When life gets busy, we squeeze our sleep. (How well I know.)
Sounds like a fine idea, but short sleep:
– weakens the immune system and makes it easier to catch a cold;
– messes up our appetite hormones and causes weight gain;
– can make blood pressure rise and worsen heart health;
– increases overall inflammation in the body;
– clouds up the brain pathways and reduces clarity;
– causes poor performance at work and irritability with our friends and family.
The Remarkable Powers of Sleep include:
1. Avoid Colds
Researchers gave cold-virus nose drops to participants in a study.
Those who slept less than 7 hours before this exposure were 3 times more likely to catch a cold.
Those who tended toward restless, poor quality sleep were 5.5 times more likely to catch a cold. Those who consistently got 8 hours of quality sleep had a stronger immune system and were much more resistant to the cold virus.
2. Lose Weight
Who knew that sleeping supports our appetite-control hormones? (News to me.)
With less sleep, we get hungrier; we crave carbs and calories.
Sleep deprivation also activates the addiction part of our brain, causing cravings and unhealthy choices. When fatigued we prefer high sugar and high fat food.
Some of us get into a cycle of sleeping less and eating more. So the pounds accumulate.
But if we take the time for good sleep, our appetite is reasonable, our food choices smart.
Good sleep supports a healthy diet.
About 43% of us get poor quality sleep, especially if we’re overweight.
Yet studies show a good diet and activity improves sleep. Which adjusts those appetite hormones. Which helps normalize weight.
3. Reduce Inflammation
Our body heals itself in a million ways during sleep. Steady good sleep reduces the cytokines which trigger inflammation. Chronic elevated cytokines increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and inflammatory illnesses. Sleep reduces all this inflammation.
Bask in sleep and wash away that stress. Stress truly is the leading cause of dis-ease.
5. Sharpen Your Brain Synapses
When you sleep your brain engages in “synaptic pruning.” It’s cleaning up your hard drive automatically every night. Glial cells in the brain clear new space, removing old un-used paths and strengthening new connections. Good sleep is vital to release old stuff and learn new things, bring in new information.
When we wake up, our brain is clear.
6. Improve Your Mood, Clarity, and Performance
Sleep studies show that a 7-hour sleep makes the day manageable but does not provide best performance or clarity. For most people, 8 hours is ideal for performance, judgment, memory, good moods and interactions with others.
Empower Your Sleep:
- Regular exercise enhances sleep. (65% of people who began daily exercise enjoyed better sleep.)
- Let go of the day — stop all work two hours before bedtime.
- From sunset on, use low lighting. Let darkness attune your circadian rhythm for sleep.
- Two or three hours before bed, avoid sugar, caffeine, and exercise.
- Make your bedroom 2 to 4 degrees cooler at night (compared to daytime temperatures).
- Remove distractions from the bedroom — remove the television set, computer, tablet.
- Swap that last hour of TV for an extra hour of sleep.
- Intentionally release all energies, people, interactions, all the worries of the day. (Point your palms to the floor, exhale deeply, imagine all those energies going down into the earth to be recycled.) Or imagine old energies washing away in your shower or bath.
- A bath containing two cups of Epsom salts will boost your magnesium and enhance your sleep. (75% of us have a magnesium deficiency, which depletes our energy level, causes muscle cramps and insomnia.)
- Consider taking Magnesium (200 to 400 mg) at bedtime (decrease the dose if you get loose stools).
- You might try a small amount of Melatonin, the natural sleep hormone.
- Drink a large glass of water and place a pinch of high mineral sea salt on your tongue.
- Put lavender essential oil on the soles of your feet for better sleep.
What are your favorite ways to get good sleep? Share your tips here 🙂
Feel better, get balanced. Diane does hands on healing for your biofield and gives you practical ways to enhance your energy system. Make an appointment in Phoenix or Fountain Hills (Thanks to public domain for the sleeping baby here.)