Hello again my dear friends, I hope that all has been going well in each of your worlds. As always I want to thank you for spending this time with me today. So we have made it through four of our six foundational principles of Health; Hydration, Nutrition, Movement and Breath. Coming in at number 5, today’s topic is our Sleep.
I will apologize in advance for repetitively beginning many of these posts by saying in some way or another how vast a topic this is and how its hard for me to decide how to approach it. And this topic is no different. But, when we get through with these last two foundational principals I will be choosing topics that are a bit more specific. Or you could leave me some topics that you're interested in and I’ll think through them right here with you.
So…. Sleep…. Yup, its a pretty big topic, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’m pretty sure you are familiar with it. Not to mention that there are more experts and books on the topic than you could get through in a lifetime. But why’s it so common for folks today to have so many issues with getting Quality Sleep and the mental and physical recovery and vitality that it alone can provide. And its FREE!!
From my view it really boils down to two main issues or categories.. The first being that the individual doesn’t prioritize sleep or they prioritize other things over sleep. The second being that once in bed they have trouble either falling to sleep or staying asleep. We will get into both of these now.
I’ll start with a quote that I use often in my coaching, its from Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience at UC Berkley and the founder and director of the Center for Human Sleep Science.
“So the body throughout all of evolution has evolved to deal with feast and famine. In times of plenty we store excess calories as fat, an easy energy source when we need it, and then in times of scarcity we have what we need to survive.
So the physical body almost has a credit system. Unfortunately the brain does not.
And there is a pretty simple answer to why this is.
Human beings are the only species that deprive themselves of sleep on a regular basis for no apparent reason. Mother Nature hasn’t come up to the challenge of lack of sleep until now.”
We deprive ourselves of Sleep for no apparent reason… Think about that for a sec. Now think about that through the lens of evolution and Mother Nature. We have the ability to go to sleep, nothing is forcing us against our will to not get sleep. But we do it, and unknowingly to most, it is to our determent in so many ways.
There is so much societal pressure these days to perform and to work your ass off and to ‘grind’ is almost a bragging right. ‘I worked 10 hours a day on 4 hours of sleep this week/month.’
That statement doesn’t make me want to want to give that person a high five, it makes me feel sad for them. At the top of my list is ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead.’ That one’s just a bit too ironic for me, because little do they know that they will have that opportunity much sooner if you adopt that lifestyle.
Not to mention the added stress to the body from staying up late into the night, throwing your Circadian Rhythm out of wack. Naturally our Circadian Rhythm is determined by the sun and moon cycles, our bodies release Cortisol in the mornings with the sunlight to get us going and in the evenings as the sun sets cortisol levels bottom out and our bodies produce melatonin to relax us and prepare us for rest and ideally we would be asleep by 10pm. However when we are exposed to blue lights that our brains perceive as sunlight and we stay up until late into the night our bodies are stimulated to produce more cortisol to keep us awake. This not only impairs our ability to sleep when we try but it also throws our hormone rhythms out of wack which is a major stressor to the body.
Reasons.. Chris.. Give me reasons to consider making this change. I hear ya.
If living a full, healthy and productive life is a part of your Dream, then sleep along with a balanced 4 Doctor lifestyle must be an upmost priority. I can only speak for myself but I don’t want to grind my whole day through and then stay up into the night with brain fog in order to tell myself that I’ve been productive. I would much rather wake up and start my day full of energy, excitement and focus. Get my work done for the day in the most efficient and enjoyable way possible and get on with living life and filling my own cup up so that I can be the best version of myself for my family and those close to me. But I can’t do that if my energy levels are tanked from lack of sleep.
By prioritizing sleep we aren’t depriving ourselves or neglecting our obligations, who knows you might even find that you don’t miss those late night shows. But by allowing your mental and physical bodies to properly rest and recover the difference is undeniable. I know this all too well.. and now that I know, there’s no going back for me. The saying is true - ‘You never know that your sleep deprived when your sleep deprived.’
So if you're questioning your sleep hygiene give it a shot, see what getting 8 hours of sleep for 5 straight days does for you in your life. I’d love to hear about it, so leave me a comment if you're so inclined it would be much appreciated.
See I told you.. It’s too broad of a topic to begin to even get it all in one post. I didn’t even get into falling asleep and/or staying asleep and some common causes and remedies for it. This would lead us into talking about our routines around sleep and incorporating other Yin/feminine practices in. But I don’t want to take too much of your time here now. So there will be a part 2 to this Quiet Time discussion.
Y’all have a great rest of your day, and I’ll talk to you soon.