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Why is sleep so important?
We spend so much time trying to keep ourselves awake and going faster and longer to be more efficient and get more done during our days. Some of us only leave enough time to sleep for a few hours a night. Not getting enough, and a deep enough, sleep is hard on our bodies.
It’s actually detrimental to our health. Lack of long, good quality sleep is linked to health issues such as heart disease. There are things that you can do that will make you more efficient and allow you to have better and longer sleep at night!
If you don’t already, make some time in your day for meditation. It can be as little as 10 minutes when you are starting out, in time you’ll find you will want and need more! Set aside 10 minutes, whether it’s first thing in the morning, or in the afternoon, just make sure to do it.
Find a comfortable position that will allow you to sit comfortably for the time being without having to worry about something hurting or aching. I actually have a space in my office in downtown Vancouver I have set up to be able to meditation in the middle of the day. Once in the space, close your eyes and just be. Allow your thoughts to come and go. You may not get a completely still mind, and that’s alright. Just be with your thoughts and your body.
This time will allow your body to recharge, and you will come out of it feeling like you took a little power nap! There are places that offer guided meditations, especially in Vancouver, BC. There are many yoga studios that offer them, or you can consider yoga teacher training, where you will learn more about the practice of yoga, which includes meditation!
The asanas are the poses that we put our bodies into to try to reach a state of enlightenment. There are certain poses that allow our heart to slow down and our bodies and minds to quiet. Poses such as legs up wall are really great before bed. It’s recommended to do this pose at the end of the day, before you’re ready for bed, for at least 10 minutes.
Laying in savasana and being mindful of our breath is also a great way to get us ready for bed. Poses that allow us to really slow down are great to get our bodies for the deep relaxation it needs.
It’s important to shut down any technology we have before getting into bed. The radio waves and white light coming from them will not allow us to engage in a deep, full sleep. Especially the white light, because this actually depletes our natural melatonin levels, which is what allows us to grow tired and fall asleep.
People with low melatonin levels find it hard to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. If you need a light on while you’re falling asleep try something like a salt lamp, which actually help to improve sleep quality.
Whatever you may be doing in your day, make sure to take time for yourself, meditate, engage in a yoga practice. If your body isn’t being taken care of you can’t expect it to be there for very long. Take more time to recharge, and in the end you’ll find taking those moments alone, will actually help you to be more efficient in the long run.