There should be no doubt in each and everyone of our minds that sleep is important as we spend one third of our daily routines doing it. Sleep should be on our priority list just like making healthy food choices and exercise. Lets discover why sleep is so important to us in this blog and how we can get more of it if we are lacking sleep. If you are one of the lucky ones such as my hubby and I who are able to sleep plenty, maybe this information can help you to help others. Sleep disorders run rampant in our country unfortunately and prescription drugs are NOT the answer!
The average person should be getting between 7-9 hours per night of good quality sleep, You have to ask yourself, am I the average person or what is an average person? When I was training for the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games, I was sleeping 12 hours per night. Obviously if you are training 3.5 hours per day, you are not the average person! My mind and body required the extra sleep. Now that my training is far less, but still more than an average workout, my body craves 10. Hubby and I go to bed together each night so as to not disturb each by going to sleep at different times. Who knows, even if we did not train aggressively in CrossFit, maybe our ages of 57 and 61 may require extra sleep. My coach once told me, the best sleep time is when you go to bed early enough to allow your body to wake up naturally. That works out for 10 hours for us currently. I absolutely know when I do not get enough sleep because I am irritable and crabby. Sleep is very important to me. It has become even more important to me as I learn to understand all the health benefits, present and future of proper rest. You have to figure out how much sleep your body requires and opt to achieve it the majority of the time to receive the health benefits of well rested.
Some amazing things happen while we are sleeping. Our body begins to regenerate cells once we begin resting and sleeping. Part of the regeneration and repair of the cells is the peak release of human growth hormone. This is why it is important not to eat prior to bed allowing our body time to rejuvenate itself, rather than digesting food. The regeneration helps to keep our immune system strong. Our amazing brain goes to work, supporting learning, storing memories, organizing and removing toxins from the brain. We all like to feel alert and reenergized. Getting plenty of rest insures that we have a better chance at avoiding chronic illness and diseases. Lack of proper rest is linked to increased inflammation markers to a undesirable number. High inflammation markers most always indicates a destructive path of health, When we are well rested, it increases our chances of making better informed decisions, keeping us safe and alert at our work and in our home environment.
Hopefully I have motived you enough in understanding why sleep is so important that you will make it a priority in your life. Once you make getting proper sleep a goal, you will find ways to achieve that. Sleeping in a dark room can be very helpful. The darkness promotes the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Lack of light boosts feelings of sleepiness. Practicing meditation or mindfulness calms and relaxes the body and improves sleep. At my yoga studio, their last class is 730 pm and its called restorative yoga. That class with its essential oil diffusor diffusing with lavender, spa Zen type music softly playing, low light candles burning and restorative poses prepares the class for a much improved sleepful night. It is best not to eat at least 3 hours prior to bed and lower carb meals later in the day. Turn off all your electronics! Neither my cell phone or my alarm clock is in my room. The cell phone is easy to keep out of my room, but removing the alarm clock was hard for me, but I did it. I never even noticed it was missing out of the room after a week or two. Get rid of the distractions and remove the EMF's! There are also quite a few supplements that you could actually be lacking in your diet that could increase your sleep significantly if were added in. Please consult a functionl medicine doctor first to see what you lack and need before just diving in and prescribing supplements to yourself. It may be counter productive when you select for yourself. My husband has a 4 hour essential oil diffuser by his bedside that he turns on an hour prior to bed and that way when we enter our room, its full of relaxing aromas, such as lavender, chamomile or frankincense. Having a comfortable place to sleep is important and helpful. We recently purchased an organic bed with organic linens. It is a wonderful feeling each night to climb into that bed in not only just physically comfortable but the mental comfort of knowing we are not spending one third of our lives lying on synthetic chemicals. If it is time to purchase a new mattress, consider looking into natural or organic mattresses and organic cotton linens. It is much healthier to sleep in cooler temperatures too, turn down the thermostat at night and crack a window if you live in good air quality. Our bodies naturally cool off while sleeping, encourage your body to a deeper sleep by helping it to get cool. Between 60-67 degrees are the suggested temperature numbers. If you are having trouble sleeping at night and are taking naps during the day, you may want to cut that out and just try going to bed earlier.
Most of us know how important it is for our children to get their required amount of sleep. When they do not, they usually act out and may even get sick often with colds, etc. But what about you? Are you burning the midnight oil too often? I myself know there were times in my life when I was raising my family that I was not resting enough. My parents who lived up the country road from me reminded me of the fact that sleep was important as a young working single Mom and I did my best getting to bed early each night. Pretty much dropped into bed each night, worn our from my day. Sometimes I had to make choices to turn down extra money, parties, camping trips, etc. to rest instead otherwise I would end up with a cold or just that run down feeling. Organizing myself and my family was very helpful during that extra busy time of my life and made it easier to get to bed on time. Just know that rest/sleep is very important! You will pay for it later if you don't take care of it now.
I hope your week is full of love and health. Please enjoy my subscription for free to this website by subscribing today. I will post a new recipe next week, thinking homemade eggnog since the holidays are arriving. Fall is surely in the air on the central coast of California. Get some rest and chat with you next week.