Dear Katerina,

Whenever the weather starts changing in the fall and the days start getting noticeably shorter, I get noticeably sleepier.

What can I do to perk myself up this time of year?

Sleepy in Seattle

Dear Sleepy in Seattle,


According to Chinese medicine you’re actually supposed to get sleepier this time of year!

If force yourself to “perk up” and try to do more than you have energy for right now, you’ll end up depleting your resources and then you’ll be even sleepier down the road.


If you want more energy in the long run, take a cue from nature.

When you look around you all of nature is starting to wind down and conserve its energy.

You can see it in the trees, whose leaves are dropping off as they shift their energy down into the ground.

The nights are getting longer and the animals are following suit, heading to bed earlier and rising later than they do in the sunny summer months.


It might not fit into the go-go-go lifestyle we like to live in the modern world, but the healthiest thing you can do right now is to start winding down yourself.

Autumn is the time for reflection, to let go of what is no longer needed, and conserve as much as you can.

If you look around you’ll notice transitions happening around you, as kids are back in school, people’s roles at work shift around, and relationships change this time of year.


These kinds of transformations take up a lot of energy, whether they’re happening on a conscious level or subconsciously, so honor where you’re at and go easy on yourself.

If you feel like taking an afternoon nap, go for it!

If you can go to bed early, do it! You’ll feel a whole lot better the next day.

If you would rather go for a brisk walk than a sweaty jog, that’s fine too.


Reflect what is happening in nature and listen to what your body is already telling you.

If you take it easy now and prioritize what is important to you, you’ll have a whole lot more energy to try new things and be active and creative when the springtime rolls around.


Thanks for your question, and sweet dreams!

Love, hugs, and chamomile tea,



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