Winter season is a time when our bodies and minds need rejuvenation and lots of rest to re-boot our inner souls. It’s a time to slow down. Yet with the holidays around the corner, people feel the need to gear up for shopping, decorating, wrapping, baking, participating in school activities and so much more. But these habit run contradictory to what we really need as we ease our way towards the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.
In our ever-increasingly hectic lives, we often turn to coffee and energy drinks to keep us going during our day. A few cups of Joe in the morning is considered fine for most of us, but pumping caffeine throughout the day can have damaging effects on our sleep patterns. All of us need adequate sleep to balance stress & anxiety. Too much caffeine during the day can result in shallow sleep at night, meaning we many not reach REM levels that let our minds and bodies truly rest and rejuvenate. REM means Rapid Eye Movement which takes us into the deeper sleep where we dream at the sub-conscious levels needed to reach real relaxation.
Rather than reaping the benefits of natural, deep sleep, too many of us reach for artificial methods to promote sleep like Ambien and all the PM formulas out there. These only mask sleep, but have lots of negative effects on the liver and don’t promote REM sleep.
There are other more natural ways to balance the energy/relaxation equation. Alternatives to strong coffee and energy drinks that have more mild boosts of caffeine include green and white tea, yerba matte, and stevia as well as herbal infusions for water. Tinctures with CBD for energy help, but with so many medicinal marijuana products out there, one needs to be careful as the market still isn’t well regulated. Inform yourself about the source and their farming practices.
For promoting restful sleep, many behavioral habits contribute more than any pills ever can. Taking a warm bath with soothing herbs and essential oils goes a long way. Most importantly, turning all electronic devices off two hours before bedtime is key. Yin yoga, meditation, mellow music and burning a candle with a relaxing scent like Frankincense are all ways to promote rest and lead to deeper sleep patterns. Sleepy-time tea and tinctures can be a huge aid. Some people love a simple glass of warm milk a half an hour before hitting the hay. If all fails, counting sheep works like a charm.
For more seasonal health tips, check out some of our other articles.
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