Sunday, January 14, 2018

Attention to Real Health: Benefits of Sleep

Pinterest category Laura Ashley bedding

One of the benefits of being home is the privilege of living a little more slowly, and building up good health.

Real health care is not the same as medical care, unless you want to consider natures cures (foods, herbs, spices, salves, oils,  minerals, etc) to be medicine.  Sometimes when I hear a political discussion about free health care, I think of the free health care that has always been available since the beginning of time, that being rest, nutrition, water, fresh air, excercise, etc., of which we are already the health care providers. (Try and get insurance or government to provide that...for free....)

When we learn to care for ourselves as much as possible, it eliminates the conflict about who is going to "provide" it or pay for it, because quite a bit of our health is in our own ability. I'm not talking about broken bones or medical needs here, but taking care of yourself using God-made health care provision may prevent serious medical problems.

Of the many facets of health,  sleep and rest do not seem to be promoted as strongly as the others, but it interacts with all the othe things.

Pinterest - category natural bed linens

Consider changing to sheets and blankets that are from natural fibres such as cotton, bamboo, linen, hemp, wool, etc. Here in the US the stores seem to be over stocked with micro fibres, polyester, nylon, and other non-porous, non woven sheets and blankets. I am not sure how this effects our sleep, but I would rather have the natural, earthy fabrics similar to the ones people slept on not so long ago.

 I sympathize with people who have sleep problems, as their health is so adversely affected by it. They are more susceptible to viruses, colds, illness, depression, skin problems, appetite problems, memory problems, and general malaise. You don't have to be a great physician to suspect there might be an advantage to practicing the old ways.

Some people have been effected by the way bedding and sleepwear fabrics are treated in the factories.

Someone back in the 1960's apparently soaked cotton fabric in formaldehyde, then baked it to make it permanent press.   I am not certain if this is still done in manufacturing, so I always wash fabric and cotton sheets when they are new, in attempt to remove the wrinkle free treatment, or I look for special organic type cotton. Not everyone will be adversely affected by these added chemicals, but some people are, and it may affect the quality of their sleep.

Consider the detergents  and softeners we use for bedding and sleepwear. 

(Sometimes I feel like saying "No more Febreeze, please!" because I smell it everywhere in town, inside and outside of businesses and shopping areas, and even motels and restaurants.)

There is a cleaning vinegar available that works quite well in the washing machine and does not leave any vinegar scent. It works in the wash and in the rinse. 

Someone told me to add some orange or lemon essential oil to the rinse in the machine.   She also suggested I put a pleasant smelling essential oil on a cloth and wipe it across the pillow cases and sheets to aid in sleep.  There are all kinds of things the ancients did, I am sure, that many of us are now discovering.
Cotton sleepwear by Lanz of Salzburg 

While the physical comforts have to be considered when getting good sleep, there are other factors worth looking at:

Anxiety, grief, disorganization, uncertainty,  being always rushed and pressed for time, sudden changes, food additives, heavy responsibilities, weather, finances and things beyond your control, can affect your ability to truly rest.

Sometimes there are things in your life that you know are not quite right and need to change, that cause sleep problems.

Rising too early, using an alarm, and staying up too late can cause a sleep problem.  When I was homeschooling, I never used alarm clocks and I found the children adjusted to the light and the darkness and slept as long as they needed to. When they slept later or "slept in" I knew they may be fighting off a virus, or the body and mind needed the extra sleep for some other reason.

Adequate fresh air can also aid in sleep. This is something of a subject of its own. 

The water you bathe in or brush your teeth with may be chlorinated and that may have an effect on the quality of your sleep.

Too many added chemicals and pharmaceuticals in the body can cause sleep irregularities. This also is a subject that is covered by various physicians on the web.

The benefits of sleep are: better memory, better digestion and elimination, better appetite, better concentration and focus, a feeling of well-being, reduced anxiety, improved hair, nails, skin and complexion, normal stamina to do ordinary things, less accidents, ability to have a goal and achieve it, adequate creativity, and much more. 

The different aspects of health, such as nutrition and excercise, interact with one another, and affect one another. Your sleep health may have something to do with other health factors.

People frequently recite Philippians 4:8 as a remedy for uneasiness that may affect your ability to rest. We have, over the years quoted and thought of this phrase thousands of times when troubled and sleepless. To think on good and lovely things---yes, you are not just allowed to do that. You are supposed to do that. It helps so much to think of the loveliest and pleasant things when preparing to retire or rest.  I never understand how people can listen to so much bad news on the air waves so close to bed time.

