Happy Friday! It has been a long week … probably because I have to finish my taxes and have been dragging my feet hardcore. I literally sent a snapchat out on Wednesday saying: “I love Thursdays!” with my glass of rosé in hand. I realized 10 minutes later that it was Wednesday. Whoops. In my defense, the private client I usually see on Wednesday evenings was on Tuesday this week when my yoga class got cancelled. Apparently I am easily confused.
I’ll be chaperoning Ella’s first kindergarten field trip today, and we cannot wait! I made it to 6am yoga Wednesday, Thursday, and heading there this morning. Luckily I’ve been sleeping really well lately, and hopefully getting on my mat will give me the additional energy I will be needing to help keep up with a bunch of 6-year-olds today!
Anyway, on to the Friday Five topics 🙂
My EO group is hosting a wellness class on sleep this week, and I talked a little bit about establishing a nighttime routine and consistent schedule (just like babies need!) to help promote deeper sleep! One of the points I made was about photo period, which I have been learning a lot about from Robb Wolf’s BRILLIANT new book as well as his podcasts, and some independent research (I am going to talk more about his book once I finish it!).
Not only is the subject of photo period important for sleep, it is also important for metabolism and overall health. Here’s why:
- Up until the arrival of artificial lighting, the sun was the major source of lighting, and people spent their evenings in (relative) darkness. Our time in the sun or light (photo period), and the intensity of light exposure are the prime factors that determine our metabolic processes, especially our sleep patterns!
- Cells in our eyes that are not involved in sight actually register the amount of light, blue light (found in both natural and artificial light) entering the eye and communicates this information to a portion of the hypothalamus. This process sets our wake/sleep patterns which have a huge impact on our metabolism.
- At night, light throws the body’s biological clock—the circadian rhythm—out of whack. Sleep suffers. Worse, research shows that it may contribute to the causation of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
- Daylight keeps a person’s internal clock aligned with the environment. Everyone’s circadian rhythms are slightly different, but the average length is 24 and one-quarter hours.
- Exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, and that will influence sleep, and part of the reason why SO many adults have sleep issues!
Long story short? Bright light keeps us awake by blunting production of melatonin (primary neurotransmitter involved in sleep initiation). Lack of sleep is linked to increased risk for depression, as well as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
What can you do:
- Get plenty of sunlight, if possible! If we get the right amount of light at the right times (bright light during the day, little to no light after sundown) it will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight and promote a healthy metabolism.
- Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed.
- Use dim red lights for night lights. Red light has the least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin.
- If you work the night shift, or must be exposed to light late at night via the computer or iPad, television, or lamps (which I will tell you I am VERY guilty of), you may want to invest in a pair of blue-blocker sunglasses. They help you see with more clarity and can give you greater protection from the damage blue light causes. (Ps- I saw these on Amazon too, just make sure they come from the source).
- There are also apps that filters the blue/green wavelength at night, you can install them on your phone or iPad.
My friend KFred wrote a GREAT blogpost with tips for better sleep! She is handling the meditation aspect of the class … so head on over to her blog if you need some added help!
2. Apple Cider Tea
As I mentioned before I am a maniac with my teas. I sip on Traditional Medicinals all day, and homemade Golden milk and after dinner a few times per week, and try to drink a big mug of ACV tea every single night and morning.
In French, the word “vinegar” actually means “sour wine.”
I only use Bragg’s organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar that contains the “mother,” which is strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria. Don’t be grossed out, it’s good stuff.
There are quite a few of health benefits to drinking this tea, but I mainly use it to aid in healthy digestion! My tummy is very happy in the morning!
What I do:
1 TBSP Bragg’s apple cider vinegar in a mug of hot water (if you are just starting do maybe 1-2 teaspoons).
That’s it! Add a tiny bit of raw local honey to make it more palatable if you like. Raw local honey is sugar, obviously, but contains vitamins, minerals, proteins and bee pollen that can help with allergies and illness. I use raw honey medicinally and in moderation. It took me along time to ditch my sugar cravings, and I am totally okay with honey time to time, but do not use it to sweeten things unless it is absolutely necessary (like in Golden Milk, I can’t drink that shit without a touch of honey).
Find a local farm or co-op on Local Harvest if you don’t know of any! You want something that is from bees within a few miles of your home for best results.
3. Katy Bowman
I literally just got this book in the mail today, and usually don’t post about books until I have read them but had to mention Katy Bowman. Kfred turned me onto her and she is an absolute genius. I’ve been devouring her podcasts and reading old blog posts, and haven’t had time to get to her books yet unil now (she is done blogging, focusing on her books and podcast). Even without reading her books yet she has changed a lot of things for me. Being mindful of how I move, making me more interested in corrective exercises and lifestyle habits for better alignment, and more. I am sure I will get through Movement Matters quickly, Move your DNA is next then Alignment Matters.
Unrelated, the last 3 books I’ve purchased have had a bright orange covers.
I re-shared my old coffee smoothie recipe using this freaking incredible cold-brew. No, seriously I cannot believe how legit this is. Check out the recipe and more about the product! (I love what they are all about)
I will also be forever grateful if you VOTE FOR MY RECIPE in their contest!
If you are local and want to rock out to my 25-year heartthrob, Eddie Vedder, and the other AMAZING grunge bands of the 90s, I am teaching a 75-Minute class on April 28th at Sol Yoga Studio! It will be a fun night with an awesome playlist! Class starts at 6pm and space is limited. I am obsessed with this event banner that I made and can’t stop looking at it.
Eddie’s cheekbones though 🙂
Have a great weekend! What are you up to?