Return to Yoga


The Importance of Sleep for Stress - Part 6

Complete Yoga Breath
with Sound!

All Relaxation Links

Click images below for detailed instructions.


How to achieve relaxation

How To Achieve


Yoga Relaxation

Complete Yoga


Endless circles

How Stressed Out
Are you?


Fish Relaxation

Other Ways To
Relieve Stress


Good or bad stress

What is Good Stress?
What is Bad Stress?


Sleep Smarts

The Importance
of Sleep


Light being

Light Being

Cat hug in sleepHere we go again ... another image that has traveled the email journey. And another smile from you, I hope. If you are an animal lover, this one makes you tingle inside for sure. It's good to have that 'tingling sensation' often, too.

If you aren't sleeping well, you have forgotten what the most important thing in life is—to do absolutely nothing at all. Think about it. You can go without food for quite a long time, but you can't go without enough sleep. About 7 hours is what most people need to prevent sleep deprivation. If you have trouble sleeping at night, you know what I'm talking about.


How do you know if you have insomnia? The easiest way is to ask yourself if your sleep has an effect on your daily life. If you do have insomnia, make sure where you sleep is good for you first. It could be as simple as a bad mattress. But if you have a bad case of insomnia, that probably won't make a difference. Sleeping pills don't really help either, and only cause you to have side effects that aren't very pleasant. Your body is obviously not dumb enough to believe a pill will stabilize its sleeping patterns.

If you really want to get rid of your sleep deprivation, you need self-empowerment. You need to do it on your own.

Researchers believe that the solution to insomnia is all about changing one's behavior, education and motivation. In other words, if you know enough about sleep and how the body functions, you will be ready to change your lifestyle. The #1 way is the combination of tension and release with intention—as in the Complete Yoga Relaxation! Exercise and relaxation. So, you've come to the right place to learn about this.

Back to top



Life seems to be moving at a very fast pace for everyone these days. More than ever, we need exercise and relaxation to remain healthy. The art of relaxation is something we all can learn, as is the art of sleeping.


Our nerve cells are always busy while we are awake, and then get more fatigued as the hours pass. It's also interesting to know that just like our muscles, our nerve cells literally give birth to a lot of waste that in turn act like a drug on the nervous system (lactic acid, to name just one). When we exhaust ourselves, it isn't just sleep that we are lacking, but also stimulus for the immune system to function properly. It is a known fact that if we don't get enough sleep, we eventually get sick. The immune system does not function at its highest level when it is repeatedly abused.

To avert total exhaustion, the body leads us into a state of unconsciousness known as sleep. While we sleep, our cells go to work getting rid of the toxins we have accumulated during our waking hours.


The stages of sleep are not the same for everyone, but there are certain characteristics that we all share:

  • First, the state of unconsciousness in that we are no longer aware of our body. Even pain can often disappear with deep sleep. There is a certain area of the brain that conveys impulses to different parts of the body when we are awake. If you dream, some of those areas in your brain are still working.
  • The muscles never stop working. If you've ever slept in the same bed with someone who flings their arms about, you know the muscles don't sleep!
  • The vital functions of the body continue to work freely. Breathing is slower, and the ribs elevate more when we are asleep. Our heartbeat can drop as slow as 45-50, and our blood pressure can drop.
  • Luckily for us, if our glands and kidneys are working properly, secretion is diminished. This is also why you might find yourself rubbing your eyes when you feel tired—because the tear ducts don't produce tears when the body slows down to sleep.
  • Lastly, there is a drop in your metabolic activities, which you can see by the drop of carbon dioxide output. To read all the details about what this means and how to measure it, go to: Changes in Carbon Dioxide Output. This is a great article about carbon dioxide output. The body has emptied toxins properly and the immune system is free to do its job.

Back to top



So it comes down to 7-8 hours of sleep for most of us; young children sleep more. Many elderly people sleep less. Some recent findings have come up with a new theory that if you take a nap during the day for exactly 20 minutes (no more, no less), you will awaken feeling even more refreshed than if you slept for a few hours. That's familiar. I remember when I was given my mantra in Transcendental Meditation so many years ago, and the Maharishi talked about 20 minutes of meditation twice a day. There were already many significant scientific facts about how this boosted the immune system and balanced blood pressure. Again, ancient knowledge is having its rerun.

Everyone is different when it comes to how many hours of sleep they need. A nervous person will use up more energy during the day than someone who is calm. If you use your “head” all day at work, you will require more sleep than someone who uses their body at work (unless they are doing body work for healing people).

“O sleep! O gentle sleep!
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frightened thee,
That thou no more wilt weight mine eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?”
—Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2

Back to top


Return to Yoga Home Page About Us | Sitemap | Advertise on this site | Submit Content | Contact us | © 2007-2021