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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Patella

SLEEP- a half trillion dollar cultural obsession

For thousands of years people have thrived on the “circadian clock” or ”rhythm”. Simply put it is the 24 hour clock of light and dark. Animals, plants, and seasons all cycle around it. Humans do too. It is the best rhythm for sleep and functioning. Wellness expert Beth McGroarty from the Global Wellness Institute reports “One of our top wellness trends for 2020 was that the wellness world would shift from their obsession with “sleep” (and the storm of “sleep solutions”) and focus on what matters more: managing circadian rhythms.” Dr. Steven W. Lockley, BSc, PhD, a world-renowned sleep and circadian neuroscientist addressed Ms. McGroarty’s concerns of explaining this concept to the world by describing “The circadian system controls the timing of many bodily systems, of which sleep is just one. The circadian (24-hour) clock also controls the timing of many rhythmic functions, including many hormones, lipid and glucose metabolism, immune function, reproductive hormones, bone metabolism, mood and performance, and many others. The circadian system is more wide-reaching than sleep: Sleep is just one output of that central clock. You can think of the clock in the brain as the conductor of an orchestra, keeping the individual members of the orchestra (different organs and functions in the body and brain) in synch.” Personal Trainers work with people on their physiques and that includes rest and recovery for optimal performance but often it is an elusive concept. I have several clients that continuously struggle with their sleep patterns and wake exhausted followed by difficulty to complete their training sessions. Virtual Life Coaches may work with individuals in various areas of their lives but if they are not sleeping well it is challenging to have optimal outcomes and performances. Sleep is when the body recovers, the organs, muscles and tissue repair themselves, the mind recovers from the day’s stresses. Without it our immune system weakens. So what are the answers when society is investing over a half trillion dollars in meds, prescriptions, methodologies and devices to help people sleep and there are over 75% of people between the ages of 29 and 60 reporting sleeping troubles? I can tell you that with various stages of menopause the night sweats woke me up in puddles of sweat; getting older my bladder wakes me up to go the bathroom; without physical movement in the day the stress has no where to go but to plague my mind with silliness you can do nothing to resolve at 2:00am. Not wanting to take meds I sought more organic, holistic solutions.

It starts with education: · Overindulging in alcohol wakes you after 3 hours and interrupts sleep patterns. MODERATION · Certain foods send all kinds of quirky messages to the body and brain, NO FOOD 2 HOURS BEFORE SLEEP · Our electric devices emit light waves that disrupt our “light clock”. PUT ELECTRONICS ON “SLEEP MODE”. Before I even open my eyes in the morning my brain is registering the amount of light seeping through the windows. For centuries people knew the time based on the light shining on the earth or sky. I encourage you to read the article from the Global Wellness Institute with two extraordinary scientists who understand how critical circadian rhythm is:

Meditation Sources: Agapi Stassinopoulos & Deepak Chopra Prepare for bed: relaxing blend of tea , room should be cool, lights & tv off Exercise: daily exercise to release stress and increase healthy in mind and body Schedule: keep a consistent sleeping schedule to fine tune your internal body clock Sweet Dreams! Cheryl Patella, M.S., CPT, CLC

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