Welcome to the second of our deep dive subjects, this month is all about SLEEP!
We will be exploring real and practical topics every month that we feel lack a voice in an industry that focusses on feeling happy all the time. These are topics that many of you have talked to us about personally via email or in person. If you have a topic that you feel needs to be addressed then feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Last month we explored Stress and Anxiety and with the holiday season coming up in December we’ll explore the topic of Loneliness.
One of them most common complaints from our clients is a lack of sleep, either not being able to get enough through poor routines, diet, stress, young children or waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep.
Sleep Is The No.1 Thing For a Healthier Mind and Body
What we’ve noticed is that when people start doing HASIKO one of the benefits that our clients talk about is a huge improvement not just in the quantity but the quality of their sleep. They wake up feeling refreshed with the feeling of having slept deeply. The combination of moderate exercise designed to reduce stress and tension in the body and deep relaxation during the meditation for the mind seem to create the perfect conditions to have a good night’s sleep. Generally, we tell our clients to practice the HASIKO Flow in the morning before the day’s activities but have found some clients practice the HASIKO Flow just before bedtime as part of their sleep routine. Try both and let us know what works best for you.
We all know we should be getting more sleep – in fact getting adequate sleep is as important for our health as good food and water. It helps us with everything from stress and energy levels, mood and memory, and can even help stop cold and flu symptoms in their tracks. In fact, research is now even pointing to the fact that sleep helps us process and regulate our emotions too, this is why we have included dream analysis in our toolkit. Sometimes, our dreams are literally metaphorical reflections of what’s going on in our lives but few of us remember never mind taking the time to research the meaning of our dreams.
Sleep is something that is innate to us yet in today’s modern world getting the recommended 8 hours a night can be much easier said than done! Even living organisms like bacteria have active and passive periods linked to lightness and darkness. Yet modern day human beings find it so difficult to get a good night’s sleep with the invention of artificial light, stress, the use of stimulants such as caffeine and an addiction to devices that leaves us wired and unable to sleep peacefully at night.
A lack of sleep can be attributed to psychiatric conditions, weight gain, immune deficiency not to mention your mental and emotional capacity to function during the day as a normal civil human being. How many times have you had a bad night’s sleep followed by a terrible day at work and then petty arguments with your partner or family just because you slept badly. Sleep is vital not only for our physical wellbeing but for our mental and emotional wellbeing too.
Sleep Is Not a Waste of Time
It’s not just about how much you sleep but it’s the quality of sleep you are getting too. That means falling asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed, getting undisturbed rest and waking up less than once a night and being able to fall back asleep again easily.
In today's modern society, sleep deprivation is glamorised and celebrated, we’ve all muttered the phases “You snooze, you lose,” and, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” we are all guilty of neglecting all important shuteye. But is it really necessary to spend so much of our lives in this state? The answer of course is a resounding YES. In fact, some scientists argue that modern society has become ‘supremely arrogant’ in ignoring the importance of sleep, which can contribute to some serious health problems, including cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, infections and obesity.
There is a reason why we spend a staggering one third of our entire lives asleep. For one, sleep is actually a highly active brain process and is required for healthy and optimal brain function. Indeed, it is well known within the scientific community that sleep plays an important role in memory and learning. Sleep resets the steady build-up of ‘connectivity’ in the brain that takes place during the day. The process appears to be crucial for our brains to remember and learn so we can adapt to the world around us. Deprived of rest, the brain’s neurons seemingly became ‘over-connected’ and so muddled with electrical activity that new memories could not be properly laid down. The loss of even a single night’s sleep is enough to block the brain’s natural reset mechanism!
A lack of sleep can also change the production of hormones that control appetite, which can result in increased hunger and cravings during the day, especially for fatty and sweet foods. In addition to fluctuations in appetite hormones, lack of sleep increases our fatigue during the day, potentially resulting in overeating and caffeine use in a bid to up our energy levels, and a reduction in the willingness and ability to exercise. Evidence suggests that when people are sleep deprived, they feel more irritable, angry and hostile, and sleep loss is also associated with feeling more depressed, and makes you more vulnerable to stress and anxiety. In addition, sleep deprivation seems to be associated with greater emotional reactivity --people who suffer from sleep loss are especially likely to react negatively when something doesn’t go their way.
Start Sleeping Better Tonight
Getting a good night’s sleep is a conscious choice and changes to your lifestyle, done consistently over a period of time, can be extremely effective at getting you the good nights sleep you deserve. We created THE SLEEP TOOLKIT full of ideas to help you have a better quality of sleep.