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Sleep Your Way to Health

Many of us let our schedule dictate our sleep habits instead of letting our sleep habits dictate our schedules.

Almost every person who comes in to see me does not have the proper sleep pattern to induce health and healing. Most people are not familiar with the “The Golden Four.” The Golden Four represents 4 golden hours of the most productive sleep and it takes place from 10pm to 2am in the morning.  During these hours the body is producing growth hormones and using it to repair damaged tissue from your daily wear and tear.  The catch here is that you must be asleep, sound asleep, in order for your body to produce these much needed growth/repair hormones.  These hormones are produced only when we sleep and primarily between 10pm and 2am.

I recommended that one go to bed at 9pm so that he/she is sound asleep by 10pm. For young children these hormones are used for growth. If a child regularly goes to bed after 9pm, he/she is at risk of stunted growth. When a full grown adult goes to bed after 9am, he/she is at risk for degenerative and chronic disease.

sleep your way to health circadian rhythm

sleep your way to health by respecting your circadian rhythm

Why is this?  Well our body’s biological cycle follows the 24-hour cycle of the sun. This is called Circadian rhythm, a rhythm that follows the rising and falling of the sun.  Since our bodies follow this cycle, it begins to prepare for sleep as soon as the sun goes down, during sleep, our bodies do many things and one of them is grow and repair using growth hormones.

Studies have shown that growth hormones decrease fat tissue while increasing lean muscle mass, improves mood and memory retention, regenerate new healthy tissue in degenerative diseases, increase bone density, improve the tone and action of the heart, improve our skin, improve hair growth, and sharpen our vision. Growth hormones also improve our cholesterol profile. If we are not in a deep state of sleep during The Golden Four, then cell reegenration does not occur causing our immune system to dysfunction.   This process also contributes to rapid aging.

In order to encourage the production of growth hormones here are a few simple rules:

  1. Do not eat 2 hours before bed.  Insulin in the blood inhibits the production of growth hormone.
  2. Avoid exercise, sugar, caffeine and alcohol before bed.
  3. Do not use a nightlight to illumanate the room. Light (even the smallest amount)  interferes with the production of melotonin which is need to induce sound sleep.
  4. Turn off all electronics (TV, computer and music) 30 minutes before bed to allow the mind to slow down and release the busyness of the day.

So grab your blanket and head toward the bedroom tonight at 9pm so you will be sound asleep by 10pm fighting off the effects of disease and aging.  Remember taking naps during the day are great, but no subsitute to getting your full does of growth hormones at night. Daytime naps do not produce growth hormones and actually do not harmonize with the circadian rhythm. It is better to go to bed early and allow the body to work in harmony with nature, than go to bed late and nap during the day.

When I was ill, my bed time was 8pm.  I was, of course, the first one in my household to go to bed and I really did not like that. What I did like however, is the healing that eventually resulted from that commitment. Today, I am healther thean ever before, that is why ‘sleep’ is on my top ten list of Healing Healthy Habits.

 

Source: Pamala Kay Schwarz

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