Journey to wellness: The elusiveness of sleep
Tips on how to get better, more restorative rest
By Josiah Groth
For many people sleep is a problem. Getting to sleep, staying asleep, and feeling rested when you are done can be elusive goals. Here are a few tips, tricks, and insights that may help you get the rest you crave.
Getting to sleep
Few people understand that it actually takes energy to shift your consciousness into sleep. Many people that suffer from insomnia are so depleted that they fail to muster enough energy to jump into slumber. If you are one of these people, try taking some rejuvenating herbs or get a weekly massage for a month. Practicing yoga or meditation for 20 minutes before sleep will allow you to conserve and build energy too.
Most of us have had the experience where we are very tired, but then around 10-11 p.m. we get a surge of energy and alertness that carries us into the wee hours of the morning. This second wind is caused by a rise in the fiery and stimulating force called pitta energy.
Every night from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. this subtle force rises up and affects us all. If you want to get to sleep on time, make a point of getting to bed at 9:30 p.m., before the stimulating energies of pitta give you a second wind and you lose three hours of sleep.
Have you ever heard that spicy foods give nightmares? They may indeed, but more importantly, spicy foods have a deep, stimulating impact on one’s nervous system and consciousness. This agitation can affect our dreams, cause indigestion, and interrupt sleep cycles. Try to keep the spicy foods out of your diet from 6 p.m. onwards. Some people are very agitated by spice and may need to cut it out earlier than others.
They call the hours between 12-2 a.m. “liver time.” What that means is that our liver and detoxification organs activate during the night to digest toxins and perform housekeeping duties. Many of us fail to realize that eating food late forces our liver to digest that food instead of detoxifying the body. It takes about four hours for the stomach to empty completely after a meal, which is why the rule is no food after 8 p.m.Adopting this strategy will go a long way to giving our bodies the undisturbed rejuvenation of nightly liver time.
Creating regularity in your wake up time is a powerful way to sync all of your biological systems. Have you ever tried to plan a party and not given exact times for your attendees? By waking up at different times of the day and by not setting a consistent alarm every morning, we end up with chaos, just like if we forgot to set a time for our party. The best advice for getting your hormone levels and other wake up systems all together at the same time and place is to wake up at the same time every single day: weekends, weekdays, and holidays too.