Sage cleansing could soon join your list of methods to catch some serious zs.
You’re probably more likely to associate sage cleansing with would-be witchy rituals than getting a good night’s sleep. But although this practise has been previously considered quite niche, society’s growing fascination with spiritual wellbeing has seen the term skyrocket, with a 192% increase in searches on Google in the last year.
As we become more open to letting otherworldly influences guide us (as seen in the way we’re buying into crystals for their healing and positive energies and embracing horoscopes and tarot readings), sage cleansing is creeping back into our consciousness.
Because although cleansing your home with a bundle of burning herbs may not feel natural to you in 2019, this practise actually dates back to ancient times and has been used by our ancestors in every corner of the globe.
Essentially it involves harnessing the cleansing properties of sage (both physically and mentally) to not only dispel bad energy but purify the air in your home, which is good for your health (and your sleep quality), too.
You see, sage is considered a natural purifier and antibacterial, meaning that it can cleanse the air in your home from dust, pollen, chemicals, paint and even cleaning supplies. For example, a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology states that “research has shown that burning herbs or medicinal smoke can purify the air from up to 94% of harmful bacteria for up to 24 hours.”
But as well as the science behind it, sage has been praised for its mindfulness benefits. The physical act of purifying your home, addressing and dispelling negative energy and the herb-y scent of the sage burning is all said to make us feel more grounded and help us connect with ourselves. It’s a brilliant opportunity to put down your phone and laptop, and concentrate on something non-digital.
Both of these aspects contribute to a better night’s sleep. Not only do we drop off better when we’re less stressed and have spent time practising mindfulness – as seen with the effects of anxiety-soothing yoga poses and podcasts before bed – breathing purer air also helps us avoid illness.
Of course, it’s much harder to sleep when a cough and cold is irritating your throat and sinuses, something we need to watch out for even more in winter.
So how can you start sage cleansing your home? After you’ve bought yourself some sage (preferably the white variety), open all of your windows so that the negative energy and impurities have somewhere to disappear to. Then, starting at your front door, set an intention for your cleansing and begin burning the bundle.
Once it has started smoking, gently blow out the flame and trail the smoke up and down your body to cleanse yourself before walking around your home and pausing in each corner of every room. When you’re done, return to the front door and your purifying cycle is complete.
If you’re looking for more ways to help you sleep, check out our sleep section which is packed with soothing products you can buy, techniques to try and other people’s bedtime routines for inspiration.