6 Ways to Activate Your Inbuilt Sleep App.

6 Ways to Activate Your Inbuilt Sleep App.

There is no living mammal that doesn’t sleep; jellyfish slow the pulsing of their bodies, dolphins rest one hemisphere of the brain at a time allowing them to swim continuously, and cockroaches lower their antennae while napping. Sleep is an ancient and primitive behaviour that is pertinent to our survival. And yet we find ourselves taking on a competitive tone as we list off the number of tasks we’ve actioned on just four hours of sleep, as though it’s a measure of professional achievement. We think we have evolved beyond sleep, but think again. There is no app or technological device that can give us back longevity lost due to lack of sleep.

Sleep promotes growth hormones, helps regulate our moods and supports the immune system. It is the time when our brain is engaged in the activity of processing subconscious thoughts and storing memories. Sleep deprived people find it hard to maintain a line of thought, to make decisions or to have space to think clearly, because they haven’t given their brains time to compute the day’s thoughts. When we’re in this state stress levels start to rise and the brain passes on what cannot be processed there to rest of the body, where these stresses begin to store themselves and over time, when left neglected develop into diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's and heart attacks.

Our bodies were designed to sync with circadian rhythms; the rising and setting of the sun. So really the most important thing we can do is stay attuned to these rhythms, but how do we do that when our lives are designed around technological adaptations that go against nature?

Experiment with these 6 sleep enhancing habits
to re-sync with your natural body clock.

#1 1 x dose of sun per day.

Many blind people who have no light information reaching their brains take melatonin supplements every 24 hours in order to stay in sync with circadian rhythms. Exposure to sunlight regulates melatonin levels and the brain is able to more obviously register the dark as the time to sleep. To get your daily dose either aim for 5 minutes outside in the sun per day or 20 - 30 minutes per week. If you aren’t able to soak in this much sunshine, vitamin D and melatonin supplements might be something to consider (consult a doctor or homeopath for informed advice).

#2 Routine like a marine

Try stick to similar waking and sleeping times every day, even on the weekends. Your body will automatically find a healthy sleep rhythm if you train it well. Just like when you start going to bed at 11pm each evening and saying you ‘can’t’ fall asleep earlier - that’s something you’ve trained your body to do. It works the opposite way too.

#3 Cleanse once a day

Get into a habit of thinking and mulling over the day’s challenges before switching off the lights. Whether it’s writing down things that are on your mind into a notebook, meditating or simply sitting and consciously thinking about the events of the day that has just ended - do it before the lights go out.

#4 Store at room temperature

Just as natural produce needs to be stored correctly to be enjoyed in its most favourable form, our bodies also need to be rested at the right temperature in order to maintain a healthy sleep state. Body temperature drops during sleep so it’s recommended that the environment we sleep in stay around 20 degrees celsius.

#5 Nostrils open, eyes closed

Try left nostril breathing. Chinese medicine focuses on three main energy centres in the body. Two of these centres end in the nostrils and the third one ends at the point between them. All three endings have specific effects on the brain and nervous system. The one on the left is responsible for the parasympathetic nervous system (activating calm and relaxation). Lie on your right side with your right index finger pressing against your right nostril and breathe only through your left nostril to bring your body and nervous system into a state of relaxation.

#6 Go upside down, or at least half way

Just before you get into bed do a handstand up against the wall and try hang there for a while. This refreshes the blood flow to the master glands in the brain that stimulate sleep hormones. It also detoxifies and cleanses the adrenal glands, warding off negative thoughts. If you’re wary of hurting yourself or don’t feel strong enough for a handstand, simply lie on your back with your buttocks facing the wall and extend your legs up flat against the wall, resting in this posture for a while. This posture also changes the direction of the blood flow, sending it to the brain.

So you see, keeping your sleep software updated is just as important as updating software and apps on your mechanical devices - when they don’t update, they can’t calculate. Nurture your sleep to get back to your natural rhythms and start banking your longevity rather than expensing it.

Date Published: 
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