Originally, I had intended for this to be just a quick post to share our recipe for Snooze Tea, but when I had time to reflect and really think about whether that would benefit anyone, I realized that I can’t drink it. Ironically, it dries me out so much that it feels like I’ve stuffed my face with cotton balls. This was only the second tea blend that I ever made and I’ve learned a lot since then.
So in the next few posts, I think I will share about the herbs in the current blend and I will release a new blend that will be less drying for people who, like me, are already pretty dried out. I will also talk about the herbs in the newer blend, and how it may work better for some people versus the Snooze tea.
Oh sleep, how I love thee…
For some of us, sleep is an illusive state that slips through our clutching hands. It was never something you had to really think about, you just went to bed at night and slept.
I remember, as a young child and well into early adulthood that sleep was not really my friend. I wanted to read longer, play with my toys longer, or stay up to the end of the movie. By the time I was 10 years old, I had such anxiety over sleep. I had to sleep partially sitting up because of the pain in my stomach. I was always afraid that if I laid down flat, I would vomit.
Already I had developed a mild version of the emetophobia that plagues me today. I would stare at the reflection of the living room lights, hoping to fall asleep before they all went out and my dad went to bed. My sister would be soundly sleeping, her faint breathing sounding out through the dark and sometimes I would wake her so that I wouldn’t be so alone.
Eventually, I became a teenager and sleep became more of a precious commodity. By then my issues with falling asleep drifted away and it wasn’t until I started working at a “real” job that my struggles to fall asleep began again. Bad habits abounded in our household, as my husband liked to watch TV and left it on all night. I didn’t have very many self care habits either.
Then I had children and it all shifted again. Nothing could keep me awake and I slept from the second I laid down at night until morning…unless interrupted by someone coughing profusely, crying, or barfing.
I’m still luxuriating in this stage of life, with 3 little ones, 6 and under AND expecting our fourth. I’ve implemented some stricter sleep habits and bed time rules that have helped me quite a lot and my husband somewhat (he has other issues we can dig into later).
Kick the habits…
- NO TV after you’ve decided to tuck yourself in. This is such a big deal, even though you may not think so. There are countless studies that discuss this, so go google if you don’t believe me. Just turn it off and crack open a book or magazine for 10 minutes to help you relax. I can’t lie, I play a mindless game or read a smutty novel before bed.
- Try meditation, seriously…one minute a day. Try it, you can do it for one minute. I believe in you.
- This one is highly debated; getting off your phone or iPad before bed because it can mess up your circadian rhythms. I don’t follow this one, but there is logic behind it. A way around this is setting your electronics to a warmer screen color and wearing blue-light-blocking glasses. If you think this could be bothering you, definitely try it out. The glasses aren’t too expensive and really, how much would you pay to get some high quality sleep?
- No caffeine after 3p if you have a 10-ish pm bedtime. I generally stick to decaf if I really want coffee or tea after work. For me this isn’t really an issue either way, but some people are very sensitive to this chemical and it can mess with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Also makes you pee….just sayin’.
- Exercise….our favorite…you know that it helps you every way you can think of, so don’t bother to argue. Just get in some time if your physically able. I read about starting off with something every day just to build the habit. So, 10 squats every day for a while, then maybe 10 squats and 10 jumping jacks (whatever) for a while. Get to it!
- Stop drinking water after dinner if you get up more than once to pee and you’re under 35. When I’m not pregnant, I never get up at night to use the bathroom, at least not unless a child wakes me and well…you know, then you’re up and nature is calling. My goal is to drink half my body weight in ounces of water throughout the day…add another 20-30 ounces if you work out for 30 minutes and sweat a lot. But try to keep it earlier in the day and just take small sips at night if you’re parched.
- Make your room dark. We don’t use anything special, just no lights at all in our room. A small nightlight shines in our bathroom off the hall in case anyone needs to use the “potty” at night, but otherwise, no lights.
- If total silence bothers you, play some nature sounds, white noise, or very soft music to help lull you to dreamland.
- If you tend to be someone who is always warm and …well…moist (I’ll explain this more, later) then try our Snooze tea. It’s very cooling and drying and really does help people get to sleep.
In my next post we’ll go over the herbs in my Snooze tea and I’ll link to a quiz about figuring out your constitution which you can use to figure out which herbs are good for you in a tea blend (if neither of mine do it for you). Also, if you see herbs in my next two posts that you think could work and don’t want to make it yourself, shoot me an email and I’m happy to mix it up for you to try.