During sleep, most of our bodily energy is intelligently channeled toward healing. “A good night sleep has only recently been acknowledged as a potentially critical factor in human evolution,” says anthropologist David Samson of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Know why we fall asleep
When we are wide awake, the body-mind is active and nerve energy is being used up and as is nature’s way, we fall asleep. Nerve energy powers our nervous system, our organs and accelerates the self-healing processes. Sleep is our fountainhead of self-healing energy. The more we sleep, the more our vital energy will build up for all of our mind-body functions. Sleep charges our nerve cell “batteries” and fills up our nerve energy “storage tank.”
In 2015, researchers Antoine Louveau and Aleksanteri Aspelund discovered a good night’s sleep helps humans in removing waste through the glymphatic system. The glymphatic system is 60 percent more productive when we sleep than when we are awake!
Shift work, jet lags, travel schedules and other forms of circadian disruption including sleep deprivation increase the risk of individuals acquiring a disease or exacerbate the symptoms of a pre-existing condition. In 2007, night shift work was reclassified from a possible to a probable human carcinogen (class 2A) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
During deep sleep, the release of growth hormone peaks. This is important for cell reproduction, allowing our bodies to replace damaged or dying cells, and letting us grow and change. Good sleep habits allows us to retune and restore the fine balance of the physiological processes in the body.
Learning and memory are consolidated during the night. The brain is also able to prioritize which memories are consolidated during sleep. These are the benefits of good night sleep.
Tips to improve your sleep
Here are some of the tips to have a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed.
- Digital Disconnect – Lights emitting from our electronic gadgets disrupts the production of melatonin, a hormone that signals our body that its time to sleep. So disconnect yourself from electronic screens atleast 1 hour before you hit your bed.
- Bedtime Routine – 24-hour clock mechanism, or circadian oscillator, is critical for the function and coordination of a broad range of biological processes, from hormone secretion to locomotor activity. Disturbances in the circadian rhythm causes a myriad of physical, emotional, and psychiatric problems in humans, including sexual reproduction. Going to bed at approximately the same time every night can improve sleep quality as well as reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep. Most physiological processes follow our body clock and circadian rhythm, so bedtime routine at the same time everyday signals the body to prepare for good sleep.
- Temperature – Core body temperature should be low to induce a good sleep. Bath after a long day, brings down core temperature. A cool bedroom environment promotes further sleep. Sleep immediately after heavy exercises to be avoided.
- Music – Soothing music at low volume is likely to promote good sleep.
- Flowers – The scent of flowers promotes relaxation and brings down the stress levels. But ensure not to use room sprayers and artificial aromatic substances, which would do more harm than good.
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For detailed information on how sleep could preserve the human design, you can refer to “Reclaim your body – A guide to restoring health and fitness”