Shakespeare described sleep as “Nature’s soft nurse.” Sleep is as essential to our well-being as the food we eat. It is while we sleep that complex biochemical processes replenish our energy reserves and repair damaged cells and tissues throughout the body.
Adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep during every 24-hour period. When we don’t get enough rest, we not only jeopardize our mental and physical performance, but we also increase our risk of weakened immune function, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
In children, even mild sleep disruption can seriously interfere with cognitive development and learning ability.
Sleep deprivation is emotionally taxing. We are more prone to stress, anxiety, anger and sadness when we don’t get enough sleep. With all the demands and temptations of our wired world, most of us are struggling not to build up a large sleep debt.
What can we do to safeguard our sleep? We can benefit from some common sense self-care.
Adapted from The Rhodiola Revolution
Richard P. Brown, MD, Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD
Rodale Press, 2004
Stress, anxiety and thinking too much can interfere with sleep. In addition to its calming effect, coherent breathing also turns off the worry centers of the brain.
The Healing Power of the Breath
Simple Techniques to Reduce Stress and Anxiety,
Enhance Concentration and Balance Your Emotions
Richard P. Brown, MD Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD
Dr. Patricia Gerbarg discusses sleep hygiene, and how to use one’s breath and certain herbs to for a restful night’s sleep.