Why sleep is important

This is a repost from May last year. Sleep is as important as breathing and eating! If sleep is compromised the human body will be affected in many ways, one being possible health issues that could have been prevented. An individual should get at least 8 hours of sleep each night to be healthy and balanced. Someone who is ill or healing should get as much sleep as their bodies need. Sleep allows your body to rejuvenate and restore so that you are not pushing your body beyond it’s limits. Looking back I know I pushed myself beyond my limits for far too long which made my already existing health issues exacerbated.

When I quit my job I was sleeping 14 hours each night and that lasted for over 5 months. I obviously needed it and I slept as much as I could because I couldn’t stay awake or wake to an alarm, I viewed it as my body was telling me that this much sleep is important during this healing process. I still on occasion will sleep 14 hours a night but mostly 10 hours a night and wake on my own and need a nap during the day sometimes for up to 3 hours. Not sure if 3 hours is considered a nap but I’m going to go with it.

It’s a proven fact that women need more sleep than men and I do notice this in many of the husband and wife relationships I hear about. Whether this pertains to you or not it is something to think about and consider a factor in your lifestyle that you may not have thought of before. There are so many factors that can affect your nightly REM sleep and there are many factors that can aid in getting to sleep and staying asleep for those well deserved rejuvenating hours.

Beneficial:

biofeedback
meditation
yoga
bath
read
certain teas
deep breathing
diet ~ healthy
exercise
consistency/schedule
temperature
mattress/pillow
Hindrances:

electronics
tv
pregnancy
menopause
brain injuries
worrying
stress
children (babies)
caffeine/alcohol
sleep apnea
diet ~ unhealthy
autoimmune diseases
sleep disorders
chronic pain
chronic illnesses
restless leg syndrome
They are all self explanatory and loads of helpful information can be found online by professional sites for you to peruse to find which is best for your individual needs. WebMD and MayoClinic are my go to sites for trusted, accurate medical information provided by doctors only! There is always a solution to a problem, it is up to you to solve those issues because you know your body best! I knew I had to find the solution to my health issues but mine where complex, multi faceted and intertwined in a connected way that sleep or lack there of, was the least of my worries. When I quit my job, was when I found healing in sleep!

The body repairs itself while sleeping, the human body needs to restore and rejuvenate for proper brain function, hormone (cortisol), tissue and muscle repair, blood supply, and breathing are all affected in a healthy way when our bodies reach REM sleep. It is important to reach all stages of the sleeping process in order to get the restorative benefits of sleep and it is just as important to avoid interrupted sleep. Quality is just as important as quantity! Below are three good articles for further reading on how sleep and IBD have a connection.

How Sleep Affects Crohn’s Disease and Digestion

Sleep and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Exploring the Relationship Between Sleep Disturbances and Inflammation

Sleep disturbances and inflammatory bowel disease: a potential trigger for disease flare?

Autoimmune Disorders and Sleep Problems

~Andrea

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2018 The Year of Selflove

New year, new healthy ways! Taking a step back to examine what is not working in our lives is necessary to be able to move forward into an authentic life.  Take time to find the block, where is it that the flow has stopped or how the flow is not how it use to be. From there we see the past, going through the steps we took and what happened when the change took place. What was it that occurred? Was it a mistake, a failure, trauma, a time when we were off or weak? [In these words I use loosely as I don’t believe in failure or weakness or even mistakes. I see everything that happens in our journey as a milestone, a learning experience, a process that was necessary in our evolution. But in this context I use these words to express my point.]
The hurdles in our path make us put up barricades to protect our emotions and allow us to carry on. Once this happens again and again we form blocks that are so deep that it’s hard to get unstuck. We can become numb or use to acting a certain way to hide the pain and hurt that we are fake which forces us to atomically go through our days like a robot. Running from the pain, not dealing with it just pushing it down further and further, so the block is changing the course of our lives. We can get so far off our path until we get to the breaking point, that rock bottom, either addiction or illness.

Being in these blocks is like drowning, we are pulled under then for a split second are above water able to gasp for air only to be pulled under again. In this pattern of ebb and flow our bodies become imbalanced which leads to a down hill spiral of negative events.

