Rest, Sleep and Hibernation
Essential tonics for our minds and bodies.
Sometimes I wonder if the smarter animals hibernate!
Not to escape but to conserve and prepare for a time of renewal – which assuredly will happen.
Spring always follows Winter!
IKEA markets their “Bedroom Wear and Decor” by acknowledging we spend almost 30 years of our lives sleeping in bed!
Shocking – a third of your life is spent sleeping, practically hibernating !
Sleep is important because our body requires a shut down of wakefulness.
(similar to your computer when it goes into “sleep” mode).
Sleep allows a shift in :
nervous system repair
unconscious and subconscious review of the days emotions and thinking processes
digestive cleaning and processing
a variety of other mechanisms we probably have not yet discovered.
*All of these enhanced by the fact we are now horizontal- shifting the impact of gravity on our circulation, brain and kidney systems.
In other words we can still be pretty “busy” all night despite being in “sleep mode”.
Ahhh, so now we understand some of the reasons we may not feel refreshed after laying down for a whole 8 hours attempting to reach the coveted deep sleep. Our bodies and minds are actually very busy.
How to Enhance Quality of Sleep
Fresh Air daily – even 15 minutes
Exercise daily – even 15 minutes
Fresh Bed Linens and Sleep Wear
Wash the day away – minimum face and hands
Epsom Salts Baths
Lower Room temp and fresh air in the room
One hour minimum before bed – write your to do list for the next day
Avoid eating and alcohol 3 hours minimum before sleep
Stop watching the news in the evening
Reduce exposure to computer and other light sources minimum 1 hour before bed
Complete darkness in the bedroom – no or very low digital illumination – supports natural melatonin production
Alternate nostril breathing 3-11 minutes before bed
Reflect on the grateful items of the day and bless yourself and others in your sphere
Drink one glass of water – to provide your kidneys with fluid to cleanse and detoxify overnight
Still not sleeping ?
Use any of the following one hour before bedtime:
Teas of chamomile ( allergy is possible for some), peppermint, fennel, lavender, oat
Sleep formulas of 5HTP, griffonia, passionflower, valerian ( may be a stimulant for some), hypericum, lemonbalm, L L-theanine, GABA, glycine, hops, melatonin, CBD, Jujube
Magnesium 200 -400mg 30 min before bed may be helpful for many. Are you deficient?
Professional homeopathic formulas are excellent to calm the nervous system and do not conflict with prescription medications.
Contact me to assist you in selecting best combinations for you.
Still lying there at 1 am or waking too early?
Or not feeling rested even though you know you dreamt so you know you were sleeping…
Address the following:
Insomnia is not a melatonin deficiency or a zoplicone, trazadone, mirtazapine, diphenhydramine, tylenol deficiency. These definitely may assist the sleep process and may be necessary in the short term but not ideal in the long term.
Select natural non addictive substances for a restful sleep and a productive day which do not negatively impact your brain chemistry and hormones.
Watch for my future blog on “Daytime Sleep Apnea”
Know you are not a light switch – living a life of you are “on” and you are “off”.
“Off” does not mean you will sleep.
We process our day through the night – the couldas wouldas and shouldas really plague us at night.
Be calmer through your day.
Book an appointment with me to achieve all day calm.
Total darkness critical for you to go to sleep? – your overall nervous system is in overdrive.
Often referred to as tired and wired.
Use cortisol managers like ashwagandha or eleutherococcus to rebalance.
Consider and treat anxiety, panic, depression and stress – rooted in thoughts and feelings – these can create chronic patterns or states of being and the symptom may be insomnia, along with irritability, fatigue, pain, inflammation, procrastination, indecision, addiction, undesirable behavior, complaining etc etc etc.
Female and Male Hormone Imbalances – due to aging, drugs, stress, nutritional deficiencies, gut issues, liver congestion, heavy metals etc. Create insomnia patterns often in cycles.
Blood sugar issues, Diabetes and Metabolism Issues
Sometimes a required snack or protein before sleep may be an indication there is more to examine.
Liver, thyroid, adrenal imbalances can impact your blood sugar or a poor diet.
Fact: Sleep is critical for healthy metabolism and weight management.
Correct something as easy as general dehydration.
Ohhhh – you are afraid you will be up all night urinating!?
Address deficient kidney yin, burn out, anxiety, prostate issues, bladder and kidney inflammation, candida and bacteria and yes even low grade viral infections which may be contributing to increased frequency.
and…..these are not “overnight” fixes.
Poor digestion, tummy issues of any kind, bloatedness, constipation, diarrhea, parasites, candida, heart burn, inflammation of the stomach or intestines, burping, flatulence, food intolerances, gall bladder pain or absence of, can be disruptive. The health of the gut impacts our nervous system and brain. Restfulness is achieved by a happy gut.
Observe any colicky baby – everyone loses sleep!
A diet that is not right for you – too low in carbohydrates, not enough or too much protein, the wrong kinds of fat, not enough vitamins and minerals or using up existing vitamins and mineral too quickly because of stress or inflammation.
Use your insomnia as your personal barometer as to “What’s Up” for you.
Life too busy? Unhappy? Unhealthy?
What needs to change? Or can you change it?
Explore new skills, perspectives, techniques and attitudes
Read books on mindset, gratefulness, forgiveness, breathing techniques, yoga, health and spirituality.
Practice 21 consecutive days of meditation and observe any changes. Challenge yourself.
Allow nature to heal you by walking and observing the natural world, learn how to examine nature and its synchronicities.
Any time you play hard , yoga hard, think/work hard, shop hard ( lol), socialize hard ( these days on line!) we need to take a break, time out, recalibrate, reset or rest! many cultures embrace this.
Such as siestas, or yoga practice, there is a brief rest between work or postures to allow the body to reset and integrate.
Rest is defined also as a “brake” from the routine or what one is doing in the moment.
Rest can look like exercise! What???!!!!
Yes because exercise saturates us with energy lifting oxygen! This is relaxing and so is the change of pace.
Rest can also be reading something pleasurable.
Changes that alter our focus and switches our body chemistry endorphins, hormones, brain chemistry, initiate a reset.
Rest is the exhale. We relax as we exhale.
Rest can be napping.
Winter, a quiet, yes sometimes very cold, resting season.
A season of contraction vs summer a season of expansion.
Feeling the blues or winter blahs may be part of resisting what is naturally happening around us in the environment.
So there may be slippery roads and sidewalks, drier skin, less fresh air as we turn indoors – however, luckily in Alberta we enjoy sunshine in the winter, long shadows for interesting photographs, a time for making nourishing soups and stews, different activities like skiing, skating, snowshoeing – gatherings indoors with cozy atmospheres – hey wait a minute that’s not on the agenda this year!
So together but separate, let’s create an opportunity to rest, reassess and explore new interests – slowing down, quiet times and plan for the next renewal.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace