Sometimes you have to have something taken away from you in order to really appreciate it.
I never knew how true that really was until I started dealing with insomnia a few years ago. Lots of people deal with insomnia, for a lot of different reasons: stress, drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, side effects from medications, etc.
For me, my insomnia began when we moved back to the states from Greece. When my health took a mysterious nosedive.
I now know that my health issues (including my insomnia) are linked to hormonal imbalances in my body. (We recently got some test results back that really fill in the missing puzzle pieces for what’s been going on these past few years.)
To make a long story short, my insomnia was (in a good month) making my life very uncomfortable, and at it’s worst, making my life unlivable.
It was so persistent and unrelenting that during a bad stint, I was routinely getting about 3 total hours of sleep within a 3 day period. It wasn’t awesome.
If you’re someone who suffers from insomnia, then you’re with me when I say SLEEP IS PRECIOUS. And if you’re not someone who suffers from insomnia, trust us when we tell you that it is.
Guard your sleep time, and don’t fall for the idea that it’s admirable to sacrifice it to get more done.
Even if you’re doing it to climb the corporate ladder. Or be the best PTA mom on planet Earth. Or make the Chancellor’s list 8 semesters in a row.
We need sleep to be healthy and happy and serve our purpose in the best way possible. Sleep is 100% necessary in order for us to be:
- Sharp, focused, and mentally productive
- Strong, energized, and motivated to be physically active
- Emotionally balanced and happy
- Revved up with a powerful immune system and metabolism
I’ve tried everything under the sun to help catch those much needed zzz’s. Some things that haven’t worked for me, have worked for people I know—and that’s because everyone’s different.
But one thing that I think is pretty effective across the board is establishing a night-time routine that helps you wind down and leave the stress of the day behind. A hot bath is really helpful, or reading a book, even meditating.
I usually try to drop mentally stimulating activities after 9 or so (like playing on my phone or the computer). And I almost always drink some kind of sleepy time tea, like chamomile or passionflower.
But my endless urge to experiment in the kitchen recently led me to a delicious discovery: apple cider and chamomile tea are a match made in heaven!
The chamomile tea cuts the sweetness of the apple juice a little and adds soft, floral notes. The cinnamon and cloves are warming and nostalgic. And when everything comes together, it’s like a hug in a mug.
This Sleepy Time Spiced Apple Cider will help float you into sweet, sweet sleepy time dreams on its own. But I like to add a sleep promoting herbal extract to help out even more.
I’m a big fan of the herbal extracts (as you’ve probably noticed with this egg nog, this citrus spritzer, and this pomegranate fizz) because they allow me to use medicine straight from nature, but in a really convenient way. Even if I don’t have the tea or apple cider, I’ll usually add a few drops of the extract to a glass of water before bed.
The upside of natural sleep remedies is that they aren’t habit forming, and they won’t leave you with a foggy, sleeping-pill hangover the next day.
And this sleepy-time beverage-as-medicine also happens to be delicious, which is always a plus 😉
Happy sipping and sweet dreams!
PS- I’ve been meaning to write a post about the 101 sleep remedies I’ve researched and self-experimented with. Would you guys find that to be helpful? Let me know!
- 2 cups organic apple juice (unsweetened)
- 1 cup water
- 2 bags organic chamomile tea
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8-10 whole cloves
- 1 dropper full Herb Pharm Relaxing Sleep Herbal Extract
- Sliced apple to garnish (optional)
- Add juice, water, cinnamon stick, and cloves to a pot and bring to a boil.
- Remove pot from heat and add in two bags of chamomile tea. Allow to steep for 3-5 minutes and remove tea bags, squeezing the liquid from them. Add herbal extract and stir to combine.
- Divide cider between two cups, straining the cinnamon stick and whole cloves. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon stick if desired.
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.