An article in News In Health (NIH) states, "When you learn something new, the best way to remember it is to sleep on it. That’s because sleeping helps strengthen memories you’ve formed throughout the day. It also helps to link new memories to earlier ones...'We’ve learned that sleep before learning helps prepare your brain for initial formation of memories,' says Dr. Matthew Walker, a sleep scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. 'And then, sleep after learning is essential to help save and cement that new information into the architecture of the brain, meaning that you’re less likely to forget it.'”
It's safe to say, then, that sleep is crucial for students to be able to learn optimally. Here are some oily suggestions that may help kids (and adults) have a more restful night's sleep.
What are the best ways to use these oils? With the exception of RutaVaLa roll-on, they can each be diffused at bedtime. Try different combinations to see which works best with your child's chemical make up. SleepyIze has been specially formulated for younger children and is pre-diluted for their use. As much as littles love it, so do adults, so don't be afraid to try it yourself!
They can also be applied to the feet, bottoms of the big toes, on shoulders, chest and / or neck, and even on the crown of the head or center of the forehead. You may have heard me say that I like to apply Cedarwood to the bottoms of my big toes and rub a drop or two of Lavender between my palms, then over my pillowcase, as my preferred bedtime protocol. Lots of people love to apply RutaVaLa to their feet before bed.
Try adding 10-15 drops of your preferred oil(s) to 1/2 - 1 cup of Epsom salts for a relaxing bath before bed. Sweet dreams indeed!
Sometimes, sleep can be disrupted because of normal stressors or occasional anxiety. That was certainly true with our daughter, who throughout the years has had to implement learning strategies related to dyslexia. I've held her in my arms before bedtime as she's gasped for air through tears streaming down her face, thinking about a test that would greet her the next day. She's found tremendous comfort and peace using Tranquil roll-on (applying it as she would perfume) and always carried it in her backpack. Its combination of Lavender, Cedarwood, and Roman Chamomile (another seasonally available, bedtime favorite) are great for supporting emotional balance.
Oils like Stress Away, Peace & Calming, and Lavender can also be helpful in supporting healthy emotions and bringing a sense of calm and relaxation. If you find that your child is restless at night, try using any of these at bedtime.
The NIH article also offered this advice.
Research suggests these tips may aid students and other learners:
- Get a good night’s sleep before learning. Lack of sleep can cut learning ability by up to 40%.
- Get a full night of sleep within 24 hours after learning to strengthen new memories and build connections between different pieces of information.
- Get enough sleep each night—7 to 8 hours for most adults. Memories won’t be strengthened with 4 hours or less of nighttime sleep.
- Naps might help or hinder. A 90-minute nap can strengthen memories, but naps late in the day may make it harder to get to sleep at night.
Sleep On It, News In Health, April 2013 (Part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)
Here's to a GOOD night's rest!