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Organic Select’s healthy living tips: The Art of Sleep

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Guest post by Krystal, of Organic Select

Aside from keeping your immune system up to par by maintaining  a balance between the 3 bodies, i.e. feeding your physical body with the right foods and exercise, disciplining the mental body and coming to terms with your emotional body, sleep is essential.

I often hear the complaint from my clients that they cannot get a good night’s sleep.  They have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. During sleep, the hormone melatonin (which is secreted only in total darkness) signals your entire body to shift from daytime running-around mode into nighttime healing mode. In addition to that, it also stimulates the nighttime release of another valuable hormone: growth hormone.

Growth hormone is vital for normal development of children, but it has wonderfully beneficial effects in adults as well.  It actually:

  • Makes your bones stronger
  • Increases your muscle mass through the creation of new muscle cells
  • Promotes lipolysis, which helps you lose body fat
  • Increases protein synthesis and stimulates optimal maintenance of all internal organs
  • Supports your pancreas’ ability to make insulin
  • Stimulates your immune system

Needless to say how important deep sleep is.  Here are some suggestions you may try if you are not getting enough.

  • Listen to white noise or relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep.
  • Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. This will raise blood sugar and inhibit sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you might wake up and not be able to fall back asleep.  Asian medicine states that eating 2 hours before sleep will stimulate the liver, where your spirit resides during sleep.  Stimulating the liver with fats and sugar causes the spirit to be restless, this being the cause of restless sleep and excessive dreaming (What??? No more cheerios and bananas before bed time???  Comfort food is good, maybe tea would be better.)
  • Sleep in complete darkness or as close as possible. If there is even the tiniest bit of light in the room it can disrupt your circadian rhythm and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin.  Turn off all the those little red lights on the DVD player, air conditioning, fans, clocks, T.V., or cover them up with cloth.
  • No TV right before bed, Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even out of the house, completely. It is too stimulating to the brain and it will take longer to fall asleep. Also disruptive of pineal gland function for the same reason as above.  Not to mention the news factor that seems to be rather sensational and disturbing.
  • Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on the body to be awoken suddenly.  And it may save you money when your bed partner tosses the damn thing out the window. Try going to bed a ½ hour earlier and keep the drapes open so the sun light will waken you naturally.
  • Avoid foods that you may be sensitive to. This is particularly true for dairy and wheat products, as they may have effect on sleep, such as causing excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, and gas, among others.  (there goes my cherrios again..)…
  • Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. When body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating sleep.  Try some aromatherapy and candles if you have a bathtub.
  • If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, the hormonal changes at this time may cause problems if not properly addressed.  I recommend pasiflora tea before bedtime that seems to work well.  No coffee after 3 p.m. helps.  Green oil works wonders when massaged into hands and feet (www.organic-select.com)
  • Make certain you are exercising regularly, at least 30 minutes every day can help you fall asleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake.
  • Establish a bedtime routine. This could include meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy or essential oils, or, indulging in a foot massage from your dear one.
  •  When catching a siesta, or traveling, Wear an eye mask to block out light.  I find ear plugs come in handy on flights.
  • Order some of sleeping potion No.9 from Organic-Select.com..this is good for 6-8 hours of deep, dreamless sleep.  It is a blend of natural Chinese and Mexican herbs.

My Mexican mom says to make an infusion of pasiflora leaves and drink ½ cup before retiring.. They also make a small pillow out of the dried leaves and sleep on it… and it REALLY works.  She uses the pillows with fussy grand babies.

She also says to take a siesta under the pasilfora tree and you will have sweet dreams.

…And don’t forget the power of the hammock.

Questions or comments may be directed to organic-select@hotmail.com

Organic Select offers online ordering of organic foods…delivered to Punta de Mita!
www.organic-select.com