Why is sleeping so important?
Dreaming is divided into two major stages: the stage before midnight and the stage after midnight. In adults, the most important cleansing and renewal processes take place during the two hours of sleep before midnight. This period includes deep sleep, which is often called beautysleep. Deep sleep lasts about an hour, from 11pm to 12pm. Duringthis period you enter a state of tranquility in which the body’s oxygen consumption drops by approximately 8%. The result is deep rest and full relaxation.
The physiological rest that is achieved during that hour of sleep without dreaming is at least three times more intense than that produced while sleeping in the post-midnight stage, when the oxygen consumption of the body rises again to between 5 and 6%.
Growth-determining factors, commonly termed growth hormones, are secreted profusely during those hours of deep sleep. These potent hormones are responsible for cell growth, for recovery and for rejuvenation of the body. People age faster when they do not produce enough growth hormones.
Deep sleep never takes place after midnight and only occurs when one goes to sleep at least two hours before that time. If you stop sleeping soundly on a regular basis, your body and mind are depleted. This triggers an abnormal hormonal response in the form of constant secretion of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, cortisol, or cholesterol (yes, cholesterol is a stress hormone that increases with stress!).
In order to maintain these artificial bursts of energy, at least for a while, there are those who are tempted to take stimulants such as cigarettes, coffee, tea, sweets, energy drinks or alcohol. However, when the body’senergy is depleted, chronic fatigue ensues and stimulants are no longer effective.
Fatigue is one of the main causes or triggers of today’s health problems. When a person feels tired, not only is the mind tired, in fact, each and every cell in the heart, lungs, digestive system, kidneys, and any other organ of the body lacks energy and is unable to function properly.
When fatigued, the brain does not get the required amount of water, glucose, oxygen and amino acids, its most needed nutrients. The lack of nutrients in the brain can cause innumerable problems in the mind, body and behavior of a person, in addition to fatigue.
Frequent fatigue and lack of energy precede chronic diseases and most serious illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS, the common cold, and flu.
Research indicates a direct relationship between sleep and health. Lack of sleep even affects the secretion of the growth hormone, which is linked to obesity. As hormone secretion subsides, the likelihood of gaining weight increases.
In other words, the worse you sleep, the fatter you get. In addition, blood pressure drops during sleep, but interrupted sleep can counteract this normal decline and generate hypertension and cardiovascular problems. Finally, insufficient sleep impairs the body’s ability to use insulin, which leads to the onset of diabetes.
One of the most important discoveries regarding cancer is that low levels of melatonin in the blood increase the risk of cancer.
In other words, the less melatonin produced at night, the more likely the cells are to exceed their natural life cycle and thus become cancerous.
The detrimental effects of light on the nocturnal secretion of melatonin were observed in rodents. “At least in rats, a little light throughout the night can have a dramatic impact on cancer ” observed David E. Blask of the Mary Imogene Bassett Research Institute in Cooperstown, New York. By exposing rats to constant light, which causes a near-total suppression of melatonin, Blask showed that tumors can grow especially rapidly. Even small amounts of light can interfere with the body’s natural biological rhythms.
Blask’s team reported that the tumors grew almost twice as fast in the animals exposed to just the crack of light coming under the room’s door as they did in animals getting a night of total darkness.
The discovery that melatonin inhibits cancer growth and that light inhibits the melatonin production are monumental with regard to cancer treatment and cancer prevention. According to Blask, melatonin is a fundamental signal that relays rhythmic information about the environmental cycles of light and darkness to all the cells in the body, including cancer cells.
There is a special and profound relationship between sleep problems and the neuropsychological functioning of children.
Sleep disorders are often seen in connection with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. But this is not limited exclusively to children.
Much of the fatigue is due to not going to sleep two hours before midnight, because the hour of deep sleep before midnight is the most important sleep. No treatment that does not include natural “deep sleep therapy” achieves a good long-term result, because the body’s own health system, the immune system, depends on healthy and adequate cycles for its vitality and efficiency.
Pitta, or the period between 10amand 2pm and between 10pmand 2pm, which controls the Agni or digestive fire, is also altered if the last meal of the day is taken late (after 6:30pm or 7pm) or snacks are consumed during the Pitta cycle (during the night, between 10pm and 2am). By altering the Pitta phase at night, its functions are altered during and after meals, which causes disorders of the liver, spleen, gallbladder, stomach and pancreas.
Do we find it hard to wake up in the morning or do we wake up often during the night?
In addition to a disrupted biological clock (hormonal cycles altered by an irregular lifestyle), the most common cause of sleep disorders is the circulation of toxins in the blood. Most of the toxins are due to foods that have not been digested well, to having consumed heavy foods at night or to having eaten right before going to sleep.
These toxins can break through the brain barrier, much like alcohol, and can damage neurons. In order to prevent brain damage and dilute toxins, the brain must retain as much blood as possible.
To do this, we have to prevent the person from falling asleep or wake them up when the toxins are too concentrated (usually during the second Vata cycle or from 2am to 6am).
As always we can rely on the body’s wisdom.
If we are tired and drowsy, we feel a natural urge to lie down and sleep. However, a cup of coffee or a cigarette can give us enough adrenaline to keep us awake. When sleep is routinely ignored, an excessive secretion of adrenaline and other stress hormones can end up making us hyperactive and unable to relax or sleep properly.
Ignoring the body’s messages is the main cause of most diseases.
If we turn our backs on our body’s basic instincts, our mind begins to look for replacements, which creates (legitimate) cravings or addictions to certain foods, drinks, stimulants, sex, etc.
The information published on our blog is extracted from the Bibliography used for the development of the Sowen Point software.
- Between heaven and earth: a guide to chinese medicine. (Harriet Beinfield, Efrem Korngold).
- El Equilibrio a través de la alimentación. (Olga Cuevas Fernández).
- Timeless secrets of health and rejuvenation. (Andreas Moritz).
- Holistic health through Macrobiotics.(Michio Kushi con Eduard Esko).
- Fundamentos de Bioenergética. (Carlos Nogueira Pérez).
- Tratado de sanación en el arte del soplo. (José luis Padilla Corral).
- El gran libro de la medicina china. (Li Ping).