Sleep H(e)aven

A weekend slacking in sleep. A heavenly recovery sleeping session. And a whiny boyfriends of my friends, b****ing about her sleep too much, and I figured what better day than today to review sleep than today (specifically talking about sleep environment because that is the key to that blissful recovery snooze).

I personally believe sleep is one of the most overlooked health benefits (besides emphasis on cortisol and stress and the underestimate of play and joy). Now is sleeping alone going to make us live longer? It is one of several variables we should practice to increase our quality of living. This night of amazing sleep left me energized, rejuvenated, fresh, clear minded, focused, less hungry, and full of life love. That’s pretty damn powerful and important if you ask me. How essential is it to be ready to take on the day? How better is your work? How much better is your focus? How much nicer are you? How much better are you? I myself am a bitch on less hours of sleep and my ravenous appetite only adds to the less than pleasant mood.

Some Basics to Sleep Benefits:

  • Hormone restorations. Hormones are at the center of many bodily functions. Hormone levels are restored and balanced while we sleep. Important such hormones could include Growth Hormone. Why do you think they say ‘you build muscle while you sleep.’ This also is essential for growing children obviously, as well
  • Hunger: things like leptin and ghrelin control hunger. Ghrelin especially is linked to being a sleep lover. Basically sufficient sleep can lead to less appetite and hunger during the day. Like I mentioned above I testify that I am quite ravenous on days lacking in sleep.
  • Immune system function
  • Better memory
  • Better creative problem solving
  • More energy
  • Better athletic performance
  • Improved aging

I will always remember this book on light I read three years ago, it was utterly fascinating. It correlated light and sleep. During the summer we sleep less- more food available and more hours of daylight. We load up on carbs during this season because we’re preparing for scarcity and more night time (more sleep). However, in today’s world we live in perpetual summer because there’s more light, heating systems, and readily available food. We crave more food. Hmm… just some interesting food for thought that can get the wheels turning.

Now how to practice sleep and the bedroom. Now generally a ‘this is where the magic happens’ (sorry  I used to watch a lot of Cribs once upon a time) can be thought when talking about the bedroom, but I am talking about the magic of some good shut eye not extra curricular bedroom uses. The first picture is non other than my shed loft (to clue anyone unfamiliar with me in- three years ago I wanted to simplify my life. I sleep in a shed with no heating or cooling by choice). I get looks when I say I don’t sleep well inside anymore but its the honest truth. You know why? Lighting is a huge problem for me and they have done studies with lights affect on sleep (hint watching tv and such before bed is not a solution for a restlessfree night of sleep). There are so many distractions. Being in my shed however is close to living in a cave. I admit it makes me feel pretty primal and closer to my ancestors. It is perfectly dark. The only noises are those of nature and I wake to a chorus of birds sounding as a natural alarm clock in the morning whenever the sun is rising. I try to sleep according to natural light patterns. It gets dark my melatonin soothes me into sleepiness. The sun rises with my serotonin and I’m ready for the day. Note  I do this as much as possible and within reason, I do not go to bed at 6 pm but 9 is great if I can. Again like yesterday I am an extremist, I don’t expect others to sleep in sheds (most people tell me I’m crazy actually or some say that’s great for me).  It’s a matter of looking at how you can improve your sleep patterns and sleep. Where can I sleep in some more z’s? Can I finish on the computer or T.V. sooner? Can I take some of these out of the  bedroom? How can I make my bedroom have less distractions? How can I make it darker? How can I make it more peaceful. My friend Tab does a lot of Crossfitting. She just bought a new Tempurpedic mattress to help her aching body sleep more restfully. Like everything, it’s about discovering what works best for you, and it’s about being more aware of your sleep habits and habitat. Good Night!

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