Monday, 7 November 2011

Outreach Yoga Challenge - Day 29 ZZzzzzzzz!

Sleep is so essential to our bodies, and I got an extra hour this morning without even knowing it YYIIPPPEEEEEEE! We repair and rebuild, rejuvinate and restore whilst we enter dreamland. Eating a small amount of protein in the evening is best for rebuilding. Dreaming is only for sleeping, not for awakening. Here are some points from Harvard on why sleep is so important for us;

Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

Whats your sleep hygiene like? If you are struggling with sleeping, there are some really easy ways to take a look at what the problem is. Whats happening in your life at the moment, stress, work, family, poor nutrition, not enough exercise, too much TV, too much coffee, too much chatter in the monkey mind, and many more things that all of us have each day adding to our toxic load. Yoga and meditation can help with stress and clearing the mind, you can reward your body with simple movements with breath, focus and relax. Cut down on coffee or cut it out, or stop drinking it in the afternoon. Try some hot lemon water, or some Matcha green tea. THINK about what you eat, if you are eating on the go, its probably not going to nourish you. Plan what you are going to eat for the week, do your shopping on a day off and do some prep for your food. Have a portable lunchbox to take with you with snacks, my last boyfriend used to take his everywhere, it would be filled with a hard boiled, egg, an apple, carrots, some nuts and seeds, tomatoes. I would laugh at him filling it each day, now I'm just the same except my lunchbox is pink, oh hang on, so was his. Seriously, when we are hungry we always grab the naughty but nice things, or crave sugar. Its better to plan ahead, cut up your veggies and store them in containers in the fridge, freeze up some homemade soups, have your snack box, be prepared, drink lots of water.

The TV is a LIAR. It will lie to you, scare you, make you feel miserable, and waste your life away. TURN OFF THE TV. Watching the shite thats aired will stimulate your brain in the wrong way, do you really care about some reality D star blowing off pigs, or a soap shows endless amounts of funerals and murders and deaths. Its all so negative and draining to your soul, if you do watch TV then watch things that have purpose. Research who owns the news channels you watch, and research some more and find out what the real news is. None of this rant applies to anything by David Attenborough and True Blood of course.

Have a look at your bedroom, de-busy it and remove any visable clutter, paint your walls nice calm colours, have nice bed linen thats always fresh and clean that makes you want to star jump into the middle and do some bed karate. Do you share your bed with a snorer? BOOT THEM OUT! After sleeping in hostels with many snoring nightmares I understand how painful it is to bear the snores, when really the repsonsibility should be on the person snoring. There are plenty of products out there to aid snoring and showing some compassion on both sides will definately reduce the need to stuff a pillow in their mouth shouting BEEEE QQQUUIIIETTTTTT OR DIEEE! Kidding. Kind of. Don't have anything electrical at all in your bedroom, think about the electrical magnetical waves roaming about your eyelids as you try to peacefully sleep, don't have your phone glued to your pillow, its unhealthy, you are sleeping! Phone off and in another room, buy a cheap wind up alarm clock, our bodies our clever and if we get up at the same time each day, it will naturally awaken you.

After school this morning, I treated myself to a Thai massage on Broadway offering a special deal. No not seeding Bangkok style, although the lovely ladies there were both from Bangkok. The massage was traditional Thai done on a bed that the massuse could walk around you, over you, up and down you and on you :) I opted clothes off style (Warrior memories...) and enjoyed the extreme stretching, cracking and pressing these little powerhouse ladies are capable of using their hands, elbows, arms, feet, knees, legs, bum??
'you have velly velly nice skin, you look after it well, you velly flexible too'
'Really, thanks!!' I gush all proud...
'but why you full of all these bruises and cuts, what you do to yourself??'
'Errrr I went over my handlebars on my bike' (and played bed karate)....feels silly...and slutty.

After the amazing massage, I spent the afternoon watching the rain and listening to music writing blogs, and happy with my own company. I did some wind down yoga, concentrating mostly on my breathing. 

Add this to your sleep hygiene, and you will be sleeping like a baby as they say. Take a leaf from my sisters other gorgeous baby Dylan.

Goodnight, nameste :)

If you get some better sleep, then say thanks by leaving a donation for charity, or share this advice with someone else who could use a good nights sleep.



  1. Often I wake very suddenly with a quick scared intake of breath, sometimes grabbing Neil's arm or saying 'wake up'! I'm not really scared or anxious but seem to be feeling something at that moment, it's really weird and here's the strange part: it only happens when I'm sober! It's more annoying than scary though, as it keeps happening throughout the night. It's not sleep apnea though as I can breathe fine. Strange!

  2. Time to introduce some sleep hygiene to your life? I'd also do a few of the deep breath exercises before bed anyway, it will help train your mind into a calmer state. Is there a dream involved at all?