CONQUERING THE DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME CHANGE - SECRETS OF A FORMER NIGHT OWL
One side of my family is made of entrenched night owls. For them, noon is still “early in the day” & they get more active & talkative after midnight. It was something I very obviously inherited—I remember how tough it was to wake up, from when I first started going to nursery school, all the way through my teens & into adulthood. For a long time, I thought that feeling extremely lethargic & groggy for most of the morning was just what everyone had to deal with. It was easy to end up staying awake well past midnight because I had so much vitality as the night progressed.
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 and quality of sleep have both improved. I recognize that the science so far is telling us that we have innate body rhythms, which may not be very flexible. However, when we look at this from the perspective of ancient traditions, several would suggest that being either an extreme night owl or an early bird relates to our overall health & is linked to entrenched behaviors that can pull us in one direction or the other. Based on my own experience, I suspect we’ll eventually start to see studies reveal that, while there may be underlying categories we each fall into, daily habits are a powerful tool that can nudge us towards finding a better balance, or can sink us deeper into an unhealthy extreme.
Unsurprisingly, I used to dread the spring time change because it was challenging enough to get up in the morning! An hour doesn’t seem like much, but losing an hour of sleep can have a similar effect to jetlag & it is linked to a wide range of negative effects: from suppressing the immune system to making it likelier that accidents may 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 & also inspire you to thrive during the time change & beyond. - Daniela Cubelic | Tea Master + Founder, SILK ROAD
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.
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. 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 caffeine, sugar, or both.
Allergy & Hay Fever Defense Tea
This triple action powerhouse can help:
- Counteract brain fog & fatigue caused by the time change. The refreshing scent clears the cobwebs.
- Promote sinus health & boost immune response to spring colds & flu (inflamed sinuses can worsen allergies & colds & flu).
- Provide support during allergy & hay fever season.
Drink 2–3 cups 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 them before as well as when the season hits.
To purify the air & aid breathing, diffuse Allergy & Hay Fever Diffuser Blend throughout the day—it’s a blend of pure essential oils linked to respiratory, anti-allergy & anti-viral & anti-bacterial benefits.
You can also apply our Allergy & Hay Fever Roll-On over temples & under nostrils for mental clarity & refreshment whenever you need it.
*Both the diffuser blend & roll-on will also help with lingering colds, flus & allergies.
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 Dreams or Heaven bathsalts is a powerful way to melt away tension & stress. 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.
Instead of a moisturiser, apply Heaven Bath, Body & Massage Oil after soaking, when skin is still damp, to moisturize skin & enhance the relaxation further.
Apply Night Magic Serum after cleansing your face. It’s a sleep aid & overnight moisturizer packed with tranquil & skin-loving plant extracts.
Place an ultra-sonic diffuser in the bedroom & add a few drops of Sweet Dreams Diffuser Blend. A soft, serene scent will gently envelop you, helping you float away into a peaceful, restful sleep. You can also use the roll-on version of Sweet Dreams & combine it with some mindful breathing in bed. Apply Sweet Dreams Roll-On to temples & sternum. Lay down & enjoy the tranquil scent as you enjoy some deep, mindful breaths.
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 the Westcoast Wilderness lotion to moisturize afterwards & you’re set!
Spices can have a stimulating effect—start the day with a cup of our Herbal Chai (caffeine-free) or if you want some caffeine, our Silk Road Chai or Express Chai.
Our Rama Tulsi & Krishna Tulsi teas are natural adaptogens—which means they can have an energizing or relaxing effect depending on the time of day they are consumed. Try them in the morning or add as a booster to any tea.
Use tea as a natural way to flavour oatmeal. Oats are a healthy way to start the day & help balance blood sugar & energy levels. Cooking them with tea instead of water enhances the flavour & adds nutrients. Make overnight tea-infused oats for a stress-free morning. Before bed, brew a tea that tastes yummy with oats (find suggestions here). 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.
dessert in glass - curb 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.