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The longest day and your sleep


By: Juliette Woods, Brain State Technician

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer Solstice is upon us – the longest day of light in the year. Celebrations abound honouring the life-giving Sun, and monumental geological calendars fill us with awe—be it rising over the Heel Stone at Stonehenge, viewing from the Sphinx and watching the Sun disappear exactly between the Khufu and Khafre pyramids,  or observing the light piercing spiral petroglyphs etched into a cliff wall at Chaco Canyon. Globally, the Summer Solstice was of huge importance to agriculture and spirituality.

Of course the late light of each day naturally encourages us to stay awake longer, as any parent attempting to put small ones into bed knows all too well!

It seems an appropriate time to take a look at our sleep patterns. For many of us, quality sleep is rather elusive to begin with. Stepping back to observe our society brings some obvious conclusions and hypotheses on why this is such a struggle for so many of us. Time-efficient technology is not balanced by a life style utilizing that extra time for self care, slowing down, resting, nurturing, eating, bonding, meditating, or…sleeping.

No. Generally we fill each day with the ever present onslaught of stimulation, externally as well as internally.

A popular way to start off each day is with a cup of coffee, the news, and, in a short time frame, to head out the door into traffic that brings one to their occupation or education. Sadly for many, the tasks which fill our days are often not of the soul–filling and inspiring variety.

Feeling rushed? Can’t sleep? Racing thoughts? What can you do?


On Summer Solstice eve, I dedicated myself to releasing my dehydrating caffeine addiction. An easy way to begin this process is by drinking a “Half Caf” beverage of your choice—half the dose of caffeine per cup. Better yet, Finlandia has an incredible variety of bulk herbal teas with lovely, knowledgeable Herbal Specialists to inspire you with learning their medicinal properties. Together you can create a delicious warm beverage to nourish your body and support any existing conditions. Why not energize brain function in the morning, support your heart during the afternoon and gently promote sleep in the evening? I can’t help but note that Summer Solstice is also considered “Herb Night” by many. Herbs gathered at this time of year are at their most potent.

Take on a relaxation therapy such as yoga or guided meditations, soak up Nature’s calming beauty with silent observance, or try Brain Training. Yes, Brain Training! Finlandia offers a fantastic Self Regulation & Relaxation program that balances & harmonizes your brain’s electrical activity in a non invasive holistic manner. With this inner peace comes a relief of symptoms ranging from depression, anger, racing thoughts, and—you guessed it— improving SLEEP!

A healthy dose of play does wonders—honest, uninhibited, crazy, zany play! Kids are natural helpers with this, so if you don’t have any,  borrow some!! Go outside and run through the grass with bare feet, blow bubbles, do something silly and laugh! Being active during the day then coming indoors to a dimly lit, quiet atmosphere helps kick in your body’s natural chemical releases needed for an easy transition into sleep. If you feel groggy when you wake, go sit outside in the morning sun. This light naturally signals to your body to wake up.

Finlandia also houses the largest selection of natural and homeopathic remedies including the Bach Flower line. Many sleep supporting natural products are offered, combine this with wisdom from Finlandia’s Naturopathic Doctors and even the zeitgeber cue of the longest days of the year wont wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm!

My last offering to you at this Solstice time ~ In honour of the Light within us all, try going without newscasts or newspapers. “No way!” you say? How about just for a week? I’ve gone for over 12 years and continue to observe which types of articles I feel pulled to read.

“I want to feel informed!” you respond?

I promise you this. If it is of importance, someone will mention it to you. You won’t miss anything so don’t worry! The idea is to reduce the negative imagery you ingest, and facilitate happy thought patterns created within your own mind.

Interested in more information? Here are some links:

Finlandia Natural Pharmacy

Nifty Solstice Geologically Spiritual Sites


What is a Zeitgeber anyway?

National Geographic on Summer Solstice

Namaste & Solstice Blessings!

With Reiki Footsteps,

BrainState Technician & Social Networking @ Finlandia Health Technologies