Sleep & Stress Management

Health & Lifestyle

Presented by Rhiannon Lytle, RHN with Organika (source)

How Much Should I Sleep?

  • Adults should get 7-9 hours daily of quality sleep for proper repair
  • It’s important to sleep more, especially during times of stress or illness
  • Don’t hit snooze!
    • Your body re-enters a REM cycle and gets ready to sleep
    • Tip: Set alarm 1.5 hours before you want to wake up; go back to sleep for a 90-minute REM cycle (the average REM cycle for most people) 
man in crew neck t shirt lying on bed

When Should I Sleep?

  • According to the Traditional Chinese Body Clock, our body has certain hours targeted at certain organs
    • E.g., 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. is the time our liver is functioning at its highest;
    • If we’re staying up until 2 a.m., our liver is not getting the support needed to detox the things in our body which can cause inflammation, our immune system to not function at its best, and/or poor bowel movements 
  • In Western culture, we recognize the natural cortisol curve
    • Should be highest first thing in the morning and tapers off mid-day (groggy feeling we experience)
    • Can shift with your body, such as if you work nights
  • Ideally, you should be asleep by 11 p.m. and wake around 7 a.m. (at least 8 hours; can be adjusted depending on your schedule) 
  • Why?
    • Detox support
    • Works with our natural cortisol curve 

How to Practice Good Sleep Hygiene 

  • Nighttime routines are essential to prepare for bed 
    • Putting phone away 1 hour before bed 
    • Turning off notifications while sleeping 
    • Sleep with phone outside room 
      • Quality is just as important as quantity 
    • Have room as dark as possible (e.g., eye mask, blackout curtains) 
    • Try white noise or ear plugs
    • Avoid alcohol close to bed so body can digest it before you sleep
  • Supplement support:
    • Magnesium
    • Herbal teas (chamomile, passionflower, valerian root)
person pouring liquid into brown ceramic cup


  • An essential mineral for overall health 
  • Involved in hundreds of body functions 
  • Allows body tissues to relax, from the muscles to digestive tract and the nervous system
  • Commonly found types of magnesium supplements:
    • Magnesium Citrate
      • Magnesium bound to a salt, like citrate 
      • 30-40% is absorbed, relaxing muscles and nerves 
      • Used for issues with constipation
        • Helps the digestive system 
    • Magnesium Bisglycinate 
      • Magnesium combined with the amino acid glycine 
      • High absorption, less digestive side-effects
    • Magnesium L-threonate 
      • Another magnesium + amino acid combo 
      • Most effective at reaching the nervous system 

Stress & Immunity

  • Sleep and stress are linked
    • When stressed, increases in cortisol can shut down body functions that aren’t deemed “essential”, such as:
      • Digestion
      • Reproduction
      • Immune function

Short vs. Long-Term Stress

How to make stress your friend (TedTalk)

  • Short-term stress
    • Natural – we’re supposed to experience it 
    • Beneficial to our immune system and can boost inflammation response
      • E.g., Inflammatory response helps to heal wounds faster 
    • Can boost energy (fight-or-flight response)
      • In fight-or-flight mode, your body shuts down functions that aren’t deemed “essential” (digestion, reproduction, immune function)
  • Long-term stress
    • More apparent in society today
    • Can lead to:
      • Chronic inflammation
      • Poor digestion
        • We need a lot of nutrients to ensure our immune system is in shape
        • If we’re not digesting properly, we’re not absorbing properly (supplements can be helpful)
        • Develop stress management techniques before eating 
      • Imbalanced hormones
    • Adaptogens may help support chronic stress
      • Helps us to adapt and find “homeostasis” (balance)
      • Needs to be taken consistently to see the affects 
      • Powders absorb better than capsule 
    • What to look out for:
      • Feeling “wired but tired”
      • Having no energy to do anything
      • Unable to focus
      • Crashing extremely hard
      • Physically fatigued 
depressed black man touching face in frustration near window

Simple Tips to Manage Stress

woman doing cobra pose

More from Organika
More from Rhiannon Lytle, RHN


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

Five Stress Healing Solutions

Health & Lifestyle, Self-Regulation

Presented by Proven


  • Four major researched components of yoga:
    • Posture and Exercise 
    • Pranayama: breathing practices (long, slow, deep breathing)
    • Relaxation
    • Contemplative: meditative focus of attention
  • An effective way to boost mood and achieve emotional wellness
  • Yoga helps you to pay attention and become aware of your body and thoughts
  • See: The Science of Yoga

Herbs, Adaptogens & Supplements

  • Ashwagandha 
    • An adaptogens that helps the body “adapt” to stressors
    • Studies have shown:
      • Reduction in anxiety 
      • Reduction in cortisol levels
      • Helpful with weight
        • Increases feelings of satiety (feeling full)
        • Decrease in stress eating
    • See: Let’s Talk Adaptogens!

Mindfulness Practice

Jon Kabat-Zinn Teaches Mindfulness and Meditation
  • The practice of bringing full awareness to the present moment (e.g., meditation)
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
    • Consists of doing a body scan (brings you to the present) 
  • Mindfulness Self-Compassion 
    • How to be more compassionate, loving and kind towards self
    • Being a better human being starts with you!
  • See: The Foundation of Mindfulness Practice


  • An ancient Chinese exercise and healing technique
  • Qi = energy 
  • Internal & external energy work
  • Deep stances that build up quads and glutes 
  • Can increase the powerhouses of energy in the body 
  • Want more energy? Build up the big muscles in your body 
  • The coordination of eyes, mind, body, breath
    • Activates the brain 
    • Attention turns inward 
    • Awareness of what is happening inside the body
    • Can modulate and control the parasympathetic (rest & digest) nervous system

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

How to Tap – with Nick Ortner of The Tapping Solution
  • Originated by Nicolas Ortner (CEO of The Tapping Solution) 
  • Tapping on end points of meridian on the body to calm body and release stress and overwhelm (example)
    • Meridians on the body:
      • Pathways in which qi (our energy) flows 
      • When there’s pain there’s a blockage of qi
      • Meridians connect all of the organs and qi flow
  • Tapping on end points sends a calming signal to counteract fear responses from the amygdala

What are your stress healing solutions?


