Sleep is Healing
Did you know that the body goes through a repair process when you sleep?
When you snuggle in bed at night and drift off to sleep, it's easy to think that the body is dormant without much activity.
However, that's when the body gets a break from exerting all the energy required to think and move throughout our day. The body brilliantly shifts this extra energy to storing memories, detoxifying and healing the body.
This is important to know as we manage a chronic condition like endometriosis. We overlook a significant healing opportunity if we're not prioritizing sleep.
It may sound too good to be true, but it's worth a try if you ask me.
If you're struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, that doesn't mean you are out of luck, and it simply means that this could be a perfect reminder to support your health.
Getting a good night's sleep
A few things can help set you up for a good night's sleep.
One of the surprisingly effective but often overlooked strategies is exposing yourself to sunlight at the beginning of the day. This can help to set the circadian rhythms, which is your body being in sync with the 24-hour cycle of the day.
So in the morning, you can step outside, or at least try to get close to a window to get some sunlight. Again, this is sending a signal to your body that it's morning.
On the flip side, it's ideal for dimming the lights as the day closes, and this sends the message to your body that it's evening and time to start winding down for sleep.
You could turn on fewer lights in your home as the evening progresses, or if you have a dimmer, you could start lowering the light. Of course, we know the light from electronics can be incredibly disruptive to our sleep.
Turning off electronics an hour or two before bed will be best, but if that feels too big of a jump, try starting with some blue light-blocking glasses. They're inexpensive and can be purchased online.
Preparing your body to rest
These practices give your constant body queues of the time of day and whether it should prepare for sleep or daily activity. A specific bedtime ritual prepares your body for sleep.
Perhaps you have some evening stretches that help to calm the mind and ease tension in the body.
I like to diffuse essential oils and journal at the night's end. They're rarely long journal entries.
If you're looking for something especially quick and easy, you could make a gratitude list. Write three to five things each day that you're grateful for.
An increasing amount of research shows the healing benefits of a gratitude practice. I hope that some of the techniques shared here resonate with you and can support you in getting a night of healing sleep.
What tips can you share that help you get a good night's sleep?
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