Let Nature Nurture Your Sleep Habits This Year
While origins unknown and a modern-day celebration, the Festival of Sleep Day is observed every year on January 3rd. It is thought that this special day evolved as a time to bring awareness to lack of sleep and the importance of a well-rested body and mind. It’s also a good time to relax and reflect on self-care practices that bring forth a healthier lifestyle and how to apply them in the new year – after a nap of course.
Like most animals and plants, humans live rhythmically by biological rhythms, one being Circadian rhythms that follow a 24-hour cycle and Diurnal rhythms that sync with light/day and dark/night cycles. Living in modern times with unique working shifts and controlled lighting, many people suffer from proper sleep and rest as their biological rhythms are out of sync with nature and adjusted to fit their current lifestyles and schedules.
Ancient Greeks speculated that the reason for sleep stimulated from a lack of circulation, causing the body to become unconscious for a certain period of time so that it could rebalance. During that era, sleep was actually separated into first and second periods of daily rest. In certain countries similar practices are still observed today. In Spain, most businesses close down between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00 PM to allow people to rest and spend time together; this time is known as “Siesta.”
Throughout history sleep was respected and practiced often until such practices were interrupted by the Industrial Revolution and the invention of artificial light. Being able to keep the lights on meant that the working day could be extended and longer working hours were born into a soon-to-be new era of sleeplessness. As the working days grew longer, many Americans were working well into the night and missing more hours of sleep. On May 1, 1926, the Ford Motor Company became the first company in America to adopt a five-day, 40-hour work week to allow workers to get to bed on time.
While today we have modern conveniences that our ancestors only dreamed of, our working days have been updated to include more artificial light, invested amounts of time with electronics, and unique, sometimes longer working shifts. All of these things add up to even more lack of sleep due to scheduling and physiological disruptions.
Why is sleep important you might ask? Simply put, sleep is a period of time that our bodies utilize to recharge, balance, heal, and build. No matter the amount of exercise, hydration, or nutrients that we intake, without sleep our bodies cannot properly regulate and utilize resources correctly. An imbalance in energy levels, nutrition, and a weak immune system all add up to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Some examples of negative health effects that come from lack of sleep include: Heart Disease, Heart Attacks, Heart Failure, Irregular Heartbeat, High Blood Pressure, Stroke, Diabetes, Low Energy Levels, Obesity, Depression, and Cognitive Decline.
Lack of sleep also creates dangerous situations such as automobile accidents due to lack of alertness. Even everyday problem solving can be affected by lack of concentration and reasoning, each of which can place danger in such fields as transportation, construction, manufacturing, and healthcare where wrong decisions can mean life or death.
Enough with the negative, let’s focus on the positive! There are several ways to healthier sleep. Start by sticking to a regular sleep schedule that reflects the same each day. Remember that we are a part of nature which is cyclical in most ways and is formed in patterns. Be mindful of your diet, especially 1-2 hours prior to sleep. Make certain to get some physical activity into your daily routine to promote sleep, however, be careful not to be active too close to sleeping time. Also consider incorporating magnesium and a personal favorite, Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract, also known as CBD Oil into your self-care regimen.
Why CBD? How does it help with sleep?
CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of over 100 cannabinoids that are found in hemp, a member of the cannabis family. Our bodies actually have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that plays an important role in regulating and maintaining certain body functions such as mood, appetite, sleep, and regulating Circadian rhythms. Within the ECS are two primary receptors known as CB1 and CB2. Some cannabinoids attach directly to these receptors, while others like CBD work indirectly with our own endocannabinoids to help maintain homeostasis (self-regulation/balance) within the body.
Some research indicates that the way CBD interacts with ECS receptors potentially affects the sleep/wake cycle. A 2019 study published in the Permanente Journal indicates that out of 72 participants given 25 milligrams of CBD each day, 66.7% reported better sleep and 79.2% reported lower anxiety levels. Current CBD users report reduced aches and pains, as well as reduction in anxiety symptoms, all of which can directly affect the quality of sleep.
How should I take CBD Oil?
Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract/CBD Oil is taken sublingually, meaning under the tongue. I prefer waiting a couple of minutes after having something to drink to take CBD Oil. Once taken, I hold the oil under my tongue for about 1 minute and then swallow any remaining oil, waiting 3-4 minutes before drinking anything afterward.
Since CBD is used to help maintain balance within the body, consistency is key. For symptoms of anxiety or inflammation, breaking my daily servings into morning and evening servings works best. When sleep is the focus, I may wait and take my full daily serving about 45 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime.
The amount of CBD Oil needed varies from person to person, as each person has specific conditions and has a certain biological makeup. A good baseline serving is 0.25 mg multiplied by your body weight in pounds. For example, if a person weighs 200 pounds (0.25 x 200 = 50), a daily serving of 50 milligrams would be a good starting amount. This amount may need to be lowered or increased, dependent on each individual and the desired outcome.
If I feel a little tired, I reduce my dose. If I am not getting the results that I seek, I increase my dose. Keep in mind that CBD is naturally lipid-soluble (fat-soluble), so like vitamins A,D,E, and K, it can build up in the body.
How do I choose the right CBD Oil?
All hemp extract and CBD Oil isn’t equal. It’s best to choose a brand that develops products from organically grown hemp, that manufactures and produces under Current Good Manufacturing Practices, and that offers third-party verification and testing for potency, purity, and safety. Customer care is also important, like choosing a brand that will answer your questions and help guide you in choosing products that are best suited for your individual needs. Outside of that, it’s always great to support a local and regional company, especially a company that supports their fellow farmers and entrepreneurs.
I’m grateful to be a part of such a company. A company birthed in the land that I call home, Kentucky, and built by products that have changed my life and continue to change the lives of others. That company, Ancient Aromas® is the brand I prefer. If you have been considering CBD as an addition to your self-care regimen or looking to try another brand, now is the perfect time to check out Ancient Aromas® entire line of Full-Spectrum Hemp Extracts and topicals. In honor of much needed rest after the holidays and the Festival of Sleep Day, ALL Hemp Extracts will be 20% OFF January 3rd – 7th, no code necessary. I wish each of you a very happy, healthy, and restful new year!