Sleep Lean and Healthy
Do you relish your time for sleeping? Is sleeping a peaceful and easy process from which you awake rested, pain free and energized? Did you know that a refreshed experience after a night’s sleep is part of your inherited legacy?
While a human sleeps Cytokines (proteins in the immune system) are released into the body to help with sleep. If one is not getting enough sleep this process is diminished along side a number of other essential functions for immunity and optimal wellness.
Some negative effects of insufficient sleep are larger appetite for unhealthy food, increased chance of accidents, premature skin aging, lower immunity, lower brain function and focus especially with new concepts and impromptu activities. Short or interrupted sleep increases forgetfulness, increases risk for obesity, stroke, diabetes, heart disease and can lower fertility.
Chronic sleep deprivation and increased obesity risk over time has been studied for years and the results continue to reveal changes in hormone, increased appetite and higher levels of abdominal fat, organ fat and surface fat. One 2012 study from Penn State, showed sleeping fewer than six hours a night was linked with changes in levels of the appetite hormones ghrelin and leptin. These hormones influence appetite and regulate energy use. Ghrelin also influences human growth hormone (hGH) release. Leptin is associated with cortisol (stress hormone) and insulin balance, influenced by duration of sleep. During the same year a study published in the American Journal of Human Biology showed that too little sleep altered appetite regulation, which could trigger larger portion loading and binging.
A Hitachi Health Study from Japan published 2013 found sleep deprivation participants has a higher body mass index, meaning the ratio of body width was out of proportion with height. Using CT scans the review showed higher organ fat, abdominal fat and superficial fat in those with ongoing insufficient sleep patterns.
Lean dreams mean seven to nine hours of NREM & REM sleep a night.
Parasympathetic vs. Sympathetic
Sleep disturbances truly need to be looked at from a nervous system perspective in order to obtain a large umbrella view of where a person is at with quality rest.
Parasympathetic nervous system and Sympathetic nervous system are two branches of the Autonomic Nervous system of the human body. The human Autonomic System runs automatically without our instruction or will power. These two systems work similar to hot water and cold water in the perfect bath; a little bit of both in different ratios are needed depending on the desire outcome of a cool, warm or hot bath. The parasympathetic Nervous system is like hot water; it increases digestion, and elicits a calm relaxed state. The Sympathetic nervous system is like cold water, increasing flight and fight or a constrictive self-preserving state. A little of both are always working in the body, each one more or less than the other depending on what will maintains our optimal health or at the least survival.
If our nutritional banks account has a low balance the body will be forced to run on a survival level, and if the flight or fight switch is left to compensate the of the time, one result can be seen in poor sleep quality and or quantity. The mind will not turn to a balanced state of rest with normal parasympathetic input, but can pattern itself in an inappropriate dominant sympathetic state. In order for deep sleep to occur the body must be able to signal the release of parasympathetic compounds to stay asleep and even dream.
Here is a list of things than can interfere with deep sleep, including both internal and external stimuli:
Too much light
Travel time change
Medications such as alpha or beta-blockers, antidepressants
Hormonal changes, puberty, menopause
High sugar diet
Too hot or too cold temperature in bedroom
Too stuffy, cluttered or disorganized a bedroom
Inconsistent or under eating, waking up hungry
How to Sleep Lean & Healthy Solutions:
Explore light covering options for your window, doors and skylights in the bedroom.
Try travel glasses that flash a green light into the eyes to adjust to time change faster.
Block out light if sleeping during the day and wear earplugs.
Seek sports experts and qualified therapists to assess and resolve pain issues.
Find support clubs and classes and learn meditation and/or or exercises. With guidance there will be reduced anxiety or mental disruptions.
Look for natural solutions that address the whole being to reduce or eliminate medication use with expert help. Sometimes it takes a team to unravel the secrets to success.
Parasite cleansing can be as gentle as drinking herbal teas Wormwood and Black walnut during the week of a full moon. Some medical experts concur that parasite eggs hatch around a full moon each month.
Exercise can help with hormonal changes, as can certain foods and herbs; break a sweat everyday and read to source your options.
Reduce and eliminate artificial stimulants, and reduce sugar intake.
Remember the protein in the immune system called Cytokines released during sleep? Be sure to support this and other functional proteins during the day; eat enough protein in the day and eat every 3 hours, whole fresh food.
Reduce amount of bed coverings and have an extra blanket within reach if needed
Take an evening or weekend to box/bag every excess item in the bedroom. Remove any work related items, replace with a candle, an aromatherapy spray or mist diffuser. Drops of Lavender essential oil in the diffuser can start it 1 hour before going to bed.
Massage your feet with coconut oil or Shea butter but not stimulating peppermint lotion just before sleeping. If feet are hot dip in cool water and pat dry before bed. If cold, take a warm bath.
Try a guided meditation before sleep and or a slow breathing meditation. Pray. Surrender to the highest power for 7-9 hours all your problems and dreams equally. Tomorrow is a new day. Make it the best it can be. Do your best, and you will never feel regret.
May all beings be at peace and prosper, Namaste.