Sleep...oh, sleep. So incredibly important, and yet in times of high stress (like many of us are currently experiencing), sleep is often difficult to sink into. According to a 2018 study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 25% of Americans develop insomnia every year. So, after about a month of personally tossing and turning, I decided it was time to do some research and ask experts in their field for tips on creating better sleep.


What's up with your bed situation? Is it comfortable, is your mattress supportive, do you love the pillows, the feel of the sheets and the blankets, is your bedroom an oasis? Carl Larsson, Managing Partner at luxury bed company Hästens says that "Your bed is your intimate space you share with the people closest to you; the place where you are sensual, heal, and rejuvenate. I have met so many people that believe they have everything just because they can wear it, drive it, or show it off, but your mattress is for YOU. How much do YOU value yourself?”

While Hästens did just launch an incredible hand-stitched $400k bed, that made its debut in Drake's Bedroom featured in Architectural Design, you do not have to make millions to shop at Hästens or to make your bed and bedroom your personal retreat. To start, de-clutter your space, keep it simple. Get rid of any pillows or sheets that you don't love and invest in a bed and bedding that will last a long time. Create a bedroom situation that you can't wait to crawl into at the end of the day, and remember, your bed is where you will spend at least 1/3 of your life in, make it all yours, and make it delightful. 


Are your thoughts running around your head at night making it hard to fall asleep? I asked CEO of UNPLUG Meditation, Suze Yalof Schwartz, if bedtime meditation is a key secret to blissfully falling asleep. She said, "My mother was the worst sleeper and woke up in the middle of the night often and couldn't go back to sleep. Now she clicks the Unplug App and can't stay awake. We have over 70 sleep meditations and I have never made it to the end of any of them zzzzzz". 

Turn off your thoughts, let go of control, and allow meditation experts gently and sweetly lull you off to sleep. 


Humans have been experimenting with plant medicine and herbs for healing for over 60000 years, but what herbal remedies are the best for sleep? Heather Irvine, from the Herbal Academy, a school dedicated to teaching the art and science of herbalism, says that "herbs can help set the tempo for the restorative process of sleep, helping to release tension in the body, while also bringing our vigilance from our day down to a quiet hum."

While there are many herbs to choose from to encourage restful sleep, and an herbalist can help match you with the best sleep herbs for you personally, a few that are both delightful and health-promoting, and also generally versatile include:

  • linden (Tila sp.), tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
  • chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
  • lavender (Lavandula officinalis)
  • milky oat (Avena sativa).

Herbs that exert a little bit deeper nudge to nod off to sleep include:

  • passionflower (Passiflora incarnate)
  • skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
  • valerian (Valeriana officinalis) root
The following is a recipe incorporating most of these herbs, which comes from the Herbal Self-Care For Stress Management Course. If you have any uncertainty about any of these herbs for yourself or if you cannot source one or more of these herbs at this time it is totally reasonable to omit one or more and use the rest of these herbs together as indicated.

Soothing Nighttime Tea Recipe from the Herbal Academy



3 tsp chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) flowers

1 tsp milky oat (Avena sativa) tops

1 tsp passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) aerial parts

½ tsp skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) aerial parts

½ tsp lavender (Lavandula officinalis) bud

¼ tsp valerian (Valeriana officinalis) root 


  • Combine herbs and place in a tea strainer inside a mug.

  • Add 1-1½ cup (8-12 fl oz) hot water just off the boil.

  • Steep, covered, for 5-15 minutes (note that chamomile becomes more bitter at steeping time longer than 3-5 minutes).

  • Remove tea strainer and enjoy!

This recipe is featured in the Herbal Self-Care for Stress Management Course. To view all of their course offerings, click here


Sweet Dreams!

Julie Skon | Contact



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