yogic restorative sleepBy Shahid Mishra

What is deep Yogic restorative sleep? Yoga can be practiced while we are awake and while we are asleep. With strategically placed pillows, a firm mattress, and a Yogic step-by-step relaxation sequence, it is possible to create a comfortable setting for Yoga nidra or a deep restorative sleep session.  Deep Yogic restorative sleep can help to nourish and replenish our bodies and minds. It can also help to optimally balance the body’s hormones that control the metabolism. Leptin, ghrelin and cortisol are all hormones that affect our feelings of hunger and satiety. These hormones also affect the health and well-being of our bodies and minds in very complex and intricate ways. In order to maintain good health, it is critical for these hormones to be appropriately balanced. High levels of stress affect our ability to enter into the deeper levels of sleep that are truly replenishing to our minds and bodies. Establishing a regular and Yogic restorative sleep schedule will help you to balance leptin, ghrelin and cortisol levels in the blood, which will help to increase and stabilize your metabolism.

Leptin is one of the body’s hormones that regulates how much food we feel that we need to eat, how much fat our body stores and our metabolic rate. Cortisol is the body’s hormone that helps us to respond to stress. Unfortunately, if our cortisol levels are too high most of the time, our bodies and minds are negatively impacted. High levels of cortisol are correlated with a corresponding rise in blood pressure, inflammatory diseases and cardiovascular disease. High levels of cortisol also help to catalyze the release of leptin. When leptin levels are too high for too long, leptin receptors become desensitized to its signals and the body does not get the message that it is full after a “normal” meal. In order to reestablish a normal balance of leptin and cortisol throughout the body, lowering stress levels and increasing a regular pattern of restorative sleep is critical.

Interrupted and short sleep cycles are associated with elevated levels of ghrelin in the bloodstream. Ghrelin is the hormone that is released when we are hungry. Unsatisfactory sleep puts our bodies in a state of crisis. Ghrelin is released to help boost the body’s energy level through eating more calories. Researchers have determined that when participants in a sleep study had enough restorative sleep, their corresponding levels of ghrelin would fall back into a normal range. Lower levels of ghrelin are correlated with a less of a desire to eat. If we feel less hungry, we are less likely to overeat. Ideally, sleeping deeply seven to nine hours a night will help to stabilize and normalize the hormones that regulate our appetites and the body’s inclination to store fat. As these hormones normalize, your metabolism will also normalize and increase if it has been sluggish, helping your reach your weight loss goals.

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