Saturday, March 17, 2012

Is Your Body Sleeping When It Is Awake?

The average number of hours people sleep has been steadily declining over the past decades. Sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain, emotional instability and reduced function. New research offers an explanation for these symptoms. Apparently, after receiving less than adequate sleep, different neurons in the brain seem to turn off for brief periods of time. Since the brain governs bodily functions, the neurons that turn off must adversely affect the body function they are in charge of. This can cause a chain reaction. One area of the body functions poorly but it is also connected to another body system, which puts another area of the body at risk.

While an occasional night of inadequate sleep can be made up, chronic sleep deprivation causes the body to break down. The body needs a certain amount of sleep to rejuvenate itself, and, as seen by the research, the neurons in the brain will turn off without enough sleep. It is as though the body has to turn off to conserve its reserves and function. It is similar to an electrical brown out when there is not enough electricity for the city's buildings and homes. The electricity is running but not at full function or capacity.

Sleep in Ayurveda is one of the main pillars of health. Without adequate sleep, a person cannot be truly healthy. One can get by without enough sleep, but life is too precious to just "get by."

Stay healthy & well,

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