Relax with a hot bath or massage before bed.

by Herbs, Etc.

Woman in bath

Are you wide-awake when the clock says it’s bedtime? There are simple strategies that can make you good and a soak in a hot tub, a footbath, a foot massage, or a steaming cup of herb tea.

Check out these tips, and then...sweet dreams!

Prepare for sleep with a fragrant herbal bath.

Relaxing volatile oils waft their way straight to your brain. Boil 1 quart of water and turn off the heat. Stir in 1–2 cups of dried lavender or German chamomile, cover the pan, and steep 20 minutes. Strain, pressing the liquid out of the herbs, and pour the tea into a steamy bath. Add 3–5 drops of essential oil of lavender or rose geranium to make your bath even more calming. Remain in the bath for 15–20 minutes.

If your muscles are tight, a hot bath relaxes them so you can drop off to sleep. Add 2 cups Epsom salts to the bath water, and soak for 15–20 minutes. It’s fine to add a few drops of essential oil to make your bath smell wonderful.

If you’d like to explore other sedative essential oils either in your baths or in an aromatherapy diffuser, try sandalwood, ylang ylang, bergamot, or lemon verbena.

A foot bath is simpler than a full bath, and it’s sure to relax you just as well. Heating your feet pulls excess mental energy downward, out of your head. Boil 2–3 quarts of water and pour into a basin big enough to submerge both feet up to the ankles. Add 2 drops of essential oil of lavender or rose geranium, and let the water temperature drop until it’s comfortable. Stay in the bath 5–10 minutes, adding more hot water if it cools down too much.

Massage your feet with unrefined (unroasted) sesame oil. A half-teaspoon of oil should be sufficient for both feet. Put on a pair of socks to protect bed linens. This is a classic technique from the Ayurvedic tradition of healing. It nourishes and relaxes your nervous system.

A soothing cup of Chamomile tea is a time-tested choice to make you sleepy. Or you could try peppermint tea instead.