Cultivating Superior Sleep – Part 4: Sleep Impacts Mental Health

Did you know that we evolved from ancestors who slept in shifts? 

Our ancestors retired at sunset and slept for a few hours, only to wake up again for a couple of hours to stoke the fire, feed the livestock, or do other caretaking. They then ultimately retired for another 4 hours or so of sleep before waking again at dawn. Our 8 hour night of solid sleep is a newer pattern that is a byproduct of industrialization.
 
Humans have always had a range of sleep clocks, and this has been an important benefit for the perpetuation of the species – we needed someone to be awake to defend and alert if there was a threat. Today the average midpoint of sleep is 4 am, indicating we are a society made of more night owls than morning larks.
 
Here are some other interesting facts around sleep  – in true/false format – see how many get right, we’ll explore more next time as well 🙂

Sleep and mental health are inextricably linked.
TRUE!
The correlation between poor quality sleep and mental health is staggering:
People are 10x more likely to suffer from depression and 17x more likely to suffer from anxiety with poor quality sleep.
 
SSRIs (antidepressants) are approved for insomnia.
FALSE
While widely used to assist sleep, not only are SSRIs not licensed for this use, SSRIs also inhibit REM sleep by 84%. (!!!)
 
Daylight Savings time is a really bad idea.
TRUE!
Daylight savings is a bad idea with poor health consequences. There is an increased association with depression when we ‘fall back,’ and an increased association with heart attacks when we ‘spring forward.’
 
It’s beneficial to catch up on sleep on the weekends.
FALSE 
The discrepancy in sleep patterns between the weekday and the weekend can have a similar effect to switching time zones. It’s been called ‘social jet lag’ for this reason. Getting into the pattern of going to bed later and getting up later on the weekends can cause us to feel tired and fatigued when we return to working hours, and it can take 3 weekdays to get back on track.
 
The more you filter blue light on your screens, the better!
FALSE
You only want to filter about 30% of blue light during the day, after sunset, it’s safe to filter 100% of blue light. Blue light as a part of the UV spectrum is very important for signaling the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus – our circadian rhythm regulator. So too much filtering could negatively impact sleep.
 
Poorer sleep is connected to climate change.
TRUE!
A 2002-2011 survey done on 765,000 individuals (who simultaneously tracked night time temperature) linked poor sleep with climate change. Quality sleep is connected with a lowering of body temperature, and nighttime temperatures are hotter now. Global temperature elevation has the most negative impact on sleep in the summer
 
Does all this make you want to optimize your sleep? Check out my first post for sleep suggestions and consider the following if you aren’t doing this already:Connect with the natural world regularly, regular and frequent exposure to natural light is the most powerful support of our circadian rhythm.Dim your lights to mimic the light outside.Take technology breaks on the weekends.Consider a 20-minute mindfulness meditation practice to unwind from the day.Make a list for tomorrow so you leave your worries on the shelf for the night.Sleep in a cool, dark room.Consider ambient, white noise.Source: Dr. Krista Anderson-Ross’ lecture on sleep @Mid Atlantic Regional Conference 9.2020
This Saturday is Halloween and I’m leading one of my last 3 Full Moon Healing Meditations of 2020, and it will be an hour of energy clearing. In these truly unprecedented times, regular energy clearing has become as essential to me as brushing my teeth. I’m calling it energy hygiene for this reason. You’d be surprised
by how much better you feel with free and clear energy.
We are 90% energy, and when it flows properly – it’s a huge support to our physical and emotional health.

I offer a guided full moon healing journey each month to help you clear negative energy, transform your belief in what’s possible, reclaim lost energy. I often incorporate the sound of a rattle, so we can enter a meditative alpha brain wave state. We set our intentions as a group and I guide us into sacred space. Some people go into deep rest and others receive guidance through images or experience physical sensations associated with healing. All are welcome. Zoom link below, and here is a link for donations.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/94113946951?pwd=T3AyN285aHpISFRxY21IbmJMN2VrZz09
Meeting ID: 941 1394 6951
Passcode: peacecalm
A TRUE AND COMPASSIONATE HEALER
Dr. Rodriguez allies naturopathy and energy medicine rooted in ancestral tradition to understand medical and psychological problems at the deepest. I’ve seen improvement immediately after the second session. Each time I see her, something new opens in my life and I regain hope and faith. I strongly recommend her. The only thing is that she is so good that it is very hard to get an appointment, and this is the downside. – A.G.

Yoga & Energy Healing Retreat
April 3-10, 2021 at Haramara, Mexico 

It has been a dream of mine to create a yoga and energy healing retreat for quite some time now. I found the perfect spot over a year ago when I did a personal retreat at Haramara, and I reserved this beautiful spot April 3-10, 2021.  I’m very excited to be offering my first Yoga & Energy Healing Retreat in collaboration with a local yoga instructor –  we that hope some of you will be able to join us! The retreat center is set in a spacious open-air setting overlooking the ocean. To learn more, click here.


To your health~
Marie

Naturopathic Doctor
Energy Healer
Artist
Future Herbalist