The Art of Sleeping
Updated: Jul 27, 2021
The Art of sleeping…
“Sleep has become the most un-natural of natural experience”
It is vital to understand the Physiology of Sleep and why we sleep. It is possible to review what good sleep hygiene is and adopt tips to support it. There is evidence of association between poor sleep and mental illness. Adults who don’t get enough sleep have a tendency to develop
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Adult’s with Dementia and Alzheimer symptoms find the symptoms reduce when they get more sleep
We sleep to rejuvenate our brain and body. When we talk about the brain, its about memory consolidation , creativity , detoxification , mood re-orientation , and processing emotions. For the body we are usually speaking about rejuvenation , growth hormone and how the whole body goes to sleep. We are unique as the only beings to sleep to 7 to 8 hours in one block.
“We have two sleep clocks in our brain balancing our urge and need for sleep”
1) The Body Clock - The urge to sleep
2) The Sleep Wake Clock – The need for sleep
It is suggested that we need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night however we actually sleep in 90 minute cycles – not hours
REM Sleep - The Power of Dreams
REM Sleep is when we mainly dream with dreams having huge significance to our emotional health. Dreams help in:
1) Replaying the day’s emotional content, allowing us to process and come to terms with difficulties, and trauma.
2) Refresh our emotional balance mechanism.
3) Support our creative thinking and problem solving. (sleep on it)
4) Hugely significant in depression and PTSD .
Our brains use 25% of our body’s energy and produce lots of toxins, with 90% of the detoxification occurring at night.
Good ‘Sleep Hygiene’
Open the curtains straight away, get sunlight - gets cortisol going
No tech until after breakfast if possible
Good breakfast - don’t skip it
Exercise - outside if possible to get your intake of Vitamin D
Morning meditation , affirmations and positive visualisation a great way to re-write the script.
Drink Water first thing , saving your caffeine for the morning lull.
And continues through the day...
Take breaks to avoid getting wired, and power naps to catch up on lost sleep. Successful ‘Sleep hygiene’ at night is based on creating a regular (relaxing) routine. Ultimately it’s about technology and stress. Switch off all technology at least one hour before bed.
Get your bedroom right
Clean and fresh
A big bed
Food and Sleep
Ecanoboid system kicks in, dopamine based , gives you the munchies’
Leptin – the hormone which tells us we are full decreases
Ghrelin – the hormone which tells us we are hungry increases
Typical Sleep Issues
Outside of genuine sleep disorders such as Sleep Apnoea , in the main sleep is a lifestyle and stress/time management issue .
Lifestyle changes are typically to stop drinking coffee in the day, to cut out using alcohol at night, exercising more , and eating better.
Sleep apnoea , where the patient wakes up multiple times, often breathless needs to be referred to the G.P
Checking family sleep history, including use of sleep medication (for both the patient and parents ).
Childhood trauma - one off events can be the epicentre in a small number of cases.
Poor sleep education and boundaries . Often handed down from grandparent to parent to children. Parents role modelling poor boundaries around tech , and poor sleep hygiene. Use this to leverage to change . Ie you are a role model in your family.
Have a day where you get all your needs met – the key is to get a balanced lifestyle and a balanced daily routine , ‘me-time’ is key.
Ultimately , ‘I am not enough’ sits underneath almost all sleep issues. ‘Health & Happiness’ is then not prioritised or even considered as a goal for daily living.
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