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Winter’s shorter days and longer nights can have a significant impact on our sleep patterns. As the seasons change, it’s essential to adjust our routines to ensure we get the rest we need. Let’s explore a few strategies for optimising sleep quality and quantity during the Winter months. From creating a relaxing bedtime routine to establishing a sleep-friendly environment and addressing common sleep issues, these tips will help you achieve restful, rejuvenating sleep all season long.

CREATE A RELAXING BEDTIME ROUTINE

A consistent and calming bedtime routine signals to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Incorporate these elements into your nightly ritual to promote relaxation:

SET A CONSISTENT BEDTIME

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, helps regulate your body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally.

UNPLUG FROM ELECTRONICS

The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, and computers can interfere with the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Aim to unplug from electronics at least an hour before bedtime. Instead, opt for calming activities like reading a book, journaling, or taking a warm bath.

PRACTICE RELAXATION TECHNIQUES

Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or gentle yoga into your bedtime routine. These practices can help calm your mind and prepare your body for a restful night’s sleep.

SIP A HERBAL TEA

Enjoy a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea, such as chamomile, lavender, or valerian root, which are known for their calming and sleep-inducing properties.

ESTABLISH A SLEEP-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT

Your sleep environment plays a crucial role in the quality of your sleep. Make your bedroom a sanctuary for rest with these tips:

KEEP YOUR BEDROOM DARK

A cool, dark room is conducive to sleep. Aim for a bedroom temperature between 15-19°C. Use blackout curtains to block out external light and consider using an eye mask if needed.

INVEST IN A COMFORTABLE MATTRESS AND PILLOWS

A supportive mattress and pillows tailored to your sleep style can make a significant difference in sleep quality. Take the time to find bedding that provides the right balance of comfort and support.

MINIMISE NOISE

Reduce noise levels in your bedroom by using earplugs or a white noise machine. If outside noises are disruptive, consider using a fan or a white noise app to create a soothing soundscape.

CALMING SCENTS

Aromatherapy can enhance relaxation and improve sleep quality. Use a diffuser with essential oils like lavender, cedarwood, or bergamot to create a calming atmosphere. If you’re feeling blocked in the nose or need support with snoring.. try eucalyptus, thyme or one of my favourite blends, Valor. Rub on the chest, on the tips of the big toes or along the cervical spine.

ADDRESS COMMON SLEEP ISSUES

Winter can bring about specific sleep challenges, such as increased fatigue, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and disruptions in circadian rhythms. Here’s how to tackle these common issues:

COMBAT SEASONAL FATIGUE

Shorter days and reduced sunlight can lead to feelings of fatigue. Spend time outdoors during daylight hours to boost your exposure to natural light. Consider using a light therapy box in the morning to simulate sunlight and help regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

MANAGE SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD)

Depending on where you live in the world, SAD can affect sleep patterns and mood during the Winter months. In addition to light therapy, maintain a regular exercise routine, eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and stay connected with friends and family to help manage symptoms.

BALANCE YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS

Your body’s internal clock can be disrupted by changes in daylight during Winter. Help balance your circadian rhythm by sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, getting plenty of natural light during the day, and avoiding caffeine and heavy meals close to bedtime.

STAY HYDRATED

Dehydration can interfere with sleep quality. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but reduce fluid intake in the evening to minimise nighttime awakenings.

How do you feel about these tips?

You probably already do most of them but were there any that surprised you?

Optimising your sleep during the Winter months involves a combination of creating a relaxing bedtime routine, establishing a sleep-friendly environment, and addressing common sleep issues. By incorporating these strategies, you can improve the quality and quantity of your sleep, ensuring you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated all season long.

Got any specific sleep questions for me? I’d love to help!

Our homes are our sanctuaries, but they can also harbor hidden toxins that impact our health and well-being. From cleaning products to indoor air quality, many factors contribute to the overall healthiness of our living environments. Today we’ll explore practical and effective tips for detoxifying your home. By reducing exposure to toxins, using natural cleaning products, and improving indoor air quality, you can create a healthier, more harmonious space for you and your loved ones.

