Oriental medicine is teeming with techniques for self care, which I want to share with you, so you can feel empowered to take control of your body, mind and spirit!
Today I’d like to talk about sleep. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs sleep is one of the most basic of human needs, along with food, water and shelter.
We know the other physiological needs are important but we tend to consider adequate sleep an option. “I can sleep when I’m dead” is said in jest but reflects our slack attitude about getting enough sleep. We are a fairly stressed-out society both physically and emotionally and need at least 8 hours of sleep to stay healthy. Need a few reasons why?
The hallmark diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is the brain’s accumulation of amyloid plaques which eventually kill brain cells and the patient. We accumulate small amounts of these plaques on a daily basis which get cleared out during times of sleep. With not enough sleep the plaques do not get adequately cleared and accumulate, increasing our chance for permanent damage leading to Alzheimers disease.
There are more reasons! Lack of adequate sleep increases risk of heart disease, weight gain, high blood pressure and diabetes, affects people’s balance making them accident prone and forgetful, decreases sex drive, lowers immunity, and contributes to depression and anxiety.
To sleep well it’s helpful to get daily exercise, eat moderately and not too late, and go to bed early!
Want to read more about sleep? Check out this article.