miércoles, 23 de junio de 2010

The Importance of a Good Night's Sleep (Part 1)

Dear friends and readers,

Off we go driving down Healthy Life Lane, and in this first entry, I'll talk about a very important but sometimes underestimated aspect of human life: Sleep.

No, I'm not trying to hypnotize you, don't worry, LOL! Sleep is what's on my mind right now, because lately I've been having trouble sleeping and I really notice how not sleeping well affects my mood, happiness, and well-being in general.

You see, when you sleep, your body releases stress, your body regenerates and reenergizes, and your brain enters a latent mode, in which "house-keeping" tasks are performed in the brain, such as organizing long term memory, integrating new information and repairing tissue and biochemicals.

So, no wonder that lack of sleep causes symptoms such as:

- irritability
- lack of concentration
- mood swings
- general ill-feeling, tiredness, sleepiness

So, the question we can ask now is...

How to increase our chances of having a good night's sleep, in a natural way?

Well, to get started with, from my experience, eating habits are closely related to the quality of our sleep. Having too many fatty or oily meals late at night, and worse yet, going to bed right after eating, are TERRIBLE habits.

Why? For two main reasons, in my opinion:

1. Fatty foods give you fat deposits around your airways. This decreases airflow and when air passes, it causes snoring problems. Snoring problems are nothing to sneeze at, since they can lead to sleep apnea (very heavy snoring that leads to breath interruptions), which can be lethal in some cases!
2. Going to bed after eating a large meal, or worse, fatty, will give you indigestion during your sleep, and you'll most likely have nightmares. I've had a lot of that lately, and it sucks.
I'm guilty as charged of being a food lover, but I need to eat earlier!

Another important factor that influences a lot how we sleep is the use of some types of medications, excessive alcohol use, and smoking! Yes, that's right; as you can imagine, too much smoking irritates the airways and causes coughing at night and snoring. And we know what too much snoring can lead to... Yep: Sleep apnea.

Basically the idea is to reduce any excessive type of consumption, be it food, drink, or medication. Only by respecting a simple self-imposed rule, you can make miracles. Mine is: (and I pay consequences for not following it! LOL) "Stop eating at 8 pm. If you can't help it, eat a fruit or drink milk or yogurt."

The simplest (certainly not the easiest, though) way to sleep well is to learn to relax; adopting a positive approach towards life, and giving equal importance to all human aspects, including sleep.

That means:
- sleeping at least 6 hours a night
- making a serious attempt to not go to sleep stressed or angry. Meditate.
- watching eating habits and weight.
- enjoy life more!

Well, I hope you find this info useful. As you can see on the left side of this blog, there are some links to more information about various health topics, along with great tips and offers. Feel free to browse, because I will constantly update the links.

For now, the only sleep-related link I have is this one: How to Stop Snoring Naturally.

Also feel free to comment or e-mail me at gm.info.health@gmail.com

See you very soon on Part 2!

Blessings and Love,


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