Weekly Plan Wednesday
Sleep is not only valuable for what it allows us to produce during our waking hours, it's also an incredibly valuable function on its own. Sleep is not just being "not awake"; our bodies are accomplishing many important tasks while they sleep.
We absorb energy all day: light, sound, food. Sleep is a function where that energy can be dispersed. You've heard the phrase "calorie in - calorie out." The same concept applies to energy. If we consume or absorb more energy than we dissipate, our bodies and minds become hot or overloaded.
During deep sleep, or bodies regenerate on a cellular level. During light sleep, our mind regenerates. Just as deep sleep allows our bodies to reset for the next day, light sleep allows our brains to reset.
Nutrition affects our sleep and sleep affects our nutrition. When we eat well, we sleep better. When we sleep well, we make better nutritional choices.
There are many things that hijack our natural sleep cycle. Stimulants such as caffeine and sleep aids both have a major affect on sleep. One of the biggest issues is the lack of dream cycles when we have chemically altered sleep. This light sleep/dream state which occurs in the early morning is where we develop short term memories, and where the emotional input of the day before is sorted and put to rest.