Did you know that we spend one third of our lives staying asleep? Sleep is vital to our health and well-being. There are many studies suggested that severe deprivation of sleep can cause a series of health conditions and can even be fatal. A study reported by CIA investigator at Guantanamo Bay suggested that cortisol, the stress hormone, increases leading to the rise of blood pressure within the first 24 hours of sleep deprivation. In a day or 2 later, sleep deprivation will mess up glucose metabolism and the body immunity will be suppressed. These physiological changes can be reversed easily by simply sleep.

According to Sleep Foundation in America, an adult are recommended to have 7 to 9 hours of sleep while kids and teens need 10 to 11 hours and 8.5 to 9.25 hours respectively. Naturally human body releases melatonin from the pineal gland located in the midline of the brain when the sun goes down leading to relaxation and sleepiness. When sun rises in the morning, melatonin production will stop while cortisol, an anti stress hormone, releases from the adrenal gland located on top of the kidneys, so that we stay awake and alert. Restoration function of sleep includes restoring energy, removing waste and repairing cells. Most of human growth hormone (HGH) is released from the pituitary gland of the brain during first phase of sleep. That explains the reason young children during their growing age require more sleep than adult.

In the nutshell, human body requires healthy level of melatonin from pineal gland in order to have restful sleep and leading to the production of HGH in the pituitary gland to repair, regenerate and heal the body. However, modern lifestyle today has disrupted the natural pattern of sleep. The use of artificial light from light bulbs and exposure to blue-green lights from electrical device such as hand phone, laptops, computer and tablets at night disrupts melatonin production leading to less sleepiness. In productivity-driven modern society, sleep is perceived as laziness and non-productivity. Therefore, regular consumption of caffeine is used to mask the symptoms of sleep deprivation. Symptoms of sleep deprivation are often neglected and little that we know sleep deprivation is associate with shorter life-span, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases and even cancer.

Here are some tips to get our beauty sleep in order to ensure the production of HGH so that our bodies will heal itself by cellular repair, regeneration and renewal.

  1. Avoid stimulants : Stay away from caffeine after lunch will ensure a better sleep at night. Moderate alcohol consumption and avoid using alcohol as a sleep aid.
  2. Avoid artificial light before sleep : Keep the room dark during sleep. Avoid the use of laptop, computer, handphone etc that emit blue-green-lights before bed.
  3. Relaxation : Practice deep breathing by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth before bed will stimulate parasystematic nervous system to induce relaxation. Drink chamomile tea, lavender tea will induce tranquility and relaxation.
  4. Essential oils : Lavender oil relaxes and calming the body. Frankincense oil promotes better sleep as well as body’s natural healing responds. Cedarwood oil promotes healthy function of pineal gland that produce melatonin.
  5. Tryptophan-rich foods : Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps make melatonin. Tryptophan-rich foods such as walnuts, almonds, lentil, tofu, avocado, banana, cocoa, oatmeal, broccoli, cherry, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, salmon, turkey are best for dinner along with small amount of carbohydrate to boost tryptophan level in the brain and to be converted to melatonin later.

Sufficient sleep is just as important for good health as exercise and nutrition.

睡眠疗效的力量

您是否知道我们三分一的人生都在睡眠中?睡眠对我们人体健康和养身非常重要。众多的研究报告显示缺乏睡眠可以导致一系列的健康状态甚至可以导致死亡。美国中央情报人员在关塔那摩湾的报告显示,人体在首24小时无睡眠会导致抗压力荷尔蒙,皮质,上升而引发血压飙升。无睡眠的一至两天后,将导致血糖代谢混乱和抵抗力下降。这一切的生理改变可以睡一觉而轻易的恢复正常。

根据美国睡眠基金会的建议,成人的睡眠量是7至9个小时而儿童及少年分别是10至11个小时和8.5至9.25个小时。太阳下山时,人体自然会在脑部中央的松果腺分泌褪黑激素以便产生放松和睡意状态。太阳上升的早晨,褪黑激素停止分泌而肾脏上方的肾上腺分泌皮质以便产生苏醒和精神奕奕的状态。多数的人体生长激素会在睡眠的首个阶段在脑下垂体分泌。这解释了成长中儿童比成年人需要更多的睡眠。

总体来说,人体需要松果腺分泌健康水平的褪黑激素以便拥有更好的睡眠质素来使脑下垂体分泌修补,再生和修复的人体生长激素。无论如何,当今先进的生活习惯搅乱了人体天然的睡眠节奏。晚上使用来自灯泡的人造光线以及接触来自手机,电脑笔记本,电脑和平板电脑等的蓝绿光导致褪黑激素分泌失衡,结果减少睡意。先进的社会有着睡眠是懒惰和无生产力的概念。因此,频繁的摄取咖啡因来遮隐缺乏睡眠的症状。人们时常忽略了缺乏睡眠的症状而极少发现缺乏睡眠和减寿,二型糖尿病,心脏病甚至癌症息息相关。

这里建议了一些贴上好让我们拥有美丽的睡眠来确保人体生长激素的分泌以便人体通过细胞修补,再生和更新而自愈。

  1. 避免刺激物 :午饭后避免摄取咖啡因以便改善晚间睡眠。适量饮酒和避免以酒精作为睡眠的辅助品。
  2. 睡前避免人造光线 :睡觉时保持房间黑暗无光。避免睡前使用释放蓝绿光线的电脑笔记本,电脑,手机等
  3. 放松 :用鼻子深吸气,用口深呼气的深呼吸可以刺激副交叉神经系统促进放松状态。睡前饮用甘菊花茶和薰衣草茶可以促进松弛和定神状态。
  4. 香精油 :薰衣草精油促进放松和镇定状态。乳香精油改善睡眠质素和促进身体天然修复反应。柏木精油促进松果腺健康以便分泌褪黑激素。
  5. 色氨酸丰富的食物 :色氨酸是必需氨基酸。它可以转化为褪黑激素。富有色氨酸的食物包括坚果,杏仁,扁豆,豆腐,牛油果,香蕉,可可,燕麦粥,芥兰花,樱桃,水煮蛋,乳酪,三文鱼,火鸡肉等是最佳晚餐的选择。加上少许的碳水化合物更加提升脑部色氨酸的水平以便转化为褪黑激素。

充足的睡眠对身体的健康和运动及营养相对重要

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