I would like to highlight the importance and value of sleep. Quality sleep can make or break how you feel the next day, your energy levels, how well children behave and focus in school and also the amount of healing and repair that occurs in your body.
Do you have disturbed sleep? Is it difficult to fall asleep or maybe your problem is waking up in at 2-3am? Do you wake up refreshed in the morning or you are constantly pressing the snooze button?
Whatever your sleep story may be, I hear you and sympathize with you. I too struggled with sleep and fatigue for till a couple of years back due to my hormonal issues. I couldn't fall asleep until 1 or 2 a.m. and I couldnt drag myself out of bed in the morning.
So I 've lived this situation like you might be experiencing it now, and Im here to tell you, you can fix this with lifestyle changes and paying attention to some laws of nature! Now, I sleep so well just like my daughter and I dont even need an alarm to wake me up in the morning.
Why is this ideal?
Not because your elders told you to do it, but because it syncs perfectly with your adrenal glands production of hormone cortisol. Cortisol in the right concentration is actually a big part of what wakes you up in the morning without an alarm clock.
Here is some wisdom and some considerations for quality sleep:
Sleep based on the body's natural design
Nature designed the earth, the sun, and people to work and function together. We are designed to get up when the sun rises and go to bed shortly after the sun sets. One reason we know this is because, after the sun sets, our body produces melatonin that drips into our spinal cord which makes us sleepy. If you are not outside and you are using fake lighting that stresses and fools the nervous system (tv, video games, cell phones, etc.) then your body may not produce melatonin properly. One reason we have such an insomnia problem is that we use technology and dont live out in the world nature designed for us! Have you ever been camping? My husband went on a Himalayan trek and he pointed out to me how his body aligned to the rhythms of nature and he quickly went to sleep after sunset. This is because you are outside and your body is working based on its natural design.
Melatonin or Sleeping pills are not good for you.
We live in a synthetic world. Man is recreating nature in a laboratory. Almost all melatonin supplements are made from PETROLEUM. This is why people become dependent on melatonin,continue to increase dosages to get an effect and it causes your own body to stop producing melatonin naturally! This is not a sleep solution, it is becoming drug dependent. Going outside for a walk as the sun sets will help produce melatonin. Sleeping in COMPLETE DARKNESS helps melatonin production too.
Minerals are crucial for sleep
Magnesium is the #1 mineral deficiency in today's fast paced world. Taking magnesium before bed can calm the nervous system, relax blood vessels and turn off a busy brain. If you have trouble falling asleep, magnesium may become a good friend. Also, a magnesium bath before bed can be great for calming children and getting them prepared for bedtime. Other electrolytes are important as well, which would include calcium, potassium, and sodium.
Take it easy after evening.
Taking it easy during the hour before going to be, avoiding over stimulation of the nervous system through computer work or television, can make a big difference. Gently massaging the soles of the feet with a little sesame oil or massage oil can greatly calm the nervous system. This is how you can make overactive children become sleepy, too. It's a great practice to light some candles as the sun sets, and ALL technology in the house can be minimized (this means no bright lights, television, cell phones, computers, etc.) It's an amazing way to disconnect from the modern world and return back to the good old days. it a great way to unwind, relax and connect with our family. Without technology to distract us or entertain us, instead, we can connect with each other by talking, telling stories, reading books or playing games.
We heal during sleep.
Growth hormones are released during sleep, but only if you go to bed on time. Growth hormone is released in the body sometime between 9 p.m and midnight after going to sleep. If you go to bed at midnight or later, you miss it. Again, this is based on how nature designed us to go to sleep after the sun sets.
Why is growth hormone important?
Many call it the antiaging hormone. Its what helps young ones to grow strong and for us older ones to stay young! Growth hormone is crucial for the body to heal, repair and grow healthy new cells and tissues.
Ditch that alarm clock.
You read that right! Man, it seems, was never meant to be woken abruptly, in darkness, by loud, sudden buzzing,beeping, and/or sirentype noises. Rather, our ancestors woke naturally, and gently, each day with the rising of the sun.
There are different levels of sleep, with the deeper levels (Deep Sleep and REM sleep) being utilized for repairing and rejuvenating your body. The human body is designed to wake up during light sleep, either before entering this repair stage such as during a quick nap or after the deep sleep and REM stages when your body has been repaired and you have returned to a light sleep.
Waking up during deep sleep leaves you very groggy, very tired, and only partially recovered from the strain and stress of the previous day. This can be felt throughout the day as a sort of hazy fog and sore, tired muscles.
Sleep is not just a single thing that happens to you at night. There are 5 stages of sleep and over the course of a nights sleep, you cycle through these stages, with each sleep cycle taking approximately 90 minutes.
The traditional alarm clock has a set time to wake you up, but you could be at any stage of sleep when that happens. Nature did not intend for us to wake up during deep sleep.
In a study conducted by the National Institute of Industrial Health in Japan, participants who were suddenly forced awake had higher blood pressure and heart rate than those allowed to wake up in their own time.Alarms can also add to your overall stress levels. The sudden noise triggers the bodys protective fight or flight response, pumping up your adrenaline levels. While this might be useful to get you to work on time, if this activated state persists over days, weeks and months, it can lead to chronic stress.
Scientists found that when people were woken during deep sleep, this affected short term memory, cognitive abilities and even counting skills, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association .
Waking up naturally is far gentler on the body. Teach yourself to wake up on time by priming your body's internal clock stick to a regular bedtime routine and train yourself to wake at a certain time. Go to bed at the same time every night and allow yourself to sleep until you wake up naturally. No alarm clocks! If you continue to keep the same bedtime and wake up naturally, youll eventually dig your way out of fatigue and arrive at the sleep schedule thats ideal for you.
SPIRITUAL ASPECT OF SLEEP DISTURBANCES
The quality of sleep is often determined by what we do during the day. Going to bed with unresolved issues can greatly affect sleep. Making peace with yourself is the key to making peace with others. Conflict arises when we put up some kind of resistance. The resistance is what stresses the nervous system, and puts it on overdrive.
My program may give a new perspective and experience of the things bothering your in your life and allow to make peace with that part of you that is in distress. All problems can be resolved. Not necessarily by working on them, but by seeing them from a different angle. Each one is an opportunity for growth and the problem usually, dissipates when the resistance to it goes away as well.
Nature clearly required rest and sleep for all creatures on this earth. There is a reason that all life is governed by the sun rising and the sun setting. It would benefit us to honor our bodies design even in a busy, complex, technology filled world.
Wishing you all sweet dreams ZzzzZzzz...
This article was originally published on Practo Health Feed by Dr. Disha Sridhar, Gynecologist/Obstetrician