I used to be plagued by insomnia. I would toss and turn before falling asleep, and sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep for hours. That was before I learned what sleep is actually for. Once I learned the major function of sleep, I was better able to arrange my life to insure a good night’s rest. When you live in harmony with your body’s natural processes, everything just flows. Read on to learn how you can make falling asleep and staying asleep a breeze.
It is estimated that one in three Americans suffer from insomnia. That is an astronomically high number! More than 30% of us are not sleeping well, which is affecting our health, work performance, and our relationships.
One day I came across the fact that while we sleep, the brain and body are focusing on cleaning and repair. The National Institute of Health reports that “sleep helps restore the brain by flushing out toxins that build up during waking hours.” The brain also works to consolidate memories and resolve conflicts that were triggered during the day.
And the body performs many other cleaning functions while asleep. The immune system releases cytokines (infection-fighting proteins) during sleep, which are tied to specific sleep stages. These processes can’t take place if you you disrupt the natural rhythm of the body.
Here is the basic rhythm of the body: We eat, we digest, we eliminate, and we repair. (Elimination is the movement of waste out of the body. Repair refers to the repair of brain cells and the body’s tissues.) It has to go in that order. You can’t eliminate before you eat, and you can’t repair during digestion.
Here are some problematic habits that negatively affect sleep:
Here’s what to do to solve all of these problems and improve your sleep:
I made the above changes and now fall asleep easily and stay asleep most of the time. I rarely get insomnia. When I do, I try to retrace my steps and get back on track. If you are able to implement some or all of the above changes, you will be well on your way to better sleep! I really hope these tips help you. Drop me a line and let me know.
National Institute for Health, How Sleep Clears the Brain, October 13, 2013
Mayo Clinic, Lack of Sleep – Can it make You Sick?
National Institutes of Health, Sleep and Immune Function, November 2011
HuffPost Science, November 2013
Geva Salerno has a bachelor degree in biochemistry, a masters degree in international policy, and is co-founder of Creative Connection, which provides stress management and wellness programs to groups in Southwest Florida.
Originally published at gevasalerno.com