Leave Restless Nights Of Tossing And Turning Behind As The Body Sinks Into States Of Deep Relaxation Under The Rays Of The Infrared Light Spectrum
Tossing and turning throughout the night as thoughts keep the mind awake, and the body restless, affects over 60 million Americans every year. Sleeplessness has grown to epidemic proportions. The human body requires substantial states of deep sleep in order to function properly and to maintain health, as well as vitality.
Sleep is a critical component for both physical and mental health. In fact, without sleep, mental capacities are reduced and illness can ensue as the immune system becomes depleted. An individual can survive without eating for longer consecutive days than they can without adequate sleep.
Unfortunately, contemporary living does not support deep, healthful sleep, and there are many factors in the external environment that reduce our ability to fall into states of restful sleep. From high-speed commutes in vehicles, to excessive screen time, to a fast paced lifestyle, the body must compete with many factors in order to find restful sleep. While many sleep-prohibitive influences are beyond the individual’s control, it is possible to enlist the aid of a few tools to reinforce a restful night’s sleep.
Regular infrared sauna therapy may assist individuals in obtaining a restful sleep and can foster all five stages of sleep necessary to maintain the health and longevity of the body.
How can infrared sauna therapy improve the quality and quantity of sleep?
Despite external appearances, sleep is a complex biological and chemical process and requires several components to occur simultaneously in order for the body to fall and stay asleep.
The nature of the radiant light emitted from broad spectrum infrared sauna therapy catapults several necessary biochemical reactions in the body to enhance and improve the quality of sleep.
Regular infrared sauna therapy will relax the central nervous system, slow brain waves down, stimulate the necessary neurotransmitters responsible for the production of melatonin, and aid in thermoregulation. All necessary components to attain a restful nights sleep
Sleep: Why We Need It
Sleep is essential in order to maintain the health and vitality of the body. Despite external appearances, sleep is a dynamic activity and the internal atmosphere of the body comes alive during these auspicious times in order to regenerate itself and reclaim homeostasis.
In reality, the body can withstand a longer period of time without eating than it can without sleeping. Sleep is a primordial need for all humans, and yet many individuals suffer from an array of sleep-related disorders.
According to the American Association of Sleep, this critical activity keeps the body functioning at optimal capacity free from immune-related illness. The association further states that a lack of sleep can be hazardous for drivers and passengers on the road.
“Driver fatigue is responsible for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1500 deaths each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Since drowsiness is the brain’s last step before falling asleep, driving while drowsy can-and often does-lead to disaster.” (1)
Lack of sleep causes serious issues on the road, and additionally, without adequate sleep the body is unable to regenerate at the cellular level, heal wounds, or keep a healthy immune system. The American Association of Sleep continues to explain the serious impact that lack of sleep has on the immune system when they write:
“…while rats normally live for two to three years, those deprived of REM sleep survive only about 5 weeks on average, and rats deprived of all sleep stages live only about 3 weeks. Sleep-deprived rats also develop abnormally low body temperatures and sores on their tail and paws. The sores may develop because the rats’ immune systems become impaired. Some studies suggest that sleep deprivation affects the immune system in detrimental ways.” (1)
Both sleep disruption and deprivation can be hazardous to our health as well as negatively affecting our ability to perform normal daily tasks, such as driving that can have lethal results.
An estimated 40 million Americans experience chronic and clinical sleep disorders and an additional 20 million Americans experience occasional sleeping problems. This number is only the number of reported cases, there are many more individuals who quietly suffer from sleep deprivation.
Without adequate sleep, disaster can result affecting our mental and physical health, as well as professional and personal life.
What Occurs Biochemically In The Body And Brain To Induce The Five Primary Stages Of Sleep?
While the mind rests throughout the night, the body becomes a dynamic orchestra of cellular transformation. The greater the external stillness that ensues during sleep, the more expansive internal changes and reactions become.
The Five Stages Of Sleep:
Stage 1: This transitional stage occurs as individuals begin to feel drowsy. The mind oscillates between consciousness and unconsciousness. Muscles may jerk and feelings of ‘falling’ into relaxation may occur. This is the beginning of NREM (non- eye movement), and ushers in the following four states of sleep.
At this point, both the mind and body must be relaxed enough to experience drowsiness. For many individuals still in states of stress response, they may feel too anxious to even reach stage one and will lie in bed wide-awake as the mind races.
