Basics of life are magical. Especially sleep.
When it comes to making emotional choices to feel better and amplify self-care, sleep is my first stop on the road to healing!
I’m very big on the basics of life as they are the first things to go when life gets too full. Who hasn’t had a sleepless night, a day of skipped meals or trying to wrangle a schedule for a few minute break?
An occasional day or two of life feeling a little free-styled is OK, but a week or two of it can quickly evolve into a habit or pattern that snowballs.
Sleep is the cornerstone to me of all good things in life- from thinking clearly to creating expansively, feeling well to looking great- and I cherish my sleep time.
Here are some big reasons to sleep much more, and more deeply!
When I start shifting into too late a sleep schedule (ie: going to bed after midnight) this tosses my days into disarray waking up at 9 or 9:30am, so, I’ve learned to not just sleep enough but also to carve out early sleep time as a necessity. When I fall off that track, I get back to it as fast as I can. Tonight, bedtime is 10pm.
This makes a huge difference in all of life. Sleeping early has it’s own profound benefits in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It’s thought that sleeping between 10pm- 1am is the most vital time of sleep for restoration.
Sleeping long enough is… as you’ll soon see… has it’s own profound benefits!
1. Decreasing inflammation. I know when I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder and in the depths of recovery, it wasn’t unusual to sleep 10-11 hours a night. When I did – versus 7 or 8 hours- I felt dramatically better. In fact, that year of restoration and intensive wellness was what highlighted sleep as a critical part of my life not to be skipped or ignored!
Health magazine reported that, ” Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep—six or fewer hours a night—have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.”
So, yes, extra sleep may be the start of extra-big healing.
2. You’ll be more creative! I know that without enough sleep I lose interest in making things, even things I love to make. I also can’t write as much or with as much clarity. BBC’s article “How Sleep Makes You More Creative” explains: “Making the links between pieces of information that our daytime rational minds see as separate seems to be easiest when we’re offline, drifting through the dreamworld.”
3. More sleep = Less stress. According to the APA, “This year’s Stress in America™ survey shows that stress may be interfering with Americans’ sleep, keeping many adults and teens from getting the sleep they need to be healthy.”
4. Sleep can help you solve problems! I am always astonished by the Silva “Glass of Water Technique” to intend to solve a problem while sleeping and then, in the morning, receiving the answer!
5. Sleep re-sets your energy systems. I know that this one I can’t support with proper science because not many people have funded research about your aura, energy bodies and various energy systems quite yet (I’m hopeful for the future!) but I know from experience that sleep helps restore balance and strengthens my own energy field (and those of people around me) very profoundly!
6. More sleep = more happiness. Business Insider explains in their post, “Why Sleep Is Important,” “You know that, but researchers have shown it too, especially in one notable study that followed 909 working women. A poor night’s rest affected their happiness as much as tight work deadlines, and it had an even bigger impact on mood than significant income differences in the group.
7. Sleep is where we restore our cells. Our bodies used sleep time to regulate hormones and restore homeostasis in life. In How Sleep Works, this process is deeply delineated,
“Sleep, especially stage 3slow-wave sleep, has also been associated with increased levels of growth hormone levels in the body (growth hormone is an important factor in tissue regeneration and repair), although it is not necessarily the case that increased sleep directly leads to increased growth, or vice versa. Athletes, who put their bodies under a lot of stress and physical pressure, spend proportionately more time in slow-wave sleep than the average person, and growing children spend more time in it than older people. Also, hard physical exercise typically causes a moderate rise in deep slow-wave sleep the next night, all of which supports the cell restoration and repair theory.”
8. Sleep will detox your brain! Natural News reports on research that shows that when we sleep, our brain cells reorganize and detox themselves:
“A healthy brain requires plenty of restful sleep, not only to support proper memory retention but also for physical maintenance and detoxification purposes. And new research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health further reinforces these latter points, having found that getting a good night’s rest is absolutely vital for brain cells to fully relax, allowing special fluid to rush in the brain and literally flush out material toxins during the night.”
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