The reason why sleep is the best medicine written by Lis Thorolvsen

Love sleeping? Sleep is a cure for many illnesses

There is nothing better when you have time to sleep, yes that maybe sounds strange, but most people who is living in the western world become sleep deprived at some point in their life. We have long days, deadlines, stress on the job, chores, family life and it is sometimes difficult to juggle all the priorities. In the perfect world we should work 8 hours, enjoy living 8 hours and sleep 8  hours, but the reality is that most of us work 10-13 hours, sleep 5-6 hours and for the remaining time attempting to manage a life.

Lack of sleep have consequences, maybe not today or tomorrow but prolonged skipping on sleep has a significance effect on your health, not only do you wake up tired, but your mood change, your learning ability decreases, body functions become less effective , your eating habit change and it become difficult to manage stress and daily activity and eventually over a prolonged time, lack of sleep will affect your mental and physical wellbeing. You simply burn out, your body can not cope and you become ill.

Each night every stage of sleep serves an important purpose in keeping our brain and body healthy. During the night we alternate our sleep periods between periods of rapid eye movement (REM) and quite sleep. REM sleep is the stage of dreaming and occurs in cycles of about 90-120 minutes throughout the entire night, and it accounts for up to 30 percent of the sleep. Both the REM and the quiet sleep is equally important as it serves to restore, repair and heal. The quite sleep helps restore the body, while REM sleep restores the mind which is important for both learning and memory.

During the sleep the blood pressure drops and the pituitary gland releases growth hormone that stimulates tissue growth and muscle repair. Sleep deprivation studies has further shown that people who is sleep deprived has less cells available to support and activate the immune system, our body’s defends against infection and inflammation, which in terms are linked to heart disease, diabetes, and many other conditions.

Tips to enhance your sleep.

  1. Adjust your bed room temperature to 65-70 degrees F or 18-21 degrees celsius. Sleeping in a cold bed room will encourage sleep as your body releases more melatonin which is a chemical the body produce for sleeping. Melatonin can also be purchase as OTC medicine and is said to have no side effect.
  2. Sleep in the dark and maintain a dark room until it is time to wake up, although it is nice to wake up with the sun, in some countries night turn into day very early and even the smallest light effect brain activity.
  3. One hour before bed time start preparing your mind for the night, that means no surfing on the web, no tv or other external disturbances there heightens alertness.
  4. Try to clear your mind for the day there has just gone and for tomorrows activity, going to bed with a worried mind or a mind full of tomorrows to-do-list will not promote sleep.
  5. Go to bed when you are tired and preferable at the same time every night, your body will adjust to a specific sleeping pattern, waking up and resting at the same time. This can for many people be a challenge due to working hours, hence it is even more important to relax prior to bedtime and attempting to trick the mind by being mindful and present. If you need to reflect on the day, set a side a allocated time frame before bedtime.
  6. Physical activity and exercise throughout the day will enhance your sleep. When your body is physically tired and you lay down for the night it is a welcoming feeling and the mind will shortly follow into a restful sleep.
  7. Dont eat late if you are having sleeping problems. The body will not go into deep rest if your digestion system is working hard.

By sleeping better, longer and more you will enhance your well-being, and although it at times feels like sleeping is a luxury, it is a necessity and nothing is more important than looking after yourself.

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Copyright 2017 Captain Lis wellness blog

Originally posted 2016-11-13 16:51:35.

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