Sleeping is one of the most vital things you can do to promote living. Sleeping is part of a lifestyle, since the sleep cycle literally runs 24 hours a day, in phases, as your internal clock syncs with the cycles of the Earth when you are really in the groove of being connected to life.
The image above is of something I have never seen live before yesterday: asian pear trees. The fruit is very supportive to liver function, and in Traditional Chinese Medicine (and all of common knowledge), your liver is vital to both sleep and to your overall wellbeing. In fact, if you wake up frequently at night, you might be eating too late or stressing out your body with too many toxins during the day.
I’ve got so much to share today, some of which I learned for the first time on a giant farm in the middle of a North Carolina Utopian paradise.
Let’s get into the how-to’s of sleeping better today. I’ve got tips, teas, herbs and even a non-alcoholic herbal cocktail for you today!
Good morning from the whistling birds and lush, enormous trees of Brevard, North Carolina. I’ll be heading to waterfalls and walking wildflower hikes soon. Above, my dear friend an Vegan superchef Leslie Durso and I hung out in Echinacea filds in bloom.
Being active in Nature (especially in the daylight, where you are experiencing the light of day) can help sync up your clock with the rhythms of sound sleep.
For the moment, with a black tea in the brilliance of the morning (black tea, by the way, still has a more supportively calming effects with caffeine than coffee and loads of antioxidants if it’s not highly processed, and it’s great for a kick when traveling if you have it an hour after you wake up), I wanted to share even more of the exciting things I learned on Gaia Farms about sleeping brilliantly!
California Poppies really demonstrate the cyckes of sleep with their tola folding down of blooms at night and their wide-opening to the sun during the day. Extracts of the plant are used in sleep-supporting formulas at Gaia Herbs. It was a perfect demonstration of sleeping soundly.
Your sleep cycle may start earlier than you think, and you can think of it in phases.
Here, in front of fields of California Poppy, founder and CEO of Gaia Herbs, Ric Scalzo, started off with the question: When does the sleep cycle start?
I blurted out… “When you wake up!” and I wasn’t wholly wrong this time. After all, or internal clock is dependent on natural light to stay on track.
Ric explained how at 6pm the first phase of the cycle of sleep begins according to Ayurevedic principles (echoed, by the way, in Traditional Chinese Medicine). From 6:00pm to 10:00pm we are in a resting phase according to Ayruveda.
At 10pm to 2:00am we are in a phase of induction, where we actually go to bed as we know it, under optimal conditions.
Waking betwen 5am and 6am in optimal to soak up the vitality of Nature in this thought process. (I should mention that nearly every high-achieving person I know – or have read about- believes that this early start to the day is vital to their performance and wellbeing).
The idea is that you should sleep soundly through the night by honoring these phases of sleep.
Imagine you wind down your day at 6pm, slowly stepping away from electronics and work and having an early dinner and enjoying your loved ones and realaxing activities that are unplugged from the bright lights of technology as much as possible.
This is a great time, actually to try a sleep-supportive blend of tea. Here, on the farm, we had the ability to try Sleep & Relax tea. Given the fact that so much love, care and excellence is poured into these herbs, I personally couldn’t imagine drinking a better tea at any time!
Now, from 10pm until you get to bed, you can always try an herb blend as you unwind, taking it about 30 minutes before you want to get to bed. Sound Sleep caps are an herb blend that can help you to get you into a supportive sleep state.
If you wake up frequently during the night, the herbs in Sleep Thru formula may help.
The idea is to support your body during every phase of sleep from 6pm on… so that you can enter the morning feeling totally fantastic and ready to absorb the early morning beauty!
Your lifestyle affects your sleep.
My tip in terms of lifestyle and sleep is a profound one if you are used to having some wine or a drink with friends or at parties.
Try not to drink alcohol at night and see if it helps you to sleep better.
For no real reason I stopped drinking completely (just sort of an intuition for myself) near the start of the year. I bareky drank anyway, but at parties if I’d have some wine I moved over to juices, water and tea. Last night I concocted an herbal refresher at Gaia that I want to share because it’s really an anytime boost to hydration… and it’s packed with herbs and goodness!
I mixed: a big handful of organic mint, a few fresh organic limes and a nice dollop of raw wild honey in a glass. I stirred it all up, and added about 15 drops of Gaia’s Ginger Extract. It’s a beautiful thing. Even though it has a touch of alcohol in the extraction, its negligable in the grand scheme of things. You can add fresh ginger, too, if you’d like, peeled and cut in coins. Stir it all up and load the glass to the top with fizzy spring water or club soda in a pinch.
I had three of these, chewing on mint and delighting in lime and ginger’s spice as we had our early dinner and poetry reading last night.
Talk about a perfect send off under the stars to the best night of sleep I’ve had in ages!
To review my learning of the day mixed in with some sleep tips:
- Eating clean foods (fresh produce, organic if possible) during the day.
- Respecting the slow down of life after 6pm.
- Try some sleep-supporting tea as the sleep cycle kicks off at 6pm.
- Try some sleep supporting herbs as you head into the 10pm bedtime cycle, about 30 minutes before bed.
- Maybe skip the alcoholic drink for an herbal treat.
- And wake fresh in the morning to early, luscious morning Nature energy! A great time for your journal, your meditative practices… something to ground you in the day!
Live a lifestyle that makes you feel fantastic! xoxo Dana