As early as I can remember, I haven’t been a great sleeper. As a child I’d fight to stay up – I am pretty sure with a FOMO – fear of missing out. I’d kick and scream untilI would finally pass out. There just was and (is) so much to do, so much excitement, so much going on – that I couldn’t imagine missing any of it, well to sleep…
As I got older though, excitement, FOMO and other stresses of daily life started to play into the whole sleep thing.. yeah, SLEEP, is really something that we NEED and WANT to do. I am getting better at it and we hope that by coming on retreat YOU will too!
So when arriving on retreat, don’t be surprised when we say – there is a TON of things for you to do – AND a lot of time to do nothing too! EVERYTHING is optional and be sure to get THE REST that your body is asking of you 😉
Here are just a few (of millions) WHY’S that helped me get back on track with my sleeping, to justify – if you will (lol) – the time I was spending… and well once I started sleeping I started believing – YES this is what I want to and NEED TO DO. (lol) Happy Sleeping (WEEKEND) everyone!
1. Gimme my NATURAL MELATONIN
I know your brain is hardly a hypnotist. However, the brain can make you fall asleep just as affectively by releasing a natural hormone called Melatonin—minus the magic wand and sparkly top hat of course! The release of melatonin occurs right before you drift off to dreamland. However this natural hormone does far more than simply whisk you away to la-la land with a flush of feel good emotions. Melatonin also has a proven number of health benefits, including providing a powerful flush of antioxidants to the immune system to help fight free radical damage, cancer, inflammation, and brain decline.
2. WORKOUT WHEN YOU SLEEP? YEP!
Another reason to get a full 8 hours of sleep each night is that you shed weight while you sleep.You don’t actually work out, but your body does shed a considerable amount of water weight via sweating, breathing, and firing the metabolism (which continues to work at rest). So if you want to log adequate time in the dreamland gym; be sure to get a full 8 hours of rest each night.
3. SLEEP LENGTHENING – YESSS – The spine elongates and realigns
Some doctors will tell you that you actually grow while you slumber, but really it’s your spine that lengthens. You see, as you sleep the discs in your spine elongate or decompress due to lack of gravity and pressure that occurs as you stand during the day and walk around. That’s why sleeping in a position that doesn’t compress the spine (like on your side in the fetal position) is the best for your back health.
4. HEAL THAT HEART!
It’s no surprise that the rest you get during sleep is good for you body—particularly your heart. During sleep the heart beat and heart rate both slow, giving the heart a much earned rest. This means you’re your blood pressure is lower as your heart muscles and circulatory system reboot and repair for the day ahead.
5. LOOK YOUNGER AFTER A NIGHTS SLEEP – YEP… but why?
See, your mother was right, you do need your beauty rest and mom is referring to the excess collagen proteins released during sleep that help repair and strengthens damaged skin cells and also fighting those dreaded fine lines and wrinkles.So regardless of the price you pay for moisturizer and botox, neither have anything on a good night’s sleep!
6. MUSCLE AND TISSUE REPAIR – thanks to sleep breathing
You walk to work, spend the day on your feet or hunched over a desk, and maybe go to the gym or join your buddies for a game of basketball after work. All of that muscle energy burned during your day is replenished during sleep. During rest hormones—like adrenaline and cortisol (your fight or flight response) decreases, giving way to a flush of human growth hormone (HGH) needed for muscle repair, growth and maintenance. Your breath drops into your diaphram – what we know as diaphramatic breathing – REST AND DIGEST.
7. BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
If you’re sick the best thing you can do for your body is to sleep it off—literally. This is due to the fact that the immune system works overtime as we sleep, excreting certain proteins, white blood cells, and more to help fight off germs, infections, and disease. That is why, you’re most prone to an infection or flu is you’re sleep deprived.
8. Rest the belly – wake it up SLOWLY!
Your body is like a furnace, and that furnace is fueled by your digestive system, which supplies adequate energy by breaking down food into energy. However, during sleep, the digestive system slows in order for optimal effectiveness during waking hours. This is why it’s a bad idea to eat before bed—that food will sit, undigested all night like a lump in your tummy and rob you of precious sleep. When you awake – think of it as BREAKING – a – FAST.. and that is why we wake you – AND YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM – up slowly on retreat.. introducing lemon water, green juice an then something a touch heavier, as we would with your first yoga class or hike of the day!
9.Improve memory & clear brain fog
Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake (it’s a process called consolidation).
10. Spur creativity
Get a good night’s sleep before getting out the easel and paintbrushes or the pen and paper.
Researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process, allowing you to set new goals, & create positive solutions!
Now that we know WHY..Look for a follow up blog next week with tips on… HOW TO.
& See you on retreat very very soon!