SWITCH TO NATURAL CLEANING PRODUCTS

Traditional cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Switching to natural, eco-friendly cleaning products is an easy and impactful way to reduce your home’s toxic load. Look for products labeled as non-toxic, biodegradable, and free from harmful chemicals like ammonia, bleach, and phthalates. You can also make your own cleaning solutions using simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. I keep it simple in my home with the one and only Thieves Household Cleaner. It’s super versatile, highly concentrated and I love it’s spicy, warm, citrusy smell. Use my referral number here for a huge discount.

DIY ALL PURPOSE CLEANER RECIPE

– 1 cup white vinegar

– 1 cup water

– 10-15 drops of essential oil (like lemon, lavender, or tea tree)

Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and use it to clean countertops, sinks, and other surfaces.

IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Indoor air pollution can be caused by a variety of sources, including dust, pet dander, mold, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paint, furniture, and household products. Improving indoor air quality is crucial for a healthier home environment. Here are my favourite tips..

Ventilation

Regularly open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and reduce indoor pollutants.

Houseplants

Certain houseplants, such as spider plants, peace lilies, and snake plants, can help purify the air by absorbing toxins. Check they’re ok for your pets!

Air Purifiers

Invest in a high-quality air purifier with a HEPA filter to capture airborne particles and allergens.

Regular Cleaning

Dust and vacuum your home frequently to reduce the buildup of allergens and pollutants.

house plants detox home

CHOOSE NON-TOXIC FURNITURE AND DECOR

Many conventional furniture and decor items contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, flame retardants, and VOCs. When shopping for new pieces, opt for non-toxic, sustainably-made items. Look for furniture made from solid wood, natural fibers, and low-VOC finishes.

ELIMINATE PLASTIC

Plastics, especially those containing BPA and phthalates, can leach harmful chemicals into your home environment. Reduce plastic use by choosing glass, stainless steel, or bamboo alternatives for food storage, kitchen utensils, and children’s toys. Additionally, avoid heating food in plastic containers, as this can increase the release of toxins.

USE NATURAL PEST CONTROL

Chemical pesticides can introduce toxins into your home. Instead, use natural pest control methods to keep your home pest-free. Here are some of my favourite tips..

Essential Oils

Use essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, geranium and citronella to deter insects. You can order the same ones I do here. 24-50% discount.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Sprinkle this non-toxic powder around entry points to kill insects without harmful chemicals.

Borax and Sugar

Mix equal parts borax and sugar and place it in areas where you’ve seen ants to eliminate them naturally.

FILTER YOUR WATER

Tap water can contain contaminants such as chlorine, lead, and pesticides. Using a water filter can reduce these impurities and provide cleaner, safer drinking water for your household. Choose a filter that meets your needs, whether it’s a simple pitcher filter, a faucet-mounted filter, or a whole-house system.  We’ve been loving and using Southern Cross Filters for years. Make sure whichever filter you choose can also remove fluoride.

DECLUTTER AND ORGANISE

A cluttered home can contribute to stress and reduce the overall feeling of well-being. Regularly declutter and organise your living spaces to create a more peaceful and inviting environment. Donate or recycle items you no longer need, and consider adopting a minimalist approach to reduce the accumulation of unnecessary possessions.

Detoxifying your home is an ongoing process that involves making conscious choices about the products you use and the environment you create. By incorporating these tips, you can reduce exposure to harmful toxins, improve indoor air quality, and create a healthier, more harmonious living space. Let’s move towards a detoxified home, and enjoy the benefits of a cleaner, greener, and more vibrant environment for you and your family!

Happy Detoxing!

Have you used one of these before?

Linen sprays are designed to freshen up sheets and sometimes clothing between washes.

You might be thinking you don’t really need one because your fabric softener leaves a pretty smell on your clothes and bed linen, but I’m here to let you know that those aromas are doing more harm then good!

I talk a bit more about it over here on this post, but any ‘fragrance’ you come across these days is more likely to be a cocktail of hundreds of synthetic ingredients that are linked to all kinds of illness and disease.

