Thursday, March 13, 2008

Do You Get Enough Sleep?

Sleep is critical to many functions in the body. When you sleep, insulin levels and blood pressure are lowered. Studies show that if you don't get at least 6 hours of consecutive sleep, these functions become impaired. Toxic elimination from the liver is also performed during the hours of about 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. Retiring late and consuming late night meals hinders this process from occurring.

During the hours of 9 to 11 p.m. should be a time of relaxation and winding down - it is not for solving problems, cleaning the house, or having intense activities like heated arguments or watching violent television programs. Good activities include meditation, reading, or a hot bath. Conversely, getting too much sleep - over 9 consecutive hours, can make you feel more tired and groggy. For maximum health benefit, going to bed time should be no later than 10:00 p.m., and waking should occur around 7 a.m.

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