.Wellness Trends for 2022: Sleep and…Wine

This is the time of year when chumps like me attempt to go from dissolute to resolute about health- and wellness-themed New Year’s resolutions.

Let’s all pause here to laugh.

Moving on—even though most of us received public school educations, we generally know what “health” means, but what is “wellness” exactly? Is it a state of mind, a state of being? Does it have any real-life medical aspect?

“Wellness is different for all of us,” says Sarah Ezrin, a Bay Area-based yoga educator and content creator whose book, The Yoga of Parenting, is a 2023 National Parenting Product Award Winner. “What I need to be healthy differs greatly from what you or my neighbor need. This includes the amount of calories we eat, exercises we engage in and foods we consume.”

Ezrin points to Ayurveda, a concept from yoga that advocates tailoring one’s lifestyle to their unique constitution and environment. For example, a high-energy and anxious individual might avoid caffeine and intense workouts. In contrast, these could benefit someone who is more relaxed and slower-paced.

“Wellness is not one size fits all. It’s about determining your individual needs,” she adds.

Among the wellness trends this year, says Ezrin, is a greater emphasis put on sleeping.

“Something we’re going to be seeing a lot more of is rest. People are still feeling the burnout effects of the pandemic and weight of the world, and where fast fitness and loud exercise classes were once the preferred outlet, now people are seeking slower-moving paces and more grounding and stability,” Ezrin notes.

For some of us, sleeping is tantamount to “sleeping it off,” at least when it comes to the wine consumption that’s so easily achieved in our area.

“I’m not a physician, but if we take the idea that wellness is a living thing we have to attend to each day, then I could see how, for some people, wine is related to wellness,” says Simone Koger, who is originally from the Healdsburg area and is now a therapist in Washington state.

“As someone born and raised in Sonoma, wine brings people together, creates new connections, friendships, exploration of foods and community,” says Koger. “If these are things that people want to have consistently in their lives, then there could be an argument that wine can be related to wellness. Whereas someone who needs to be sober in order to function safely and healthily might find another avenue of creating community and connection.”

Having lived through the wine-adjacent health fads that have popped up like so many Champagne corks in recent years, I maintain cautious optimism. Remember the French paradox—“the observation of low coronary heart disease death rates despite high intake of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat,” according to the National Library of Medicine?

Or, in the mid-aughts, when sales of red wine supplements were surging thanks to a finding “that mice that were fed resveratrol, a component of red wine grapes, lived longer,” according to an NPR piece by Allison Aubrey that happened to feature this reporter as a “source,” when I “offered to be a test subject in a human study.” Perhaps not one of my best-laid schemes, but it was affirming to briefly bask in the national spotlight.

Then there is the “New Sonoma Diet”—not to be confused with the original, not as new, “Sonoma Diet”—which was re-introduced by Dr. Connie Guttersen last June and theoretically could result in a “trimmer waist [and] more energy in just 10 days.”

In its review of the new edition, WebMD observes that the diet’s “emphasis is on a cornucopia of flavorful, nutrient-dense ‘power foods,’ including almonds, bell peppers, blueberries, broccoli, grapes, olive oil, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, and whole grains.” I’ve not read the “New Sonoma Diet,” but I submit that putting the above power foods in a powerful blender might result in a helluva powerful smoothie. Don’t try this at home.

What one can try at home are the hundreds of apps available to track calories (both earned and burned), drinks (did you know that a unit of alcohol is not the same as a serving?), cycles of every sort (from sleeping to menstrual) and presumably receive AI-infused recommendations on how to live a long and healthy life. For example, an app on my phone suggested I try “Dry January.” Its hopes gradually faded to “Drier January” and, most recently, “Dry-ish January.” Ping! It just invented “Dry February.”

“Despite the onslaught of non-alcoholic beverages, I think wine is still respected in the realm of wellness,” says Ezrin. “There are organic wines and low sulfate brands, so you can consciously consume. The key to anything in wellness is balance. In the yoga world, many events combine yoga classes and wine—especially in the North Bay!—but I see it in other sectors, too,” she adds, reminding that the F45 Training fitness centers that dot the North Bay sometimes serve mimosas.

“Unfortunately, one of the challenges with alcohol is that it’s a depressant, and the sulfates can mess with our sleep,” notes Ezrin. “This is why sulfate-free wine can be helpful, [as is] making sure to stay incredibly hydrated and mindful.”

Ultimately, Ezrin reminds us that one of our best health hacks is where we live.

“We are so blessed in the North Bay with our stunning weather. Even on the days it’s cold or rainy, we’re able to get outside. The number one tip for wellness is to get outside and move. This is calming for our nervous system on a number of levels—nature is calming, movement increases endorphins—which then influences all the other major systems in our body: endocrine, immunity, hormones, sleep. And honestly, it all comes back to sleep! Whatever we can do to help ourselves sleep better and more efficiently will be the greatest wellness hack we can ever employ,” says Ezrin.


Daedalus Howellhttps://dhowell.com
Daedalus Howell is the writer-director of the feature filmsPill Head and the upcoming Werewolf Serenade. Learn more at dhowell.com.


  1. Some ancient Greek philosophers developed the notion of a “balanced” life as one of moderation in all actions, that being a guide to a healthy life. Anyone who tells you alcohol of any kind or amount is part of good health is bs-ing (and I like drinking wine and I do drink it, but I know it for what it is). For the past 20 and more years, increasingly definitive medical studies have confirmed that alcohol destroys brain cells, rots the liver, messes up the heart muscle, etc., etc.,–and this is not drinking “to excess” but consuming alcohol in any amount. As for “wellness” as a practice, it was invented by a Halbert Dunn, MD, and touted in a book he published in 1959. Since then, the “wellness” industry, which emerged in the 1980s marketing boom, created a history for the concept of “wellness” by anachronistically projecting it into every pre-scientific culture’s “medical practices” (quotes ’cause without science, medicine is superstition and lore–and even with science, in a market-dominated, competitive culture, “science” is often a marketing tool). The history of science, as with all things human, is, at best, sordid; the history of made-up practices, such as “well-ness” is utterly obscene. We live in a culture dominated by bs-ers. Marketers don’t care if they are selling you crap and will make up whatever set of lies it takes to sell it to you–even if it kills you–so long as they make money. The moral of this screed: exercise good judgment, honesty and moderation in your life. You won’t need “resolutions” to get healthy and you certainly won’t need “wellness” sold to you as if supported by “scientific” studies and with “historical” antecedents.

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