Monday, January 16, 2017

Calmness, Relaxation and Sleep

Lots of great hikes and joyful times this fall and winter, but lately I find myself busy with activist projects and building an online audience for those! If you'd like to know more you can find me on Twitter at @vegsister and find my nonprofit work at @PEERorg. 

But I do still have a few interesting thoughts on dog-related topics, and a lot of cool pictures :) So I'm going to shift the focus here and just start posting shit that feels right, and not worry too much about format. 

Here's a post I didn't get to finish up back in October. We all have our ways of processing stress. I walk the dogs, write, and then lie awake all night, while Florian runs his mouth like a fire hydrant, curses like a longshoreman, and smokes like a chimney all day only to pass into an impenetrable coma and sleep like a log all night. 

Fortunately, there is help for both conditions. You my remember that I've found help for lifelong insomnia from herbs and supplements. Turns out that some of the same compounds help Florian too! 

When he really gets going on one of his stressed out tirades, I've discovered that Kava Kava tincture dials him right down. 

Ranting Florian becomes peaceful, spaced out, slightly smiling Florian, and we can go on a nice hike and enjoy the scenery.

On a gorgeous day in October, we brought the dogs to Catoctin Mountain Park with its historic Iron Furnace

and literally wandered around, 

smiling and laughing, 

the morning's anxious rant about something absolutely inconsequential but at the time all-consuming, 

completely forgotten. 

Not sure if it was the Kava Kava, which is in tincture form so acts immediately, or the Cortisol Manager, which is more long-acting,

but taken together the results were outstanding.

I'll note here that I do think Cortisol management is key to those of us who experience anxiety and insomnia. If you've ever been told that your insomnia is "all in your mind" and that you can control it if you just make an effort, you know what it is to want to put a health care practitioner or well-meaning friend into a deep, immediate sleep with a swift punch to the temple.

Our sleep systems are a finely-tuned machinery of tissue, chemistry, and mental states. Of course there is a physical component to chronic insomnia. I'm pretty sure that my brain chemicals are out of whack and I produce too much cortisol, hence, I sleep only when I address that.

But lately, most of the time, life seems to be addressing that for me most days! For the most part I've been sleeping with no chemical assistance the past couple of months. 

I don't know why, as there's no huge difference in my habits, thoughts, or mental states between this good-sleep time and other times. I do think that relaxation and sleep feed on themselves, and a good sleep groove tends to self-perpetuate. 

That was a lot of words! Time for a bit of silence. Peace to you all. 


  1. Thanks for sharing. will have to keep this in mind. While I don't have trouble sleeping, anxiety is a huge problem.

    Thanks for the tip!

    p.s. you and the dogs look great! Hope you had fun!

  2. I suffer from anxiety but not insomnia thank y

  3. Great read! Thank you for sharing. Keep up the awesome posts :)


  4. Hi Kirsten, hmmmm...might have to pass that calming formulation on to someone. My dad has a few of those rants too. Is it a human guy thing? Glad to see and learn that you're all well and still very cool.

  5. I really liked reading your blog! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Love all your beautiful pictures!

  6. I've not heard of kava kava before. I'll look for it in my neighborhood health food store.

  7. Hi Kirsten, late but thought I'd stop by anyway to say hello. Glad to hear, whatever the reason, you have been feeling a bit better. My motto is 'whatever works', although like you I puzzle at the reasons anyway...

  8. Looks like you guys had an amazing time! Keep up the great posts :)

  9. Dogs are very good pets and they are indeed man's best friend. Beautiful post regarding these beautiful pets. They keep us happy and safeguard us. Find more discussion regarding this topic at our question and answer website.


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