Monday, 17 January 2011

DEEEEP SLEEEEP... and How to Get it

The Power of Qi: Using EFT and Qi Gong to Clear Your Energy Patterns
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Getting a good night's sleep, i.e., a long, deep and satisfying sleep from which you wake up refreshed, is vital to your health, immunity and overall resilience.

And women are about twice as likely as men to have trouble doing this.  Often it seems to be psychological - women have more trouble tuning out the noise, worries and frustrations of the day than men do.  But there's more to it than that...

Your sleep disturbances may come from any number of sources and most of them are under your control.  Some of those involve falling into other bad lifestyle habits that are sabotaging your nightly slumber.  Or sometimes it's as simple as flipping your mattress!

Here's a very well done video that goes over the basics for you:

The Importance of Darkness

The hours of darkness were highly prized by the authentic spiritual traditions of the ancient world, including the original Christian tradition, because they all knew from experience that your brain functions at a much different level during those hours, whether you're asleep or awake.

So naturally, the medical traditions that grew up in these cultures emphasize the need for real darkness as a facilitator of deep sleep.  On the basis of modern scientific research, we now know they were absolutely correct.  

Consider the following:

  • Darkness changes your body chemistry and affects the pineal, pituitary, thalamus and hypothalamus glands - four vital glands at the center of your brain
  • Darkness converts the neurotransmitter serotonin into the regulatory hormone melatonin, which begins to slow down organ function in preparation for sleep
  • The pineal gland generates certain inhibatory reactions, allowing you to enter into the various stages of sleep
  • The hypothalamus monitors your metabolism to maintain all autonomic functions in the normal range
  • Your reticular activation system (RAS) monitors your optic nerve and auditory functions to wake you should anything out of the ordinary occur.  The good news is this protects you from danger.  The bad news is that if your sleep environment lets in lots of light, your RAS may get a bit confused ;-)
The bottom line here is that making sure your bedroom is quite dark at night is a prerequisite to a consistently good, sound sleep for most of us.  And if you live in the city, that's harder than you may think, given all the ambient light from street lights, neighbors' lights, the city lights reflection in the atmosphere and, of course, the moon.  

When it comes to your own sleep disturbances, you have to be a bit of a detective to figure them out.  But with the help of today's video, you'll be back on track in no time ;-)

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

**The contents of this blog post are not to be considered as medical advice.  Always consult a physician before beginning / modifying a fitness program or before undertaking lifestyle modifications that could impact your health.**

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