Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rest and Sleep for Healthy Living

FOOD AND HEALTH: Rest and Sleep for Healthy Living

     Much have been said about exercise and movement for the promotion of our health. But as exercise and movement are essential for stimulating our blood circulation and for the elimination of toxins in our bodies, rest and sleep, which are the opposite, are as much important to healthy living.  
     According to a web page by monumentalmassage.com, "Rest=Restoration" because "rest and sleep provide an opportunity for the body to cleanse, repair and rejuvenate on a deep cellular level". Much of our body's healing work takes place during sleep because our immune system and organs of detoxification are able to focus attention on cleansing and restoration without the need to attend to other functions of our daily life. "When we are at rest or asleep, our body goes into major housecleaning, taking care of waste that have accumulated during the day and repairing cellular damage", added the web page. 
     I remember when I was a kid, my parents would make us take a nap in the afternoon so "we would grow faster", so they say.  When we get sick with the flu, the doctor would always advise bed rest. But many of us take it for granted. We get too busy with work and justifies our lack of sleep with being industrious. The JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) 2005 issue revealed the effects of lack of sleep as comparable with neurobehavioral impairments or like drinking alcohol--slower reaction time, higher commission of errors, and more errors in driving. That is why there have been many reported incidences of accidents due to sleepiness. Evidence have shown that lack of sleep interferes with the metabolism of glucose which the muscles depend on for recovery and can also compromise our immune system. 
    Therefore, in order to stay healthy and fit, we must take proper rest and sleep for some recommended hours. Our next blog will talk about how to get that deep sleep that we try to pursue but sometimes cannot.


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