In this episode we sit down with Dr. Ashley Anderson to talk all about sleep. We'll discuss why getting good sleep is important, how you can make sure you're getting your best sleep, as well as how the new Sleep Wellness Program can help you achieve your sleep goals.
doTERRA: Adults between the ages of 18 and 64 need seven to nine hours of sleep every night, but over 35% of all adults in the US report sleeping an average of fewer than seven hours a night. Good sleep is so crucial. So today, we'll be discussing how you can get your best rest.
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Today we're excited to talk to Dr. Ashley Anderson about getting the sleep you deserve. Dr. Anderson, thank you so much for being with us today.
Dr. Ashely Anderson: Thank you so much for having me!
doTERA: So the first question I want to ask you is a really important one. It kind of frames this whole topic. Why is restful sleep so important?
Dr. Anderson: That's an amazing question, because a lot of us, I think even in just the way we live life, we are like, I'll sleep when I die. You know? But truly, it's the time when your body heals and reboots itself. Just like your phone or your computer, you need that time to reboot. Otherwise, like your phone or computer would start to misfire, parts of our bodies will do the same thing. So sleep plays such an important role in our healthy organ function and metabolism, having a healthy immune system, just to name a few things. But it is extremely important that we get great sleep.
doTERRA: Absolutely. Now, some of us find getting really restful sleep a little bit harder than others. What are some of the common reasons that we might not be getting our best sleep?
Dr. Anderson: Sure, I've seen about 90%, even in studies that I've read, about 90% of our inability to get a good night's sleep starts in our mind. So it's—a lot of it's related to mental stress, feelings of anxiousness can cause that too. A lot of times when I talk to my patients, at least, the descriptor that I'm getting is “I'm just laying awake, and I cannot turn my brain off.”
And, you know, a lot of that, I think because we overload ourselves during the daytime, and we're not adequately managing our stress, that really plays a role when it's time to actually shut the body down and turn those brains off to get some rest.
doTERRA: So you mentioned that a lot of this might be caused during the day, that we're not managing our stress or overloading ourselves. What are some of the lifestyle changes that I could make to promote more restful sleep at night?
Dr. Anderson: Sure. I am a huge proponent of owning your mornings. Right? I think that when you start your day off on the right track, not like you're rolling out of the bed and the ball is rolling and you can't stop it. I know for myself if I wake up when my alarm goes off, and I have to get to my first appointment or it's because one of my kids is at the bedside, like “Mommy,” it’s downhill from there. I feel like I'm trying to play catch up.
Start Your Day off Right
What I've tried to start doing for myself and something I really encourage my patients to do as well as my friends and family is to get up a little bit earlier so that you can truly have ownership over your morning. Whether you need to sit and pray, maybe you want to meditate in the morning. I really—we'll talk about that later, hopefully, kind of morning routines and stuff. But I like to meditate, have a moment to read, pray, and write in my journal, and then I can start my day. So that helps me to start my day feeling more in control of it, and that helps me manage my day and kind of plan it so that I don't feel totally off-kilter.
Create Mindful Moments During the Day
So I feel like doing that early and then creating spaces within your day to just have a moment of silence or to say, “OK, I'm really stressed right now. What do I need to do? Like what can I control in a situation? And to move forward in a better mind space?”
I think when we're able to do things like that during our day when we get to the evening when it's time for us to calm down and to relax into a good nighttime routine, which is the next thing I'd like to talk about, I think it's easier for us to do that because we're not carrying all of that baggage and the burdens from the entire day.
Have a Bedtime Routine
But yeah, the nighttime routine is also huge. I find that parents, especially, we have these immaculate bedtime routines for our children, but we do not do the same thing for ourselves at all. Yeah, I think that we have to be more proactive about scheduling our pre-bedtime. So making sure, you know, we're getting off the phone, we're turning the television off. Do we have a hot bath? Do you have yourself some hot tea and read a book? Like, something to basically signal your body it's time for us to start winding down.
I think if we could come up with a perfect bedtime routine for yourself every night, that would really help so much with people getting a good night's sleep. Because that time I think, that last hour before bedtime, is so important in actually telling your body it's time for you to start shutting down. If we do the exact same thing every single night, our bodies will fall into line.
doTERRA: I love all of those ideas, and what I love the most as they're such simple little things that you can change. And it's totally within your grasp to just make these simple changes and see the results.
Dr. Anderson: Yeah, yeah, it's so easy. I think it's just a matter of doing it and putting it on a calendar for ourselves.
doTERRA: Absolutely. So, Dr. Anderson, switching gears just a little bit. What are some of your favorite doTERRA products to use to help you get your best rest?
Dr. Anderson: Oh, my gosh. So I start and end my day with Cedarwood and Frankincense. Those are my staples.
So I take Frankincense internally in the morning and in the evening. But I do find if we kind of do those things that I just mentioned in terms of feeling a lot calmer during the day, which does the same thing for me at night.
