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The Benefits of A Good Nights Sleep

Sleep is an anti-aging activity. HGH levels are at their highest levels at night becuase this is the time your body rebuilds and repairs itself. Sleep is dictated to some degree by the dark and light cycles, which help govern the circadian rhythm or wake-sleep cycles in the body. It is important to get enough sleep.Honor the daily and seasonal changes in dark and light by resting when it is dark and being active during the light hours. This will enourage your body to follow its natural circadian rhythm. Avoid being overstimulated at night. Overstimulation may be in the form of working late, using stimulants such as coffee, drinking alcohol at night, staying awake at night reading or watching television.

Many of us are walking around sleep deprived. You may not think so, but take a look at some of the habits of people who are sleep-deprived:

They tend to crave comfort foods such as refined carbohydrates.

They tend to seek out stimulants such as caffeine during the day to stay awake, and once they are over-stimulated they seek out alcohol at night to wind down.

Sleep deprivation makes it hard to exercise.

In short, sleep deprivation is one of the most important risk factors for accelerated aging.

What can you do? Well, catching up on sleep takes a lot of time and patience. The body often feels an enormous amount of fatigue when you allow it to sleep more. This can feel debilitating, espcially when you have convinced yourself that you only need 4 hours of sleep at night. your stress levels begin to decrease when you begin to allow your body to sleep. The adrenal glands, which produce a lot of the stress hormones, go into a shut-down mode as part of a healing cycle. They don't produce much of the wake-up homrones during this period of time. many people will blame their tirendmess on the new sleeping habits. The real reason for the fatigue is that the body is playing catch-up with sleep.

Give yourself permission to be tired

Think of sleep as restorative

A tired feeling is your bodys way of communicating that it has not had enough time to rebuild itself. Don't succumb to sweets and stimulants to stave off these feelings.

Normal sleep looks like this

  1. You get to sleep within 15 minutes of the head touching the pillow

  2. You cycle through the various stages of sleep over an 8 hour period

  3. You don't get up to urinate or for any other reason

  4. You wake feeling rested.

If this does not describe your sleeping habits then you may need to do some evaluation:

Check out your sleeping conditions:

  • Is the room quite enough?

  • is the room dark enough?

  • Do you have a confortable bed?

  • is the teperature of the room too hot or too cold?

Evaluate your pre-nightime habits:

  • Do you wake at night with a full bladder? Examine the type and amount of fluid you drink before bed.

  • Are you running around late at night finishing off the chores of the day?

  • Are you giving yourself enough time for sleep?

Evaluate and examine your daily habits:

  • Do you eat enough during the day?

  • Do you eat carbohydrates at night?

  • Do you eat refined sugar?

  • Do you drink too many caffeinated beverages?

  • Do you drink alcohol atnight?

  • Do you smoke?

  • Do you take B vitamins late at night?

Some other causes of not getting enough sleep include:

  • Stress

  • Sleeping during the day

  • Overexercising

  • Pain

  • Perimenopause/menopause

  • Diabetes

  • Sleep apnea

  • Prescription and over the counter medications

  • Antianxiety or sleeping pills

  • Acid reflux

  • Allergies


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Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information on these pages is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. © 2005 Weatherby & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved