My cat Felix never feels guilty about doing what he does best…..sleeping! Getting a full 8 hour's night’s sleep for some has become a luxury – and also a rare occurrence. Many people say they only need 4-5 hours sleep, and in our world of working 24/7 it seems to be the norm, however, it’s not very healthy. You may think you are able to function on very little sleep but over the long haul your health and body will pay the price. Sleep is vitally important to the proper functioning of the immune system which governs our health. Here’s something to think about: Chronic insomnia affects your hormones and can lead to depression, anxiety, premature aging, heart disease, metabolism problems, obesity, and even cancer. It’s important for your body to have a rhythmic sleep cycle (or circadian rhythm) to enable your body to avoid disease, heal and recharge.
Setting up a sacred sleep place is important, and setting good habits before bed is important; such as – turning off the TV, laying down around 10pm in complete darkness, switching off and putting all devices out of reach from your bed, not watching the news or anything violent before bed – you don’t want to take those thoughts to bed. Reading is helpful but make sure it’s a book that is calming and soothing for your soul. You can also listen to relaxing, meditative and peaceful music. Obviously avoid all caffeinated beverages and alcohol before sleep. Exercise during the day can also help you get a good night’s sleep.
Have a cup of relaxing tea before bed. Passionflower, chamomile or valerian teas will promote a calm mind and help let go of stress. You can even buy them concentrated with droppers in the herbal section of your health food store.
Sleep deprivation can also come from issues you are dealing with in your life. That happens to everyone and it is the cause of much distress. Try to recognize what is troubling you, address it, come to the realization you are not going to solve it overnight (literally) and try to put the day’s thoughts and troubles behind you and out of your mind. This will lead to a more restful sleep and give you the strength and clarity to address life’s issues tomorrow.