The Functional Medicine Expert Dr. Mark Hyman proposes in his book Food Fix how the health industry treats humans while not maximizing the effect of healthy food for proactive prevention purposes. The same effect can be proposed around the topic of sleep, as backed by Neuroscientists and Sleep Scientist Matthew Walker. Let’s talk about the phenomenon of the quality of your sleep and what it can do for your health…plus what harm it can cause if not monitored properly.
How Do You Want To Get Old?
While there might be several studies out there that might state how we will still be able to function throughout the day on a lower quantity of sleep, the question about the quality of your sleep in the process is a different story. If observed from a sleep scientific perspective with a focus on the biochemical processes and physical health we understand the effect a high-quality sleep will have on our health (Walker, 18).
Quality of your Sleep – Every Stage Matters
Our body experiences different sleep cycles throughout the night which in themselves switch between Non-Rapid-Eye-Movement sleep & Rapid-Eye-Movement Sleep…in short NREM & REM sleep. The different stages offer different advantages. While the NREM stage mainly focuses on the intake of information while filtering and categorizing the raw information, the REM stage intends to truly work through the scope of raw information. Without the REM sleep stages, we wouldn’t be able to work through our emotions. Throughout the night, the ratio between NREM & REM sleep varies within every cycle with the final cycle of the night being the most prominent in REM sleep. That basically means if we’re cutting down on sleep we’re denying our body the ability to work through everything we have taken in throughout the day which leaves us with an unresolved emotional load (Walker, 18).
Why A Modern Life Can Rather Create Than Solve Problems!
Becoming aware of the various factors that influence the quality of your sleep and your health is oftentimes the first crucial step. We live in a world that confronts us with a lot of modern society disruptors. Caffeine blocks receptors within our body and disrupts the build-up of adenosine (the rise of adenosine increases the desire to sleep). Alcohol sedates us out of wakefulness and is a powerful suppressor of REM sleep. Artificial evening light disrupts our melatonin production. Enforced awakening induces a sudden spike in our blood pressure & disruptively alarms our hearts. The list of hidden disruptors goes on.
Your Inner Dialogue Determines Your Inner Balance
This level and the effects of our inner dialogues oftentimes get neglected. Neuro-Associations and the effects of Neuro-Linguistic practices can have a tremendous effect on our body & mindset….positively speaking & negatively speaking. Let’s analyze e.g. the expression “I want to fall asleep”. The word “fall” carries a negative connotation which rather induces anxiety within us than putting us in a relaxed state. The evolutionary coding of our minds reacts with caution towards words that carry a “negative anticipation” and “danger”. Avoiding negatively loaded words and switching an expression around to a positive expression will do the magic. In this example, this could mean rather expressing “I want sleep to come to me”. Not only is the anticipated outcome of this expression more positive but it also sends a direct signal to our minds that our minds can easily filter through without getting distracted or confused.
Your Subconscious Never Sleeps
Intentional priority setting is a powerful tool in practicing control and maneuvering your mind through the night and improve the quality of your sleep. As shared by Klinger psychological scientific findings show that the priority our mind gives to our goals continues to operate in our dreams while we are asleep. That not only means that unresolved goals will get addressed even if we are actively trying to avoid them in the waking state. That also means that intentional practices can direct our minds to resolve what hasn’t been addressed.
Let’s prioritize & maximize this free treatment called sleep, shall we?
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