This first appeared as an article published as Good Sleep: One of the Most Powerful Health Practices You Can Follow on Technorati.
One of the most beneficial practices you can follow is to leverage the power of constructive habits. Good habits can improve your overall quality of life, including increased health and productivity.
What is one of the most, if not THE most, important health habit you can adopt?
The habit of getting sufficient, good quality sleep.
We often look externally for the answers and resources to our health and fitness-related challenges. What supplement should I take? What new exercise regime or gizmo should I follow or use? And so forth. But the most powerful ergogenic, health and beauty aide available to humans is free…and completely controlled by you.
Yes I know, it can be very difficult to get enough sleep. There’s just too much to do and not enough hours in the day. And if you are stressed out by a hectic schedule, work pressures, family responsibilities, or health issues, you may have difficulty relaxing and getting to sleep.
Deep breathing can help you out immensely. Take 5 to 10 complete, gentle breaths, in and out through your nose. This immediately helps you relax.
If you are lying in bed, you can place your index finger about 3 inches below your navel as a cue. Breathe into the spot your index finger is touching. As you inhale, imagine soothing blue air filling your lungs. As you exhale, imagine you are exhaling all the tension, worries and emotions from the day.
As you continue to breathe, visualize the soothing blue air filling your entire body. Feel your muscles relax and lengthen. Feel your entire body and relax and melt into the bed.
Think positive thoughts. Rather than rehash the problems or failures of the day, think and feel gratitude for the people and things in your life, as well as for the good things that are coming into your life.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it works.
I’ve shared this little technique with many people, including clients with asthma or other chronic health conditions who have a difficult time achieving deep, restful sleep. They’ve all said this has helped them immensely.
Here’s one more important point about the quality of sleep: It’s becoming increasingly accepted that every hour of sleep before midnight is worth at least two hours after midnight. The reason is not entirely clear, although it has to do, in part, with our natural circadian rhythms.
If your tendency is toward the night owl side, you should consider gradually moving up your bedtime. Getting to bed earlier will help you achieve a deeper, more restful and more rejuvenating sleep.
This in turn increases the secretion of growth hormone, which helps you stay strong and young. And it decreases the amount of cortisol and other stress hormones, which can make and keep you fat.
You Can Do It!
“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”
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to end each day! Get your copy today!
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2011