It wasn’t that long ago when people were questioning the idea of sleep. Why do we need it? Is it a waste of time? What actually happens when you sleep? I thought it was all pretty terrible concept – the idea that sleep wasn’t valuable and that we could possibly learn how to eliminate it. The reasoning behind all of this was money. Couldn’t we make more money if we had more time to work?
Even without all of the science that has come out in recent years, any reasonable person could figure out that humans required sleep…even if the only reason was to avoid being grouchy. Now we know that deep sleep is essential to brain health and the key mechanism by which your body restores itself. It doesn’t take long for the negative effects of sleep deprivation to show up as a lack of physical and mental vitality.
Lets take a look at your brain health first. Nutrition is of utmost importance to your brain. Your brain requires certain nutrients to function and without it you suffer. It may take a long time, even decades, for deficiencies to show up but a lot of what we call “old timers” is related to a brain that’s starving for nutrition.
Lack of sleep will show up as poor brain performance in just a few days. So what is the mystery behind this? It has to do with a complex system of how the brain actually performs its own routine maintenance. Part of that maintenance is a complex system utilizing cerebrospinal fluid to wash and cleanse areas of the brain hitherto thought of as unreachable. This usually happens around 4 times per night. Another part of the body’s routine maintenance is simply resetting the brain. People spend most of their day locked in survival mode and the excess cortisol that results leads to brain inflammation and premature aging.
For the majority of people the only break they get from this relentless surge of cortisol is during sleep. If they can actually fall into a deep enough sleep their nervous system might shutdown and allow normal resetting of the glands in the brain and a return to the process of homeostasis. This even allows for the release of adequate melatonin, the sleep hormone and the brains most potent antioxidant.
This is not only good for your brain; it’s essential for restoring the adrenals and building overall vitality.
Of course all of these things can only happen if you actually fall into deep sleep. Deep sleep can only happen if you can shut off the stress response and restoring your energy can only happen if you fall into a deep sleep.
The first one and a half hours of sleep are the most critical. It is during this phase of sleep that the body signals the release of growth hormone and begins the process of healing. This process can be helped by avoiding meals for three hours before bed and utilizing adaptogenic herbs for relaxation.
The adaptogens we use in our formulas are superfoods that feed and restore the glands involved in every aspect of your health. Your glands control homeostasis – the very process that regulates every part of the sleep cycle. The same glands also regulate the body’s stress response. With the proper use of adaptogenic herbs , you can positively impact your health issues, starting with a good night’s sleep.