The Zen of Sleep

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 | 9:26 pm

When people are surveyed on what they find pleasurable, sleep ranks near the top. However, at least with the clients I see, most people do not allow themselves to get enough sleep on a daily basis.

Sleep allows the brain to isolate itself from the outer world. Sleep is a time when the body does most of its repair and maintenance.

Think of the body as a fine, expensive automobile. If you owned such a vehicle, you would surely take it to a mechanic for a tune-up to keep in running in optimal condition. Our bodies need daily tune-ups as well and those daily tune-ups occur when we sleep. How much sleep is enough?

We are all unique but generally speaking, adults need between 7.5 and 8.5 hours a night. Females generally need more sleep than males. The best way to ensure adequate time for sleep is to develop a bedtime and try to stick with it the majority of the week.

Here are some habits you can establish to ensure a pleasurable night’s sleep.

1. Avoid caffeinated drinks in the afternoon and evening.
2. Eat your evening meal at least 3 hours before going to bed.
3. Lower the temperature at night.
4. Make the room as dark as possible. Ideally, there should be NO light.
5. Have the best bedding you can afford. You spend a third of your day in bed, make it comfortable.
6. Be active during the day (take the stairs rather than the elevator or get out for a brisk walk).
7. Get some sunshine every day.

Anti-aging has become a very popular phrase. However, the only time you really do not age, is when you are dead. Therefore, I like to say that we should slow down the aging process and one of the best ways to do this is to get adequate reparative sleep. The way we slow down aging is to give your body the time it needs to repair itself. Most cellular repair occurs during sleep. So proper nutrition and a good night’s sleep is Mother Nature’s anti-aging pill!

Dr. Tina Paul, BCND, Traditional Naturopath, Vibrant Living Wellness Center, 144 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, (626) 470-7711 or visit

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