In the last couple of days there has been a lot of talk on sleep. Perhaps it coincides with the launch of Arianna Huffington’ new book Sleep Revolution. In a society where busi-ness is glorified to the expense of valuable beauty sleep, this is an important conversation to be had as we are becoming a heavily medicated, sleep deprived society.
Well accepted myths on sleep:-
- There is no physiological function for sleep except to rest
- It is a fact that sleep becomes disrupted as we get older
- The quality of our sleep decreased with age
- We can function at our optimal level with only 4-5 hours sleep consistently
They are all myths and patterning that we become accustomed to. It is now known that sleep is essential for optimum brain functioning and plays a vital role in keeping us healthy. There is a myriad of physiological functions of our body that requires sleep to function optimally. This includes our immune system, appetite regulation, executive function. There is also a link of obesity to sleep deprivation.
What is often overlooked is that good sleep comes from a well rested being. It is difficult to have a good night’s sleep, if one is not well rested. This is where restorative yoga and meditative practices comes into play.
RECENT CASE STUDY
Recently, a private student who has a segmented sleep pattern, came to see me to get some assistance on her sleep as it was starting to affect her relationships with herself and others. She did not sleep for longer that 2 hours blocks for over 15 years. She has had seen many other allied medical practitioners regarding her issue but had not had much success. She was interested in a self empowered strategy in getting into a better sleep pattern.
We started a restorative yoga program over a period of 5 weeks. This involved a hour a bit of one-on-one of a prescribed practice and recording her sleep quality during the week. Credit to the student she was diligent in her home practice – that amounted to a minimum of 30 mins each day. It is a practice after all.
As a result she started sleeping for a 5 hour stretch after 3 weeks (this is an amazing feat if you have not been able to sleep longer than 2 hours blocks) and will return to sleep for another few hours. The sleep pattern started to change sporadically and then became more consistent. This is what she had to say about the changes.
After trying hypnotherapy, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, melatonin, and just about everything I could think of, I started a daily practise of restorative yoga poses. It has had fabulous results. I now enjoy unbroken periods of sleep of five hours and have increased wellbeing and energy levels. Give it a go. It works and is deeply, deeply relaxing.
It is important to note that change takes time too. I am happy to say for this students her sleep patterns has continued to improve.
This to me is the power of being rested to get a good nights sleep.