 1-to-1 consultations, and therapeutic sessions on the topic of sleep deprivation and insomnia to a wide range of organizations and business clients such as tech start-ups, agencies, media and entertainment companies, banks, festivals, conferences, non-profit, education and government organisations and many more. In addition, Julie is an official ambassador for World Sleep Day.
Find out more about “The Natural Sleeper”: http://www.thenaturalsleeper.com
Find out more about Julie: https://www.wesleep.co.uk/julie-wright-the-natural-sleeper