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

Let’s Talk Adaptogens!

Health & Lifestyle

“All plants contain adaptogenic/tonic compounds, because plants have to contend with a good deal of stress themselves.”

– James Duke

What are Adaptogens?

food on white background
Photo by Pixabay

Adaptogens have been around for thousands of years and have traditionally been used in Indian and Chinese medicine. They are a type of herb and mushroom that helps the body adapt to stress. Hence their name, adaptogens! They adapt according to what the body needs; whether that be mental (e.g., increased memory and focus), physical (e.g., energy boost) or emotional (e.g., anxiety relief). Adaptogens won’t take away stress, but help to regulate the body’s stress response system (adrenal glands) and bring it back into balance (homeostasis). They can be found in various forms such as powders, capsules, tinctures (herbal extracts), or in drinks and teas. Adaptogens can be a healthy alternative to prescribed medication and stimulants such as caffeine and sugar. Although their benefits can vary, (as with any supplement), they are most effective when taken over a period of time. They work best not in isolation, but as part of a holistic lifestyle that should include a healthy diet, sleep, exercise and personalized wellness practices. While research has shown how adaptogens can be used to prevent and treat various ailments, I can only speak to my personal experience using them.

My Experience with Adaptogens

It wasn’t until I was introduced to adaptogens through Organika’s webinars (see: Your Hormones: Finding Balance for the Modern-Day Woman or Your Mental Health Matters: Extra Brain-Love During Times of Stress) that I gained a greater interest and understanding of them. These webinars almost always mentioned adaptogens, recipes that include the use of them, and their many benefits. After learning so much, I decided to try out one of their many adaptogen powders. The first one I decided to try was their Organic Chaga Mushroom Calm Powder. That, along with a few of my other favourite Organika products made it to My Wellness Kit! While I was only using this powder on and off shortly after I had purchased it, I started taking it more frequently over the past couple of months since being back to work. I would add roughly one teaspoon of it alongside SMOOV’s euphoric blend (which contains maca, an adaptogen that has hormone-balancing benefits; see below) when I made my oatmeal in the morning. Other times, I mixed it in with my tea or a smoothie. With consistent use, I have been experiencing its benefits. I have found that I’m able to remain quite relaxed throughout a very busy and stressful day, and that it has significantly helped to alleviate menstrual symptoms I have dealt with for many years. Since finishing the chaga mushroom powder, I decided to try Organika’s Organic Ashwagandha Mood Powder. The first two recipes I tried was Moon Milk and Chia & Ashwagandha Overnight Oats (see below). I highly recommend both powders and recipes!

Commonly Used Adaptogens & Their Benefits

Photo by Google Images
  • Ashwagandha
    • Regulates thyroid function which controls emotional hormones
    • Balances and boosts mood and positive feelings
    • Decreases the effects of stress by reducing cortisol levels
  • Chaga Mushroom
    • High in antioxidant, vitamins and minerals
    • Reduces the effects of stress, anxiety and regulates hormones
    • Contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • Ginseng
    • Helps to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system
    • Reduces the effect of stressors
    • Improves focus and memory
  • Holy Basil
    • A source of antioxidant
    • Boosts immune system and energy
    • Reduces stress and anxiety
    • Supports healthy digestion
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom
    • Contains hericenones and erinacines which stimulate the growth of brain cells and protects brain tissue
    • Improves memory and brain function
  • Moringa
    • A multivitamin containing vitamin A, C, calcium, iron, protein, potassium
    • A source of antioxidant
  • Maca Root
    • A good source of vitamins and minerals (containing essential amino acids)
    • Improves mood and energy
    • Helps to balance hormones and supports the immune system
    • Boosts libido in men and women
  • Reishi Mushroom
    • Reduces stress by calming the mind (e.g., nerves) and body (e.g., muscle tension)
    • Improves the quality of sleep through the regulation of stress hormones
    • Boosts the functioning of the immune system in its defense against viruses and bacteria
  • Rhodiola rosea
    • Helps to reduce stress
    • Improve mental functioning by reducing fatigue
    • Boosts physical energy

Things to Consider

As with any supplement, results can vary from person to person and over time. What may have worked a week ago may not be effective a year from now. It’s important to pay attention to your body and how you may be responding positively or negatively to certain supplements such as adaptogens. As previously mentioned, it may take some time before you notice the benefits of a supplement. Only after using adaptogens consistently for a few months was I able to experience its benefits. While they are generally safe, it’s important to note that adaptogens could interfere with certain medication. If you’re interested in trying them, it’s best to first talk with your physician and/or a naturopath, especially if you’re taking medication. As always, ensure you are following the recommended dosage identified on the packaging.

Where to Buy Adaptogens

Adaptogens can be found and purchased at health food stores. I have purchased mine at Healthy Planet, but they can also be found on websites such as

Ready to get started?

See: Five Stress Healing Solutions for more ways to reduce stress!

Take care, and be well.


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.