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It's 10 p.m and I've just finished episode 3 of Sex Education on netflix. I know I should be getting my booty to bed, but I'm ramped up after that cliff hanger. Before I can grab the remote the next episode is on and I'm sucked in. Sound familiar?

If you crave sleep, but when you hit the pillow you can't turn off the mental chatter keeping you awake, a bed-time ritual is a good place to start. 

Crafting a bed-time ritual can help you fall asleep more easily and get more rest. That's because we're creatures of habit, and building an evening routine helps train our minds and bodies to wind down and prepare for sleep.

Plus when you craft and follow a bed-time ritual, you're creating a clear plan so you're most likely to achieve your goal of getting more sleep!

The best bed-time rituals are clear and simple, just like your evening routine with your kids. Bath, book, bed. Rinse and repeat. So if you're struggling with falling asleep and want to feel more well-rested in the morning a bed-time ritual can help!

HERE'S MY BED-TIME RITUAL


While my oldest is in the bath-tub I brush my teeth, floss and do some simple neck and shoulder stretches. After her bath, I turn on the kettle and make us both a cup of sleepy time tea (my current blend is chamomile, oat straw, and rose petals. It's delicious!). While my partner puts her down for bed I read a book and relax in the living room.

I try my best to keep this time screen-free because I'm super sensitive to blue light (which interferes with the important sleep hormone melatonin). Usually somewhere around 9:30-9:45 my 9-month old wakes up to nurse. She's the perfect signal that it's time to head off to bed! After nursing, I'm in bed, wound down and ready for sleep by 10 p.m. 

Keeping this routine short and sweet help's me stick with it. And after a crappy night's sleep or if I'm feeling on the verge of getting sick or just flat out exhausted I double down and aim for an earlier bedtime. 



USE THESE 3 TIPS FOR CRAFTING YOUR OWN SHORT & SWEET BED-TIME RITUAL

1) Start by identifying an ideal bed-time. The earlier the better. Do your best to stick with it, but don't beat yourself up when scrolling Instagram gets the best of you. Committing to an early(ish) bedtime isn't always easy, but when you're exhausted, fatigued and burned out making rest a priority is key. 

2) Wind down the hour before bed. Repeat the same activities to help reinforce this new habit. Some ideas include stretching, writing, putting on moisturizer, drinking tea, reading, flossing, taking a bath, deep breaths. You don't have to wait for your kids to be in bed to begin!

3) Avoid these 3 things that kill your sleep:

  • Caffeine - Skip that afternoon cup of coffee or late night chocolate cookie. Ideally, don't have caffeine later than six hours before bed.

  • Alcohol - This can cause fragmented sleep so you'll want to avoid alcohol in the last 3 hours before bed.

  • Screens - The blue light interrupts the sleep hormone melatonin and elevates your stress hormone cortisol. Avoid in the hour before bed.


Wishing you sweet dreams and deep restful sleep!

Updated: Nov 1, 2019

Try these 3 tips to help you get going in the A.M


The morning is a hectic and busy time for mamas. As soon as the alarm goes off it’s a constant race against the clock to get out the door and on your way. Between squeezing in a quick shower (if you're lucky), throwing your hair in a messy bun, shuffling kids off to school and zooming off to work, it’s no wonder you’re exhausted before noon.


But the truth is the morning is an important time for our bodies and our minds. So even when your rushing against the clock it’s important to practice habits that will help you start your day off right.


Here’s the good news. This doesn’t have to take long. It can be as simple as drinking a tall glass of water before reaching for your coffee.


Check out these three ways to amp up your energy in the morning so you feel good all day long.

WAKE UP AT THE SAME TIME EACH MORNING


Think of your wake time as the foundation for the rest of your day. Why? Well because of your circadian rhythm and because of the hormone cortisol.


Your 24-25 hour biological clock, known as your circadian rhythm, regulates your sleep-wake cycle. It syncs with the sun, so you have the most energy during the day time and you start winding down at night, when your body enters rest and repair mode.

A key player in aligning your circadian rhythm is cortisol. Cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands. A big surge of cortisol in the morning helps wake you up and gives you energy to get through the day.


By waking up at the same time each morning you align with your body’s natural cortisol curve and help keep your cortisol levels balanced. When you stay up late binging on Netflix and then hit snooze a few too many times the next morning it throws off your cortisol levels.


Over time this pattern of a wonky sleep-wake rhythm can disrupt your cortisol levels and result in a cascade of symptom including adrenal fatigue, inflammation, hormonal imbalance or a compromised immune system.

Establishing a healthy sleep-wake rhythm means rising AND going to bed at the same time each day.

Getting in a good sleep-wake rhythm is an important and vital step when it comes to regaining your energy.


GRAB A GLASS OF WATER FIRST


During the night your liver and kidneys are working hard to process, break down and eliminate toxins. And you want to support your body in moving these toxins out as efficiently as possible.