Not too long ago, all fragrances came from pure extracts of plants, aka essential oils. For most big companies, it’s a lot cheaper to fabricate scent in a laboratory.

I don’t know about you, but I’m all about quality and not compromising my health.

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils have become quite popular these days but they really aren’t a new thing.

Their use dates back to thousands of years ago where they were used not only to heal and nurture the body, but to anoint it in spiritual practice, embalm the deceased, protect from illness and disease and to simply fragrance the environment and home.

Because of their comeback, many companies have jumped on the ‘oily’ bandwagon purely for profit and so there are a lot of ‘essential oils’ out there that simply are not true, authentic extracts from the plant.

Then there is the issue of how they are farmed, distilled and tested..

but that’s another story for another day!

Essential oils, if pure and unadulterated can bring a lot of joy and healing to your life. Plus they are really handy for all your DIY creations.

Here’s a very simple linen spray that you can use to freshen up your towels and sheets.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 10 – 20 drops of essential oil
  • 70 mL distilled or filtered water
  • 30 mL vodka
  • 100 mL glass spray bottle

METHOD

  1. Add essential oils to 100 mL glass spray bottle.
  2. Add water and vodka.
  3. Gently invert to mix.
  4. Lightly spray from a distance on sheets and other household linen.

Fragrances to try:

Bergamot, Lavender, Geranium (fresh floral and citrus scent)

Lavender, Cedarwood, Frankincense (great for sleep)

Orange, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang (sensual and intimate)

NEW TO OILS?

I have a free Essential Oils Course that goes through the basics of essential oils, how to use them safely, how to save money and everyday uses for your home, beauty, health and more!

I also have a discount code for you if you’d like to try the same superior quality essential oils that I use.

Living a low tox life means avoiding as many toxins as possible in our household and personal care products and one of the places we need to evaluate is our laundry.

I always say, you are the gatekeeper in your home. That means you get to choose what products you use and what products you feel comfortable allowing into your home.

Many products out there that are designed to whiten and brighten, contain ingredients that ‘trick the eye’ into thinking they look cleaner and some whiteners can cause developmental and reproductive effects.

Sadly, most products on the market contain synthetic and harmful ingredients that pose a risk to you and your family’s health and have no place in a healthy home.

I talk a little more about this over on this post.

So what can we do?

Well, you can spend some time looking for a company/brand that is committed to only using safe, beneficial ingredients or you can make your own.

I tend to do a mix of both.

There are some things that I love making myself and there are other things that I leave up to the experts and buy from my favourite online brand.

Here’s a super simple stain stick recipe that has worked for me.

It uses a combo of basic raw ingredients with things I always have at home.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED

  • 2 drops Thieves Dish Soap
  • 5 drops Lemon essential oil
  • Hydrogen Peroxide

METHOD

  1. Add the dish soap and essential oil to a 10 – 15 mL glass roller bottle.
  2. Top up with hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Apply to stains before washing.

SUPPLIES

The hydrogen peroxide you can usually find at your local health food shop or discount chemist.

I order my essential oils from Young Living as they work well, are the best value and are free from contaminants and adulteration. (I’ve spent years researching and trying loads of brands)

The Thieves dish soap I get from Young Living too because again, no nasties or hidden ingredients.

Use my referral number as a discount code if you’d like to try these too!

Did you know that fabric softener is one of the most toxic household products you can have in your home?

Apart from crazy ingredients like methylisothiazolinone , a potent skin allergen and glutaral, known to trigger asthma and skin allergies, they also contain synthetic fragrances.

Synthetic fragrances have been linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions and they are in almost everything you can think of!

READ YOUR LABELS

When you start to look around your house and read the labels of your favourite products, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of chemical nasties, but do not fear. I always encourage people to take one step at a time.

Choose one room, one cupboard or one product, and switch it out for a safe, all natural product instead. Just be on the look out for greenwashing!!

What is greenwashing? This post explains it.

