Self Care: Sleep Essentials

This month we are pleased to welcome guest blogger and Prana team member, Maartje Maas-Potterton. Not only is Maartje a certified yoga instructor, she is also a registered reflexologist and a doTerra Essential Oil representative. Maartje has some good advice on sleeping well and  how essential oils can encourage a good night’s slumber– read on!

Maartje headshotSleep Well, Be Well

By Maartje Maas-Potterton

Everyone knows that diet and exercise are key components of any healthy lifestyle. Another key pillar of health, equally important and arguably even more so, is sleep. Although the amount of sleep a person needs varies, experts recommend that adults get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Unfortunately, about 33 percent of Canadians are not getting the recommend amount of sleep per night, and approximately one in five adults in Canada experiences occasional sleeplessness or difficulty sleeping.

Why Is Sleep So Important?

Sleep is important because it is inherently physically and mentally healing, and it allows for our bodies to not only recoup from the stress of everyday life, but also to recharge and refocus. Depriving your body of sleep has been associated with many health risks and places a tremendous burden on virtually every organ system in your body. Lack of adequate sleep affects our ability to lose, or maintain, a healthy weight; influences how we feel, learn, and behave; and negatively impacts our cardiovascular health and overall well-being. Even more importantly, not getting enough sleep can reduce reaction time and interfere with our ability to drive.
In short, the less sleep you get, the less opportunity you give your body to heal and prepare itself for the following day, reducing overall quality of life.

Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

  • Eat well and maintain a healthy exercise routine
  • Maintain a rhythm -Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule, going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time.
  • Just say “No” to alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and electronics. All of these can make going to sleep difficult
  • Keep cool! Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark and relaxing place, not too hot and not too cool
  • Wind down – Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as yoga, reading or taking a warm bath.
  • Use calming essential oils – Essential oils like Lavender and Bergamot are rich in linalool and linalyl acetate, compounds that have well-known relaxing properties. Essential Oils for Sleep and Relaxation: Lavender, Vetiver, Serenity Calming Blend, Bergamot, Roman Chamomile.

    Essential oils can be diffused aromatically in the bedroom to create a calming and peaceful environment, perfect for getting a good night’s sleep. They can also be used topically and taken internally to calm the nervous system, promote relaxation, and lead to a restful sleep. Try placing two to four drops of Lavender or Bergamot essential oil in a warm, herbal tea (Chamomile, Lemongrass, etc.), or another favorite uncaffeinated beverage about 30 minutes before going to bed, or add two to four drops of Lavender into an empty capsule and swallow about 30 minutes before bed.

For more info on doTerra essential oils please contact me at or visit

About Chantelle Diachina

Chantelle is the founder of Prana Yoga & Wellness. When she is not teaching yoga class or facilitating workshops, Chantelle relishes the time with her husband and two school-age children. She also enjoys volunteering and collaborating with the various non-profits in her community. 3 things you may not know about Chantelle: 1. Most Memorable Moment: Being saved by a random motorcyclist from California while alone and lost in Thailand 2. Biggest Pet Peeve: Hearing her children fight 3. Most Embarrassing Moment: Showing up to a potluck party on the wrong night
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