by Tea Master DANIELA CUBELIC
One side of my family are hard-core night owls. When I was younger I wondered if they were secretly vampires, because for them, noon is still “early in the day” & they seem to come alive after the sun sets.
I inherited these traits & assumed that feeling lethargic & groggy for most of the morning, but finding it hard to fall asleep until well after midnight was what everyone had to deal with.
For over a decade now, I've found it easy to wake up early, feeling refreshed & energetic without an alarm. By resetting my daily habits, & developing sleep-supporting strategies (which I share below), my sleep schedule & quality of sleep have both improved.
The science so far is telling us that we have innate body rhythms, which may not be very flexible. However, traditional medicine in India & China suggest that being either an extreme night owl or an early bird relates to overall health & is linked to entrenched behaviors that can pull us in one direction or the other. Based on my own experience, I suspect there may be underlying categories we each fall into, but that daily habits can nudge us towards finding a better balance, or sink us deeper into an unhealthy extreme.
I used to dread the spring time change because it was challenging enough to get up in the morning! It doesn’t seem like much, but losing an hour of sleep can have a similar effect to jetlag & is linked to a range of negative effects including suppressing the immune system & making it likelier for accidents to occur.
These days I use the time change as a positive reset. Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, or don’t fall into either category, the time change is an opportunity to renew your sleep habits & improve the quality of your sleep. It’s something we can all benefit from, because sleep is vital for our wellbeing. Sleep impacts the immune system, brain function, mental focus, memory, moods, emotions, body weight, cardiovascular health, pain management, stress levels, chronic disease, skin performance & also prevents aging.
Getting adequate hours is important, but the quality of the sleep is also critical—ideally you want it to be deeply restful. When you sleep better, you have more energy during the day, & it can also mean fewer cravings for unhealthy snacks that are high in sugar, salt &/or fat.
These are my secrets—I hope they’ll help you during the time change & beyond.
Top 3 Tea Picks
Be strategic & cautious with caffeine around the time change. Increasing caffeine levels over what you normally consume can impair your ability to fall asleep or experience deep sleep. This can then make you feel sleepier in the morning & get you into a vicious cycle of poor sleep quality & more caffeine to offset it. If you regularly consume caffeinated beverages & you don’t have trouble falling asleep & wake up feeling fresh, then your caffeine intake is likely not a problem. Moderate caffeine consumption may even have some health benefits. If you struggle with getting to sleep or staying asleep, or wake up feeling tired, then try reducing your caffeine intake & switching to lower caffeine green or oolong teas & herbal teas—especially after 3 pm.
Age & genetic factors play a role in your ability to metabolize caffeine. As we age, it’s common to become more sensitive to caffeine, so you may find that reducing caffeine makes a noticeable difference to how you feel & sleep.
The tea brewing method you use can also impact caffeine levels. Brew your tea in cold or room temperature water instead of hot water & it decreases the caffeine that is extracted. If you prefer to drink your tea hot, just heat your cold-brewed tea after it’s been steeped. Click here to find out how.
Gives a lift without overstimulating, aids mental focus & is linked to boosting creativity as well as emotional calm. Contains minimal caffeine levels, so it won’t overstimulate. Our Jasmine Oasis is different from other jasmine teas because it has a high proportion of fresh jasmine flowers combined with an especially soothing green tea. It is low in caffeine, but leaves you feeling mentally & physically refreshed. I drink 1–2 cups daily for the first week or two of the time change. It is perfect as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon pick me up. Drink it when you're looking for some added energy, & when you might otherwise be tempted to reach for highly caffeinated beverages, sugar, or both.
This triple action powerhouse can help:
- Counteract brain fog & fatigue caused by the time change. Ultra-reviving rich minty-eucalyptus notes help clear the cobwebs & green tea in it is associated with boosting creativity & mental function.
- Promote sinus health & boost immune response to spring colds & flu (inflamed sinuses can worsen allergies & colds & flu).
- Provide support during allergy & hay fever season. Breathing deeply during the day increases energy & at night can aid sleep. Shallow breathing at night can disrupt sleep & during the day it can make you feel sleepy or lower your energy.
Drink 2–3 cups ALLERGY & HAY FEVER DEFENSE TEA throughout the day, starting with the time change. Keep going through allergy season if you suffer from sinus issues or seasonal allergies—it contains herbs & green tea which are associated with preventing & reducing symptoms. Studies indicate the benefits of these ingredients are further enhanced if you drink
Apply Allergy & Hay Fever Roll-On over temples & under nostrils for mental clarity & refreshment throughout the day, whenever you need it. It contains essential oils linked to respiratory, anti-allergy & anti-viral & anti-bacterial benefits.
