Don’t Underestimate the Value of Sleep
The pace of the world seems to be Fast Forward, but what is healthier for all of us is to be Right Here, Right Now. It would also help us increase our lifespan and maintain our natural, healthy vibrancy.
So saying ‘no, no, no’ to our go-go-go culture is the first recommendation for this finger of the anti-aging plan. Start saying YES to a full night’s rest, and YES to being more calm and relaxed during the day.
We tend to underestimate the extreme importance of sleep. We tend to think, “We can rest when we’re dead …” and you will be fast forwarding your way to premature death if you stick to that thinking.
During the night, our bodies recharge. This includes recharging important brain chemicals that are integral to neurological health, like dopamine.
Besides calming your body down (and even thanking your body for a job well done that day), you will want to talk to your brain too. Often we can't sleep because our minds are chattering away like vitamin-deficient monkeys!
When you get into bed you could try these tips:
- Create a visual of the whole, entire day and then let it go. Watch it move far up into the night sky away from you, or deep down into the center of the earth. Whatever works – just let go of the whole thing.
- Tell yourself and your body and your mind that you did a good job today. Tell yourself that you will ONLY think about tomorrow when tomorrow is here.
- Make sure that you are in the present moment. (Imagining being in the future is an excellent way to keep yourself w-i-d-e awake all night long.) You can get yourself into the present just by noticing what is around you right then.
- Let your body relax. Do a full body relaxation by relaxing each part of your body at a time. Breathe, breathe, breathe.
Sleeping problems are very common in our culture, and this speaks to bigger problems in the way we run our lives. Stress, poor diet and lack of exercise can all lead to a very short and unfulfilling night’s rest.
One of the parts of a poor diet that has nothing to do with food is lack of sunlight. If you don’t get enough natural sunlight during the day, your body isn’t sure that it’s nighttime when you get into bed. This means that your natural production of melatonin is disrupted.
Melatonin levels naturally rise during the night and then peak about two A.M. Sunlight tells your body’s melatonin that it’s the day, and time to be awake and alert. If your exposure to sunlight is low, perhaps because you work indoors with artificial lighting, your melatonin levels stay high during the day and you may feel drowsy and low energy. And then you have unnaturally low levels during the night, which means no sleepy for you!
Some of this melatonin imbalance can be solved by raising your Vitamin D levels. Go to your doctor or health practitioner and have your levels checked. You could also try a
that many people have had great success with. This is a natural product that contains significant quantities of melatonin.
Good sources of vitamin D include; cod liver oil, fish oil supplements and eating fish three times a week or more (...but only fish that has been certified free of heavy contaminants and heavy metals like mercury). You can also take a vitamin D supplement to combat the effects of lacking sunshine or oily fish in your diet.
Get a full nights rest, which in turn promotes healthy aging, by raising your vitamin D levels.
The Quality of Your Sleep Counts!
The research continues into the value of long, deep sleeping. Scientists have proven that losing sleep impairs brain function and can lessen the rejuvenating effects of learning new things. Poor sleep contributes to moodiness and memory loss, and also affects the speed at which you learn.
Much of it remains a mystery as to why, but the clinical results prove that deep, uninterrupted sleep makes us smarter and healthier.
Sleep Deep and Live Long!
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