It feels great, it’s free, it helps your body detoxify, repair and rebuild tissues, and even lose weight. If you’re considering a detox this spring (or any time of year), make sure you prioritize sleep: the ultimate detox.
Health Benefits of Sleep
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that qi, or energy, runs through each of the body meridians in two-hour intervals. For each meridian, this two-hour period is when energy is the strongest – for the liver, the energy peaks between 1 and 3 am. If you’re a) awake, b) digesting food, or c) eating during this time, you putting stress on your liver when it really wants to detoxify. So avoid having a big dinner right before bed, and especially avoid chowing down on a massive burrito at 2 am post-bar (at least whenever possible).
We’re exposed to information all day long. Whether it’s a screen, like our phone, tablet, laptop or television, or our own thoughts, we are in a constant state of information stimulation. But when we’re asleep, our nervous system gets a break because we’re not actively thinking, worrying or strategizing. Instead, we are dreaming and detoxing our thoughts, by either unconsciously working through them in dreams, or letting our brains detoxify them. Recent studies have found that during sleep, the brain removes toxic waste, including a substance called amyloid beta, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Renew & repair work
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) production peaks in the night, creating cell turnover and repair, and maintaining our metabolism and blood glucose levels. We naturally produce less of this hormone as we age, so we need to make sure that our bodies produce it whenever possible (exercise is another way).
And lastly, getting good sleep makes us eat less! Sleep makes our body produce a hormone called leptin, which triggers satiety and relaxation.
Get on this effortless detox asap. Ditch your screens and crawl into bed earlier (studies have found that the hours before midnight are most beneficial). Not sleeping? Check out my tips on how to have the best sleep of your life, without any supplements or sleep aids.
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Wishing you spring nights full of detoxing and beautifying zzzz’s. xo Andrea