The Importance of Sleep

I went to my Osteopath this week, a lovely lady called Alison who is based in London. I came home from that treatment and slept for 11 hours. It was wonderful. I knew my body was being very busy on a physiological level, healing things and I woke up feeling like a new woman. I bounced my way through my next days clinic feeling light and clear. I expect over the next month until I see her again a few issues will build up, but health wise I know I will be moving forward. Especially if I ensure I get enough sleep.
I remember as a child in the 1980’s that the message from the adult world seamed to be that sleep is for losers, wasted time, wasted opportunities, no time for sleep there’s work to be done, and as a child it was¬†definitely something to be put off for as long as possible, until finally my parents cracked, found out where I was hiding and sent me to bed. It was often touted that Margaret Thatcher only slept for 4 hours a night and I could often hear my mum up late into the night doing all the household chores that she didn’t get done while she was working that day.

Sleep is rejuvenating…

Now I work in healthcare, I have a far more generous opinion of sleep. Its the time when our bodies’ parasympathetic nervous system gets a good chance to do the housekeeping in our body, clearing up old cells and rubbish, and replacing them with new. Most importantly it’s when we heal and our immune system can do its best work. These processes can take a lot of energy and organisation and we want as many of the bodies resources doing this as possible. It’s hard to fight a virus when we are behind our desk at work, doing challenging mental work or at the gym.
When I treat patients I tell them that they may feel energised but more frequently people can feel tired. This is the body trying to encourage them to have a rest so that it can focus it’s energy on vital work within the body. We talk about it as the body is incorporating the changes we have made and then reorganising around them to a patients greater health and overall well being.
So the take away here is sleep, sleep more, no ones getting enough of the stuff, sleep is rdejuvinative and feel great and is most likely making you healthy than when you went to bed. If you have been to the osteopath and you feel tired, hand the kids to the other half, take an evening off from your friends or Netflix, hop into bed and have a long nourishing sleep. Your bodies probably got lots of healthy stuff it wants to do.