The Importance of Sleep

We live in a cluttered world! Cities are cluttered, towns are cluttered, markets are cluttered… So is our mind. “Too much to do, very little time…” has almost become a universal phenomenon, creating stress in virtually everyone’s life. Even when one is on leave from work, the mind gets no rest. From the moment it wakes up till the time it goes to sleep, the mind is always engaged – either in something utterly useless or something very important.

As it’s almost impossible to reduce the workload and increase the time, the only option left is to increase the energy level within us. When we have enough energy and enthusiasm, we are able to handle any challenge.

But the question is how to increase the energy? Spiritual practices like meditation, yoga and pranayama do just that. They all lead one to a space of silence, which is charged with energy. That space of silence is the mother of all rest, mother of all creativity.

Inner Silence is the mother of all creativity, the source of intuition. It is in the zone of silence that great scientific discoveries were made, path-breaking inventions created, wonderful poems and melodies emerged.

Silence is not about just keeping the mouth shut. It’s more about withdrawing the senses from outward activities and turning it inward.  The mind not getting involved in any of the five senses brings a certain amount of quietness inside. This leads to a state of total contentment.

Additionally, nothing brings the mind to rest like some solid sleep!

We all know that sleep is important.  Restful sleep helps to "recharge" your system, decrease stress hormones, and reduce fatigue, but you probably didn't know that it's also vitally important to protecting your brain from toxicity, damage, and even debilitating diseases like Alzheimer's.

In a recent study conducted at the University of Rochester Medical Center, researchers discovered that it's during sleep that the brain clears out potential harmful waste the builds up during the day.

You see, as you sleep your brain pumps spinal fluid into the brain to "flush out" waste into the circulatory system and eventually to the liver for removal.  Because this process is very energy intensive, it's difficult for the brain to perform it during the day while already over-active and preoccupied with performing every day tasks.

Instead, researchers found that sleeping brains were able to clear out much more amyloid-beta, the plaque-building protein associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Take home message:  If you want to keep your brain healthy and free of toxins, strive for 7 - 8 hours of sleep each night and create some quiet time for yourself during the day.  Nothing new there, but reading this information just may cause you to make it more of a priority!  I know it does for me!

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