The Cedarwood just truly creates this calming environment. I use it in my morning meditations as well to create that calming environment to start my day. But I also put in my diffuser before bedtime. So that is a staple like Cedarwood is sitting next to my diffuser right now.
And that is definitely—I love, love me some Serenity, especially with kids. I have a three-year-old and a 20-month-old. And let me tell you something, they are crazy at bedtime. They fight it tooth and nail. And so Serenity is definitely one of my favorite oils for them.
And Vetiver—those, I think that is probably my four favorite doTERRA products for getting ready for bedtime.
doTERRA: Those all sound amazing. So can you walk us through your personal nighttime routine?
Dr. Anderson: Sure, but let's start with the kids because we have two separate routines. So theirs is calming down the crazy time. When they're in their bath, I put some drops of Lavender in their bathwater.
And while they are playing and having their good time, I go and put Serenity in the diffusers, in their bedrooms, just so that when we enter to put their clothes on and all of that, they are already smelling this environment that's been created for them.
And then as I lotion them up, I normally put frankincense down their spine. I put Cedarwood down their spine and Serenity. So they get those three oils on their spine. And then I put Vetiver on their feet, and it's bye-bye. That is their routine.
Every night they know, and they're asking for oils when they get out of the bathtub because they already know what time it is.
For myself, as I mentioned, I take Frankincense internally before bedtime, and I put Cedarwood in my diffuser, those typically—those two are all I need. My husband, on the other hand, is creative. On those nights that he's struggling, we’ll add Vetiver to his big toe, that reflexology point. And that is great for him.
doTERRA: And then on the other side of it, you mentioned how key a morning routine is. Can you walk us through a little bit of your morning routine?
Dr. Anderson: Yes, yes. So I want to preface this by saying I hate getting up early, so I don't want you to hear this and be like “She's a morning person.”
I'm not, like, anyone that knows me will tell you if I can sleep an extra five minutes, I'm going to do that. But I have realized that I'm most productive in the morning because everyone else in my home is asleep. And it's the only real-time that I have alone with my own thoughts and have any space for quiet time.
So I've been setting my alarm for 5:00 or 5:30 in the morning. I'll get up immediately. I go to my Bible app and I will—I'm normally doing a couple of different devotions with friends, so I will work through those. I will grab my Cedarwood and do some big, deep breaths and do some guided meditation.
And then I'll spend probably five minutes or so journaling in that really helps me to start my day feeling grounded. I normally—before I go to sleep the night before, I'll make a list of things that I need to do the next day, and that helps me kind of clear my head before bedtime.
But in the morning, I can just hit that list and say, “OK, I got up at 5:30. I know I'm going to hear footsteps down the hall, probably no later than 7:00 am. So I've got an hour. After I've done my reading and everything, what can I get off my list?” And I'll just work until someone wakes up. And it really helps me feel so much more in control of my day and a lot less stressed.
doTERRA: I think that's so amazing. And like you said, not everyone might be a morning person, but sometimes that's the time when we can accomplish a lot and make sure that our days don't feel too hectic after that.
Dr. Anderson: Yeah, because, you know, I find if I don't do that, if I'm like, “Oh, I'm not getting up this morning. I'm just going to sleep as long as I can.” I feel just tense throughout the day because I'm like, “I need to get this done. I need to get that done.”
The kids, during their nap time, I already had this plan. So it just makes me feel really frazzled and unproductive throughout the day. So I think while it sometimes pains me to hear that alarm go off at 5:00 am or 5:30, it sets me up for such a better day, which then makes my evening and nighttime rest even better.
doTERRA: Absolutely. Now, Dr. Anderson, my final question for you is, you know, we've talked about a lot of different products, a lot of different routines. One thing that doTERRA has done is create the Sleep Wellness Program. So I wanted to know your thoughts on how that can help me achieve my sleep goals.
Dr. Anderson: You know, it is brilliant because it's a good night's rest all in one package. So you don't have to think about it. You know, it basically gives you the tools to do everything that I just described. Like the bath salts, oh my gosh, they're amazing. Just to be able to have that relaxing time. Hopefully, it's quiet time, and no one's running and asking for milk and stuff while you're trying to take your bath with your bath salts. It helps you to just create that environment for restful sleep.
And, you know, the Serenity Softgels that are in there, also incredible. I didn’t even mention that when I was talking about the oils, but it really is amazing that that doTERRA has thought through aromatic uses that can help create this environment that's better for sleep, topical, all of those things, like doTERRA has really gone through and really put thought into what can make someone's sleep better because sleep hygiene is so important. I just really love that, doTERRA created this and really put so much emphasis on sleep.
doTERRA: I absolutely agree. I think it's wonderful. Well, Dr. Anderson, it has been great to talk to you and hear your advice on how to make sure we're getting the best rest we can. We really appreciate you being here today.
Dr. Anderson: Oh man, thank you! It's an honor to chat with you. Thank you for having me.
doTERRA: Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. Also, if you want to try any of the products you learned about, go to doterra.com or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.