“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Wise words by Thomas Dekker that offer a segue into this month’s topic.
This explanation of WHY we need enough sleep should make everyone try to get enough!
Many people are not heeding the call to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. We’re too busy……..we like shows that are on TV late at night…….whatever……we have better things to do than sleep, right?
Here’s an analogy for you!
Nobody would put a load of clothes in their washing machine and decide to take the clothes out before the machine completed all the cycles because the clothes wouldn’t be done. This analogy points out that our bodies have a lot of processes to go through while we sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep it’s like taking the clothes out before the rinse cycle. The clothes aren’t done and if you cut your sleep short, your body can’t complete what it needs to do. This creates problems. And not just eventual problems, but right now problems as well.
Some of the work your brain does during sleep is to throw out information you no longer need. It declutters while you sleep! If it lacks the proper amount of time it has to get this done, strange but true, your brain starts throwing out information it shouldn’t throw out!
Routinely getting too little sleep can cause the brain process that throws out information no longer needed to throw out information it SHOULDN’T. This damages your memory! It also messes with your ability to focus and you’ll notice your decision-making skills aren’t what they used to be. You might also find it harder to learn new things and your creativity will suffer.
This unregulated de-cluttering from chronic lack of sleep has been linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases.
While you sleep, all these other processes are happening:
** Cells work to repair themselves.
** Hormones are released.
** Tissue growth takes place.
** Cells make proteins required for proper structure and function.
** Nerve cells in the brain are refreshed/cleaned out.
Long-term sleep deprivation can have many other negative effects, including:
** Heart attack
** Weakened immune system
Don’t forget the check out all the great blog posts. I’m posting 2-3 each week. The last one was all about the Oprah Syndrome and whether or not it’s a good or bad thing!
If you have trouble sleeping or staying asleep, here are a few tips that might help:
1. No caffeine after dinner. No coffee, soda and no cigarettes. Nicotine is a stimulant like caffeine.
2. Limit exposure to bright lights. That includes blue lights from computer screens, cell phones, and TV screens. These screens confuse your body as to when it’s time for sleep.
To help your body get back to or get into a healthy sleep-wake cycle:
** Turn off electronic devices about two hours before you plan to go to bed.
** Get outside some time during the daylight hours.
** Allow natural light into your home during the daytime.
** Limit exposure to light in the evening. Use soft lighting from lamps.
** Make yourself comfortable wherever you sleep. Comfortable beds, pillows, and pajamas do make a difference. Sleep experts say to set your thermostat between 60-70 degrees.
** Establish a sleep routine. Your body needs signals that it’s sleep time.
Whatever it takes to get into a routine of 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night is worth it when you know the consequences of sleep deprivation. I hope this month’s newsletter was convincing enough that you’ll tackle any sleep issues NOW and not put it off any longer.
Sweet dreams, and a healthy and joyful month of May!
P.S. For those of you who still haven’t read this super useful book……. Breath by James Nestor.
Everyone needs to read this book!
I’ve read it twice already and it brings together a ton of knowledge I knew and what I like best is how much I’ve learned and am having fun integrating into my wellness practices. Whole new levels of awareness for me.
Let me know when you read it. And of course pass the book recommendation along to anyone you know——everyone can benefit!!
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