The name says it all. This ultra-soothing herbal blend helps lull body & mind into a peaceful slumber. Kids love it too! Wind down with a cup of LULLABY 1 to 2 hours before bed. Combine it with some of my other evening rituals to amplify the relaxing effects.
- Physical tension can make it hard to fall asleep & maintain sleep. The antidote? A soothing bath with SWEET DREAMSor HEAVEN BATHSALTS is a powerful way to melt away tension & stress. Recent studies show that bathing before bed may significantly improve sleep quality because it helps reset the body’s circadian rhythm & naturally increases the production of melotonin, a key sleep hormone. To discover more remarkable science-based benefits of bathing, click HERE. A foot soak is also very effective if you don’t have a tub, or don’t feel like you have the time for a bath. Learn more about the surprising benefits of a foot soak + how to maximize the benefits HERE.
- Instead of a moisturiser, apply soothing HEAVEN BATH, BODY & MASSAGE OIL after soaking, (when skin is still damp), to moisturize the skin & deepen relaxation.
- Apply NIGHT MAGIC SERUMafter cleansing your face. It’s both a sleep aid & overnight moisturizer packed with tranquil & skin-loving plant extracts.
- Apply SWEET DREAMS ROLL-ONto temples & sternum. Lay down & enjoy the tranquil scent as you enjoy some deep, mindful breaths. A soft, serene scent will gently envelop you, helping you float away into a peaceful, restful sleep.
energizing morning rituals
Start your day with a caffeine-free burst of energy. Shower with WESTCOAST WILDERNESS HAND & BODY WASH—a revitalizing combination of powerful essential oils derived from trees. Being in the forest is linked with valuable health benefits including stress reduction, improved mood & immune boosting.
Use tea as a natural way to flavour oatmeal. Oats are a healthy way to start the day & help balance blood sugar & energy levels.
They also naturally contain melatonin & B vitamins, which can improve sleep quality. Cooking them with tea instead of water enhances the flavour & adds nutrients. Make overnight TEA OATMEAL for a stress-free morning. Before bed, brew a tea that tastes yummy with oats. Place oats in a mason jar, & pour tea over the oats. About 3 parts brewed tea to 1 part oatmeal is ideal. Place in the fridge. In the morning, it’s ready to eat. If you prefer a warm breakfast, quickly heat on the stovetop. Click HERE to learn more intriguing health benefits of TEA OATMEAL & discover our top teas for making this satisfying breakfast.
Studies show that a warm afternoon bath can also have an energizing effect on the body. Add TONIC BATHSALTS & sip CASABLANCA TEA for a refreshing, stimulating effect that can clear mental cobwebs & boost creativity.
BOOST ENERGY IN 5 MINUTES by rubbing your ears! Do this anytime of day you need a boost. Massaging the ears is an acupressure technique believed to strengthen the body’s energy reserves, according to Chinese medicine. It feels great & it’s revitalizing. Click here for the method.
dessert in a glass - curb your sugar cravings
When you’re tired or feeling stressed, cravings for snacks & caffeine tend to increase. Treat yourself to a healthier option—indulge in a tea-based “DESSERT IN A GLASS” instead. Make a non-dairy PEACHES & CREAM TEA LATTE using PEACH PARADISE TEA, or a delightful SOUR CHERRY TEA HOT CHOCOLATE by pouring hot tea over 1 tsp. of cocoa powder & adding a splash of non-dairy milk.
Find more yummy recipe ideas on the BLOG.
switch to soup for dinner
If you wake up feeling tired in the morning year-round (regardless of the time change), try switching to easy to digest foods at dinner. Pureed soup or soup broths provide highly digestible nutrients that are easy for your system to process. This simple shift to soup can be a game changer & support a healthier digestion as well.
- EVERGREEN SOUP
- MISO SWEET POTATO & CAULIFLOWER BISQUE
- SMOKY TOMATO SOUP
- COLDS & FLU BUSTER SOUP
- & MORE
Get inspired with more tips, techniques & recipes - watch & learn directly from Tea Master Daniela Cubelic in this captivating VIDEO SERIES.
Learn how to make chai tea soup, tea hot chocolates, mulled cider teas, tea infused oatmeal, ice cream tea floats, tea lemonades, iced teas & more. You’ll also discover fascinating facts & info about the health benefits of tea, tea history & secrets for tea brewing.