I have written so many times of the benefits of avoiding factory foods, and eating only real food. These benefits are real, and they have greatly improved my health and enabled me not to need medical care for over a decade. But I have come to realize something. Even though it is a lot of work and effort to just eat real food, it is not enough.
Our bodies need sleep to get the full benefits of the nutrients in the food. Our bodies use this time to rest and rejuvenate. And our bodies need enough sleep, something very few of us get these days.
It is somewhat hypocritical for me to advocate the benefits of getting enough sleep, because I usually do not get enough. To be honest, it is common for me to sleep for only four hours. But last night, for some reason, I did get enough sleep. I slept for over eight hours. And the benefits were so profound that I did some research. Now I have a new goal to go along with my good diet—getting enough sleep.
The Benefits of Sleep
There is a good reason for everything in nature. We sleep for a number of important purposes.
From a food perspective, sleep is absolutely vital to get the full benefit of real food. The natural functions of our bodies use the time we are asleep to repair and rejuvenate our bodies. This does not work well unless our bodies have all the nutrients we need to do this. A crucial reason to eat only real food, so we can get those nutrients. But we also need enough sleep so our natural functions can concentrate the energy of the body on repair and rejuvenation. If we are awake and engaging in work or other activities, our natural functions have far less energy available to them to do their work.
I thought I was healthy, but one night of getting enough sleep made me feel even better. Much better. And much more alert and productive.
I now realize that if I am going to enjoy the full benefits of the real food that I put so much effort into obtaining and cooking, I will also need to get enough sleep.
How Much Sleep?
Before the advent of electricity, most people would sleep during most or all of the hours of darkness, and wake early in the morning, often with the sun. Humans are made to be active during the day, and to sleep at night. Other animals sleep during most of the day and are active at night. This natural sleep pattern was followed for most of human history, though there were exceptions. While Dr. Weston A. Price did not write much about the sleep patterns of the healthy peoples he studied, the information we have on them indicates that they slept during the night and were active during the day. Most of them did not have electricity or artificial lighting. But now, technology and lighting have enabled humans to be active, alert, and productive at night, which is not ideal for us.
Albert Einstein, one of the brightest and most productive humans to ever live, slept ten hours a night, every night. He literally changed the world with research and analysis.
Sophia Loren, the actress, is in her mid-seventies. She is still amazingly beautiful, active, and attractive, with great skin and muscle tone. She goes to bed every night at eight p.m. and wakes up at five a.m., getting nine hours of sleep every night. While diet and exercise are also a vital part of how she stays so healthy, she considers this long sleep to be very important.
I believe that eight to ten hours of sleep are ideal for us, but most of us get so much less.
My Own Sleep Issue
Since I have adopted my real food diet, I have no trouble falling asleep. I can also decide the time I want to wake up, and I will wake at that time. In fact, I stopped setting an alarm clock, because I would always wake up just before the alarm rang.
The problem is that the day is much too short for me. I have many interests, and have often worked into the wee hours of the morning, engrossed in what I was learning or writing. One of my greatest joys is learning, and the more I learn, the more I want to learn. And there are the necessities of life, such as cooking, eating, socializing, and spending time with my family. I deliberately chose to sleep less so I would have more time to do the many things that need doing, and that I want to do.
Last night, I did not set a time to wake up. I was tired. I slept for eight hours. And felt so much better.
Now, I have decided to get those eight to ten hours of sleep, somehow. Now that I understand its importance, I will find a way to do it.
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