OPTIMIZING YOUR SLEEP
In this blog, we will discuss the main factors that promotes a good night of sleep, essential to both the body and also to an optimal neurogenesis. The system glymphatic, in reference to glial cells the representatives of the immune system in the brain, ten times in numbers compare to the neurons, organizes the cleaning process of the brain during sleep and allows the evacuation of wastes and toxins in the blood circulation.
During the sleep:
– The muscles are repaired
– The organs are repaired
– Is the consolidation of the memory
– The immune system is strengthened
– the brain discharges its wastes and toxins
– Neurogenesis is increased
– Decreases the presence of stress hormones in the body
When the quantities of sleep or the quality of sleep are not met:
– The cognitive functions are decreasing
– The memory is less good
– The stress hormones are not evacuated
– Immunity is decreased
– Anxiety and depression increases
– Neurogenesis is slowed.
In order to promote a restful sleep, here are the essentials to adopt in your habits of life and your ritual before bed.
- A routine
Develop a routine, a ritual, which causes the body and the mind to prepare for sleep. As for the children, the adults respond favorably to a routine. Examples are reading, a bath, light candles, meditate, do restorative yoga, all these possibility that brings the nervous system in a state of appeasement and favorable to sleep.
Avoid the stimulations of movies and the screen of the computer and telephone in general 1h to 2h before sleep. The light projected in the eyes is stimulating for the body and if in addition the emotions conveyed generate a stressful response in the body, it just gets harder to fall asleep. Some people always being more sensitive than others.
1h before sleep, lower the lighting ambiance to mimic the natural conditions with the arrival of the night, the body being very sensitive to these stimuli. The candles are a perfect lighting for the preparation for the sleep.
- Sugar and fluids
Avoid simple sugars before sleep as well as the excess fluid, this promotes a deep and restorative sleep.
- The last meal
Notice that the quality of sleep immediately after a heavy meal is impaired, generally less deep. It is favorable to avoid food after 19h in the evening, in an ideal scenario. An ayurvedic saying is that ‘’After 7pm, food is poison.’’
- Caffeine and stimulants
Some people take a lot of time before eliminating the caffeine of their system. As well, if you are having difficulties falling asleep, ask your habits of coffee, tea and cocoa, as well as any form of stimulants, in the afternoon and in the evening. Avoiding caffeine the whole day can be beneficial.
The alcohol initiates usually in first a state conducive to sleep but prevents the steps of deep sleep, necessary for the repair of the brain and the body in general.
- Total darkness
The production of melatonin in the brain is greatly favored in maximum darkness. Thus, avoid light sources in the bedroom, from the dials or the phone and place the ‘’blackout’’ curtains in order to cut the traces of light from the street in cities if you are not in the countryside. You will generally notice a deeper sleep in the dark.
- Electromagnetic fields
it is favorable to keep the more possible the head, 1 m minimum, away from sources of electromagnetic fields from electrical appliances, dials, or radios, but also away from the wall outlets, generating a disturbance at the level electromagnetic means.
- Electricity and EMF
Observe the difference during a power failure, and observe the deep silence installed. The difference is particularly striking in the urban areas. It is possible to cut off the electric current in the parts of the house or apartment where you sleep, thus fostering a climate more natural and less loaded in abnormal electrical waves for your brain.
Nothing is worth the depth of a sleep in full nature, surrounded with forest, far from the wifi waves and the electromagnetic pollution of cities. Adopt sleeping as much as you can in nature, camping or at least in remote locations in order to enjoy the pleasure of a deep sleep.
In order to reproduce the effect of the direct contact of the skin with the earth, which allows free electrons located in the soil to spread in the body and to have an extremely positive impact on the whole body and mind, there is a system designed in California called earthing. With the assistance of a conductor material and a connection in the round socket of our wall outlets, the ground, the flow of electrons can reach up to us. The effects are the following:
– deeper sleep, and more regenerative (cyclists of the Tour de France have used this technology to recover more quickly).
– Decrease of the mental restlessness, either for meditation or the focus of an activity, read, write.
– Decrease of inflammation in the body.
– Decrease of anxiety.
For a complete list, refer to the book, Earthing. You can get the sheets of the earthing on the site www.earthingcanada.ca.
- Plants as allies
The following plants, in ascending order of power in their sedative effect, will definitely help you to find an appeasement of your nervous system and promote your route to sleep. Always make sure you check the certain contraindications if you are taking medicinal plants. Each of these plants can be taken in herbal tea or supplement.
– Kava Kava (it may be more difficult to wake up the next day) (Not recommended for people suffering from depression)
- Stress and the emotions
it would be impossible to avoid these key elements which influence sleep. Each has already noticed how periods of stress, the constant stress, and strong emotions, ranging from sadness and grief, anger, can dramatically disrupt the sleep. It is therefore for you to find spaces of expression of these emotions, to circulate, to share to someone who can receive you, and to find a space of authenticity and welcome what emotions are inside of you. Several supervised psychotherapeutic approaches are particularly effective to help you feel and convey these emotional loads, which creates part of the physical contractions and psychological stress, preventing you from feeling a state of opening and well-being. These approaches, among others, are:
– PCI, or psychocorporelle Approach Integrated
– EMDR or eye movements Desensibilizing and reprocessing
- Physical exercise
The practice of intense exercise during the day will no doubt help you fall asleep at night, this is a great classic, and a key to an optimal health.
- Massage and Sauna
Two practices that promote health in general and sleep. Getting a massage increases the endorphins, reduced stress hormones, increases immunity, promotes the relaxation of the nervous system and thus, promotes sleep when the night comes. The sweating through sauna brings your body and mind in the same direction, in addition to eliminating greatly the toxins.
You have the difficulty sleeping? Go to a beautiful spa, take your time and have three rounds of sauna and cold water, with a period of relaxation between each!
It may be that you have cranial tensions or other tensions in the body, which disrupt the balance of your body and its proper functioning. Osteopathy offers a wide range of treatment to release tensions that can affect your sleep cycle. Remember to visit a good Osteopath in order to check with him or her if you have difficulty falling asleep.
Have nice dreams!