The Power of Sleep (Part 1)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In my last Blog titled 'The 5 key lifestyle factors to instantly improve your quality of life' I revealed how sleep, the food you eat, how active you are, the way you think and how you manage stress directly affect your internal body chemistry and your chances for a naturally high life.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be providing information and tips on achieving your best in each of the 5 key lifestyle areas- starting with SLEEP.

Sleep is one of the most important lifestyle factors for achieving great internal chemistry and wellness. As the Dalai Lama once quoted 'Sleep is the best meditation.'
Deep sleep means you'll have greater productivity, better focus and more creativity. You'll be able to communicate ideas easily, have more energy and be willing to take on tasks with less fear, staying happier throughout the day and remaining rational in crisis.

If you don't get enough sleep it can lead to illness. Lack of sleep has also been known to cause horrific accidents, errors in judgement, and is a major symptom and cause of depression. One night's missed sleep can drastically mess with your body chemistry. It can literally take six weeks for the body to return to an optimal internal chemical balance after a sleepless night. One hour's sleep lost every night each week is the equivalent of staying up all night. I can certainly relate to this after spending a few late night's watching Wimbledon, the Tour de France and the Ashes of late. Spectacular sports viewing, but not spectacular energy the next day?!

Each individual needs different amounts of sleep with the average adult requiring three and ten hours. The amount of sleep can also vary form week to week, depending on a variety of factors including how much sun you were exposed to during the day, the amount of exercise you did, and the degree of learning or new experiences you faced during the day. Finding out your optimal amount of sleep is a crucial step toward performing at your peak.

When you're awake serotonin levels are at their peak. Then, as you pass into dream sleep, serotonin production stops. During the night the brain breaks down serotonin to create the powerful brain chemical melatonin.
Serotonin acts like and accelerator during the day, keeping you happy and energetic, controlling when and what you eat. Melatonin, on the other hand acts like a parking brake during the night, allowing you to recuperate and replenish all of your internal systems.

This blog post is continued...please read 'The Power of Sleep (Part 2)'

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