Sleep: Not a Luxury
“Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.“
So said Shakespeare (in Macbeth), and he was so right. Sleep is indeed the “chief nourisher in life’s feast,” because your brain NEEDS sleep in order to get the fuel that it needs to work properly.
Your brain’s fuel is glucose–blood sugar. And while it can absorb some blood sugar during the day when you eat, it really tanks up when you’re sleeping, deep and sound. That’s when it resupplies itself for the following day, and that’s why when you don’t get a good night’s sleep you feel like you’re walking around in a fog. It’s also why when you don’t get a good night’s sleep you feel hungrier the next day and are most likely to crave foods that convert quickly to blood sugar–sweet foods and simple carbohydrates like bread-based foods. The joke is on you, though. Eating those foods is likely to create spikes and drops in your blood sugar which can contribute to insomnia. AND your brain does not take up blood sugar as efficiently when you’re awake (which is why no matter how much you eat you never seem to get out of that brain fog), so those extra, empty calories just go to fat. Add to that of course your metabolism is suppressed and you probably don’t feel like exercising very much, and you can see the downward spiral created by not getting good sleep.
Poor sleep is rampant in our society, and it contributes to all sorts of illness and issues:
- Heart disease
- Illness/immune system suppression
- Formation of phobias
What can you do? Insomnia is a pattern and breaking the pattern is the first step to getting off this merry-go-round. Try eating a small amount of protein before bed with a small amount of COMPLEX carbohydrate, to make sure your liver has the glycogen you need to fuel up your brain while you sleep. Especially do this if you frequently have dreams of falling during the night. This is a sign that your blood sugar is dropping in your sleep. Take care of sleep hygiene issues like having a set bedtime, not watching TV or surfing the computer just before bed and keeping your bedroom conducive to sleeping. Using a natural sleep inducer like the delta protocol in Blissful Sleep can help you fall asleep, stay asleep and sleep more deeply and soundly. I’ve even had people report that they don’t snore when they listen to Blissful Sleep, because they sleep deeper.
Here’s to a good night’s sleep for you!