01 May Sleep…Sleep…Sleep
If you or someone in your family struggle w/sleep your not alone.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 70 million Americans suffer from insomnia, a sleep disorder in which people either find it difficult to fall asleep, or fall asleep but then wake up in the middle of the night. It’s not surprising, then, that the New York Times reported that 42 million prescriptions for sleeping pills were filled in the last year, and that the number of accredited sleep clinics in the United States has tripled in the last decade. “People get so used to not sleeping that it almost seems normal,”
“We’re often attracted to what exacerbates our condition—for example, a diabetic craves sugar,” Dyer says. Someone that is deprived of enough sleep tends to operate on very little, it feels normal. The reason for this is Adrenal function.
There is no question about the importance of adequate sleep. Sufficient sleep allows for complete repair and restoration of body cells; insufficient sleep results in less efficiency in work, increased irritability and nervousness, and increased accidents. Those who tire easily or participate in vigorous physical activity require more sleep than the average person.
The question as to what is adequate for any individual has received a good deal of thought and study. Where possible, adherence to the “early to bed and early to rise” lifestyle helps.
The Adrenal function of your body requires that you sleep from at least 10pm – 6am every night. When you drift off to sleep by 10pm, the body uses this time to repair the physical needs of your body. This time can not be replaced with another time. In order to get the maximum replenishment, repair and revitalizing processes for the body, sleep for 4 hours from 10pm -2am. Now that’s not all, the same rule applies to your psychological repair. This happens from 2am-6am. Wonder why you wake up every night between 2-4am? You may be trying to sort out mental stresses with you conscious mind and not allowing the subconscious to do it’s magic. Once again this time can not be replaced with any other time of night or day.
When you are in a habit of staying up late your adrenals begin pumping cortisol, giving the illusion of having energy, even into the wee hours of the morning. Then a pattern is created and the normal adrenal rhythm becomes erratic or depleted. . “Yoga is an effective treatment because it addresses insomnia’s physical and psychological aspects,” by calming the sympathetic nervous system and quieting the mind, says Sat Bir Khalsa, PhD, a sleep scientist and Kundalini yoga teacher in Massachusetts.
Here are a few guidelines to help you balance your sleep patterns:
1. Keep a regular sleep schedule, go to bed and arise at set times to develop a regular sleep-wake rhythm.
How much sleep do we need? It depends on the individual, but the following are general guidelines: children, infancy through childhood, about 10 hours; adolescents, about 9 hours; adults, about 7 to 8 hours. The elderly, who often experience less-efficient sleep at night, require more daytime naps than other adults. Whatever your age, sleep only as needed to feel well rested. Oversleeping disturbs regular sleeping patterns, making it harder to fall asleep at night. On the other hand, if you are sleep deprived, get additional sleep; then return to a regular sleep routine.
2. Try a short “power” nap if it’s difficult to stay awake in the day
Doze for a few minutes, whatever works for you, but keep it less than an hour. Naps are beneficial if you can go to bed at your normal time and sleep soundly.
3. Relax, and reduce distractions in your bedroom.
Develop a relaxing routine before bedtime, such as reading a book or taking a bath. Then avoid sleeping with a light or distractions such as TV, which can prevent you from achieving the deepest level of sleep. Also, limit “non sleeping” activities, such as work-related tasks, in your bedroom, as they can hamper you from “shutting off your mind” when you’re trying to fall asleep.
4. Exercise daily!
Consistent exercise can help you sleep more soundly. But avoid strenuous exercise within two hours of bedtime. Better sleep has been touted for years as one of the benefits of yoga, but now scientific evidence is beginning to build to support the claims. In 2004, Sat Bir S. Khalsa, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, concluded a study of subjects with insomnia who were given breathing, meditation, and asana exercises to do over the course of eight weeks. The results showed improvements in both sleep time and quality among the participants.
5. Avoid going to bed hungry or overeating at dinner. A light snack may help you fall asleep and may prevent hunger pains during the night, but avoid overeating, since this can make falling asleep and staying asleep more difficult. Indigestion may also wake you up during the night. Things like Chamomile tea & black cherry juice naturally allow for better sleep.
Sleep tight……don’t let the bed bugs bite!