5 Reasons You Aren't Sleeping Well: And 11 Reason's Why You Need to Be
This is the second blog in my new Sould Food series. Soul Food is all the stuff that nourishes us that is not the food we eat, like career, exercise, personal relatioships, spirituality etc.
Have you ever wondered if our sleeping habits impact our eating habits? And do our eating habits impact our sleeping habits? The answer is yes. Both sleep and hunger closely relate around the natural light and dark cycles of our circadian rhythm.
Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle benefitting your mind, heart, weight, and mood. Sleep science studies clearly show that short sleepers increase their risk of heart disease, cancer and depression and short sleep increases craving for both fat and carbs.
Short sleep leaves us searching for artificial or fake energy from caffeine and sugar, which spikes our energy briefly, and when we come crashing down, we continue the cycle. Short sleep makes us hungrier. Twice as many women as men eat excessive carbs and fat to combat daytime sleepiness, confusing the energy slump with hunger. Men tend to pride themselves on how little of the stuff they can get away with, but lack of sleep will eventually negatively impact their waistline and performance with focus, sports and sex.
According to Dr. Rubin Naiman PhD, a sleep and dream specialist, “sleep disorder is the number one health problem in the United Sates. 70 million Americans have insomnia and 23 million Americans have sleep apnea, and 64% of Americans have one clinical symptom of sleep disorders at least 3 times a week.”
As a culture we devalue sleep often pushing the boundaries of how little we can get away with and consider it mainly in terms of how it can add more value to, or serve our waking time. Learning to savor and value sleep just for how good it makes us look and feel, is a positive health goal.
Here are 11 Important Benefits of 7-9 Hours of Sleep
1. Detoxifies the brain
2. Balances weight
3. Decreases inflammation causing disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis.
4. Sharpens attention
5. Reorganizes, restructures and strengthens memory
6. Improves appearance of skin and eyes
7. Improves mood
8. Heightens creativity
9. Reduces stress
10. Increases patience
11. Improves quality of life
Guess What Disrupts The Quality and Duration of Sleep
1. Poor quality daytime light: with our indoor society, we get little or no natural light exposure and often the majority of daytime light we are exposed to is poor quality florescent light absorbed through our skin.
2. Poor quality nighttime light: blue light from televisions, computers, and mobile devices reduce melatonin production and increase our body heat from the energy, which impairs sleep.
3. Artificial stimulants: caffeine and alcohol. Some people find marijuana helpful for sleep, some people don’t, there is no conclusive scientific evidence around pot and sleep
4. Artificial sleep: sleeping pills.
5. Anxiety and Stress.
When we sleep our bodies naturally produce melatonin after dark typically between 9pm and midnight. Melatonin is an important natural sleep substance but if you can’t get to bed early enough supplement with 3 mg. of high quality melatonin.
Even if you’re doing everything else right, if you don’t get enough sleep, your health and wellness will suffer. We need to learn to cut power, let go of everything and drift off to sleep.
Good night and more soon, xx Nicolle
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