Monday, October 17, 2011

Sleeping Beauty, Sleepless Beast

I don't know about you, but I am cranky if I don't get enough sleep. We all laugh and joke about the toddler's antics in refusing to take a nap or go to bed for the night. But the facts are in: prolonged sleep deprivation not only reduces our quality of life but it also inhibits our ability to heal.

Each week as I move slowly towards my second Juice Feast I try to incorporate one more healthy practice. I believe each slow, educated, and disciplined movement will enable a more successful Juice Feast with deeper, lasting results.

I remember the first Juice Feast going to bed by 7:00 pm so I could get up at 3:00 am to make juices. It was incredibly difficult to fall asleep when it was still light out, but somehow I would. There were times, especially in the beginning, when I felt so fluid and my life was moving at warped speed. It would have been easy to take short cuts on my sleep with this high amount of energy. But I chose not to. I believe sleep is one of our greatest healers.

I've made a few improvements in my sleep quality since the first Juice Feast and I am sleeping a deep and restorative sleep each night. Many of these new ideas came from the David Wolfe video below.

Before I go to bed for the night, I burn an incense stick to clear the air. I typically don't get in bed until it has burned out, but I always keep my bedroom window cracked about an inch so the fresh air pulls any smoke smell out.  I no longer sleep on pillows. David Wolfe explains this is the only way to shut off our adrenaline. In my earlier raw food exploration days I adopted the Tonya Zavasta practice of putting a board under the mattress at the foot of the bed to create this effect. Unfortunately I was still sleeping on a pillow so I am not sure if I received any of the intended effects.

I also sleep on grounding sheets. I have been doing this for over two years. It is hard to say the exact benefits I receive from sleeping on these sheets as I don't notice until I am not sleeping on them. On most nights I will rub an organic herbal tonic into my scalp and rub a teaspoon or two of magnesium oil on my abdomen. I am also fairly consistent using detox footpatches. When I am not fasting I will also dissolve a 100 mg niacin tablet under my tongue before bed. I find these healing rituals very relaxing.

I have always loved sleep and I still do. That is enough reason for me to make sleep an important part of my life. If you need more reasons to love sleep please read what Dr. Ritamarie has to say here. And if you have the time, watch the video below there may be more tips that will work for you. Sleep well.

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