What’s that smell? Are you recycling garbage again?
Can’t sleep? This month’s main topic is “Get Some SLEEP!” We will be writing about all sorts of sleep-related concerns through-out the month, including how it relates to your immune function (today), how digestion affects sleep, sleep and your hormone function, sleep and your gut health, and the affects of exercise on your sleep patterns.
To start us off, here are some surprising statistics on sleep from the National Sleep Foundation :
· Effects of sleep loss on work performance may be costing U.S. employers some $18 billion in lost productivity. (NSF 1997 poll on Sleeplessness, Pain, and the Workplace)
· America’s adults average 6.9 hours of sleep each night, slightly less than the range of seven to nine hours recommended by many sleep experts. (NSF 2005 Sleep in America poll)
· Three-quarters of America’s adults, (75%), said they frequently experience at least one symptom of a sleep problem in the past year. (NSF 2005 Sleep in America poll)
· More than three-quarters of America’s partnered adults (77%) say their partner has a sleep-related problem; the most common problem is snoring. (NSF 2005 Sleep in America poll)
· One-quarter of America’s adults, 47 million people, don’t get the minimum amount of sleep they say they need to be alert the next day. (NSF 2002 Sleep in America poll)
· One-quarter of America’s adults say their sleep problems have some impact on their daily lives. (NSF 2005 Sleep in America poll)
· More than one-half of America’s adults nap at least once a week. (NSF 2005 Sleep in America poll).
Why do so many suffer lack of sleep, sleeplessness, and sleep disorders? What is shocking is that even those statistics, many more suffer diseases related to their lack of sleep than they realize. There are obvious sleep-related diseases like Chronic Fatigue and Sleep Apnea. But then there are not-so-obvious diseases connected to lack of sleep or poor sleep patterns such as depression, fibromyalgia, diabetes, menopausal difficulties and hormone imbalances, loss of sexual desire, hair loss, anxiety attacks, obesity... the list could go on and on!
What are we to do? As always, there are answers to be found by first examining and then working with the design of the body! Let’s start our discussion first with the emotional factors that contribute to sleep loss.
Stress, sorrow, depression, anger, and grief, often rob people of sleep. This loss can be acute, which intense but short-lived and more easily recovered from. Or, more often, these things are left unattended and become a chronic problem and a unconscious life-pattern. The phrase “to eat the bread of sorrows” comes to mind and this refers to something, like an emotion or thought, which robs us of sleep. The meaning of this phrase in the Greek indicates it is a hurt, pain, toil, sorrow, labor, hardship, and offense.
The bottom line in this particular root of sleep loss is that there is a strong, unresolved, negative emotion. It may be on the surface, acknowledged, or it may be buried and unacknowledged. I’ll give you an illustration of the cascade affect can have on the physical health of the body when one sleeps on negative emotional, well, let’s just call it “garbage” to use a nice term. Here’s the scenario:
One minute of anger (because of the resources and neuro-chemicals expressed during that time period) suppresses one’s immune system for fifteen minutes. If you go to sleep on that offense and anger (or any other strong negative emotion), and you sleep for eight (8) hours (just using eight because the math is easy and you should sleep for eight hours), here’s the math: you cost yourself by that one choice 120 days of suppressed immune function!
Your body captures whatever it was processing when you go to bed and continues in that physiological state until consciously given another directive. Until you over-ride that with a more powerful positive neuro-chemical reaction, you will continue making what science calls toxic thoughts or bad “brain trees.”
What to do? Stop recycling the garbage! Learn how to get rid of your stinking thinking and the associated toxic waste dump. Dump the garbage every night before you go to bed and there won’t be garbage in the bed, or your head, when you wake up rested in the morning.
Believe. Choose. Activate. Achieve. (Repeat.)