MAKE YOUR OWN

The beauty of making your own products is that usually they are very cost effective PLUS you know exactly what is in there. No hidden nasties.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1 tbl of your favourite organic/chemical free conditioner
  • 10 – 20 drops of essential oil of your choice
  • 1 cup of distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup of warm water

METHOD

  1. Add all ingredients to a 500 mL glass jar or bottle and mix gently.
  2. Add a small amount to your wash as you normally would to soften clothes, towels and sheets.

DON’T HAVE TIME FOR DIY?

Here’s where I shop for all my family’s favourite personal care and household cleaning products. I’ve read the labels and they are 100% safe, effective and the company aligns with my values.

They also deliver to my door!

Use my referral code (1706951) for a 24% discount and go here if you want to learn more about how essential oils can bring so much beauty and good health to your life.

Greenwashing:

Greenwashing, also called “green sheen”, is a form of marketing spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization’s products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly.

Yikes! Thanks Wikepedia.

I wish I knew about this 25 years ago when I had my first baby.

I eventually figured it out, but it wasn’t because somebody told me.

So here I am today to let you know, just in case you’ve never heard of it!

GREENWASHING

Greenwashing has been around probably as long as we’ve had people waking up and realising that the products they were putting on their family weren’t really that nice.

Companies recognised a trend that mummas and care-givers were looking for natural solutions and environmentally friendly products, especially those with little ones that were struggling with conditions like asthma and eczema. So they rebranded their products, or came up with some new ones, that would be more appealing and sell well in the market.

Sadly, greenwashing is a ploy to make you think you’re doing the right thing, using “natural” products, but when you dig a little deeper and research the ingredient list, you find out that what you thought you were putting on your brand new baby, isn’t “organic” at all and it’s actually really bad for the environment.

Yep, that was me. I trusted the company and brand because the label said things like “100% pure” and “organic”. It had a pretty picture of a cute baby and a serene earth and I thought, this HAS to be natural.

I was horrified to discover that what I was putting on my little one had ingredients that were linked to infertility, hormone disruption, asthma, neurological problems and skin allergies.

From that moment on I decided to always look closer and make sure the company truly delivers a product that is safe and beneficial to me, my family and the planet.

So how do you feel about greenwashing?

Let me know down below.

REMOVE ELECTRONICS

Don’t take your phone to bed. Switch it off and charge it in a different room of the house. Seriously consider removing all electronics from the bedroom, including the TV.

REDUCE OR ELIMINATE VOCS

Volatile Organic Compounds can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation and have even been linked to cancer and other diseases. They are found in new paint, new carpet, new furnishings, cleaning products and mattresses. So do your best to eliminate or at the very least, reduce VOC exposure.

UPGRADE YOUR MATTRESS

Many mattresses prior to 2004 were treated with flame retardants known as PBDEs. Research has linked PBDE exposure to thyroid hormone disruption, memory impairment and other adverse health effects. Is it time you upgraded your mattress?

CHECK YOUR BED FRAME

Check your bed frame and how it’s put together. Some are made with chemical adhesives that can emit potentially toxic formaldehyde fumes. Formaldehyde is the #1 cancer causing chemical and is what embalmers use!

CHECK PLACEMENT OF BED

Check placement of your bed head and any mirrors in the room. The practice of Feng Shui is super interesting!

DECLUTTER

De-clutter! Tidy up bedside tables, remove excess furniture and random items. Keep surfaces dust-free.

DITCH THE CANDLES

Swap out toxic candles for an ultrasonic diffuser and some therapeutic oils. Fragrance is the number one killer in the home. It’s literally a combination of hundreds of toxic chemicals that have been known to cause disruption to the hormones, cancer and irritation to the respiratory system. Here’s what I recommend instead.

LET FRESH AIR AND SUNLIGHT IN

Open windows and curtains during the day to let fresh air in and natural sunlight. Sleep with windows open if weather permits.

USE PLANTS TO PURIFY

Use plants to purify the air. Japanese royal ferns, spider plants and aloe vera are among the most useful plants for eliminating VOCs and other toxins.

