One of the most common symptoms of anxiety is insomnia. They exacerbate one another - If we feel anxious at bedtime and can’t “deactivate” our brain - falling asleep and/or staying asleep can be very challenging. If our mind does not get proper rest through deep sleep, our ability to deal with even just regular daily routine becomes increasingly harder. This quickly become a vicious cycle.

From my personal struggle with poor sleep and over two decades of working with patients, I understood that the only way out of this cycle is not to wait until your mind is overwhelmed with built up anxiety from the day and try to “destress” before sleep, but instead incorporate small stress relieving and relaxing activities throughout the day and not allow the anxiety to reach its high levels in the first place.

With this in mind I formulated my herbal remedy ILLUMINATE, a 100% natural blend of herbs and Nano CBD according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It helps to buffer your body from the negative effects of stress throughout the day, keep the anxiety at bay and reject the buildup in your body. It has a strong calming effect which makes both dealing with daily stressors and relaxing before sleep much easier.

Chinese Medicine is mythical and poetic in its descriptions of the ways our body functions. It describes the relationship between anxiety and insomnia as a relationship between the Mind and the Heart. Anxiety is due to an imbalance of the Heart energy. According to the 5-element theory, Heart belongs to the element of Fire and at night it houses the Mind. If the Heart is on fire, when the Mind descends into the Heart, it gets burned and jumps back up. Our thoughts become erratic, we can’t stop thinking and it can take a long time to fall asleep. If there is not enough warmth in the Heart, we just toss and turn, and no position is comfortable.

The herbs in the formula work together to balance the Heart energy as well as the energies of Spleen and Liver, as they are interdependent and work together to keep our mind in a healthy state.

I strongly advise to incorporate activities into your daily routine that help you “shut off your brain” for just minutes at a time. Even just 10 seconds now and then WILL make a big difference. There are many helpful things you can find on the internet to help you relax after a long day of work, it became an industry in itself, however, if you suffer from anxiety related insomnia this often isn’t enough. For a good nights sleep, it’s very important to engage in de-stressing activities throughout the day and not wait till the evening.

Here are a few simple activities you can implement in your daily routine :

- Take a short 10-15 minute walk; mid-day and in the evening.
Close your eyes and take a few (ideally 10) deep slow breaths after a stressful encounter
- Talk through your stressors or anger with a friend, don’t let it brew in you till your next appointment with your therapist.
- Journal; don’t take worries to bed with you. The act of putting words to your feelings helps bring down the intensity of those feelings and makes it easier to let them go
- Get up and stretch, twist and shout, if you can, several times a day.
- When stopping at a red light, examine that light, “What shade of red is it?” or “What color of the car in front of me?” Many studies have proven that only few seconds of changing your focus gives your brain that desperately needed “pause”.

It is important to find de-stressing activities that work for YOU in the scope of your lifestyle. For me, it’s doing anything with my dog, taking long walks, listening to music, having a glass of wine after a long day, spending time with a friend, playing “what’s the word” on my phone, listening to the news for a quick shift in perspective (never in the evening though), taking a bath, doing Yin Yoga at bedtime, meditating, binging a Netflix show...each day is different and different activities may seem appealing to me. sometimes even going to the Gym. 😊

The point again, is not to wait until your mind is overwhelmed with built up anxiety from the day to destress before sleep. With the help of my formula, ILLUMINATE as well as activities thought the day that give you moments of peace, no matter how small, you will achieve the restful sleep that is so needed to stay healthy and happy.