By: Co-Founder & Co-Owner, Vivienne Vella
WHY: Even though it’s food that’s at the center of our cleanses, your body needs nourishment other than what you’re eating. That’s where sleeping comes in. Sleep—or rather, quality sleep—is the difference between feeling run-down and depleted and vibrant and alive. Sleeping helps your systems function at their strongest, namely by allowing our parasympathetic nervous system to turn on. It is the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) that comes in when the dust settles, to “rest and digest,” or calm our body, and return it to a more peaceful, relaxed state. Most of us are walking around in a high-stress state, we arealways on high alert. When that happens, your blood pressure increases, your energy stores deplete, and your digestive function slows. Nature didn’t intend for us to spend most of our lives walking around like this, and it’s why so many of us are run-down, burnt out, and not reaping all the nutritional benefits from the food we eat.
HOW: To alleviate this stress on our bodies, we need to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Doing so allows your blood pressure to decrease, your pulse rate to slow, your digestion to intensify, your metabolism to rev up, and most importantly, your body to heal. Ideally you’d go to bed in the 10 p.m. hour and wake up 7 to 8 hours later. Make sure your bedroom is dark because any light coming in can trigger the body to think it’s daylight, so it might not produce as much melatonin (a hormone that helps regulate sleep and waking cycles). And be sure to remove any stress-provoking items in the room like a computer.
If you need help relaxing at the end of the day, essential oils can be nice—especially lavender. And sometimes food can help support good sleep by balancing your blood sugar in the evening. Some warmed nut milk or a spoonful of almond butter are easy-to-digest remedies. Exercise also supports healthy sleep, as does hydration. You can also try doing a “brain dump” before bed, or writing down all the thoughts in your head so you can clear your mind for sleep. Above all: Remember that health supports health. So if you’re eating healthfully all day, getting movement, and handling the stressful elements of your life, then your sleep will be better.