When we release all that takes us to that place of rock bottom we transition into a new person, we become that of which we were always suppose to be. That detour was the doing of psychology, the way in which the human brain works. The brains way of dealing with emotions, not wanting to be hurt or damaged and to suppress pain and the hurt that is taken on by the reactions of the individual.  Assessing myself has been something I’ve done since I was a very young child, being sick all the time. When disease sets in the assessment of our bodies is always happening but I have taken a new approach as I am assessing all the time anyway I take note of my mind and soul as well. Does my soul feel nourished? Does my mind feel balanced?

Selfcare, selflove and keeping balanced are key words in my life now. Those words have become an everyday monitoring system to make sure I am happy and peaceful.  When issues arise I step back and ask: What is this trying to tell me? I think this is so important to assess the situation and yourself in these moments.

I am use to giving everything I have and not receiving anything in return. I catch myself doing this every so often now an when that happens I pull it right back in, as fast as it went out. Everyone is for themselves which I have never been, but I am now! When something arises in my life now I ask: What is this trying to tell me? I take a step back and do it all over again. Being still in the moment helps a great deal to get perspective. This is so for myself.

Happy new year & be well my friends.

Andrea

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The Importance of Eating Alkaline Foods

What are Alkaline Foods?

An alkaline diet emphasizes alkaline foods such as whole fruits and vegetables and certain whole grains, which are low in caloric density. Healthy Alkaline Diet Foods involve the ideal balance between acidifying and alkalizing foods.

The body includes a number of organ systems that are adept at neutralizing and eliminating excess acid, but there is a limit to how much acid even a healthy body can cope with effectively. The body is capable of maintaining an acid-alkaline balance provided that the organs are functioning properly, that a well-balanced alkaline diet is being consumed, and that other acid-producing factors are avoided.

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Here is a list of high Alkaline Foods: Examples of Alkalining Vegetables: Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Spinach

Examples of Alkalizing Fruits: Apple, Banana, Berries, Cantaloupe, Grapes, Melon, Lemon, Orange, Peach, Pear, Watermelon

Alkalizing Protein: Almonds, Chestnuts, Tofu

Alkalizing Spices: Cinnamon, Curry, Ginger, Mustard, Sea Salt

Here is a link with a list of Alkaline Foods and important information to go along with each one.

Danielle Walker from Against All Grain has three cookbooks, an app, and tons of recipes on her website that are a great balance of alkaline and acidic foods. Majority are alkaline which is why she is having such success with her recipes. The whole30 is another great source for a balance lifestyle. I eat the way these two women cook and eat.

Andrea

Ama/Intermittent Fasting

Ama is unique to ayurveda; it builds up in your GI track when food is not digested properly. When our ability to digest food becomes impaired, the body can no longer absorb essential nutrients. Undigested and partially digested food lingers in the body, leading to the formation of ama. Ayurveda views ama as one of the most threatening opponents to good health, linking the majority of health disorders in some way to the presence of this substance. Simply stated, ama is undigested food that begins to eat you which causes inflammation and disease.

Causes of Ama:

Overeating
Eating before the previous meal is digested
Not making lunch the main meal; eating large meals at night
Ice drinks and cold-food meals
Food that isn’t fresh, pure and organic – old food, stale food, packaged foods
Eating without full attention on the meal; watching TV or reading
Eating too quickly
Eating while emotionally upset
Not taking the heaviest parts of the meal first when the agni (digestive fire) is strongest
Not engaging in light, enjoyable exercise daily whenever possible, or a few times a week
Intermittent fasting is an important part of your health as much as eating is. Allowing the body to fast is important to allow the GI track to eliminate and regenerate ready for the next meal. Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16 hour fasts, or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week. Humans have actually been fasting throughout evolution. Sometimes it was done because food was not available. There are a few different ways to fast but the one that is natural to me is the 16/8 method. But I don’t do this often it actually happens naturally. I don’t force myself to fast nor will I ever.

The 16/8 Method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, for example from 1 pm to 9 pm. Then you “fast” for 16 hours in between.
Benefits of intermittent fasting:

reduces stress and inflammation
lose weight and belly fat
changes the function of cells, genes and hormones
beneficial for heart health
various cellular repair processes
what’s good for your gut is good for your brain
longevity
reduces insulin resistance, lowering your risk of Type 2 Diabetes
All about AMA

Shattering the myth of fasting for women

Mark’s Daily Apple

Ama: The Antithesis of Agni

I can’t stress how important is it to live a balanced life! A holistic lifestyle is a gentle way to treat your body which in my way of thinking is the natural and best way.

Peace ~Andrea