Why Is Sleep So Important?

Updated: Nov 12



Sleep is often one of the most overlooked things when it comes to maintaining our health and well being. During sleep our body flushes out the toxins from the day and our brain, liver and adrenal glands work on removing waste from the day before. The cycle starts all over the next day and continues day after day. This detox cycle occurs between the hours of 10:00p.m. and 2:00a.m. Without the proper amount of sleep this “flush” will not work correctly and the toxins may not be removed, which can cause foggy brain, resulting in poor decision making and information processing.

We should aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night with 8 hours being the sweet spot. Lack of sleep not only damages our cognitive function and our health, but it causes cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. Getting enough restful sleep is a powerful tool for stopping cravings.

Here are some tips for winding down and getting to sleep easily:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

  • Create a clutter-free, soothing and restful environment.

  • Create total darkness and quiet.

  • Get at least twenty minutes of exposure to sunlight each day.

  • Avoid bright, stimulating screens before bed.

  • Take an hour (or at least twenty minutes) of complete wind down time.

  • Write down your worries or concerns AND what you are grateful for today.

  • If you like to read before bed, light reading is suggested.

  • Treat yourself to a massage or stretch before bed - legs up the wall is a great option.

  • Warm your abdomen with a hot water bottle or heating pad.

  • Use your bed for sleep and romance only.

  • Avoid medications that interfere with sleep.

  • Use herbal therapies such as passionflower or valerian root extract one hour before bed.

  • Listen to a relaxation, mediation, or guided imagery CD or podcast.

  • Drink a mug of Evening Milk Tea (recipe below).

Evening Milk Tea

2 cups non-dairy milk (almond, cashew, coconut, etc.)

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Dash each of cinnamon, ground black pepper and vanilla extract

Directions:

In a small saucepan, heat milk to just under a boil. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients. Divide into two mugs.



Shared by Kim Kemsley. Kim loves to share her knowledge of nutrition, wellness and yoga. Join her in Restorative Yoga at The Space Wednesday evenings at 7pm.

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