Most of us instinctively know that sleep is important, but just how important surprised me. I wonder if it will surprise you too.
Last month, I have the privilege of attending a lecture by Dr. Russell G. Foster, a neuroscientist with a special focus on the sleep and circadian rhythms and what happens when these systems go wrong across multiple areas of health. Here’s what I learned…
Generally we think of sleep as important for its regenerative properties, but that’s just a small piece of the equation.
What’s going on while we sleep?
- Processing Information
- Brain Growth and Repair
- Emotional Processing
- Developing Memories
- Replacing Energy Reserves
- Removing Waste Products
- Rebuilding Metabolism
Our bodies know when to sleep and when to stay awake based on the light received by our eyes. This is known as the circadian rhythm. You need more light than you probably realize to set your internal brain clock.
How much light?
2000 LUX during the day to set your brain clock.
If you are spending time in a typical modern work setting, you are getting between 300-600 LUX and your brain clock will start sliding, that means more trouble stay awake and alert during the day, more trouble falling asleep, more trouble staying asleep during the night.
Think about how often babies get their circadian rhythms mixed up… wide awake at 3am for example, with their nights and days reversed. To help them set their brain clock, they need light. Holding them near the window (3000 Lux) or taking them outside in the shade (10,000 Lux) will help them readjust. Humans are a diurnal species – not nocturnal – which means that given the chance, and the appropriate amount of light, we will naturally settle an awake during the day and asleep at night pattern.
It matters! If you are a sleep-deprived mom, you already now it’s hard to function. Yet the consequences were more vast that I realized before attending this lecture.
Consequences of Sleep Disruption
- Failure to Process Information (can’t concentrate)
- High Level of Micro-Sleeps
- Memory Impairment SHORT TERM
- Loss of Attention
- Impulsivity and Loss of Empathy (grumpy, unfriendly)
- Reduced Cognition and Creativity (lower grades, poor work output)
- Immune Suppression
- Increased Infection/Cancer Risk
- Increased Cardiovascular Disease LONG TERM
- Risk of Diabetes II
- Metabolic Syndrome (weight gain)
- Mood Instability
- Anxiety “PSYCHIATRIC”
- Increased Stimulant/Sedative Dependancy
Here’s how to get a better night’s sleep!
- Minimize Light Exposure 30 Minutes Before Bed (no screen time)
- Avoid Work Thoughts and Stressful Thoughts 30 Minutes before Bedtime
- Keep Sleeping Space for Sleeping (remove distractions)
- Keep it DARK
- Exercise (but not within 3-4 hours of bedtime)
- Consistent Bedtime and Wake-Up Time
- Don’t lay in bed frustrated
- Create a Relaxing Routine (reading, gentle muscle)
- Use Essential Oils that Promote Rest
- Add in doTERRA’s new Serenity natural sleep supplement
SERENITY Essential Oil Blend
Serenity restful blend has this calming and relaxing aroma that you feel immediately. The essential oils in this blend are well known for their ability to lessen feelings of tension and worry. Inhaling the aroma of serenity is an effective way to calm emotions and support a restful sleep. It’s easy to use too! Just place a drop in the palm of your hands, and inhale throughout the day to melt away life’s stressors. Nope it won’t make your toddler disappear, but it will give you a surprising amount of grace and patience. Other great way to use it is to diffuse during the day for calming, and during the night to promote a more restful sleep, and yes even to help quiet a restless baby or little one.
Another great way to use it is a couple drops in epsom salts and added to the bath at bedtime. This one is great for both kids and adults. A simple blissful way to end the day.
Curious what’s in it? Thought so! Essential oils of Lavender flower, Cedarwood, Ho Wood Leaf, Ylang Ylang flower, Roman Chamomile Flower, Vetiver Root, Vanilla Bean and Sandalwood Wood. Pretty’eh! It’s truly a beautiful blend.
Personally I love it so much a keep a roller bottle with serenity and fractionated coconut oil in under my pillow. That way I never have trouble finding it when I need it.
NEW Serenity Restful Complex Softgels
doTERRA’s new serenity restful complex combines the well-researched, relaxing benefits of Lavender essential oil, with plant extracts, L-Theanine along with lemon balm, passionflower, and chamomile to gently promote relaxation and sleep. This offers a solution that combines both historically proven ingridients and the best of modern science. For example, L-Theanine is structurally similar to neurotransmitters associated with calmness and relaxation. L-Theanine has the unique ability to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness. Studies how that such pre-sleep relaxation is very effective at supporting a restful night’s sleep.
HOW TO USE: Take 1 – 2 softgels about 30 minutes before bed.
(AND YES IT IS SAFE TO USE EVERY NIGHT)
WHERE TO FIND IT: www.mydoterra.com/berwald
A word about ESSENTIAL OILS :
These little bottles have the power to change your life. They will awaken your mind to the immense power of plants to nurture, heal and support health. They will make you feel more empowered that you thought possible. They become your tools and the daily support that you didn’t even realized you needed. They are the answers for the questions you hadn’t yet asked out-loud but were in your heart. They will spark a tiny change for the better, that will snowball into a new lifestyle filled with more wellness. They will have you taking a closer look at the personal care products in your home. They will encourage you to make better choices, with less synthetics and less toxins. They will have you reading labels and questioning ingredients. They will encourage you to do better, for yourself, and for your family, and for all those whose lives touch yours. They will allow you to care for these people in ways that you didn’t know were possible. They will make you make feel incredibly grateful for the gifts of nature that this beautiful green planet provides. They will open so many many doors if you let them. If you feel in your heart that tiny whispering of “yes I want this and I’m ready for a change” , TRUST it. Trust your intuition, your inner wisdom… and I will be honoured to walk along side you.