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Secrets to Soundless Slumber

Chilly air and longer periods of darkness have officially arrived. This change in light does more than signal the beginning of a new season - it provides our bodies with nonvisual cues that influence things like our pupil dilation, alertness, heart rate modulation, and levels of melatonin - the sleep hormone - in our bodies. Our sleep and wake cycles are regulated by light: daylight suppresses the production of melatonin by our brain’s pineal gland, while darkness stimulates the pineal gland to pump more out, inducing a feeling of sleepiness.

Have you been feeling sluggish in the past week or so? You can thank the increase in melatonin circulating around that beautiful body of yours. Right now, you're waking up when it’s still dark outside - a.k.a before the pineal gland has been signaled to reduce its activity - so chances are, you're not jumping out of bed with quite the same pep in your step as mid June. Why does this all matter? According to research published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology morning people are more active and goal oriented, feel more in charge, and are more proactive. Surveys have shown that those who regularly rise early in the morning also tend to have a more positive affect, are more likely to plan ahead and work efficiently, and reported feeling healthier than night owls. The key is to get in tune with the timing of our circadian rhythm—a fancy word for “body clock.” Ready to set your body clock to beat the blues, experience morning bliss, and equip yourself with the tools to go after your wildest dreams? Begin by giving these easy tricks a try: Relax: Stress and anxiety goes hand in hand with sleepless nights. To reduce those hours of tossing and turning, give yourself a quick lavender facial before bed. Place 10 drops of lavender essential oil in a bowl with 2 cups of boiling water. Place your face over the bowl with a towel over the back of your head to keep the steam in and inhale deeply for one minute. When you are done and cleaned up, place 1-2 drops on your soles, temples and third eye before bedtime. Eat early: Eat your last meal at least 2-3 hours before bedtime and if possible, make it the lightest meal of your day. Digestion requires your body to work very hard and you want to give yourself enough time to digest before you ask it to turn off for the night. This will not only help you get to bed earlier, but will also improve your body's ability to digest and assimilate nutrients. Bed-Time elixir: Brew a cup of Sakara Detox Tea and allow the calming elixir to relax your muscles and relax your mind. Need something stronger than detox tea? Blend dates, coconut milk, and poppy seeds for an after dinner, sleepy-time treat. Close out the day: Lingering thoughts of things that happened that day, conversations had, and uncompleted tasks keep your brain churning and your mind alert. Close out your day by setting aside some time before bed for writing. Find a quiet, safe space, light a few candles, get both romantic and compassionate with yourself. For 10-15 minutes write down anything and everything that comes to mind. When your allotted time is over, close your notebook and any attachment you have to what happened. You can always re-open tomorrow. Lights Out. And not just those overhead. Avoid bright screens (TV, computers, cell phones) at least 1 hour before bed - the glow biologically resets circadian rhythms that respond to how much light enters the eye. Form new habits. This one's a toughie. If you’re a night owl, getting to bed earlier could be a challenge at first, but eventually your body will adapt. Try committing to a regular bedtime that begins about 8 hours before your alarm rings. Do this for at least 1 month for it to create any lasting differences in your lifestyle and your body. Trust us - we know it's hard but it is worth it! Be consistent: Snoozing all day on a Saturday sounds amazing after a long week, but doing so interrupts your natural body clock. Do your best to stick to your weekday bedtime/wake time schedule. Our Sakaralite secret is to wake up at your regular time and spend a lazy morning in bed. It's not quite the same as sleeping in, but it sure does feel delicious. Sleep Affirmations:  Take several deep, full body breaths and repeat out loud: I am relaxed and at peace knowing that I am loved and taken care of. I choose to let go.   
Sweet dreams, Sakaralites xx

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