Checking the new routine for the fall
September and October is usually a time when everyone gets back into their routines, whether work, school or home. This is 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 per 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 8-10 hours. If your children or yourself 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 ability, lack of drive and motivation, mood swings, hyper-activity or the inability to concentrate and focus.
Some ways to minimize insomnia is by reducing stimulants such as coffee/ black/green/white tea/herba mate/honeybush/rooibos tea/Pop to 2-3c/wk. Instead, consider 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 and re-build your nervous system to help re-establish your sleep patterns.
Secondly is water. Most of us have a shower or bath every day to rinse off the outside of our bodies, so we should be cleaning the inside of our bodies as regularly by drinking ½ your weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 140pds, you should be drinking 70 oz/day or about 7 glasses/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 at your desk.
I find if you have to get up to fill your cup, it doesn’t happen, so, as little as 1-3c/d is often the amount people drink. Water helps flush by-products, toxins, hormones and waste materials from the system regularly, helps prevent constipation, kidney stones and bladder infections and maintains all the fluid levels in your body. For example, did you know water helps keep the vertebral discs hydrated or “puffed up” 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.
Remember, the water should be alkaline, so, if you have chlorinated water you should be filtering it through a solid carbon block filter system, like Rainfresh or Santevia to remove the chlorine, other chemicals, as well as bacteria/viruses or fungus. Non solid filters, like Brita only partially remove the chlorine, don’t remove any bugs and the water is still acidic. For folks on the move, I have them use a Santevia water stick. This can be put in any water bottle and alkalinizes the water, so, you can fill your water bottle with tap water when you are travelling and it will keep it alkaline. It can be used repeatedly up to 1000x or for 1 year.
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 back in place.
Brenda Gill is a naturopath practising in Rossland, BC.