Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. Thomas Dekker
The functioning of our body follows time patterns and cycles that are crucial to keep a good health. We are not conscious about a lot of them but one that’s fundamental is the biorhythm of sleep. There are many signs to know how good our rest is and if there’s any problem about it, we can also apply simple changes in our routine to improve these imbalances. Keep reading to know about the importance of resting and keys to reduce sleep problems naturally.
Importance of a Good Sleep
Sleep is one of the basic habits of every living being, as the body needs to recover the energy used during the day and even most important, during sleep many repairs are made, not just injuries but also those tissues that get worn off. During sleep the healing activity of our immune system increases and therefore it’s crucial to respect this biorhythm if you get sick or you want to improve your performance.
Keep young for longer
If your immune system finds the chance to heal, you’ll keep healthy and young for longer, as all your tissues – including your skin- won’t get affected by time. And it’s not just about the looking, but also you’ll feel younger and with fewer problems to do strengthening and complex physical activity. Your mind will also keep flexible and creative to stay happy.
Improve motivation and focus during the day
A good sleep is also good for the mind as through rest our neuroendocrine system recovers balance and we’ll be able to handle our emotions better. As you feel more energy, the mind and spirit will have fewer excuses to get focused and committed to achieve your dreams. Most of the people may find a purpose for their lives but, because of health, they have to deal either with lack of energy, pain or other obstacles to accomplish their goals.
How to Sleep Better
What to eat and when
Food is our main source of energy and if we don’t eat correctly, we won’t be able to use that energy efficiently in our routine. A correct nourishment style isn’t only about having a balanced diet but it also requires healthy rhythms and eating the right food at the right moments.
When it comes to sleep quality, it’s mandatory to reduce or eliminate the ingest of coffee, sugar and carbs (including fruits and nuts) after 3 pm. Otherwise that energy received through food will make harder to feel sleepy and rest well (you may go to sleep easily but the recovery process during night won’t be that successful). You should also have more vegetables and a light source of protein for dinner at 7pm or not too late to allow your body to end digestion earlier.
Keeping physical activity improves sleep quality because it increases the levels of endorphins and reduces the allostatic overload (chronic stress), which makes harder to rest deeply as your body goes to sleep storing a lot of tensions. Working out every day or at least 5 days per week will optimize your sleep at night as well as your mood and energy available during the day. After a couple of weeks, exercise won’t be felt like an extra duty anymore, but almost as an addiction! But you need to be perseverant to get to that point and feel the difference.
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga could be understood as another kind of exercise but it’s also different in 2 main ways: the first one is that most of the time the cardiovascular activity in Yoga is really low and therefore some goals to improve rest that you find easily in workouts like HIIT trainings aren’t that easy to achieve through some of the yogic practices. Even though styles like Ashtanga Yoga can be more dynamic, as well as some kriyas or sets, like those found in Kundalini Yoga.
The second fact that differences Yoga from workout for a healthier sleep is that with a correct yogic practice, you’ll stimulate the hypophysis and balance the neuroendocrine activity much faster than with workout. The neuroendocrine system includes the pineal gland, related to melatonin secretion which is needed to feel sleepy and repair at night. This is due to Asanas (postures in Yoga) but also because of the Dhristies or focus of the eyes, through which pressure is put on hypophysis gland, balancing its functioning.
Receive direct sunlight during the day
Our body counts with inner clocks (commonly called circadian clocks) which need some basic natural stimuli to work properly, and one of these clocks is related to sleep. To let your body know that’s time to move on, you need the direct light of the sun, thus sunlight exposure at least for 5 minutes during the early morning is amazingly helpful for your health, and if you want even better results, increase that exposure in a moderate way during the day (instead of being isolated from the sun in an office or in your house/car), or do your daily workout in open places more often.
Turn lights off at night
Just as we need sunlight during the day, at night it’s mandatory to turn all the artificial light sources off, or as many as possible, because our body also needs to detect darkness to start stimulating the pineal gland and melatonin secretion. Artificial lights include light bulbs, phones and computers, and also the TV before and during sleep, as the electromagnetic frequencies and sounds they produce will affect your sleep quality.
What we listen to can turn into a stressor or a healer, and it’s up to us to decide what we want for our mind and our lives. This tool is very effective during your Yoga and Meditation practice, and you can also practise some chanting and Mantra singing to calm your mind faster before sleep, but with all the lights off as we just said.
Leave problems out of the bed
Listening to relaxing music like those with natural sounds and Healing Mantras is one of the best ways to achieve this goal, as Mantras are a perfect technique to empty our mind, so we can leave our problems out of the bed and rest deeper with better dreams. Turning all -the rest of- devices off is also necessary to reduce risks of reading or hearing about problems that disturb our peace, because anyway, we won’t be able to solve them at that time.