Thursday, 4 December 2014

45% of the worlds population is affected by......

According to the world association of sleep medicine45% of the worlds population is affected by sleep disorders. Yes, you read that right 45%, that means almost half of the worlds population is dealing with sleep dysfunctions, like insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, to name a few.

Chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke and other medical conditions.

In 2011, CBC news reported that lack of sleep had been officially titled as a "global epidemic" that threatens health and quality of life. These are all pretty scary facts, especially to a society like ours where we pride ourselves on a busy schedule and hectic warrior like lifestyle.

My brother Mark and sisters son, Baker napping together, AWE!
Research shows that we spend close to one third of our lives sleeping. Much like eating and drinking, sleep is a basic human need and is crucial to our overall health and well-being. Now what I also want you to know, is that sleep disorders are preventable and treatable. I don't mean just popping some sleeping pills to get a good night sleep. I mean address the problem and start to create some healthy sleep habits so you can truly get the type of optimal sleep we all need.

Here are 3 easy tips to help you get a good night sleep:

Learn how to breath deeply
Research says we only use one-seventh of our lung capacity. When we oxygenate our body, we increase the health and function of our body. We also help soothe our nervous system, something our stressed out world needs to do more often. Here is a simple exercise you can do to increase your lung capacity and take in more oxygen;

  • Take a comfortable seat, preferably on a cushion on the floor. Sit up tall and pull your shoulders and ears over your hips. 
  • Take a long steady inhale, until all the corners of your ribcage expand like a hot air balloon. 
  • Hold that inhale for 8 seconds
  • Then inhale again and hold until you can't inhale anymore
  • Slowly exhale
  • Repeat 3 times a day and notice the affects/changes this has on you over time.
Set up a sleep routine
There's a ton of research on the importance of a sleep routine and respecting the natural light cycles of the day. The common thread in the research is to have a consistent bedtime & wake time. In other words go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday, even on the weekends. Establish a bedtime routine that doesn't include light exposure, like watching TV, working on the computer or managing Facebook from your smart phone. Get adequate amounts of exercise and eat whole, nourishing foods.

Do yoga - of course :)
Yoga is a practice that encourages all aspects of the body/Self to come back to its most natural and balanced state. The yogi's would call this a Sattvic state. In hatha yoga, we move the body with the breath, which helps us manipulate the energy in our body, while balancing out our nervous system (to name a few of the benefits of a regular yoga practice). Even just incorporating 2 - 3 yoga postures and 5 mins of deep, conscious breathing a day can change the quality of your sleep, thus assisting in the maintaining (or creating) a vibrant healthy YOU....LIFE. Here's a great Sleepy time video from that you can do to help you with your sleep routine. 

"We need to reprioritize sleep and make it more important than Tv, more important than long commutes, more important than a lot of irrelevant social networking activities that make us feel good. Ten minutes a day on email may be enough, Radical!" Dr. David Dinges - Chief of the division of sleep & chronobiology of the University of Pennisylvania medicine. 


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