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12 Holistic Ways to Heal through Sleep

Based on the VIDEO workshop Holistic Ways to Improve Sleep and Health with Dr. Karen Kan

The intention of this article is to educate you on the importance of sleep and holistic tips and strategies on how to improve your sleep quality.

Why is sleep so important? Sleep is a vital contributor to our overall health and vitality. As we sleep our physical, emotional and mental bodies have the opportunity to process, repair and heal from challenges of the day. Our body’s ability to recover during sleep is dependent on the quantity and quality of sleep we obtain each night. Yet, how do we know if we are getting the right amount of quality sleep each night?  The top 5 signs that you’re not getting optimal sleep include:

  • Waking up often in the middle of the night
  • Having difficulty falling asleep within 10 minutes
  • Not experiencing dreams
  • Waking up before your alarm
  • Waking up tired


Experiencing any of the above could indicate possible interruptions in your brain’s ability to reach a state of healing during sleep. While we sleep our brain transition through different wave states. Beginning with the beta wave state where our brain is active and awake into the alpha wave state of relaxation onto our theta wave state otherwise known as the dream state, eventually leading into our deepest sleep state, our delta wave state where healing is stimulated. When we are unable to reach our delta wave state it affects our body’s natural abilities to heal and repair itself. An example of this can be illustrated by cortisol, a stress hormone which, when experienced chronically, interrupts our bodies ability to burn fat by inhibiting other hormones which aid weight loss.


How can we get a better night’s sleep? Through improving our own sleep hygiene we actively contribute to body’s natural healing process. Identifying which habits or devices affect our sleep health is key. A common example is our use of smartphones and electronics which increases our exposure to EMF (electromagnetic frequencies) and blue light which can suppress our brain’s production of melatonin, an important hormone which regulates our sleep-wake cycles. Others habits can also affect our sleep quality such as consuming caffeine, a brain stimulant, or alcohol, which reduces REM (rapid eye movement) sleep occurring in the theta wave state. After we’ve identified these factors we can modify them to benefit our sleep health.


We can improve our sleep hygiene in natural ways through holistic methods and strategies listed below. Here are some tips and ideas to improve your sleep hygiene


  1. Associating your bed with sleep by reducing activities that may stimulate your brains such as working on your phone or laptop
  2. Creating a relaxing sleep routine
  3. Take a warm Epsom salt bath (Dr. Karen recommends Ancient Minerals Magnesium Bath flakes) to calm the nervous system
  4. Go to sleep at the same time every night help to regulate sleep cycles
  5. Make sure the room is completely dark
  6. Have a comfortable temperature in your room, making sure the room is not too hot or cold
  7. Make sure your sheets and blankets are of comfortable or natural material such as cotton or bamboo.
  8. Put yourself in a positive state before bed such as through writing in a gratitude journal or reading/ listening to positive material
  9. Utilize a grounding mat to reduce levels of stress (www.earthing.com)
  10. Listen to delta waves via headphones to promote deep sleep (www.scientificsounds.com)
  11. Silent Night phototherapy patches which aids with delta wave sleep


Other ideas and suggestions include:


  • Reducing activities which can stimulate brain or body activity right before bed such as eating, consuming caffeine or alcohol, watching TV or the news, looking at devices emitting blue light (smart phones, laptops etc.)
  • Reducing EMF exposure by placing your phone on airplane mode, turning off your Wi-Fi router or purchasing an EMF protector or scrambler for your phone or other devices
  • Consider Blue Light blocking glasses if you are using the computer or TV at night


Download a printable PDF of this checklist by clicking here.

Written by Claudia Briones

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