Eight Heavenly Hours
We had family from out of town staying with us this past week and with the laughter flowing late into the night, my sleep has definitely been lacking. A couple of nights I only got four to five hours, and I’ve definitely being feeling the effects.
Last night I got a wonderful eight hours and have been feeling SO much better today – a stark reminder of how important sleep is in healing endometriosis. Too often I see it as an inconvenience, staying up late to get more things done when I really should stop and rest.
Sleep is a big deal with healing endometriosis for good reason. A lot of things happen in the body during sleep. It is a time for the body to repair itself. Sleep is necessary for detoxification, immunity, tissue repair, regeneration, and emotional balance.
Sleep and Hormonal Balance
When sleep is lacking, the hormone cortisol increases and the human growth hormone decreases. Cortisol is a stress hormone and if its too high it wears on the adrenal glands, causing further fatigue and hormonal imbalances. The human growth hormone helps the body with cellular repair, growth and rejuvenation – a big deal when the body is fighting endo.
The most important sleep renewal period happens during the first two hours of sleep before midnight, so its best to go to sleep no later than 10PM. A “deep sleep” happens typically for an hour between 11PM-12AM. This hour is when the growth hormones are released. This deep sleep doesn’t happen after midnight, so if you miss out on it consistently then the body and mind become overstressed, causing chronic fatigue and negative impacts on immunity.
The hours between 2AM-6AM is a detox time period as well. This is when waste moves from the liver, cells, intestines and other areas. To fully support this waste removal, it is suggested to awaken and rise slightly before sunrise.
It is important to have a consistent pattern of sleep – going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday. This helps play into the body’s natural circadian rhythms and keeps stress levels down.
Good Night Sleep Tips
Here are additional tips I picked up along the way that aid in getting a good night’s sleep:
- Increase natural light exposure during the day.
- Exercise regularly, but no later than three hours before going to sleep.
- Avoid caffeine. (I’ve heard that the effects of caffeine remain in the body eight hours after consuming it; so if you do consume it, make sure it is eight hours before sleep)
- Avoid alcohol.
- Don’t eat three hours prior to going to bed and keep the last meal of the day light.
- Avoid TV and the computer an hour before bed.
- Avoid engaging in stressful thoughts or activities before sleep.
- Keep your sleeping area cool and as dark as possible.
- Eliminate all electronics from your sleeping area, if possible. If not, then keep them far away from you.
- Avoid mirrors that face the bed (A feng shui tip I’ve recently implemented).
On the Positive Side?
A good seven to eight hours of sleep is a free way to improve the pain related to endo. I know that sometimes good sleep is hard to find (I struggle with insomnia during my luteal phase), but when a good eight hours comes along it sure does make a difference.
There have been so many times when I wake up with awesome ideas and creative thoughts – Why first thing in the morning? Perhaps because my sleep has pressed away the toxins and blockages getting in the way.
Are you getting enough sleep? Time to make time for more…
A peaceful night sleep to you 🙂