Lights Out! – Time For Some Rest, Recuperation And Rejuvenation

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This past week has reminded me, once again, about the absolute importance of sleep, rest and recuperation to aid us in recuperating from anything from an average day to a stressful day, from a joyful day to an emotionally draining day, from regular exertions (like workouts) to occasional occurrences (like flights at really early hours or surgeries, injuries or illness).

The reminder came in the form of a tooth that broke under a crown making it necessary for an extraction. Two days after my surgery, my beloved husband went into the hospital for heart related surgery, and my son, who rarely comes to town, showed for a surprise weekend visit for his father’s birthday, on the same day as my husband’s surgery… All of this added up to late nights, early mornings, several trips to the hospital (carrying coolers of healthy meals, snacks and things to do), cooking, cleaning and doing my best to help figure out enjoyable ways to spend time with my son while also not going overboard on energy expenditure and still being able to assist my husband as needed.

I realized this can sound fairly similar to many days in the life of a mami. The life events can be smaller or larger, but it seems they are there on a pretty regular basis, and one of the very best things we can do to be strong enough to meet each day is to do our best to get enough rest! Sometimes we get so focused on what needs to be done, etc. that we put our energy at the bottom of the list, but if you don’t recharge a battery, we all understand that it will stop working and either need to be replaced or recharged. What about us?

Functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Amy Myers, states the following:

“Sleep determines hormones, energy levels, and how well you recover from illness. My body uses the hours I spend asleep to repair itself and help get rid of the unwanted toxins I encounter throughout the day. Sleep—deep, healing sleep—is essential to reducing inflammation and keeping the immune system healthy.”  (read more here)

She goes on in the post to share her evening routine for laying the foundation for a restorative night’s rest and indicates that sleep is so important to calming inflammation that it is one of the pillars of her healing protocol. However, it is not enough that you do sleep, because for your sleep to have this much needed rejuvenating effect, it is critical for you to relieve your stress prior to and during going to bed.

How is this done?

There are a number of things that can contribute to and lay the foundation for a good night’s sleep. You may be thinking that do you do not need more things to do, but if getting rejuvenating and healing rest is really important to your own health and vibrancy (and it is!), it needs to be tended to at least to some degree. Interestingly, people will spend all kinds of energy and money on things like pre & post-workout supplements and stretching, in preparation for working out, or they will be very dedicated to flossing and brushing or skin care and cutting, styling and arranging their hair or makeup, but see it as a burden or unreasonable to do other things, like preparing for an optimal night’s rest!

Since we are typically not taught things that support a healing night’s rest, I am going to share some reminders here taken from sleep specialist, Dan Pardi (read or listen to more here), who says that “sleep is dependent on the usage of our body and mind over the day.”

He goes on to state that “when you get more physical activity during the day, you will fall asleep sooner and you’ll stay asleep longer.” And that the best time for “[l]ight exposure [is] first thing in the morning. This affects  melatonin, and “melatonin will influence sleep rhythms and circadian rhythms.”

It is also very important to control your light environment, by getting light in the morning, some outdoor light several times during the day, and trying to have bright light at your office place.  In the evening, tone down the lights, change the tone of the lights from blue to more amber tones (there is a computer app called f.lux that adjusts to the time of day and creates an amber hue on the screen in the evening), and then at night try to keep your sleep environment cool, calm, quiet, and dark. This can be done by using black-out curtains, removing/reducing the number of all light emitting devices and electronics in the bedroom. (Summarized from Dan Pardi’s above mentioned interview)

I know that after the weekend ended, I was finally able to get a much needed long rest and it felt really good to be able to do that. I have also seen needed rest help to curtail pending colds, flus and general low energy as well as help to rejuvenate one when they are extended past their limits, as well as help reduce stress and make people feel like they could deal with whatever was going on in their life much easier.

 

May this information shine some light on not only how important sleep and rejuvenation is, but also help provide some info about how you can start implementing better sleep habits to have a healthier, happier life beginning today.

Blessings to you and thank you for all the loving parenting you do; it makes a better world, one Sweetie at a time.

Hug attached,

Koolma  : )

 

Have you already incorporated in some “better sleep habits”?   If so, share what worked and what didn’t.   Have you dealt with your own health related issues that had a link to stress or lack of sleep and found healing through adjusting your nighttime habits and rituals?

We’d love to hear from you, so please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section so we can help each other; remember, we are all in this together!

 

 

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