if abandonment is the core wound
the disconnection from mother
the loss of wholeness
then the most potent medicine
is this ancient commitment
to never abandon yourself
to discover wholeness in the whole-mess
to be a loving mother to your insides
to hold the broken bits
in open awareness
to illuminate the sore places
with the light
What self abandonment might look/feel like
Always trying to make other people happy
Living an identity that is reliant on approval
Shaming yourself for making o mistake
Saying yes when you want to say no
Talking yourself out of things that are important to you
Going along with family norms to avoid upset
Agreeing with things you dont agree with
Doing things you're not okay with
Being overly apologetic
Trying to get everyone to like you
Not acting according to your values
Minimising yourself to please others
Notes on Sleep
As a functional medicine health coach, I focus on the foundational aspects of health. No matter who you go to, even if it’s Mark Hyman ( one of the most renowned fx med doctors in the world) they will first focus on your foundation. This is because everything else is built on top of this. If you don’t have a strong foundation, other health practices will not be sustainable— like a house without a strong foundation, it can topple over.
One of these foundational aspects of health is SLEEP. A good night’s sleep isn’t just precious, it’s important for good health. It’s during sleep (and parasympathetic state) that your body does most of its healing.
Sadly, getting a deep, restorative night of rest is challenging for so many people. According to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, one of every five people experiences sleeplessness.
To curtail this, we have to create healthy habits around our bedtime rituals, also known as ‘sleep hygiene’. Practicing good sleep hygiene begins to signal to the body to prepare for sleep, and therefore begins the stimulation process of specific chemicals like melatonin and gaba, necessary for restorative rest.
Why you may have issues with sleep depends. The approach is different for individuals, however, there are some practices that’s good for everyone, even if you are currently not dealing with sleep issues. These practices include minimizing exposure to unnatural light after the sun goes down, exposure to natural light first thing in the morning, and managing your stress throughout your day.
As I mentioned, there are many different reasons why people struggle with sleep.
Some people have trouble falling asleep and others have trouble staying asleep, often waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. Other people may have trouble physically relaxing, and others suffer from ruminations.
One thing we know is that 60%-80% of all sleep problems stem from stress.
Today, I want to spotlight some herbs & specifics that can also support different sleep challenges:
For those who are tired but can’t fall asleep:
Bedtime and waking morning rituals are very important. Going to bed at the same time every night helps your body get prepared. The routine allows your body to feel safe and make sleep chemicals. To help your body get into the zone, you can drink a tea with one of the best known herbs around— chamomile. She’s tried and true.
Chamomile is regarded as a mild tranquillizer and sleep-inducer. Sedative effects are due to some of her flavonoids that bind to the benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.
You can fall asleep fine, but have trouble staying asleep and often wake up between 1-4 a.m.:
If this is you, your liver may be the culprit. Drinking alcohol during or after dinner or eating rich foods can put the liver into overdrive, stimulating your body to work hard when she needs to prioritize rest.
The liver performs up to 500 different functions for the body while you sleep, including helping the body rid itself of toxins, metabolizing hormones, and breaking down fats. You can support your liver with hepatics, or liver supporting herbs such as dandelion and milk thistle.
Taking digestive bitters (I like tinctures) before meals will also support liver function.
Your body is tense and you can’t relax it:
If you experience restless or nervous energy, your body is communicating with you at the time of day when it should be quieting down. This could be because you’re spending a lot of your day overriding and ignoring your body’s communications and this is when it feels it can be heard.
The mind is one of the most active organs of the entire body, and for many people, bedtime can signal an instant replay of all the things that went wrong during the day, or a last-minute reminder of all the things you forgot on your to-do list. A great way to calm the mind is with journaling. Getting everything off of your mind and onto paper.
A warm, epsom salt bath, 15 minutes of gentle, yin yoga, 5 minutes of slow, intentional breathwork are also great considerations for your evening ritual.
And of course, getting into the practice of listening to your body more throughout the day, so you’re not wound so tightly when it’s time to sleep is imperative.
Lemon balm is very supportive in situations like this. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a member of the mint family and is used to reduce stress and anxiety and to help promote sleep. You can combine lemon balm with chamomile for deeper support.
Herbal sleep hygiene can be an important part of your sleep hygiene rituals, but of course, it’s not a stand alone ritual. It’s important to create other healthy habits for sleep.