Happy Monday to all
I hope you got through the weekend without too many major blips. If not, don´t worry. Get back on track today and carry on. It´s all about BALANCE, and integrating as many principles into your daily routine as possible.
On a scale of 1-10 make a note of how you are feeling this week compared to last week. Feel free to share on the group page.
Hopefully any extra “tiredness” from the first week will have passed and more energy returning. Make sure you are hydrated if feeling sluggish.
There are many lifestyle tools we can apply to make sure our body´s function at their best. Perhaps the most important of all linked with Nutrition is SLEEP. Sleep is our underrated “superpower” and the single most important thing we can do to stay healthy.
Studies have shown a clear link between sleep quality and nutrition – the worse one gets, the worse the other becomes. This means that by improving your nutrition during this cleanse you should also improve sleep quality. Not necessarily duration, but the quality of deep sleep whilst in your bed.
Sleep disturbances between 1-3am are often linked to the liver but why? How does this organ affect your sleep?
The brain’s master clock sends out signals to other brain regions to make hormones that help keep you awake during the day. In the evening, when less light enters your eyes, the master clock triggers production of a hormone that makes you feel drowsy and helps you stay asleep. This daily cycle, called the circadian rhythm, affects various body functions, including body temperature, eating habits and blood pressure.
All organs have their own autonomously regulated body clocks for daily cleansing. Between 12 – 3am, your molecular clockwork has been traditionally associated with liver detoxification.
The liver has an internal timing system for physiological processes to occur in the most beneficial manner – it converts hormones and nutrients and also cleanses the blood, most effectively whilst we sleep. Being the key organ for detoxification, the liver naturally detoxifies when you’re in the deepest non-REM cycle which normally takes place around 12 – 3am.
The liver metabolises cholesterol, fatty acids, glucose, thyroid hormones, bile acids, iron so if your digestive/liver function is imbalanced, or your meals are too late in the evening, this can detrimentally impact your sleep quality. The liver will always prioritise toxin detoxification.
So if your liver is slow and stagnant from an accumulation of fat during the liver cleansing time (1-4am), the body will try to allocate more energy for detoxification and trigger your nervous system to wake you up.
What rituals in place to help you sleep? Here are my tips:
- Avoid eating too late in the evening, especially high carbohydrate foods. Try to have your last meal three hours prior to bedtime.
- Increase bitter foods with each meal (dark leafy greens, bitter gourd, cruciferous vegetables, cacao, turmeric, ginger and citrus).
- Set automated timers on your screens to reduce brightness and blue lights to their lowest setting.
- Try to synchronise your rhythms with the external natural environment. Wake upon sunrise and ensure dim lighting with sunset.
- Avoid screens and bright lights two hours prior to bed (this is very important).
- Unresolved emotions or anger issues must be addressed. Try to see a counsellor, sign up for group therapy, or find ways to help work through difficult underlying emotions.
- Ensure evening stress-reducing activities to support reduction in cortisol. These may include journaling, meditation, evening stretches, reading, or some sort of gentle outlet for your mental health.
- Implement a nightly routine including feel good accompaniments – epsom salt foot soaks, essential oils, salt lamps, body oils, self-love, gratitude journaling, and reconnecting to your mind and body.
Focus on balancing hormones, digestion and nourishing the liver for optimal sleep patterns.
For those interested in research here is an good paper for you: