“Hectic schedules. Bigger workloads. More hours in front of the computer and TV. There are more reasons why we lack sleep than there are hours in a day.” Dr. Natasha Turner, N.D.
In Monday’s post, Are We All Just Hormonal?, we introduced Doc Turner as our wellness knight in a shining white and teal book cover. Using hormones as a guide towards achieving health, she says sleep, along with stress management, is the most important aspect for restoring hormonal balance.
The hormonal benefits of superb sleep are enticing:
- calms the nervous system for relaxation
- maintains youth (anti-aging hormone is released)
- increases happiness (feel good hormones released)
- protects against harmful effects of excess estrogen
- maximizes metabolism
- enhances appetite control
- keeps muscles moving
- sharpens mind and memory
- greater night-time repair and fat-burning benefits
The importance of sleep to health and wellness is unanimous among health professionals. Here are 3 links to get you started:
- This article published by the American Psychological Association (APA) explains the importance of sleep, what happens when you don’t get enough and suggests how to increase the quality of your sleep.
- The National Institutes of Health believes sleep is essential for everyone and tells us why in this piece written for parents.
- emedicinehealth.com provides us with the basics of sleep.
Sweet Dreams are Made of These (tips for a better sleep)
Adding the excellent tips from the APA, here are a few Live Lighter tips and suggested natural sleep aids:
- Herbal tea. Any will do because they lack caffeine or sugar and warm drinks are relaxing. Try good ‘ol Chamomile and Sleepytime from Celestial Seasonings.
- Stronger herbal tea. For those nights you’re really wired, I find Organic Nighty Night from Traditional Medicinals is a safe but highly effective herbal mix.
- Meditate. Get really calm while sitting comfortably and empty your mind right before bed. Thirty minutes will give you adequate time but do what you can.
- Deep-Breathing. As you lay in bed on your back, breath in deeply and slowly to the count of 8. Hold the air in your lungs to the count of 4. Breath out slowly and deeply to the count of 8. Repeat 3 times or more.
- Ear plugs. For women who have snoring husbands or restless babies, I recently tried Sleep Pretty in Pink women’s ear plugs. Stay tuned for a Live Lighter product review on this one!
- Stretch. Start on your feet, knees, stomach or back and just stretch. Do whatever stretches come to you, your body knows what it needs. All you have to do in get `in the zone’.
- Yoga or Pilates. Stretching with guidance. Choose relaxing poses or programs rather than the active options.
- Disconnect. Again, try for 30 minutes before bed and disconnect from the world. Avoid using the computer, TV, phones or anything else wired.
Do you have any natural sleep aids or tips to share with the community?