Sleep Sanctuaries, The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
By K.C. Craichy
Sleep isn't just one of those things that kills time until we can get up and get busy again! Sleep is critical to our mental and physical wellbeing. Without it our immune systems are weakened-the number of white blood cells in our bodies decreases, production of human growth hormone (GH), an anti-aging substance, decreases, and our ability to metabolize sugar declines, turning sugar into fat. Sleep deprivation has even been used as a method of torture because of the extreme physical and mental anguish it exacts on victims!
Sleep is needed to regenerate certain parts of the body, especially the brain, so that it may continue to function optimally. And, because when we sleep we experience REM associated with dreaming, we are fortified emotionally and mentally. We wake up alert, energized, and balanced. Believe it or not, an extra hour of sleep can be better for our overall health than one hour in the gym!
But it is often a challenge to create a quiet place that is conducive to optimum sleep. That's why creating a "sleep sanctuary" is so critical...it tells the body and mind that it's "time to let go."
Make sure your space for sleeping is quiet and dark. Try not to sleep in the same room as you do your work. Turn off the computers and the television long before you turn in for the evening. Adjust the thermostat to a slightly coolish temperature (between 65 and 70 degrees). You can always add another layer, but a stuffy air and climate can cause discomfort and breathing difficulties.
Many people, especially urbanites who can't escape city sounds, will place a sound conditioner (also called a "white noise machine") by their beds to help them sleep. These machines offer any number of sounds, from white noise (a low static sound) to gentle musical rhythms to the sound of ocean waves beating against the shore. Although white noise doesn't block out noise, it does desensitize people to outside sounds so that they are less intrusive. For people who are more easily disturbed by the sound of neighbors or street noise, these moderately priced machines can be very helpful.
Super Health Sleep Tip: Do not consume alcohol, sugar or caffeine before bed, and reduce or eliminate those substances from your diet in general, as they are stimulants that exact a heavy toll on the central nervous system and make it more difficult to establish regular sleep patterns.
About The Author
K.C. Craichy is Founder and President of Living Fuel http://www.livingfuel.com. He is a health consultant and sought-after speaker on the topic of Optimal Health.