Sleep – the Natural Fountain of Youth

Posted on October 19, 2011. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Aging, Chiropractic, Exercise, Fatigue, Healing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

 ~By Dr. Gregory Steiner

If you can sleep, you can heal. Maybe better is to say that if you can sleep naturally, fully and well, then you can heal. Lots of people sleep – if that’s what you want to call it: go to bed late after taking medication, awaken a short time later with your mind whirling overtime; sleep another hour, awaken again – then it’s time to get up, feed the children and get ready to start the day after the one-or-more cups of coffee.

A day that comes after such a night will no doubt be a long one. The first slump may hit about 10, and the worse one in mid-afternoon. I have some people tell me that their energetic goal for the day is to survive until noon, then again until dinner. The rub is that whether executive, developer, or stay-at-home mom, you are expected and required to think, organize, decide and perform without fail each and every day. Not so easy on drug induced sleep, or no sleep at all.

Sleep is a very good invention, and I’m sorry I didn’t patent it. If I were to recommend one and only one thing I believe is paramount for health, energy and long-term well-being, sleep it would be. There’s an interesting observation differentiating kids and adults. Have you noticed that if a child is ill, eats the wrong thing, or generally gets out of sorts that he or she usually goes hyper? It’s as though the default program for kids is to rev up all the more, get wired and never, never go to bed!

At some age the see-saw tips the other direction. Have you noticed that if an adult is ill, eats the wrong thing, or generally gets out of sorts he or she gets oh-so-tired? I’m not it’s as thought the default program is for the body to get heavy and sluggish, and thinking either dulled repetitive with endless worry. And when you make it to bed you can’t sleep anyway. I’m not sure the age where this change occurs, but it seems early, almost certainly in the late 20’s.

The causes? As a physician with another degree in psychology and years of a fitness background, I don’t for a minute believe that this is normal for people. Common – yes, normal no. It’s important to spend a minute on the distinction; tooth decay is common, heart attacks are common, and so are speeding tickets and library fines. There is a common cause here – negligence! Don’t for a minute buy into the notion that so much of the discomfort associated with age is normal. We have 100,000 miles bodies but with improper balance, over-inflation and bad alignment so many of us are looking for patches at a tenth of that number.

Sleep and Healing

Sleep is a profound healer. If you can sleep you can heal. You might have read about growth hormone – it’s a great favorite of the young-forever Hollywood crowd, and no less a hunk than Sylvester Stallone was arrested for bringing a case-full into Australia a year or two ago. (He did have a prescription, by the way). Growth hormone turns on the repair process of your body, and helps keep the skin young, muscles strong and brain in good shape. But it’s produced when you reach a certain state of restful sleep, and not at other times! Therefore, if you want natural growth hormone production you need to sleep.

What if you can’t sleep? Lately with all the economic turmoil and worry in the neighborhood lots and lots of people aren’t sleeping very well at all. Surprisingly enough this can be quite easy to help with acupuncture; two key points by the crease of the wrist work wonders. Herbs can be of use, and don’t forget the other favorite – regular exercise.

Basics are best, because they come closest to working with your body as it was designed to be used.

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