One of the laws that Mark Sisson promotes in his Primal Blueprint is #5 Get Lots of Sleep. It’s so important, you should try to make it a priority. Are you feeling mentally sluggish? Is your memory getting worse? Have you stalled on your weight loss? Inadequate sleep could be sabotaging you. I know it’s hard as a writer, especially under deadline, but if we don’t, we’re not working at optimal efficiency, so we’re not really doing ourselves any favors by reducing our sleep time to get more work in. So many things happen for our brains when we sleep, but one of the best ways I’ve heard it explained is that sleep is like our brain’s wash and rinse cycle. In fact, a new study has come out showing that sleep is when our brain flushes out all the crud that builds up along its pathways during the hard day of thinking and plotting and word crafting. The New York Times had a great article about this phenomenon on Sunday.
So today, I thought I’d share the blend of herbs I use every night to promote a restful sleep. I also supplement it with two things: 1/4 tsp Natural Calm (a magnesium supplement) and 1 tablespoon of unflavored grass-fed beef gelatin (the collagen hydrolysate kind). Most people (I’ve heard figures as high as 80%) are deficient in magnesium and if so, that lack could be hurting your sleep quality. Taking some 30 minutes before bed can help make your sleep restful. As for gelatin, it doesn’t help you fall asleep, but once you’re asleep it helps you stay asleep.
DISCLAIMER: Due to the FDA and FTC laws on health claims, I need to make this very clear. None of the information in this post is to be construed as medical advice. I am not a doctor or certified medical practitioner of any sort. I am simply sharing my own personal experiences, and what I’ve gleaned from outside sources. Statements/products discussed have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or illness. Every person is different and you should always consult your own certified health care practitioner before making changes to your current diet or before beginning any herbal or vitamin supplement regimen or exercise program. Also, if you’re pregnant or lactating, you should always consult your physician before using any medicinal herbs.
All of these herbs, except peppermint, aid in sleep. The peppermint is for the flavor 🙂
Unlike last week’s tea, this is an herbal infusion, so after you bring your water to a boil, turn the burner off, wait about 30 seconds to a minute and put about 2 tsp into the water to steep (with a lid!) for at least 5 minutes, 10 minutes if you can wait that long. I usually make up a bunch and store it in a mason jar, and then scoop out what I want into a tea ball.
How to fit this into your writing life
You rely on your brain for writing, and your brain relies on sleep to run optimally. For those that write historicals, you know you can’t have your hero go dashing off to save the heroine on his horse and not let that poor horse rest at intervals. Try not to abuse your brain like that either–your brain is your writing ally!
Herbal Sleep Tea Blend
Do you drink a sleep tea? Do you prepare it differently? If this is new, do you want to try it? Let me know if you have any questions!