CategoriesHealthy Lifestyle

The Power of Sleep and Rest

The Power of Sleep and Rest

 

Not getting enough sleep and rest is a major cause of health problems. Fatigue is one of the most common problems today. With people’s lifestyles becoming increasingly busy, one of the first things people are sacrificing is sleep. Many people think they can get by with 6 to 7 hours sleep a day. The National Sleep Health Survey by Roy Morgan in late 2010 showed that the average Australian between the ages of 25 and 65 gets around seven hours sleep on weeknights, well below the recommended. On weekends their average sleep length increases to seven and a quarter hours, which is insufficient to catch up. A large NSW mail survey (2008) reported that 18.4% of Australian participants slept less than 6.5 hours a night and 11.7% complained of chronic sleepiness. Fatigue is also a major cause of car accidents with Australian, American and British studies showing around 20-30% of fatal accidents involving driver fatigue.

The fact is that most people need 8 to 10 hours of sleep for optimum health. A lack of sleep and rest along with poor nutrition are two major causes of disease.

Why is sleep so important?

  • People are exhausted. Lack of sleep is one cause for the fatigue epidemic. Nutritional imbalances are another major cause. Needing stimulants to get through the day such as coffee, chocolate, sugar-filled foods, soft drinks, anger and worry, may be a sign that you aren’t getting enough sleep. Ongoing lack of sleep can cause nutritional imbalances which are hard to reverse and often requires more than just sleep.
  • Healing happens during sleep. It’s a time when the body regenerates itself. Overtime illness occurs when the body hasn’t had enough time to repair damaged tissues. If you have any kind of illness even just a cold or flu, extra sleep is needed for the body to heal.
  • Detoxification requires sleep. Everyone is affected by toxins in this toxic world today and sleep is when the body removes these toxins which takes energy.
  • The mind processes most thoughts, emotions, ideas, issues and traumas during sleep. As the saying goes ‘sleep on it’. Issues can be less of a big deal or even resolve themselves after a good night sleep.
  • Learning can occur during sleep. There is plenty of documentation to show that new information can be learnt at night but only with adequate rest and sleep.
  • Development including physical, mental and spiritual development requires a lot of sleep as the human body needs to heal, rejuvenate and upgrade.
  • Dreaming is an important part of sleep that can have various purposes including processing past and present events.

Why can some people get by on little sleep?

It may seem like some people are getting by on little sleep but inside they are slowly burning themselves out. It is likely they are using stimulants like coffee, sugar or energy drinks for a boost of energy because they are tired. However, this false energy will one day catch up with them and they will become sick.

Those who don’t sleep much or well may have biochemical imbalances in the body such as toxicity or calcium deficiency. They then become used to coping with less sleep but this is not healthy and won’t last.

When is best to go to bed?

Between 8 pm and 9.45 pm is recommended. The hours before midnight are worth far more than the hours after midnight. They are said to be two or three times more beneficial for healing the body and mind. This may be due to the changes in the earth’s energy. Chinese medicine explains that the organ activity increases later than 9 pm so the body becomes more active making it harder to sleep for some people.

Most people need at least 8 and often up to 10 hours of sleep every night. When I started healing myself with a diet and detoxification regime, I required extra sleep, sometimes 10 or 11 hours a night in the beginning. This often happens to people at the start while their body heals and catches up on sleep. Children and adolescents need 11 or more hours of sleep.

Conclusion

Sleep and rest is just as important to your health as diet and exercise. The quality of sleep you get directly affects mental and physical functioning as well as work and relationships. It is an essential part of each person’s daily life, a time of rejuvenation, insights, and healing.

References

http://sleephealthfoundation.org.au/pdfs/news/SFH%20Press%20Release.pdf

Bartlett DJ, Marshall NS, Williams A, Grunstein RR. Sleep health New South Wales: chronic sleep restriction and daytime sleepiness. Intern Med J2008; 38: 24-31. https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2013/199/8/public-health-implications-sleep-loss-community-burden#16

http://www.tac.vic.gov.au/road-safety/statistics/summaries/fatigue-statistics

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