By Mary Berkery
The science behind your beauty sleep.
Sleep is not well understood and yet, is a much sought after commodity.
You could fast for 7 days on water or juices and at the end of seven days, how would you be feeling? You’d probably be hungry, perhaps a little weak, and almost certainly somewhat thinner and with many toxins gone from your body. If you deprive yourself of sleep for a week, the feeling is not so good. After several days, you’d be almost completely unable to function.
Getting a better night’s sleep could also help with shedding extra weight healthily. According to a study at Uppsala University in Sweden, lack of sleep can actually slow down your metabolism. Another study, published in 2010 in the British Medical Journal, showed that regular shut-eye makes you look healthier and more attractive. Researchers photographed 23 people after a period of sleep deprivation and after a normal night’s sleep of eight hours. The photos were shown to 65 people who rated each photo based on health, attractiveness and tiredness. The sleep deprived group scored lower in all three categories. And I know only too well how dull my skin can look if I have had insufficient sleep.
We’ve all heard of sleeping on a problem, in the hope that come morning the solution will be clear. Scientists have found that when you do this, your brain still looks for a solution, while you’re asleep! Even if you don’t wake up with an answer, a good night’s sleep will equip your brain to assess the problem afresh. There is a saying in a certain self-help group that says “H.A.L.T on action making when you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired.” A good night’s sleep let’s you wake up ready to take on the challenges of the day.
- Go to bed earlier and if possible at the same time each night. It sounds obvious, yet so often a conversation, TV programme or late evening web-surfing can eat into precious sleeping time. Then, you wake up at the latest possible time you think is acceptable and your day can end up running on ‘catch-up’. If you don’t ritualise a specific bedtime, you’ll find ways to stay up later.
- Start winding down at least 45 minutes before you turn out the light. You won’t fall asleep if you’re wound-up from answering emails, having stimulating conversations or doing other work. Create a ritual around drinking a cup of herbal tea, listening to music or laying out your clothes for the following day. All these rituals can help you relax.
- Write down what’s on your mind, especially unfinished to-do lists and unresolved concerns. If you leave items in your working memory, they’ll make it harder to fall asleep and you may end up ruminating on them during the night. Journaling helps clear them from your mind and bring peace.
- Cut out refined sugars, carbonated drinks and caffeine drinks. I have personally experienced that when I stay with my vegan and health nutrition, I sleep better and deeper.
- Keep your mobile phone away from beside your bed. Leave it in another room switched off and if possible switch off the Wi-Fi connection in your home before sleeping.
- Have adequate fresh air circulating in your bedroom to allow your cells sufficient oxygen.
- Release your sleep to healing and love and ask for divine care to be with you as you rest in body and in mind.