You can help your body detoxify by reaching for a glass of room temperature water when you wake up. Water will help your body eliminate the toxins it processed overnight. Adding a big squeeze of fresh lemon will enhance the detoxifying effects.


I like to keep a glass of water on my nightstand so I can start drinking water before I get distracted by all the other things I'm juggling in the morning.


And don't forget, just like when potty training little one's, you have to give yourself routine time on the toilet for a bowel movement. After all that's what detoxification and good elimination is all about!


Remember, before reaching for that cup of coffee, start with a tall glass of water.


DON'T SKIP BREAKFAST


With lots going on in the morning it can be tempting to hurry out the door without eating breakfast. But when you’ve got a full day ahead, it’s even more important that you get in some fuel to start your day. So don’t skip this meal!


Eating breakfast within 60-90 minutes of waking will help keep your energy and blood sugar steady until lunchtime.


What you choose for breakfast is important. Instead of a carb-filled breakfast focus on eating a meal packed with protein. This is key to keeping your energy levels high throughout the morning.


Some good protein fueled breakfast options include scrambled or fried eggs, yogurt (coconut is a great option if you don’t do well with dairy), or a smoothie with protein powder. If you’re going for something like oatmeal or toast you can include something high in protein like nuts, seeds, or nut butters to avoid a blood sugar crash.


Be sure to carve out time and space each morning to eat a protein packed breakfast so you're not running on empty.


Looking for more support when it comes to rebuilding your energy so you can get through the day without feeling exhausted and overwhelmed? You're in luck. I've got a FREE online class happening on Nov 19th.


Find Your Mama Mojo: 5 Simple Steps to Boost Your Energy Naturally is all about discovering how you can overcome your exhaustion, fatigue, and  stress, so you can build the life you imagine for yourself. Learn more over here.






Summer with her harvest of fresh elderberries

Mary Poppins knew what she was talking about when she sang “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”


While I try to stay away from refined sugar I do agree that a spoonful of honey makes the medicine go down...especially when trying to get wiggly toddlers to comply. Not only is this easy elderberry syrup recipe helpful for colds and flus, it also tastes delicious.

ELDERBERRY MAGIC


The dark blue or purple berries on the elder tree contain antiviral properties that can help fight off and reduce the duration of a cold or the flu. Sambucol, a compound found in elderberries, is one of the only compounds known to kill influenza.


As an immunostimulating herb, the berry helps the body resist infection by stimulating the immune system. This category of herbs works quickly and fades fast.


Don’t forget about the creamy white flowers. The flowers are diaphoretic, which means it helps the body break a sweat. This is key during a cold or flu because sweat is one of the ways the body eliminates pathogens. It’s also useful for upper respiratory sinus infections and hay-fevers.


The elder tree is also a majestic & significant plant in the folklore of old Western Europe where it served as the doorway to the Underworld or magical fairy realm. It was referred to as Queen of the Elders. It’s said that if you fall asleep under the fragrant tree in full bloom you will be transported to the realm of the fairies.


MAKE IT NOW


September is a great time to whip up a batch of elderberry syrup. This way you’ll have it ready to grab when your kid comes home from school with a runny nose. So have some ready to go BEFORE cold and flu season ramps up.


HOW TO WORK WITH ELDERBERRY SYRUP


The key to preventing or shortening a cold or flu is to work with elderberry at the first sign of a cold brewin’. When the lymph in your throat starts to swell, your feeling achy, super fatigued or have a runny nose. This is the time for elderberry syrup plus some rest.


HOW MUCH TO TAKE


Take 1 tbsp every few hours at the first sign of a cold, until symptoms subside. For children, you can give 1 tsp every few hours. If you want to stimulate your immune system so you don’t catch what’s going around you can take 1 tsp daily as preventative medicine. It’s also delicious on pancakes or swirled into yogurt!


*Since this recipe uses honey it’s not safe for children under one.



INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh elderberries or ½ cup dried

1-inch fresh ginger, sliced

1 lemon, quartered

½ stick cinnamon

3 cups of water

1 cup honey

*3-4 Tbsp brandy per cup of syrup - optional


INSTRUCTIONS:


- Cover elderberries, ginger, lemon, and cinnamon with water and bring to a slow boil

- Bring to a simmer and reduce liquid to half its original volume. The longer it cooks the stronger the medicine! You can use a chopstick to measure the volume and keep track of when it's been reduced in half.

- Once reduced remover from heat and let cool. I usually put mine in the fridge to cool quickly.

- Use a sieve with a piece of cheesecloth to strain out the liquid. Use the back of a wooden spoon to squeeze out all the liquid goodness from the elderberries.

- Add honey and dissolve. Depending on how cool your syrup is you might have to gently heat on the stove to dissolve.

- If your adding the optional brandy be sure the syrup is cool before adding so it doesn’t evaporate. Brandy has been used for years as an expectorating cough soother. It also helps extend the shelf life. If your planning on giving this to children and worried about the alcohol you can omit it.

- Label, store in the fridge and enjoy!


©2019 BY WILD CHILD APOTHECARY.