Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How To Get Sick: Part 1- Go to Sleep After Midnight

Ok, so yesterday we talked about the importance of following God's ways for optimal health. Unfortunately, in our society we do the opposite of many things that bring health! This week we're going to go through a list that Jordan Rubin wrote in the Maker's Diet. I'll share his description of "how to get sick", and then discuss the changes we've made in our family to align ourselves with God's ways for health!
#1 Way to Get Sick: A Modern Prescription for Illness: Go to Bed After Midnight.
(From p. 83 of the Maker's Diet)

"This is a great way to get sick. From biblical times to just before the Industrial Revolution, people used to go to sleep and rise with the setting and rising of the sun. This is the natural way to link your peak activity to the body's natural hormonal rhythms.

Dr. Joseph Mercola believes the timing of your sleep affects its quality. He says, "The more hours that you can sleep before midnight, the better off you will be.'''

He cites a study published in the Lancet, (a respected medical journal in Great Britain) indicating chronic sleep loss produces serious symptoms mimicking the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes (including age-related insulin resistance and memory loss.) And finally, according to the late Elmer Josephson, "Authorities tell us that one hour of sleep before midnight is equivalent to four hours afterward."

This is a very easy change to make! It takes discipline to go to sleep at a good hour, but the results are well worth it! When Mark and I started the Maker's Diet, we began going to sleep at 10:30 p.m. Now that we have kids, I feel the best if I get to sleep by 10, although I could easily go to sleep earlier.

One interesting thing to remember: Dr. Mercola (one of the most respected natural health doctors there is, who was previously a practicing MD) says that from the hours of 11 p.m.- 1 a.m., your liver is detoxing. If you are awake during these hours, it dumps all those toxins back into your bloodstream instead of getting them where they need to be: out of your body!

Going to sleep after midnight is unnatural to your body. God created all of our hormones to be in sync with our body's circadian rhythm, which he set to be in tune with sunrise and sunset. So when you sleep out of sync with this rhythm, and especially when you do it consistently, you are disrupting your hormones, and also ensuring that your body's system to cleanse itself is impaired.

This also holds true for your kids. I hear of so many kids these days who go to sleep at 9 or 10 p.m. This is absolutely way too late for a child!!! Kids need to be in bed significantly earlier so that they can get the most hours of sleep before midnight as possible. Let's set our kids up for healthy hormones and the least amount of toxins in their bodies, not to mention better behavior! Going to sleep and waking up late is not natural. Sooner or later, we'll pay for going against what our bodies were made to do.

I guess Benjamin Franklin was right: "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise!"

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