FUNCTIONAL NUTRITIONAL THERAPY PRACTITIONER
PURE CORE NOURISHMENT
Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Are you getting enough?
Now I don’t know about you but I need at least eight hours a night or the next day has definitely been compromised! I find it harder to make good food choices, coffee is required and when we go and get a coffee we may as well have one of those peppermint slices… just today. Not only are my choices compromised and my willpower lowered, but sleep deprivation also brings with it the following dangers: higher levels of anxiety/depression; higher risk of hypertension/heart disease/diabetes/stroke; unhealthy food cravings/weight gain.
Not having enough sleep can lead to difficulty sleeping and it’s a nasty cycle.When your stress hormones are flooding your system they have a tendency to wake you at ridiculous hours of the morning like 1am and 3am as your blood sugar spikes and your liver and pancreas are trying to sort your insulin levels. Cutting back on sleep increases insulin resistance. The link between lack of sleep and blood sugar issues, which is a precursor to diabetes, is now well-documented.
We now know that the clearance of glucose into muscle cells is lower in those who are sleep-deprived. You know what it’s like when you are tired all day but bed time rolls around and you are doing anything but sleeping! Blood sugar and sleep work together, as sleep decreases unfortunately blood sugar increases and this is a dangerous slope. Furthermore, it has been proven that fatigue makes you angry.
We are all under constant pressure and stress in our fast-paced society and since the creation of the light bulb we no longer go to bed when the sun goes down and get up when the sun rises and enjoy having a nap after lunch in the heat of the day. If you can pull that off you feel amazing. But let’s face it, it’s a rare few who are doing that, while many of us are in bed after 11pm and up around 6am. Most people don’t sleep well even when they do sleep and waking up feeling refreshed and rested is a distant memory if we even remember ever feeling rested.
Sleep medication is rife and we wonder why there are so many people with anxiety and depression. Everything is harder when you are tired. Sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture and honestly I think it would be one of the worst. After two or three days you will start to hallucinate, after five days there will be undesirable mental effects and by around the 11th day you will be dying or believe that you are already dead. Stick bamboo under my fingernails any day!
So what helps you start or maintain a healthy sleep pattern? Well I’m so pleased you asked.
Yoga: This is a big one and there are so many great studios in Townsville. There are plenty of beginners’ courses so there’s no excuse not to go.
Diet: Eat whole foods and give yourself two to three hours of not eating before bed. Aim for no caffeinated drinks after lunch.
Routine: Stay off your phone and computer an hour before bed. Read a book instead. Try a nice cup of chamomile tea, diffuse essential oils like lavender, and your room should be a comfortable temperature and dark.
So set yourself up and have a good night’s rest. While we are sleeping our body has so much to do. It is being maintained and repaired by our wonderful organs, the brain is running cycles and scans, our immune system is working and our skin is repairing – ‘beauty sleep’. Your kidneys are filtering toxins and your digestive system is digesting.
So please give your body the time it needs to rest and repair. Your quality of life will improve – your mood, appearance and overall health.