Benefits of sleep

Given how poorly you feel without sleep it is no surprise that the rest and relaxation you get during sleep is healing. Necessary for the mind, body, particularly heart, immune system and digestion is snoozing regularly.

human skeleton - torsoThe spine elongates and realigns 

Some doctors say growing happens during slumber, but the spine lengthens. As sleep continues, the discs in your spine elongate or decompress due to lack of gravity and pressure. That also occurs as you stand during the day or walk around. That’s why sleeping on the side in the fetal position, which doesn’t compress the spine is great for back health.

Your Heart Rests

During sleep, the heartbeat and heart rate both slow, giving the heart a much-earned rest. Meaning during sleep, blood pressure is lower as heart muscles and circulatory systems. Rest is a reboot and repair for the day ahead.Human heart

Lower heart disease risk

– A connection between the brain, bone marrow, and blood vessels that protects against hardening of the arteries has been found. 

virus under microscope

Immune System Bolsters

Science shows that quality sleep bolsters the T cells in your body that fight off infection.  By enhancing the ability of T cells to adhere to and destroy cells infected by viruses and other pathogens.

Digestion System Heals

Farting – It turns out that sleep is better, at allowing gas out of your system than beans for your heart. The more you snooze, the more you fart. These gases generated in the intestine or stomach, likely to cause flatulence. This word is from the Latin flatus blowing, a breaking wind. The breaking of wind is due to the relaxation of the anal sphincter muscles, which lets you eliminate pent up gas from the digestive system. But don’t worry, if a partner is sleeping they won’t know.

Biggest organ repairs

Skin Repair – With sleep, collagen increases to repair damaged skin. Your grandmother knew the truth; you do need your beauty rest. She is referring to the excess collagen proteins released during sleep that help repair and strengthens damaged skin cells and lessen fine lines and wrinkles. Moisturizer and botox, no matter how expensive, neither have anything on a good night’s sleep!

Add years

Increases Longevity – Studies demonstrate that having less than five hours of sleep per night regularly issenior citizen associated with higher mortality.  Less than seven hours of sleep for three nights in a row has the same effect on the body as missing one full night of sleep.

Time for Dreaming – Healing the Mind

Sleep needs to leave you feeling refreshed, without fatigue. Mind fog is proven to lift with healing sleep. You no longer wake groggy and struggling. But if you are in a particularly stressful time in life realistic expectations are essential. Do not stress about sleep instead find ways to increase sleep quality and quantity. 

benefits of sleep
Infants and toddlers sleep in a makeshift nursery at the Military Airlift Command terminal during Operation Fiery Vigil.

Good sleep is essential for self-healing because: 

  • Rest and sleep help increase the length of your life.
  • Muscle and tissue repair happens in sleep. 
  • The immune system enhances
  • Digestion rests
  • Sleep guides away from depression and anxiety.
  • Snoozing allows muscles to relax, allowing the body to recharge fully.
  • Sleep affects the hormone levels that stimulate appetite, keeping weight under control.
  • Sleep allows the body to process emotional and physical upset. Recover from the day and to feel rejuvenated to handle the next day.
  • Sleep allows the body to fight off inflammation linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and even premature aging.
  • Adequate sleep reduces levels of fatigue, stress and pain, which in turn gives better control over blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Adequate sleep is essential for an overall sense of well-being.
  • A good night’s sleep is fundamentally essential for active people because sleep can recharge the body and give it some healing time.

Woman facedown on bedA time to dream

Besides being at times fun dreaming is healing. You need time for your unconscious to tell stories and work challenges out. 

Research has shown dreams are feelings, images and memories which involuntarily occur – without your conscious thought during the REM stage of sleep. 

Solve problems with Lucid Dreaming 

Have you ever had a fantastic dream, and at the same time, had an awareness that you were dreaming? Sleeping manThis is what is known as lucid dreaming. Many people experience this dreaming.  And this state can have a profound effect on their life.

Benefits of Lucid Dreaming

Lucid dreaming is a mixture of being both unconscious and conscious. People who reach this state easily find that it boosts their creativity and helps them with solving problems. And being able to shape your dreams can be very beneficial.

Lucid dreaming comes naturally for some, but many people find that they need a little help inducing this state of consciousness. 

Scents set the Stage

Scents can particularly evoke strong feelings and memories. Think about a time that you smelled a particular fragrance that took you right back to a moment in your life. It could be a positive experience or a negative one, but there’s no doubt scent has a strong influence on the mind. 

Essential oilsSeveral essential oils can help to set the stage for lucid dreaming. A particular scent helps you to unlock the power of your mind. They can help to get the brain into a relaxed state, improve sleep, and remove worries that might get in the way.

Some of the best choices include; sandalwood, lavender, rose, clove and the lesser-known Palo Santo. For example, when you suffer from stress and anxiety, diffusing Palo Santo oil before bed will help you to relax, leaving the day’s worries behind. That allows you to get a better night’s sleep.man with flowers on grass

Don’t Ignore the Sleep Stats 

Not convinced yet.  How many people do you know are walking around like zombies?

69% of adults routinely do not get enough sleep. 

A third of Americans sleep fewer than six hours each night whereas even 50 years ago only 15% did.

8 million people fall asleep behind the wheel of their cars and trucks monthly.

The cost of  American sleep deficiency is more than $411 billion every year according to the Rand Corporation just in lost productivity, greater absenteeism, and increased risk of injury, not even counting the pain and health costs.

Harvard and Sleep Improvement

For Harvard sleep is so important they are countering College Sleeplessness with Sleep 101. Even before arriving on campus, the incoming Class of 2022 must finish a module on the importance of sleep health.

children on a bed
Relax

Now that you know the benefits it is up to you

Consider the amount of sleep you are getting for your body and mind to repair. Because a lot of sleep problems are simply habits formed at stressful times in life. Those poor sleep patterns can change because they are voluntarily induced. 

The Pain Processing Practice makes you consciously decide you’re going to make enough time for sleep. If you don’t make it possible to have healing sleep with knowing all the benefits to your health.  Then empowered self healing is not going to happen. Make the decision to prioritize sleep. To be pain-free you need to decide to prioritize an adequate night’s sleep.

Sleep starting tonight

 

References 

National Center on Sleep Disorders Research

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/divisions/division-lung-diseases/national-center-sleep-disorders-research

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

https://aasm.org/

American Alliance for Healthy Sleep

https://sleepallies.org/

NIH HEAL Initiative: Science taking on pain, opioid misuse—and poor sleep

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/news/2019/nih-heal-initiative-science-taking-pain-opioid-misuse-and-poor-sleep

Countering college’s culture of sleeplessness

Sleep, the final frontier: This guy studies it. Here’s what he has to say

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/08/17/sleep-final-frontier-this-guy-studies-here-what-has-say/MCII4NnJyK6tbOHpvdLgQN/story.html

Hafner, M, Stepanek, M, Taylor, J. Why sleep matters—the economic costs of insufficient sleep: a cross-country comparative analysis. 2016. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

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