Too little or too much?
How does sleep effect me?
We all know that sleep is a part of life; but do we all know that it effects us daily if we receive too little or too much of it?
I have talked with four different sleep consultants and as a healer who using sleep as the time to allow my body, mind, and soul a chance to regenerate; I wanted to awaken and educate you all on the importance of healthy sleep, the risks of too little or too much sleep, and share some tips and tricks to bring yourself into the best state of sleep you can reach.
The first thing we need to know is how much sleep each person needs based on their age. Age is the simplest and straight forward place to start and look at for how much sleep is correct.
Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body. During sleep, most of the body’s systems are in an metabolic state, helping to restore the immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems; these are vital processes that maintain mood, memory, and cognitive function, and play a large role in the function of the endocrine and immune systems.
So how do we know if we are not getting enough sleep?
The four sleep consultants have shared some key signs that your lacking sleep if:
• Short tempered
• Increased impulsivity
• Exacerbated pre-existing mental health such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder
• Increased stress throughout the day
• Reduced immune system
• Difficulty waking up in the morning
• Obesity due to consuming unhealthy/ stimulating foods
• Heart disease
• Increased forgetfulness
• Lack of motivation and attention in everyday tasks
• Slower reactive time
•Sleep deprivation is also the number 1 contributing factor to PPD/PPA
•Low immunity/catching colds easily
And they also shared signs to look for within your babies and children.
•Acts needy or clingy - won’t let you put down
•Passive - not interested, not vocal - an event during play and the mood changes
•Falls asleep easily during short car rides at non-nap times
•Increased difficulty making nap transitions
•Fidgety, hyperactive behaviour, excited prior to sleep times are signs of being
•Limited attention span, lacks interest or motivation
•Alertness levels vary
•Sleep interruptions night terrors, sleepwalking
•Loud snoring, breathing interruptions and restlessness during longer periods of
•Increased anxiety related to separation
On the flip side it is a possibility that we and our children are getting too much sleep. The signs can be similar to a lack of sleep but there is a few different ones. As well, getting too much sleep can be a sign of an underlying sleep disorder like sleep apnea or mental health issue such as depression.
Here is a few signs to look for:
•medical disorders (examples- heart disease, type 2 diabetes)
•waking up feeling exhausted
For children they are similar as well:
•clingy and very attached
•early morning waking
So we can clearly see the impact that sleep has on all of us at any age.
It’s time to start taking care of yourself and putting sleep as a priority into your self care practice and daily routine.
Here is some tips and tricks for creating the best sleep routine. This are from my personal experience and from the sleep consultants. I will say that they all agreed on one tip- can you guess what that is?
It’s build a routine!!!! For yourself and your children. Children’s routines shouldn’t be longer than 30 minutes and adults start your a couple hours before bed. A routine might look like bed time snack for the kiddos, book or quiet play, bath, brush teeth and get into bed. For an adult, an example I’ll share is my own( and it’s not every night I’m not perfect at this either). I like to take time that is where I have a snack or treat, sometimes watch a show on tv or read a book, and than get ready to crawl into bed. Once into bed I so a short mediation to clear my mind and bring my body into a state of relaxation. A key part to our house routine is playing 432Hz tones( known to relax the mind and help improve sleep).
There second common tip was to avoid screens and activities that stimulate. Meaning set a timer before going to bed and make sure to do something calming and relaxing. This is where taking a bath, using aromatherapy, meditating, doing yoga, or reading a book would come into play. A great resource for mediations is Insight Timer.
The third tip was to make the environment appropriate for sleeping. This means dark, cool, and quiet or with white noise or light frequency tones that are directed to sleep frequency’s. Remember the 432Hz tones you can find them on iTunes or YouTube.
Seeing how important sleep is and how much of an impact it has on each of us- we can now make it a priority in our lives and our loved ones lives. When we sleep our bodies are regenerating and healing. Our life forces take this time to reenergize, release, and heal.
Regeneration is the process of renewal, restoration, and growth that makes cells and organisms resilient to natural fluctuations or events that cause disturbance or damage.
Reiki and energy work is a great step for also regenerating your body, mind, and soul. And has been known to bring the individual into a state of relaxation leading to sleep. From my experience I’ve seen it put some to sleep on the spot.
10 Benefits of receiving a good sleep are:
1. Your heart health
2. Can help prevent cancer
3. Reduces stress
4. Reduces inflammation
5. Lifts your alertness
6. Improves your memory
7. Helps you lose weight
8. Naps can help your brain
9. Reduce risk of depression
10. Helps the body, mind, soul repair themselves