Ideas to Create a Bedtime Ritual

Better Sleeping

Create a Bedtime Ritual for Better Sleep

Starting the day of right often involves getting restful sleep. Having a bedtime ritual can help you sleep better. Good sleep is imperative for good health. Current research shows a strong relationship between sleep and our brain’s functioning. Lack of quality sleep can lead to poor motor functioning as well as foggy thinking and lowered ability to overcome stress. There are studies that link insufficient sleep with increased rates of Alzheimers disease.

Here are some ways to help you create a bedtime ritual to sleep better and wake up feeling energized.

Turn down the lights

As the sun sets our body responds by increasing melatonin levels in the brain. Bright light at night can block our bodies production of melatonin making it harder for us to fall asleep.

Most of our devices, like phones, tablets and televisions emit blue light which mimics the effects of sunlight and suppresses our melatonin levels. Some devices have the option to switch to a night time mode that decreases the amount of blue light produced.

Start dimming your lights a few hours before you plan to go to sleep to boost your melatonin levels.

Take supplements

Some supplements can be hard on an empty stomach or having one more thing to do in the morning can feel overwhelming. After dinner is a great time to take any supplements to help your body rest and restore.

Take a mineral bath

Warm baths with a few drops of essential oils and a cup of sea salt can soothe sore muscles and nerves. Try adding magnesium flakes or epsom salt for sleep inducing minerals. I love soaking in a bath before bed with dried flowers and herbs to invite sweet dreams.

moisturize

Gentle massage with your favorite lotion or body oil can help you relax and is a good way to start quieting your mind. Try rubbing yourself down with a magnesium infused lotion to help your GABA production. Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, is a neurotransmitter that inhibits synapses in the brain. Nourish your skin with rich creams and oils can slowing brain activity to prepare you for sleep while relieving tense muscles and moisturizing your skin.

Mentally prepare for sleep

Take a minute to reflect on your day and write down your thoughts. You can keep a journal or note pad next to your bed to make a list of all the things you want to follow up on the next day. I tend to worry at night so I like to write down the random thoughts that are on my mind to help me stay asleep.

Yoga

Stretching and meditating will clear your mind and prepare you for quality sleep. Doing a few poses to loosen tight muscles, especially from sitting, can relax your mind and body. I like to do a few dynamic movements like cat cow to increase my circulation and then follow up with deep belly breathing to slow down my heart rate and quiet my brain. Here are some other breathing techniques to help you relax into a restful slumber.

Consistency

Having a consistent bedtime and waking time helps your brain produce the right amount of sleeping and waking hormones. Your bedtime ritual doesn’t have to be a drawn out process but having a few consistent activities can help cue your body for restorative sleep.

Create a bedtime ritual that works for you and sets you up for success. Sometimes starting the day off right can help you get the quality sleep you need and deserve. Here are some ideas to create a morning routine for an energized morning.

Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

Is Your Sunscreen Safe for You and the Environment?

The sun provides the Earth with light and energy, it stimulates the production of vitamin D. However those powerful life giving rays can be harmful, so it’s important to cover up. But is your sunscreen safe? It might not be protecting your skin enough or leaching chemicals into your blood stream. Some chemicals in sunblocks are harmful to coral, is yours?

The Difference Between Ultraviolet A, UVA and Ultraviolet B, UVB

The sun produces a spectrum of rays. Some of it is visible light the comprises the rainbow of colors we can see. Some of it is invisible to our eyes like Ultraviolet and Infrared.  UVA has long waves that can penetrate deeper into our epidermis layer of skin, which can lead to skin aging. UVB has short waves which can burn the superficial layers of skin which can lead to skin cancer. The sun protection factor (SPF) rating on your sunscreen refers to the percentage of protection from UVB rays only.

The Safety of Mineral vs Chemical Sunblock

Mineral sunblocks are made with Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide to scatter and reflect UVA and UVB rays. Data shows that these minerals are unable to penetrate the skin and leach into your blood stream. However check the other inactive ingredients, for chemical preservatives of fillers that might leach. These minerals offer full spectrum sun protection and do not harm coral reefs.

Chemical sunblocks are made with a combination of chemicals that either scatter UVA or UVB. These types of sunblocks blend together chemicals to create a lotion that protects from both types of rays. Many of these chemicals are able to be absorbed through the skin. There is reason for concern. New lab studies have found that some of the chemicals used, like Oxybenzone, have been found to also be endocrine disruptors in animal tests.

This means that some animals, like coral larvae, are unable to develop properly, which has contributed to coral bleaching. Oxybenzone is able to penetrate the skin and reach soft tissue. The CDC has found it in breast milk and the blood stream. Unfortunately our current safety system allows for products to be available on the market until they are proven unsafe. There has been minimal testing for many of these chemicals on humans.

