In today’s overly ambitious, stress packed lifestyle quality sleep is becoming more of a luxury and many struggle to get adequate quality rest.
If you think you have difficulty sleeping and spend most of the night tossing and turning in bed or counting sheep, trust me you are not alone.
Millions of Americans suffer from sleep related disorders. This is fast becoming a major public health concern.
While many of us do not think of the consequences of inefficient sleep beyond an occasional headache, groggy eyes or heaviness, it has serious consequences on our physical and mental performance and most importantly our overall health.
Sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension and weakened immune system to name a few.
Sleep is at the core of everything and it cannot be ignored if you want a healthy, happy and balanced life.
Sleep experts recommend 7-8 hours of sleep per night for you to wake up feeling fresh, vital and ready to take on the world.
Connection Between Health & Sleep
Just as we do not realize the importance of a good night’s sleep, most of us also do not connect what we eat to our health and how we feel.
To cope with our busy lifestyle, we tend to make poor food choices by selecting processed fast foods and instant cooking options.
These are loaded with preservatives, sugars and artificial flavourings. Moreover, pesticides, chemicals and other pollutants have made even natural foods as grains, fruits and vegetables toxic.
Thanks to these and to our chemical ridden personal care products, our bodies are loaded with toxins including considerable amounts of mercury, lead, and other heavy metals.
They are stored in cell and tissues throughout the body including your brain and long-term exposure to these toxins affects our metabolism, behaviour, immune system which results in upsetting the human metabolism functional balance.
How Does Sleep Connect To Detoxification?
In order to cope with these problems, many people turn to detox diets to rid their body of toxins.
This is a great approach to holistic health as the detoxification process works by shifting the body’s internal focus from metabolizing unhealthy foods towards cellular regeneration and internal cleansing of the body.
There are many detox diet options available such as lemon diets, aqua diets and detox teas to name a few but the common point of all these is the intake of foods and drinks that are either useful in flushing out toxins or are the building blocks of body cells.
Fluids are especially important mainly because toxins are stored in the fat and as they are released into our bloodstream, our bodies deal with a new burden.
Fluids help to flush them out.
Raw vegetables are also a good source of detoxification as they increase the work rate of biologically friendly bacteria to thrive in the gut.
Having said all of this, no matter which detox diet you choose, adequate sleep is important for it to work.
As with all human functions, sleep is crucial when it comes to detoxification of the body as the body needs more rest.
In simple words, our body organs have to work an extra mile more to flush the toxins from our system and while you may feel light and fresh with a detox, you might also feel that you are getting tired quickly.
This is because of the fact that your body heals and revitalizes itself naturally and hence needs more rest. Feeling tired is an indication that your body is asking for more sleep than usual.
Also, sleep is the time when our growth hormone works which is responsible for cell regeneration, repair and renewal.
Getting at least eight hours of sleep nightly is recommended as this will allow the growth hormone to function properly for cell renewal and for the liver and kidneys to flush out toxins.
While many people will feel tired and the need for more sleep, some people experience sleep problems and insomnia to sleep during a detox diet.
This can make it difficult to attain a solid 8 hours of sleep.
How to Sleep Better During a Detox Diet
Here are a few tips to a get adequate rest during a detox diet:
- Exercise or physical activity during day helps to sleep better. Exercise also helps to sleep better by lowering depression and anxiety.
- Studies suggest that even small amounts of exercise can lead to improved quality of sleep.
- Make sure you create a sleep friendly environment at bedtime. Turn off the lights and keep the room temperature to a comfortable level. Moreover, experts advise to restrict the use of any electronic device such as laptop, mobile phone and TV at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The blue light from these devices keeps the brain alert.
- What you eat for dinner can greatly affect the quality of your sleep. Go for sleep inducing foods such as dairy products, protein rich turkey, chicken, cherries, bananas, nuts, rice, greens and oatmeal. Stay away from caffeine, energy drinks, soft drinks, alcohol, fatty and spicy food as they can cause difficulty sleeping.
- If you find yourself wide awake in bed stressing over random things, it is best to get out of bed and do some light activity. You can read, listen to music, do yoga or anything that helps you to relax and unwind. Just do not watch a movie. Remember to stay away from the blue light. This will eventually settle you down for a quality nap time.
Experts suggest detoxing a minimum of twice a year. You can either go for a 3 day cleanse or go all out and cleanse for 2 weeks. Regardless of the timeline that you choose, you will feel the difference in your energy levels, mood and overall well being.
With that being said, always remember to keep up with your sleep schedule for optimum results.