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One of the cooler parts of my job is getting to meet our clients in person at live retreats. A long-time yoga teacher and practitioner myself, I’ve attended many retreats over the years as a participant. Now, working behind the … Continue reading
Like you, I do my best to live a healthy life. I take good care of myself, eat right, try to cut down on stress and get to bed on time, and yet there are still times when I suffer from a rocky night’s sleep. It makes me feel crazy!
You may think poor sleep isn’t a big issue, just an annoyance or personal inconvenience perhaps ~ but in fact millions of Americans are battling with sleep problems, and the repercussions are much more serious than most of us realize.
As yoga teachers, it’s our calling to help heal ourselves, our students and the world. I hope you’ll find helpful information below to share with your students and family. ~ Laura
We all know how important sleep is to feeling our best. When we sleep poorly or are woken up in the night, we struggle the next day. We may feel more cranky than usual, or it may even push us down the slippery slope towards real sickness.
More and more, sleep deprivation is being recognized as a critical factor to public health. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently acknowledged how serious this problem is, calling it an “epidemic” in the US. In recognition of the important role good sleep plays in the nation’s health, CDC surveillance of sleep-related statistics has gone up in recent years, as have warnings to the public about this growing issue. *
One reason for such broad-scale concern is that chronic sleep problems (longer than a couple of weeks) put you at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, weight gain, depression, anxiety, and even cancer – in fact, sleep problems set the stage for almost every major disease.
Many factors can contribute to poor sleep. At least 25% of people report they skip some sleep due to work pressure. The “24/7 access” lifestyle that’s common in our modern society doesn’t prioritize or protect our sleep. Stress can keep the mind spinning and the body physically tense, preventing deep rest. Round-the-clock use of computers, smart phones, televisions and other technology may affect our sleep cycles.
Remarkably, 40% of people in the US have trouble sleeping no matter what they do, even if they take the right steps like going to bed on time. This kind of trouble is usually due to problems in their brain that are keeping them awake. Sleep medications are usually not an effective solution.** They don’t address the underlying problems in the brain and often have side effects. In fact doctors recommend that people over age 65 should not take sleep medications.
When you skip sleep, it lowers your IQ the next day, makes you less productive, and puts you in a worse mood – so whatever voluntary control you have over sleep, prioritize it!
In my 33 years of clinical practice and brain research, I have discovered powerful ways to help my patients find the sleep they need. Here are 3 things you can do at home to help get sound sleep:
1) Establish a regular bedtime.
Your body is a creature of habit and it likes routine. You’ll have an easier time falling asleep if you follow a regular schedule.
2) Limit the use of technology gadgets for an hour before bedtime.
The blue light from screens stimulates your brain in a way that makes it harder to sleep.
3) Keep your bedroom temperature at or below 70 degrees.
Studies show that many people keep their bedrooms, and particularly their upstairs rooms, too warm for optimal sleep. The best sleeping temperature is quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees F (15.5 to 20 C).***
We will talk about these and many other suggestions in our upcoming webinar (see above). You need this information to protect your health. While there are many things you can do to try to sleep better, in some cases it’s just not enough, and you need to address the underlying issues in the brain more directly. I look forward to sharing some more powerful information with you to support your quest for sleep and health, for you and your loved ones.
* Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/dsSleep/index.html
** New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/23/health/23drug.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ei=5088&en=b99bca6d2b36cbdc&ex=1350878400&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
*** Dr. Mercola website: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/17/new-study-shows-sleeping-pills-linked-to-increased-risk-of-death-and-cancer.aspx
In my previous article in this series, I encouraged you to let your mind run free as you brainstormed all of the possible elements and activities you could bring into your circle. I hope you enjoyed stoking your creativity and … Continue reading
Now that you’ve defined the sacred intention for your circle and set the parameters of where to hold it, how frequently to meet, and who to invite, it’s time to throw the doors open to the inspiration of the Goddess. … Continue reading
This is the second in a series of 7 articles I will be sharing on starting a women’s circle. In a previous newsletter, I wrote about Step 1: Setting Your Sacred Intention. I shared reasons to start a circle and gave … Continue reading
Offering Women’s Yoga Circles is perhaps the most transformative and profound activity I’ve done in my journey as a yoga teacher. I know many of you want to teach circles as well. For several years I led what I called Women’s … Continue reading
Do you ever feel like you’re too busy? I talk to a lot of yoga teachers, studio owners, and other conscious healers who say they’re always too busy, and it just doesn’t feel good. I find this a really interesting … Continue reading
Happy New Year! I’m in India right now, preparing to fly back to the United States. I shot a quick video to share 3 insights I’ve had while here. I think they’ll be helpful to you in welcoming in the … Continue reading
Guest post by Prana Regina Barrett, B.S., M.I.A., E.R.Y.T, C.Y.T., author of Lighter: Living Tantra ~ On my way home from my qi gong lesson, I parked my car and began walking toward my house. I saw a man in … Continue reading