How to Choose a Safe and Effective Sunblock

With over 600 products available it can be hard to sift through the copious amounts of unintelligible lists of ingredients. The Environmental Working Group has create and annual list of sunblocks available in the US and chooses the safest and most effective products. Most major brands make both mineral and chemical products, so you have to check each one individually.  You can also check their pocket guide for a quick reference of ingredients to avoid.

Even if you don’t plan trips to the beach or intend on long exposure, I encourage everyone to choose a mineral sunblock with a short list of ingredients. This will reduce your risk of absorbing potentially harmful chemicals and keep our oceans healthy.  We are all connected and the production and distribution of chemicals is often the actual culprit of environmental disasters rather than individual use. Lets all stay safe.

Chickpea Cookie Dough

I recently needed a sweet protein snack so I whipped up this easy treat that I highly recommend for a late afternoon pick me up.

Chickpea Cookie Dough

makes 3 servings

  • 1 1/2 cup sprouted and cooked chickpeas,
  • 1/4 cup nut butter of your choice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • sea salt to taste
  1. In a food processor combine chickpeas, nut butter and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Stir in chocolate chips and salt.
  3. Enjoy!

Make the Change and Save $20

 

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January came and went. Do you need support making the changes you want to see in your life? Train for Carnaval San Francisco to have fun in a healthy and supportive environment.

This complete package includes

  • weekly rehearsals of choreographed routines
  • online workouts to increase strength and cardio endurance
  • nutrient dense meal plan
  • four 30 minute personal support sessions
  • community, friends and hella fun

Registration is open to reserve your spot. If you sign up before 2/24/18 you can take $20 off your training package with the promo code feathers.

Training starts Monday March 5 at 7:30 pm Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave in Alameda.

Introduce yourself here!

Spreading My Wings

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I have not worn a beaded bikini since my pregnancy in 2013 and I am finally ready to hit the  freezing May streets of San Francisco to shake it again. 

Becoming a mom changed me and my life in a variety of ways. It has taken me several years to balance my identities as a mom and as an individual person. I am finally at a point where I feel like I have the capacity to think again about my personal and professional goals and taking the strides necessary to achieve them. Starting with putting together a 30+ person contingent for the 2018 Carnaval San Francisco.

I am so excited to bring people together who love moving and creating a healthy life in a fun and supportive environment.

Join me for a Pre-Turkey Comparsa

Corral your friends, put on some comfy clothes and come dance jog along the lake to some fresh tunes. There will be light choreogrpahy and instructions but all levels of movers are encouraged to come. After we get our blood pumping we’ll sprawl out on the grass for some body weight movements and stretching. We … Continue reading Join me for a Pre-Turkey Comparsa

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5 Tips to Living Processed Food Free

5 tips to living processed food free

5 Tips to live processed food free

1.Have a plan

Find time on the weekend to sit down and make a plan for the week. Knowing what your going to be eating in advanced helps you to avoid getting home tired at 6:30 to a hungry family, which often leads to less healthy choices. Write down meal ideas for the week and prepare a grocery shopping list to stock your kitchen with everything you’ll need for the week.

2.Double up recipes 

Making extra is always a good idea. Leftovers are excellent to pack for lunches or reheat the next day. It’s ok to eat the same thing multiple times a week.

3.Your freezer is your friend

Since you’re making double batches anyway, you might as well freeze some to heat up next week. This is also a great way prepare and ration snacks or foods to go like homemade waffles or muffins.

4.Slow cookers are useful

Take advantage of the time you won’t be in the kitchen. You can toss meat and veggies with some spices into the slow cooker for a ready to eat meal when you get home.

5.Get help

All members of a household can contribute to meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. Kids can also be in charge of cooking, cleaning or packing lunches. And if you need more help, you can always try a grocery or meal delivery service.

New and Expecting Mom PT Special

After presenting to a group of new moms about how to strengthen their core, I realized that the majority of information about how to exercise is designed around male bodies. As mothers our physical needs and demands are very different. Crunches and sit ups don’t help tighten our tummies or make carrying a sleeping baby … Continue reading New and Expecting Mom PT Special

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Get Down with Bay Area Dance Week

  I’m looking forward to participating in this years Bay Area Dance Week. Studios, organizations and artist all over the Bay Area host free classes and workshops. I’ve signed myself up for a few classes and am really looking forward to meeting some new people. Check out the schedule at BayAreaDance.org.  

To access this post, you must purchase Dance in Carnaval SF, Royale.

Sign Up for a Summer Series

Commit to loving yourself this summer by signing up for an 8 week summer series on Saturday mornings. Preregistration is required through the Alameda Parks and Recreation Department. We will be meeting on Saturday Mornings at 9:30 at the Alameda Veterans Building room 250.   Also I’m on the cover! 🙂  

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