The Art of Rest

Now that the parties are mostly over, the feasting has slowed down and most of the family and and friends have gone home..its time to give yourself a break.  Aside from keeping your immune system up to par by maintaining  a balance between the 3 bodies, i.e. feeding your physical body with the right foods and exercise, disciplining the mental body and coming to terms with your emotional body, sleep is essential.

More often than ever, I hear the complaint from clients that they cannot get good nights sleep.  They have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. During sleep, the hormone melatonin (which is secreted only in total darkness) signals your entire body to shift from daytime running-around mode into nighttime healing mode. In addition to that, it also stimulates the nighttime release of another valuable hormone: growth hormone.

 Growth hormone is vital for normal development of children, but it has wonderfully beneficial effects in adults as well.  It actually: 

  • Makes your bones stronger
  • Increases your muscle mass through the creation of new muscle cells
  • Promotes lipolysis, which helps you lose body fat
  • Increases protein synthesis and stimulates optimal maintenance of all internal organs
  • Supports your pancreas’ ability to make insulin
  • Stimulates your immune system 

Needless to say how important deep sleep is.  Here are some suggestions you may try if you are not getting enough.

  • Listen to white noise or relaxation audios. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep. We have plenty of that close by with the placid Pacific (for the most part) and Rio Cuale.
  • there are some very good YouTube sleep audios that will put you under fast. A personal favorite is Michel Sealy  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLgwD7qczJQ
  • Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. This will raise blood sugar and inhibit sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you might wake up and not be able to fall back asleep. Asian medicine states that eating 2 hours before sleep will stimulate the liver, where your spirit resides during sleep.  Stimulating the liver with fats and sugar causes the spirit to be restless, this being the cause of restless sleep and excessive dreaming
  • Sleep in complete darkness or as close as possible. If there is even the tiniest bit of light in the room it can disrupt your circadian rhythm and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Turn off all the those little red lights on the DVD player, air conditioning, fans, clocks, T.V., or cover them up with cloth.
  • No flat screens, lap tops or I pads right before bed. It is too stimulating to the brain and it will take longer to fall asleep. Also disruptive of pineal gland function for the same reason as above.  Not to mention the news factor that seems to be rather sensational and disturbing. Pick up a real paper book 30 minutes before sleep time.
  • Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on the body to be awoken suddenly. And it may save you money when your bed partner tosses the damn thing out the window. Try going to bed a ½ hour earlier and keep the drapes open so the sun light will waken you naturally.
  • Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. When body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating sleep.  Try some aromatherapy and candles if you have a bathtub.
  • If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, the hormonal changes at this time may cause problems if not properly addressed.  I recommend MACA POWDER  or pasiflora tea before bedtime that seems to work well.  No coffee after 3 p.m. helps.  CBD works wonders when massaged into hands and feet and back of the neck(www.organic-select.com)
  • Make certain you are exercising regularly, at least 30 minutes everyday can help you fall asleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake.  
  • Establish a bedtime routine. This could include meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy or essential oils.
  • Natural aids  CBD oil, in massage or 8 to 10 drops under the tongue. 
  • Eye masks.  We have one filled with lavender and flax seed which is very affective and smells wonderful

My Mexican mom says to make an infusion of pasiflora leaves and valerian root  and drink a cup before retiring.. They also make a small pillow out of the dried pasiflora leaves and sleep on it… and it REALLY works.  She uses the pillows with fussy grand babies.

She also says to take a siesta in the hammock under the pasilfora tree and you will have sweet dreams.

 That’s for sure.

xxk

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