Is it your bedtime yet?
Remember that question as a child? Mom or dad asking you, "is it bedtime yet?" And the universal answer from every child no matter what time of night it was, would of course be... a resounding "NO." And thankfully our parents had the last word and we did in fact have to go to bed and get our sleep. They kept us on a schedule, making sure we got the sleep we needed each night. But then we grew up and without the constant prodding of our parents most of us have forgotten what a good idea it is to have a bedtime.
I used to think that sleeping was a necessary evil. There was so much that I wanted to do when I was young that I tried everything to train myself to need as little sleep as possible. I tried meditation, because I heard that if I could hold a theta brain wave consistently for as little as 10 minutes it would be equivalent to a day and night of rest. What I didn't realize was that only a few people, after a lifetime of practice, had ever actually achieved this.
I tried hypnosis, because I was at a presentation with a hypnotist named Mr. Wand (that should have been a big clue) where after an entertaining display of the power of hypnosis, relayed to us that that he only slept 4 hours a night because he would hypnotize himself straight into a deep sleep and be completely refreshed 4 hours later and we too could do the same for the incredibly low price of... well you know how that story ends.
In those days my mind was filled with all the things I could learn, all the books I could read, all the extra leisure time I would have if I only needed 4 hours of sleep a night.
As I grew older, it was no longer so much about the things I could learn, as the amount I could earn, not so much about the books I could read, but keeping up with the book (my appointment book that is) that I had. It was no longer about the amount of leisure, but rather at best, how far ahead of the game I could get, and at worst, what I had to do to simply keep my head above water.
I was recently introduced to the television show 24, in which Keifer Sutherland plays Jack Bower, a renegade federal agent who plays by his own rules, who goes up against every trial imaginable in one 24-hour period. The whole season takes place in one day, with every episode representing one hour of passing time. And at the beginning of every show, Jack, sets the stage by recapping all of the horrendous things that are happening: his family has been kidnapped, there is a plot to kill one of the presidential nominees, and a few of the people he work with may be involved with one or both. And then he says... "this is going to be the longest day of my life."
From the very first scene all the way through the season, the adrenaline is racing at full throttle, Jack is literally always out of breath, always minutes away from a huge catastrophe, and each harrowing escape only leads to an even more dramatic and more devastating set of circumstances.
Now this show has been incredibly popular and I think I understand why. Most people can truly relate to this lifestyle and can easily see themselves in the role of our hero Jack. And while we may not be working undercover for the government or trying to spoil an international espionage plot against the next commander-in-chief, most of us are putting out our own fires all day, every day. Many people, with the deadlines and demands they face, trying to balance work, family, and the rest of their modern day responsibilities, can honestly say at the beginning of almost every day of the week, "This is going to be the longest day of my life."
And so not being able to add more hours to the day, something has to give, and that something is all too often... sleep.
The situation has gotten so bad that many consider a good night sleep a pure luxury instead of the biological necessity that it is.
And so with each passing day we become more and more deprived of the rest that we need to operate at our highest level. What difference does a little extra sleep make you ask?
Did you know that sleep...
•helps repair the entire body at a cellular level
•helps maintain a healthy heart both lowering cholesterol levels and inflammatory markers that are linked to heart attacks, heart disease, and strokes.
•reduces stress on every system of your body, most of which are overtaxed by the enormous strains of our current lifestyles.
•improves the memory by organizing and correlating memories. This improves focus, recall and overall retention. Basically sleeping makes us smarter, which is why when faced with a real challenge you often hear... "why don't you sleep on it."
•can help control your body weight: studies show that when you are deprived of sleep normal hormone levels become unbalanced and your appetite increases, especially for fats and carbohydrates. How's that for diet advice... you need to get more sleep. Now that's my kind of diet.
Time is the great equalizer. No matter who you are, from President of the United States, to the laziest among us, everyone gets the same 24 hours every day. You can waste them or use them for good and time passes no judgment. No matter what happened yesterday, today, everyone's clock is reset, no pun intended, to a fresh 24. And since we can't ever get MORE time, it is only a question of improving the QUALITY of our time. And one of the best ways to do that is to get a good night's sleep every night.
In our wellness program we teach several simple, but extremely powerful techniques to help you relax easily and get a good night's sleep after even the most stressful of days. Here's an example. Do you remember being in school and cramming for a test? There came a point when it made more sense to close the book and resign to the fact that you either knew it or you didn't and the best thing to do was get a good night sleep before the exam.
Using that same philosophy, GIVE YOURSELF A BEDTIME. Our bodies like consistency. By doing this, the body gets on a rhythm and will work much more optimally. This simple habit has a powerfully restorative effect on the body and mind and greatly improves the quality of your sleep. Try it for one week and see for yourself what a difference it makes.
For more simple but powerful ways to improve the quality of your sleep and your overall health please visit www.completebalance.com
The Baietto Brothers
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