We talk about eating balance meals, regularly working out, and decreasing stress to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, the importance of sleep is rarely mentioned. Receiving seven to eight hours of sleep improves the memory, encourages the brain to embrace new ideas, helps control weight, and builds the immune system. Personally, to get my daily-recommended hours of sleep, I’m striving to begin the evening by turning off the computer. No checking emails, for my responses are more effective in the morning. FaceBook friends and fans can wait for tomorrow, and my influence on Twitter ends a little after dinnertime. Creative projects are scheduled for the afternoons, for working in the super early morning hours is an old college habit that must die. Getting a better night’s rest and more hours of sleep requires me to have better time management and efficiently organize daily tasks. It’s difficult at first, but I’m rediscovering calmer evenings.
As my wide-eyed, late-night habit slowly changes into shut-eye, deep sleep, I’m experimenting with a few relaxation techniques, such as reading books, avoiding phone calls, and minimizing heavy meals close to bedtime. I also stir a refreshing glass of Lavender Lemonade. It’s a special drink to cool down in this summer heat as the scent of lavender soothes and relaxes the mind. It’s similar to a soda, but without the high-fructose corn syrup. Alternatively, add lavender simple syrup to a chill glass of organic milk (or hot milk during the colder months), because milk works as a mild sedative, too.
Having fewer hours of sleep works against efforts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These days, many people are sacrificing a good night’s rest for more hours of work. Don’t underestimate sleep, for it does the body good.
- 3 tbsp. dried lavender
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 ripe lemons at room temperature
- Sparkling mineral or seltzer water; to taste
- Ice as needed
- To make Lavender Simple Syrup: Place lavender, water, and sugar in a pot over medium heat. Gently stir until the sugar has dissolved (It’s very quick). Turn off heat and let cool. Place pot in the refrigerator to let lavender flowers infuse simple syrup overnight. The next day, strain Lavender Simple Syrup. Discard lavender flowers. Pour Lavender Simple Syrup in a sealed container, and use as needed.
- To make Lavender Lemonade: Juice 4 lemons in a bowl or pitcher. Add Lavender Simple Syrup, for the amount depends on a personal taste for sweet drinks. Place ice in individual glasses. Pour Lavender Lemonade in each glass. Top with sparkling mineral water.