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The Importance of Sleep

The Importance of Sleep

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” -Ernest Hemingway

Most Americans are sleep deprived – I don’t care if you think your body only requires 5 hours, the fact is – IT REQUIRES 8 hours!!

Why is getting more sleep so important?  Electricity has not always been around and we all know that candlelight does not come close to providing as much light as an electric lamp. Though our bodies adapt well to change, can we honestly say that we enjoy a healthier lifestyle (health-wise) than our ancestors? Night time is when your body does its repair work on the body.

Muscle/ tissue repair – Your body produces extra protein molecules while you’re sleeping and those molecules help strengthen your ability to fight infection and stay healthy. Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the formation and activity of the body’s “killer” cells. Getting enough sleep may also help fight cancer.

Sense of Safety –  A lack of sleep contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses can cause us to make mistakes on the job, have vehicle accidents, or can even result in personal injury.

 

Memories get organized – Sleep helps the brain to commit new information to memory. Also helps organize thoughts and memories.

 

Less Stress – A good night’s sleep can help lower blood pressure and elevated levels of stress hormones, which are a natural result of today’s fast paced lifestyle.  I want to encourage each of you to remove any computers, cell phones, out of your bedroom. Especially things that have blue lights.  These have been shown to disturb that deep REM sleep pattern that we all need for our adrenals to recharge.  And if you’re not sound asleep between the hours of 11 p.m.-1:00 a.m., then you’re not allowing your adrenals to recharge.  Approximately 80% of U.S. women are walking around in varying stages of adrenal mal-adaption. Sleep helps to slow these effects and encourages a state of relaxation.
 
Hormone regulation – especially stress hormone cortisol; remember that cortisol / melatonin push-pull relationship – it’s very necessary in order to have physical energy, proper metabolism and hormonal balance.

 

Improved Mood – Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you really enjoy doing.
 
Natural Weight Loss – Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite

Tonight, try to go to bed and turn off all lights, the TV, radio, computer, etc. and sleep! If you don’t fall asleep in the first 20 minutes, don’t give up! Just visualize a relaxing location and position for yourself and let your body start the change.

 

 

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