USE NATURAL FIBERS

Use natural fibers for bedding and switch to laundry products made from pure plant-based ingredients and essential oils. Ditch those that contain phosphates, synthetic dyes and fragrances. Here’s what I use.

CHANGE YOUR LINEN

Change your pillowcases every few days and wash pillows regularly. Change sheets weekly and dry in the sun if possible.

LEAVE YOUR SHOES AT THE DOOR

Leave your shoes at the front door to prevent bringing in any pesticides or other toxins in your home. Especially no shoes in the bedroom where you’re sleeping.

So there you have it! 12 Tips to Help you Detox Your Bedroom. Which one do you think you’ll try first?

WANT TO TRY ESSENTIAL OILS?

Have you tasted Vegemite before? If you’re not from around these parts there’s a high chance that you haven’t and if you have, you most likely don’t like it!

I’m a born and bred Aussie so of course I have tried Vegemite and all of its commercial alternatives. I grew up to the catchy tune that echoed throughout every Australian home in the 80s. Those were fun times!

I’m not sure it gave me those rosy cheeks though??

Being an all natural mumma now, I’ve chosen not to feed this iconic spread to my children. Ingredients like yeast grown on barley and wheat, and other ingredients like Potassium Chloride (Mineral Salt 508) and Ammonia caramel (Colour 150C), are additives that are best avoided. Here’s why!..

INGREDIENTS TO AVOID AND WHY

YEAST GROWN ON BARLEY AND WHEAT:

High possibility this product is GMO and also contains gluten.

MINERAL SALT 508:

Prohibited in foods for infants. Can cause gastrointestinal and liver issues.

AMMONIA CARAMEL (150C):

Also prohibited in food for infants and is known to cause allergic and hypersensitive reactions and hyperactivity.

FLAVOURS:

This quite literally could be anything! The chemical composition of flavourings can be complex and because of this reason, Food Standards Australia New Zealand exempts companies from fully disclosing, and therefore not labelling, exactly what their “flavour” consists of. There could be 50 or more substances (or ingredients) that make up just one flavour. For a savvy mum making wise choices about the food they are feeding their kids, this presents a real problem. Best to avoid!

WHAT ABOUT THE VITAMINS!!?

It is true that Vegemite is renowned as having added vitamins such as Niacin, Thiamine, Riboflavin and Folate, however unfortunately, these vitamins are synthetic! The body does not absorb and therefore utitilise them, in the same way as it would if they were naturally found in wholefoods.

NOT A HEALTH FOOD PRODUCT

Although we may have fond memories of our childhood and Vegemite playing a starring role, let’s not forget that it was a pantry item created from a waste product. Breweries at the time had a surplus of leftover yeast and so with the help of a chemist, Vegemite was born and marketed to the people as the latest and greatest thing. It was heavily promoted (hence the catchy tune) to appeal to busy mums and fussy kids.

It was never intended to be a health food product.

A NATURAL ALTERNATIVE

When something is super simple to make and it uses all natural ingredients, I want to know about it. A friend recently shared this recipe with me and it is so good, I had to share it with you!

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED

  • 3 1/2 cups organic black sesame seeds
  • 2 tbl organic sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp rock/sea salt
  • 150g organic Tamari (Soy Sauce)
  • 3 tbl Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning
  • 3 tsp organic Apple Cider Vinegar

STEP 1 – MAKE THE BLACK TAHINI PASTE

  • In a high speed blender, grind up the sesame seeds.
  • Add the sesame oil and salt and blitz again.
  • This makes your Black Tahini Paste. You will only need 210g for this recipe.
  • Store the rest in a glass jar in the fridge for up to one month.

STEP 2 – COMBINE INGREDIENTS

  • Take 210g of your Black Tahini Paste and add it back to your high speed blender.
  • Add the tamari, nutritional yeast and apple cider vinegar and blend well.
  • Transfer to a glass jar and store in the fridge.

THE END RESULT

A delicious savoury, salty spread to put on sourdough and crackers..

You could even add a tablespoon to a hearty stew!

Are you a Vegemite lover?

Even if you’re not, you might like to still try this yummy recipe.

Let me know what you think!

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