The alarm goes off for the millioneth time and you decide you can’t press snooze one more time cause now your actually running late, you crawl out of bed exhausted and the days only JUST started, you probably should have gotten to bed earlier last night and passed on that third cookie or that bowl of ice-cream cause now you feel yuck. Coffee machine goes on, you jump in the shower, get dressed, do your hair, put your make-up on and spray your favourite perfume and if your lucky might have gotten some food in and BAM! you’re out the door (still half asleep really, but the concealer and coffee are helping to hide that).
What has happened in those first 60 minutes of your day? What has your body had to encounter? Lets have a look!
Did you know that pressing snooze on your alarm several times actually makes you more tired throughout the day! You would be better to get up the first time it goes off or set it 10 minutes later and get the extra un-interrupted sleep. “During the sleep cycle, the body alternates between light sleep and deep sleep. About an hour before eyes actually open, the body begins to “reboot.” The brain sends out signals to release hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, the body temperature rises, and we enter into a lighter sleep in preparation for wake-up” (1). When we try and go to bed at the same time every night and wake around the same time every morning out bodies sleep / wake cycle starts to get into a natural cycle and the body starts to naturally wake itself up. A lot of you have probably noticed this when you have said, “I always wake up right before my alarm is about it go off”.
Why is it that after a night of sleep you feel exhausted? Are you getting too much sleep or not enough? A good way to find how much sleep your body needs is count back 7.5 hours from the time you wake up and go to bed at that time 3 nights in a row.
For example : If you need to be up at 6:30am every morning, you need to make sure you are in bed by 11pm every night (this means in bed ready to go to sleep so teeth brushed, book read, phone down ect).
If you find that you wake up before your alarm is going off then you have found a good sleep cycle that works for you, but, if you are finding you are waking up to your alarm still then you probably require more sleep so will need to go to bed earlier. Try working backwards in 15 minute increments. Therefore you would need to get into bed by 10:45pm ect. Keep trying this until you feel you are getting enough sleep for the night.
A few other things really important for a healthy sleep environment :
- A good pillow
- A dark room (black out curtains are great)
- Little to no electronics in your room, yes that means televisions shouldn’t be in your bedroom, nor should laptops ect. Any extra light in your room from electronics can confuse your circadian sleep rhythms which can trick your body into thinking its morning when its actually the middle of the night.
- Make sure your bedding is right for you (neither too warm or too cold) as this will wake you up on a consistent basis.
- Avoid drinking too much liquid late afternoon / evening to avoid having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet.
- Adrenal fatigue can effect sleep. Particularly those people that say, I fall into bed and I am out for the night, but they wale up feeling really tired even though they have had a full nights sleep. Looking at stress management techniques and adrenal support can be beneficial.
People that suffer with Insomnia having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, maintaining deep sleep or all of the above and are often at the end stage of chronic exhaustion and stress and this is indicating that the body needs assistance. Enforcing the sleep / wake cycle (bed at same time and wake at same time) is essential for this. As is getting sunlight in your eyes every morning to help regulate your circadian rhythms. Herbal teas can also be helpful such as Chamomile, Valerian, Passionflower, Lavender.
Creating real energy and not coffee energy is important for our bodies, particularly our adrenals! Coffee is a herbal remedy that can have great benefits, as Leah Henchman says, “When we have it we feel on top of the world, full of energy and clarity, when we don’t have it, we feel fatigued, our mood drops and we go into ”withdrawal””, just ask any one that has done a cleanse or detox and come off coffee for a period of time. They get the shakes, headaches and feel like they can’t function . . . what does this tell us about the impact coffee is having on our bodies? In todays society it is an overused and abused remedy that creates a false reality of energy. Whilst I am not here to tell people to stop drinking coffee and will provide some information that you can choose to do with what you like.
- Coffee is a diuretic, therefore every cup of coffee you drink, you are dehydrating your body a cup of water. Therefore something I suggest is, for every coffee you choose to drink have a glass of water before and after to replenish and avoid dehydration.
- When you do drink coffee, make it special! Buy the best you can find (organic fair trade) and just sit there and ENJOY it! Drink a real coffee, not decaffeinated as this is stripped of caffeine using harsh chemical processes that are damaging to your body and nervous system, even more so than the excessive coffee intake. I never liked coffee but recently don’t mind it so much. I drink coffee maybe a few times a month and I have discovered Almond Milk Coffee and actually quite like it. On that note, the reason Organic Coffee is the preferred choice is because coffee is in such high demand these days that the farming of coffee beans has become un-ethical in certain places and are one of the most highly chemically treated products. Therefore in your conventional cup of coffee every morning you are having a concoction of chemicals. Something to consider!
- Have a few coffee free days a week and drink Organic Green Tea instead. The benefits of Green Tea far outweigh that of coffee. Green Tea is rich in antioxidants, great for you skin and brain and metabolism just to name a few.
- Too much coffee depletes the body of vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins (these are essential for energy production – so you are drinking coffee to give you ‘false’ energy, whilst depleting your body of B vitamins which are essential for real energy production), also minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron which are also really important for energy production in our bodies.
- Coffee activates the bodies ‘Flight or Fight‘ Response. This can put added load on your adrenal glands as they are constantly having to release Adrenaline / Cortisol to fight or fly from the ”stressor” which in fact, is only just a morning cup of coffee. But the body doesn’t know this! Over taxed adrenal glands can result in reduced immune function, fatigue, insomnia, nervous system aggravation, lowered mood, inability to handle stress, struggling to get up in the morning, hormonal disruption, craving salty foods, the list goes on and on. Therefore we want to be kind to our Adrenal Glands.
If coffee is your breakfast then imagine waking up already stressed because you’re running late because you pressed snooze one too many times. Your adrenals are already powering out hormones because they have jumped into ‘Fight or Flight’ response and then you throw on top of that a cup of coffee which further activates your adrenals, whilst adding load to your liver and digestive system, while your body is searching for nutrients to fuel the day you are flushing out vitamins and minerals and you are now dehydrated and heading for a crash once the caffeine starts to wear off.
Therefore, consider the following in your morning routine :
- Wake up before your alarm or when your alarm goes off (the first time)
- Have a large glass of water with 1/2 lemon juiced to kick start the day
- Have breakfast (nuts and seeds with oats / yoghurt / fruit, green smoothie, sourdough grain toast with avocado, omelet with spinach and mushrooms, chia pudding ect). Prepare something the night before.
- And THEN, if you still need a coffee have your cup of water and then sit down and enjoy your coffee or maybe just drink a green tea instead and save the coffee for the brunch date on the weekend with a friend.
I will be discussing NATURAL BEAUTY in my next post as this is the second part of our morning routine!
Enjoy your day wherever you are and whatever you are doing!!!