By Marian Connor
I was thinking…
All that activity taking place within your body and mind requires nourishment from Rest. Good quality sleep and conscious retreat from daily stressors increases our resistance to them.
Sleep – a time when your mind can subconsciously organize itself and make sense of the day, when your body has respite to repair and regenerate.
There seems to be consensus on the optimum amounts of sleep needed and at present researchers seem in agreement that no less than 6 hours is a pretty good amount of daily sleep, but today in Britain 2 in every 5 people fail to meet that requirement, often blaming stress for their insomnia.
When we sleep our bodies generate hormonal activity including the release of human growth hormone, which does what it says on the label promoting beneficial growth, melatonin, which influences many bodily functions including blood pressure control, immunity and appetite balance. Melatonin production is activated within the brain when we perceive darkness; it is boosted by moving and depleted by feeling stressed.
Short daytime naps can prove beneficial to boosting brain and body performance preferably not exceeding 30 minutes, drawing them out into hour long snug downs in the middle of the day will usually result in lethargy, you will end up resembling a somnambulant admirer of Snow White or a Three Toed Tree Dweller, rather than those creative nap enthusiasts which included Leonardo da Vinci, Brahms and Einstein.
A well timed nap can be an investment in your creativity and productivity, as can a well timed interlude of mindfulness or meditation.
The beneficial way brain wave frequencies change during sleep can be replicated during a practise of meditation, the cycle of vibration can be influenced to assist rest and the nourishment of your whole being.
When you consciously slow down physiological and psychological processes occur, enabling slower breath, an increase in oxygen uptake, slower heart rate and an increased production of beneficial hormones including DHEA.
It increases your resistance to stressors and helps control cortisol production very handy because amongst the many side effects of over production, is interference with neurotransmitters which will result in inhibiting memory, not to be encouraged me thinks.
I hope you are feeling inclined to appreciate your sleep a little more than just a time to snuggle up and zone out, perhaps if you have yet to start a mindfulness practise or have fallen out of the habit, now could be the time to commence or restart, you will enjoy the results, you know it makes sense.
Let the alchemy continue with our fourth element, ‘Love’ in our next blog post!
If we have whet your appetite for further discovery, keep in mind that we create interactive experiential workshops and events embracing the 8 elements, exploring a myriad of ways to enhance your happiness and health. Oh yes and let’s not forget these are beautifully packaged with individually created accoutrements for your delectation. All delivered by us, in a delicious way.
If you haven’t already read our introduction to the 8 Elements, why not check out ‘The Alchemy of 8’.
Image Tile/Header- Engraving of a classical nude figure by Bernardino Nocchi (Italian Painter 1741-1812)
YouTube – One Minute Breathing Exercise
YouTube – Bells of Mindfulness
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