Are you Resting Well?

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We know sleep is important, but so often prioritize work, stress, nights out, or doom scrolling over sleep. You know sleep is important– but do you know why it is so important?

Poor sleep impacts focus, hormones, cravings, mood, bloody sugar, memory, anxiety, immunity, creativity… The list is endless. Every single process of the body is affected by sleep!

Throughout the different sleep stages, the body is able to perform deep repairs to all the body systems, integrate memory and thought, and strengthen all the processes. Without enough of the right kind of sleep, the body’s functions break down and cannot be repaired. We will become depleted, frayed, dysregulated, unbalanced, and unwell.

Poor sleep can look like:

  • Waking up at night to pee
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Nighttime anxiety or cyclical thoughts
  • Feeling groggy in the morning
  • Energy crashes during the day
  • Body weight fluctuations
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Food cravings 

Adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. The exact number depends on age, genetics, energy demands, and menstrual cycle phases. 

A sleep cycle is made up of 4 stages. The first three stages are considered non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, or quiet sleep, and the fourth considered rapid eye movement, or REM sleep. A typical, ideal, night of sleep contains 4-6 rounds of this 4-stage cycle. 

Stage 1 NREM: (non- rapid eye movement). The body has not fully relaxed, and brain and body activities start to slow. This stage lasts 1-7 minutes, growing progressively shorter with each round. 

Stage 2 NREM: lasts 10-25 minutes. This is a more subdued state, corresponding to a drop in temperature, slowed heart rate and breathing, and bursts of brain activity organizing thoughts and memories from the previous day. 

Stage 3 NREM: Our cells repair and rebuild, hormones are secreted to promote bone and muscle growth, and the immunity system is strengthened. If Stage 3 NREM sleep is insufficient, you will wake up feeling exhausted, regardless of how many hours you slept. 

Stage 4 REM: Our only active sleep state, where rapid eye movement is noticeable (hence the name). This is when our brain processes emotions and cements information into memory. Has anyone told you “I’ll sleep on it”? This is when their processing is happening!

How to improve your sleep:

With intention and practice, we can drastically change the quality of our sleep to experience more energy, vitality, health, and creativity. Learn what is out of balance, and find ways to bring it into balance. Below are some sleep hygiene tips to work into your routine. 

  • Engaging all 5 of your senses (candles, music, lights, temperature, tea, textures), to ground into your body
  • Body oiling to calm the nervous system (shop our retail space for special herbal oils!)
  • Dry brushing to move lymph
  • Burning incense, smudge wands, or candles
  • Breath work for physical and mental relaxation
  • Soothing nervine herbal tea
  • Making sure your sleep space is dark

Get to know a few herbs that help support your specific sleep needs. These will be in the “nervines”, or herbs that work specifically to calm the nervous system. 

Here’s a simple tea recipe for you to try. Bonus points if you grow these herbs yourself! 

Sweet Dreams Tea 

5g Chamomile

5g Rose

2.5g Passionflower 

2.5g Lavender 

Steep herbs, dried or fresh, for a minimum of 15 min to make a strong tea. Breath deeply and sip slowly. Sweet dreams! 

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