Researching how to get sleep naturally will reveal the many benefits of sleep. I even read somewhere that people who were having a struggle with their weight were not getting enough sleep. I am still researching this myself. If you are interested in finding out more, look up "natural sleep" or "getting sleep naturally." Dr. Axe, Dr. Cherry, Dr. Amy Myers,  and many other nature focused physicians have extensive websites with information about sleep.

I am sure everyone who reads this knows what "burning the candle at both ends" means. And, I know God has provided ways for us to get good sleep.

Psalm 127:2  It is vain for you to rise up early, To take rest late, To eat the bread of toil; For so he giveth unto his beloved sleep.


Amelia said...

Yes. I am so glad you mentioned the 'febreeze' or whatever it is I am smelling so many places I go including even the museum of fine arts in the city. We were attending an exhibit and the fabric softener smell someone had on their clothes was wafting through the air and infecting the air whenever I was remotely near them. There was a restaurant as well, the same smell everywhere! I ordered a lovely skirt from ebay that I had to wash several times and then soak in vinegar and baking soda to even remotely remove the smell of the same fabric softener. I know people mean well, but the toxicity is horrible. I'm glad you are approaching this subject, it seems people have no idea.

You have a lot of good helpful ideas here for a less stressful, less toxic life. : )


Laura Jeanne said...

Whether or not we get enough sleep has a great effect on how well we can live our daily lives, so this is an important topic. I've read the books and articles of many experts in trying to fight my illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the one thing that all the experts agree on is that the first plan of attack is to ensure you're getting a good night sleep no matter what. I would imagine this is the same for many forms of illness as it is during sleep that our bodies renew themselves.

I do sleep much better now than I used to and it is slowly making a difference in my health. One thing which I find really helpful in getting to sleep is to stay away from all technology (screens) for at least an hour before bedtime. Staring at a bright screen fools your brain into thinking it's daytime, and it will be hard to settle down to sleep. Instead, I read before bed. Also, I have learned that your body can sense if there is any light in the room, even if your eyes are closed, so it is important to keep your bedroom quite dark once it's time to sleep.

I also take an herb called valerian at bedtime, which is helpful for those of us with anxiety, and melatonin tablets for those nights when I don't feel very sleepy. Apparently sour cherry juice also has something in it that helps the body to produce its own melatonin, so it can be used as a sleep aid.

Lydia said...

Amelia, one more reason to make your home the place you reside during th day. You have more choice and can create the environment you like, avoiding all those things they do in public. We can create the scent and.touch, sight and sounds we want, at home. Yesterday , while I enjoyed going out, I was rattled by the radio station music in every store and only one shop had a soft music . I like Hobby Lobby for that reason and hope other stores will follow suit. It's just instruments, with no screaming words of pop music.

Lydia said...

Laura Jeannw, also a sleep disorder can drive you crazy. Sometimes it clears up when you make changes in your life for your family sake, and sometimes it take a little withdrawal from things you mentioned, like screens. If someone says something disturbing or you hear something or read something upsetting, just before you try to sleep, it can trigger off an "all--nighter" and lead to a sleep disorder where you can sleep any time but bedtime!

Lydia said...

I smell Febreeze on things I get in the mail sometimes, and if someone volunteers to clean the church building they use it all over...its awful. We have had enough! It should be outlawed! The same goes for Lysol! It does not destroy bacterial, it causes more! And the smell is awful!
I'm so glad ther are alternatives in our gardens, the lovely non toxic herbs! I'm trying to make a post about some of the ones that make a hime lovely ...even fr sh coffee beans are more natural than some of the air freshener sand plug-ins, etc. they could be contributing to sleep disorders, I'm glad we have more choices now in soaps and shampoos and lotions, too!

Mary said...

Such a great post. Especially what you said about the natural free health care that God gave us! Great point!

Lydia said...

Ladies the doctors sites I mentioned in the post all talk about these same things you have commented on, such as the darkened room, the blue light frim screens, and scents. I know people who have relocated to the country just for reduced notice and fresh air...the only noise we hear is the train in the distance and an occasional donkey...of course the tractors in harvest are very loud and they can keep you awake since they harvest in the cool of the night...but I think sometimes small spaces and more populous areas can cause some anxiety.

living from glory to glory said...

Yes sleep is so important, I think we have all had a time of lack in that area!
Lately I have been listening to some teaching lessons and have found that I drift off to sleep very well. But a dark room and cozy blankets and sheets are a must Zzzzzzz
And I always can feel overwhelmed with all the different scents.
Just walking down an aisle in the store of all the detergents make me feel yucky!

Kimberly said...

Thank you so much for this.