You spend one-third of your life asleep. The quality and quantity of that sleep dictate the success of the other two-thirds of your life.
Restorative sleep is vitally important for good health and mental acuity. So the quality and quantity of your sleep last night will have a major impact on your overall quality of life, not just today, but for the future. We all know we feel rubbish if we don’t have a good nights sleep - we’re grumpy, impatient and everything just feels harder. But have you ever really understood why? Using inspiration from some of our favourite TV shows I hope the guide below illustrates what else happens while we're snoring and drooling!
So what does your body do when you’re asleep that’s so important?
How Clean is Your House?: When you’re stressed, anxious, angry, afraid or even hyper happy (which bizarrely is stressful on the body), your body produces a range of chemicals such as cortisol, adrenaline and epinephrine. These are incredibly acidic, which your body can cope with if they’re released occasionally, but when they are consistently present they become very corrosive to your organic body. So at the top of the nightly to-do list is for your body to pull on its fancy rubber gloves and clear out these chemicals and other toxins we’ve ingested (caffeine, alcohol, chemicals from processed foods) so that they’re not hanging around and causing more damage than they may have already caused.
DIY SOS: During sleep your team of handy experts get to work repairing any damage you've caused during the day, through general regular wear and tear, and generally spruce up the place - it's why it's called 'Beauty Sleep'! And because you’re breathing slower, your heart and lungs get a little rest, as does the kidney which slows down during sleep which is why you typically don’t feel the urge to pee as frequently during sleep as when you’re awake.
Sleep is not a waste of time and you can’t get by without it regardless of how much caffeine you drink!
Doc Martin: When you’re sleeping, your immune system, which is responsible for fighting off all sorts of problems from the common cold to cancer, release small proteins called cytokines that help your body fight inflammation, infection and trauma. So consistently getting poor sleep can have some pretty serious consequences. Cutting sleep short by even just two to three hours a night over time has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and even premature death.
Hell’s Kitchen: During sleep, your sympathetic nervous system gets a chance to relax. This system is responsible for the fight or flight response, which includes the release of those stress chemicals mentioned earlier. This system was never designed to be constantly on but to only be needed on special occasions, say when something was trying to make you its dinner! (Or if you happened to have Gordon Ramsey yelling at you in your kitchen!) Unfortunately, thanks to the constant demands of our our modern lives, it can mean that you’re wandering around with this system on permanent alert. So it really needs this downtime when you’re asleep. Studies have shown that when you’re deprived of sleep, activity within the sympathetic nervous system actually increases, resulting in you being stressed or anxious more often and this is also mirrored by an increase in blood pressure which we all know isn’t good for your health.
Your brain is really active during sleep - it’s not just resting.
The IT Crowd: Your brain is also being a busy bee. It’s taking all the information from your day, sorting it into topics and storing it away in that hard drive in your head. So this process is incredibly important for creating long term memories. That’s why when you consistently lose sleep it can be hard to recall information - it’s been misfiled or even dumped in the trash.
So when you have a disturbed nights sleep, your body doesn't get to everything on its nightly to-do list and a back-log starts to form. If this continues for a sustained length of time this can lead to premature ageing and the development of some serious illnesses, not to mention the effects that being constantly tired and grumpy has on our work and relationships.
You don’t need to Escape to the Country, learn Vedic meditation.
If you’re regularly losing sleep, there’s no time like the present to do something about it. Vedic Meditation is a simple technique that in only 20 mins removes those stress chemicals from your body, relaxes the nervous system and enables you to sleep. Find out more.
"Amazing. For years I'd wake regularly through the night and was constantly tired. After just a few days of Vedic Meditation, I'm finally able to sleep straight through to morning and feel much more energetic."
Vedic Meditation is great for sleep issues
To find out more about how Vedic Meditation can help with your sleep challenges and so much more, arrange a FREE consultation call with Joanna.
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