Stage 2: Almost 50% of the night’s sleep is spent in this state. This portion of sleep continues to be a light sleep with little eye movement. Individuals can easily be awoken from this period of rest with clarity of mind. Brain waves begin to slow down and muscles start to relax and ideally this stage offers a gateway into Rapid Eye Movement (REM).
Stages 3 & 4: These two stages of sleep are often grouped together and represent the deepest states of sleep. Individuals awoken from this stage of sleep will be groggy and possibly disoriented. During this time brain waves move into delta and are slowed down substantially. The core body temperature drops and the heart rate lowers. Breathing becomes slow and steady. This critical portion of sleep is when the body releases necessary hormones to regain homeostasis in the body. Cells begin to regenerate at faster rates and the body undergoes a general repair of all systems.
Stage 5: During this period the dynamic flow of the body’s movements slows down and the mind begins to become energized. Referred to as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase because the eyes appear to be darting around as the mind and brain become active. It is during this period of sleep that dreams become most active. By the end of stage five individuals begin to wake up as the core temperature rises. (2)
All five stages of sleep are necessary to create a healthy and vitality filled internal atmosphere in the body. All systems are healed and repaired when each of the five stages of sleep are experienced. Depending on a variety of factors, some individuals will not experience the necessary stages of sleep and will be left feeling depleted in the morning.
There are several actions a person can take to enhance the quality of their sleep and therefore the quality of their health and life. Regular broad spectrum infrared sauna therapy induces biochemical changes in the body to provide a restful and tranquil sleep.
How Can Infrared Sauna Therapy Improve the Quality Of Sleep?
Here is a list of four critical factors that must occur in order to experience adequate, quality sleep and to experience all five stages of sleep:
- Reset Circadian Rhythm (Release Of Melatonin)
- Thermoregulation (Body Temperature Lowers)
- Relax The Autonomic Nervous System
- The Body Detoxified From Harmful Toxins (3)
When these four criteria are met, sleep in all its stages will come effortlessly as the body is prepared with adequate hormones, chemistry, and states of relaxation. Infrared sauna therapy will regulate these essential factors to enhance the quality and duration of sleep.
The Autonomic Nervous System And Infrared Sauna Therapy: Step Out Of Anxiety To Find Calm Relaxation And Fall Asleep With Ease
Many individuals are unable to fall asleep and stay asleep, as anxiety levels are high and a sense of fearful insecurity courses through the body. Muscles are engaged and the mind seems to be moving a mile a minute as worrisome thoughts echo through the chamber of the mind.
To fully understand a solution for anxiety it is imperative to develop a basic understanding of the autonomic nervous system. Ultimately, worrisome, fearful, and anxious thoughts are a symptom of the body being stuck in stress response.
The autonomic nervous system has two branches: Sympathetic Dominance (stress response, fight or flight, survival) and Parasympathetic Dominance (relaxation, nourishment, recovery and regeneration). Both branches are necessary for our survival and serve a very specific role. The issue is when the autonomic nervous system becomes imbalanced. Sleep becomes very difficult when an imbalance occurs and many folks will turn to pharmaceutical alternatives to induce sleep simply because the body is unable to find relaxation.
Moving into states of survival is important under life threatening circumstances, but many modern everyday occurrences can trigger a stress response in the body, causing adrenaline and cortisol to be released. This floods the body with hormones and chemicals that signal the activation of sympathetic dominance. Ideally, once the threat has passed, individuals will fall back into parasympathetic dominance where nourishment, relaxation, and regeneration can occur.
When the body is in survival, all of the senses are directed outward to ensure that safety can be found. This state of being also creates ‘worst case scenario’ thinking in order to protect the body. The mind scans the horizon for potential threat. This type of thinking is necessary when there is a real threat to our lives.
Many individuals living in our contemporary world remain in the states of stress response for prolonged periods. When this occurs, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to fall asleep at night. The mind is permeated with worst-case scenario thinking, as the muscles remain tense and ‘on call’.Broad spectrum infrared light therapy is an incredible means to draw the body out of states of stress response back into relaxation. Every cell of the body responds to the warm rays of infrared light. Blood vessels expand and muscles relax. Thoughts begin to slow down and calm fills both the body and mind. Stepping into the warm light bath of an infrared sauna draws the body out of stress response back into states of relaxation within minutes (4).
Taking an infrared sauna as part of your daily routine will draw you out of states of survival back into relaxation where the mind can slow down. This will allow you to fall asleep and stay asleep as the mind, emotions, and body relax in rest.
