“You can live longer without food than you can without sleep. It has also been reported that if you go without sleep for extended periods of time, your mental health will be significantly compromised, and you may experience episodes of manic behaviour or deep depression”
For most of us, it won’t be as dramatic as going a week without sleep. It will be a more subtle kind of sleep deprivation that can take place because of bad habits, medical conditions, small children or shift work, and it can have a dramatic impact on our health, not to mention our quality of life.
Adequate sleep, which is six to eight hours for the average person, is required for your body to regenerate and handle day to day demands.
Quality of sleep is important, as well. If you are getting eight hours of sleep, but having it interrupted a number of times throughout the night, you may experience the same physical and emotional fatigue as someone who is not getting the quantity of sleep that they need.
Sleep Is A Pillar Of Holistic Health!
Quality sleep will help with the aging process, speed metabolism, increase immune function, increase mental and emotional health, increase willpower and mental clarity, just to name a few things.
So what can you do to increase your level of quality sleep?
- Bed time routine: we are creatures of habit, and our body responds accordingly. If we have the same routine before going to bed every night, our bodies adapt and will start releasing the hormones that promote sleep as soon as we begin the routine. This can be something as simple as having a cup of hot tea, and then brushing your teeth and washing your face. Or, it could be something a little more involved, like a warm bath followed by reading from your favourite book.
- Turn off electronic devices: it may feel like you are unwinding when you watch TV, but don’t mistake numbing or being distracted with relaxing. It often feels good to zone out in front of the TV or computer, but your mind is going a mile a minute as it follows visual stimulation.
- De-stress throughout the day: having a ten minute relaxation routine before bed doesn’t always cut it when you have been going full steam ahead all day. It is like going a hundred miles per hour all day and then putting your foot on the brake. You will not stop instantly. It is important to do relaxation exercises, like the ones listed below, throughout the day and not just at bed time.
- Supplementation: To find out the best quality supplements please contact me and I will give you more info
- Meditation: For those who aren’t used to meditation. Try a guide meditation on youtube or down load an app to your phone. My favorite is an app for iphones called Sleepstream2. It works with binaural beats to help bring your brain waves into a zen like state.
- Limit caffeine: Coffee is an obvious culprit, but be careful of other caffeinated bevies like green tea, black tea, iced tea, cola and hot chocolate. Everyone metabolizes caffeine differently, but it can take up to seven hours to be out of your system, and if you want to be in bed early, that may mean kicking your skinny latte habit on your last coffee break.
- Exercise: this releases the adrenaline and energy that gets built up from daily stresses. You don’t have to train for an hour. Even twenty minutes of exercise a day will help you to fall into a deeper sleep at night.
Note: exercising actually stimulates you and will interfere with sleep if you do it within two hours of going to sleep, so get your dance on during the day or in the morning.
- Journal: one of the number one reasons people report not being able to sleep is not being able to turn off their thoughts. Journaling is a great way to get out what is going on in your mind and clear your thoughts. It doesn’t have to be poetic or look pretty. Just get it out there, so that your thoughts are no longer taking up sacred consciousness when you want to be asleep. If you believe in prayer, this is also a great time to release your thoughts and worries to a higher power. Once you surrender your worries and desires, it is often easier to surrender to sleep.
If you have been putting your sleep habits on the back burner, here is your wake up call. Quality sleep is one of the number one keys to optimal health and it is time to master this aspect of your health. If you have had ongoing sleep issues, please consider seeing a doctor or naturopath to look deeper into underlying issues. But, whatever you do, don’t put up with lousy sleep!
Shared by Sam and Jes