Saturday, November 5, 2011

" Dream On ... "

" Every time I look in the mirror 
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went by, like dusk to dawn
Isn't that the way
Everybody's got their dues in life to pay ... 
Dream On, Dream On, Dream On ... "
~ Aerosmith ~ Dream On ~

I, for one, use to underestimate the power of Sleep.  I use to be one of those that once again took pride in working lots and sleep less.  Like I was looking for a badge of honour or something.  I imagine some of those around me thought I was insane.  Asking themselves, how can you function with minimal sleep?  And it was also the quality of sleep.  Once I would get to bed, I would lie awake allowing my thoughts to review all the going ons in my life, eventually falling asleep ... then, I would wake in the middle of the night only to be irritated that I couldn't fall back to sleep ... finally getting a few zzz's in prior to the darn alarm clock waking us.  Overall, not well rested and just played frustrated.  Sound familiar?

Yet the importance of sleep, rest and dreams is critical for optimum health.  Getting less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep can increase our risk for developing dis-ease.  "Rest = Restoration" ... Sleep provides us an opportunity to cleanse, repair and rejuvenate on a deep cellular level and we can nourish our body within this natural cycles of rest ... this is when the healing work takes place.  Without the need to attend to all of the functions of daily life, our immune system and organs of detoxification can focus attention on cleansing and restoration.  This is the time when our bodies does major housecleaning, taking care of wastes that have accumulated during the day and repairing cellular damage.  So overriding this desire for sleep interferes with the natural rhythm of cleansing.  Also, according to some in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, as well as Western naturopathic healing philosophy, the most important hours for detoxification and rejuvenation are before midnight.  The earlier you go to bed, the better.  

For the most restful and restorative sleep make sure that your sleeping environment is as healthful as possible.  We have cotton bedding to allow the body to breathe.  As well we keep our window open a few inches year round for fresh air.  A few other things we do to prepare for a good night sleep is to avoid stressful mental activity right before bed, and listen to soothing music or meditate.  Sometimes a brisk 30 minute walk or a soothing hot bath can help.  Anything to get you to relax, unwind and prepare for your healing sleep.

This is all so timely as tonight, here in Calgary, we get to wind our clocks and "fall back" with the time change.  Very excited as another hour of rest is always welcome.  And a recent survey in our city asked "what will you do with that extra hour tonight?" ... and it I was happy to see that the majority will use it to benefit their health and ... Sleep.

♥ Sleep is the best meditation  Dalai Lama

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