Infrared Sauna Therapy And The Release Of Melatonin
Melatonin, often considered the sleep hormone, is an essential component to falling asleep and staying asleep. Melatonin is also associated with a natural circadian rhythm and becomes more plentiful as the sun goes down and the body begins to cool.
In the center of the brain exists a small pinecone-shaped gland called the pineal gland. This is home to an exquisite hormone factory where serotonin is converted into melatonin. This means that serotonin is a precursor to melatonin and if serotonin levels are low, then melatonin levels will also be low.
Infrared sauna therapy influences the amount of melatonin released at nighttime not because it produces melatonin, but rather because the light rays of the infrared spectrum influence neurotransmitters to produce higher amounts of serotonin.
As you bathe yourself in the warm glow of the broad spectrum infrared sauna therapy, a series of incredible biochemical changes occur, including the release of dopamine, the conduit of serotonin. The brain reacts to the light of the infrared spectrum to augment both dopamine and serotonin. As serotonin uptake rises there is more available to convert into melatonin in the pineal gland (5).
Regular broad spectrum infrared sauna therapy is correlated to higher levels of melatonin. Where there is a healthy supply of melatonin, there will also be an effortless movement into stage one and two of sleep.
As melatonin is released the body receives the message that it is time to tuck away for the evening for a deep and restful night’s sleep!
Thermoregulation And Infrared Sauna Therapy
The cooling off of the body’s core temperature is a key component to the act of ‘falling’ asleep and maintaining states of sleep throughout the night. The body will reach its lowest temperature at around 4 AM during the deepest states of sleep.
An essential component in the process of falling asleep is the dropping down of the core temperature. Traditionally, a hot bath or shower at night will assist in the process of thermoregulation. Similarly, as an infrared sauna is enjoyed, the core temperature of the body will rise by a couple of degrees. After stepping out of the sauna the body’s temperature will begin to drop (6).
As the core temperature drops after an infrared sauna session, drowsiness will ensue. This process will aid in both falling asleep and also staying asleep throughout the night. Taking an infrared sauna in the evening can be likened to taking hot baths on supercharge!
Infrared Sauna Therapy As A Detoxification Protocol: Ridding The Body Of Harmful Toxins Will Help Induce Sleep
When the body is exposed to the power of the broad-spectrum infrared light in the enclosed space of a sauna, core temperature rises. The penetrative rays of infrared light move into the soft tissue of the body to create internal temperature change.
As the body’s temperature rises, profuse sweating occurs to alleviate the body of harmful toxins, including cadmium, lead, and mercury. When the body is host to harmful toxins within, stress response is induced to protect the body from invasion. Adrenaline and cortisol are released to protect the body from internal pollutants. When this occurs it becomes impossible to find states of rest and relaxation (7).
Regular and consistent infrared sauna therapy will rid the body of harmful toxins over time. As this occurs the body will be better able to relax and therefore fall asleep and stay asleep!
A radical detoxification protocol as found in infrared sauna therapy will free the body from harmful toxins. These same pollutants within stimulate stress response as the body fights to keep the internal climate healthy and toxin free. This stress response is relaxation prohibitive and therefore makes sleep difficult if the individual is carrying a heavy load of toxins.
Rid the body of harmful pollutants through infrared sauna therapy to obtain deep rejuvenating and restful states of sleep!
Regular Infrared Sauna Therapy Can Assist You To Fall Into Deep And Restful Sleep
There is no doubt that adequate sleep will enhance the body’s natural ability to repair itself, maintain balance, and ultimately enhance not only the quantity, but the quality of sleep. While there are many external factors beyond the individual’s control that prohibit the body from falling into deep states of sleep, there are a few rituals that can be incorporated daily to aid and assist the body into deep sleep free from pharmaceuticals. The relaxation induced through infrared sauna therapy will prepare the body for a restful night’s sleep.
In addition to the calming effects of the infrared rays, this treatment will also enhance the production of melatonin (in the pineal gland in response to the light), also known as the sleep hormone, coupled with thermoregulation, this cutting edge treatment is a perfect recipe to induce the quality and quantity of sleep necessary to maintain health and vitality in the body.
By incorporating regular broad-spectrum infrared sauna therapy into your daily routine you can support the systems that allow the body to fall asleep and therefore step into a richly fulfilling life both on the mattress and off!
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