The One Thing Most Of Us Really Need and Aren’t Getting Enough Of
SLEEP! Those of you who have spent any prolonged time at Mind Body Motion may know the Six Principles of Health and Well Being. One significant principle on that list is SLEEP. Why is sleep so important you ask? Well that’s simple, it is hands down the most important part of recovery. This means recovery from everything we do. Recovery from workouts, stress, illness, and everyday wear and tear.
In order to understand the importance of sleep we must look at the Autonomic Nervous System. There are two parts to this system and both pieces must be used properly in order for our bodies to function in a healthy way. The first piece of the Autonomic Nervous System is the Sympathetic Branch which includes our ability for “fight or flight” as well as the release of stress hormones. These are essential parts of survival in our everyday world. However, without the next piece of the puzzle, the Parasympathetic Branch, we slowly burn our systems out making us susceptible to illness, injury, pain, exhaustion, the list goes on.
The Parasympathetic Branch is about “rest & digest” with the release of growth and repair hormones. Without this step on a daily basis our cells cannot recover. Every morning after you get up from only 4-6 hours of sleep or less for some people, your cells are basically hungover. They haven’t gotten the rest and repair they need to make your body function properly. This means you feel sluggish, in pain, and probably pouring yourself a big cup of coffee.
With your busy life, you may think “sleep is overrated, I don’t have time to sleep” but we ask you to consider some basic tips for giving your Autonomic Nervous System a little love:
Try to minimize screen time before bed (ideally two hours, but at minimum one hour). Any form of screen time is stimulating as well as the lights omitted from screens, which keeps your mind engaged and makes it difficult to wind down.
Do NOT sleep with your cell phone or other electronic device right by your head all night long. If you use your cell phone as an alarm clock, make sure it is on airplane mode or ideally go get yourself a cheap alarm clock and keep your cell phone in the other room.
Use Magnesium oil before bed as a way to get your body relaxed.
Do a couple minutes of diaphragmatic breathing as part of your bedtime routine.
Work on going to bed earlier. Even if you think you’re a night owl, our bodies have a natural rhythm and it’s better for us to be asleep by 10:30pm and up by 6:30am. Even if you don’t have to be up at 6:30, it’s better to be on this schedule and get things done in the morning you may normally do late at night.
“Keep On Moving!”
Luis Ponce Sr.
( 408) 778-5577