Checking the new routine for the fall
September and October is usually times when everyone gets back into their routines, whether work, school or home. This a great time to see if you have established a good foundation for the winter months ahead. Let’s start at the base of health- sleep.
It’s extremely important that everyone has at least 7-8 hours/night of non-interrupted sleep. This is the time children should be back in the habit of getting to bed early enough to get that 7-8 hours. If your children or yourselves have insomnia or wake at night, you need to seek ways to remedy this. The adrenal gland is responsible for handling stress and needs to recover at night, so, it cannot repair itself when sleep is broken. This may result in irritability/ tiredness/poor coping/lack of drive/motivation/mood swings/hyper-activity and hard to concentrate/focus.
Some ways to minimize insomnia is by reducing stimulants such as coffee/ black/green/white tea/herba mate/honeybush/riboos tea/Pop to two to three cups per week. Instead, drinking a calming tea, practising meditation/yoga or seeing a practitioner to see what strength of herbs and/or supplements would be best to support your adrenals, would help to re-establish your sleep patterns.
Secondly is water. Many of us have a shower/bath everyday, so we should be cleaning the inside of our bodies as regularly by drinking half our weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should be drinking 70 ounces per day.
One of the easiest ways to make sure you get enough water is to carry a water bottle with you or have one you can fill on your desk. I find if you have to get up to fill your cup it doesn’t happen and most drink only one to three cups per day. Water helps flush by-products, toxins and waste materials from the system regularly, helps prevent constipation and maintains all the fluid levels in your body.
For example, did you know water helps keep the vertebral discs full to minimize back pain from rubbing vertebrae? A great water carrier is a “Nalgene” water bottle. It is a stable plastic that doesn’t leach into the water, like most do, and can be bought at any outdoor store. Always drink water and other fluids away from meals, otherwise, the salivary enzymes are diluted, which reduces the proper breakdown of food in the mouth.
Next week we will discuss the foods that should be in place.
Brenda Gill is a naturopath practising in Rossland, BC.