2017- The Year of Sleep
I don't know if you feel like I do, but I am fired up for 2017. It's not because the clock ticked one second and we moved from 2016 to 2017. It's because I got tons of rest over the New Year.
Sleeping well is no joke when it comes to an enhanced life. We have gone from 9 hours of sleep per night for the average person 100 years ago to only 7 hours or less of sleep per night for the average person in 2017. Staying up late and catching a "few winks" is considered cool because who needs sleep. Sleep is just a trick our bodies have made to make us even more uptight about time. Have you seen the movie As Good as It Gets with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson? As they explore any possibility of having a normal conversation, they both brag about how little they sleep. They both wanted to prove that they were tough. The human form was an inconvenience, something they tolerated because they were so in their heads. Then it tipped to a dance of seduction around having time at night and what do you do and other probing conversation.
No to Hollywood, sleep is our restorative anchor. There are a multitude of benefits for a good night's sleep.
Some people wonder why they have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. They don't consider the combination of stress with little sleep and how it is affecting their health. Sleep is for babies right????
Some of the unknown benefits of a good night's sleep are:
reduced inflammation and blood pressure
increased memory and consolidation
of course weight loss
#1 to put as your top reason to get plenty of zzzzzs is the body repairs itself while we sleep. #2 and for you maybe it is your #1, better weight regulation is attained through balanced hormone regulation of insulin, cortisol, leptin and ghrelin. Hormones work as a team and are able to manage your body as they were designed when you are well rested. Hormones are greatly affected by lack of sleep which equates to stress for the body. Once one hormone is out of sync, it's like dominoes everything is affected.
Pay attention next time you stay up late and have to get up early. Observe your appetite. The body will create cravings to try and get energy. The body will create cravings so that you pay attention to it. The body will create cravings ... so that you will slow down.
Every being on the earth sleeps to create homeostasis in their system, but they have different styles to achieve that. Dolphins only sleep with half their brain at a time so that the other half regulates the swimming. Sea otters wrap themselves in kelp and float while sleeping. Some animals sleep as much as 19 hours a day.
For something so simple as sleep, there are many influences that affect how you feel in the morning. Some of them are the time that you go to sleep and the time that you wake up. Others are light and noise. Let's not forget about the benefits of having a great mattress.
If you are living in a sleep deficit, consider putting on a guided meditation as you lay your head on the pillow and let the gentle sounds of the meditation lull you into slumber...just like a baby.
You deserve it!!!!