We live in a world where we are surrounded by chemicals and toxins that affect our health and environment. Fresh air, clean water and sunlight are all essential to health and wellbeing.
Environmental toxins can affect our health and our sleep. Most people have experienced how working or sleeping in a room contaminated by smoke, or with poor ventilation affects the body. Poor Concentration, lethargy and difficulty in sleeping may all be the result of toxins in the air.
The body is constantly in contact with the environment. Everything we eat, drink, touch or breathe affects our health. Toxins can come in many forms, such as smoke, biological agents, chemicals and radiation. They are in the food that you eat, the air that you breathe and everything that you touch. Some have an immediate impact on your help, while other may take years, or even a lifetime before their affects become apparent.
Toxins are also produced by all the cells in the body. Our bodies are designed to eliminate waste and clear away unwanted products. The liver clears out alcohol, drugs and toxins from the bloodstream. It also filters viruses and bacteria and stores vitamins. The kidneys also help by removing natural waste from the body. The colon gets rid of undigested waste. The lymph system not only soaks up excess fluid, but also helps remove toxins from all the cells in the body.
Symptoms of Toxicity
The amount of toxins, both internal and external, that are absorbed by the body can have an affect on health. Symptoms such as insomnia, allergies, skin problems, swollen joints, and a feeling of lethargy may be hard to contribute to one thing but are increasingly common.
Taking Action to Improve Sleep
Although we may have little control over the outside environment, it is possible to make changes in diet and lifestyle to improve the immune system. By adopting a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and taking supplements, if necessary, the body is better able to cope with chemical hazards.
Heavy metals and toxic chemicals in the blood can cause insomnia. Extended exposure to toxins in the air which are absorbed into the body can also affect sleep.
Improving the Sleeping Environment
The bedroom is a good place to start on a sleep detox. Simple ways to improve the sleeping environment include opening windows to create better air circulation and using natural fabrics such as cotton and silk. Avoid synthetic materials and remove electrical equipment from the bedroom.
The body is designed to sleep during the hours of darkness. Artificial lighting from street lights to computer screens is part the environment separating us from natural daylight and the darkness of the night. Unfortunately, it is not possible to turn out all the lights but we can create an environment that will help the body connect to its natural rhythms. Be aware of Light Pollution in the bedroom – keep lighting to the minimum as you relax and use curtains and blinds to keep the room dark while you sleep.
Noise is also part of modern life. Many people are so used to being in contact with sound that they find it difficult to cope with silence. Sound, especially loud sudden noise, disrupts sleep. Background noise is part of the environment but should be eliminated from the bedroom. Remove electrical equipment and other intrusive sources of sound and try to create a quiet space that encourages relaxation and sleep.
Helping the Body Detox
It makes sense to cut down on Alcohol, cigarettes and Caffeine. All affect health and sleep. Also be aware of additives in food and try to drink plenty of water. Drinking water will Keep The Body Hydrated and help eliminate toxins. Wash fruit and vegetables in cold water before eating and keep an eye open for colourings and additives by reading the labels on the food you buy.
Exercise Is Good For Sleep and will also help eliminate toxins from the blood and lymph system. Try to exercise during the day and do some stretching before bedtime and when you wake.
Massage is also a great way to help improve circulation and elimination and is a pleasant way to relax. Skin Brushing is also a good way to stimulate circulation before bedtime. Using a natural bristle brush, stroke the skin in an upward direction before a shower or bath. Follow with a warm soak or shower and use some cream or lotion to pamper and smooth the skin.
Importance of Sleep
Research continues to show the importance of sleep. A good night’s sleep will boost the immune system. Napping will help restore energy and keep you functioning during times when sleep is limited. Make sleep a priority and you will be protecting yourself from some of the effects of modern day life.
It is not possible to eradicate all the chemicals and toxins that affect our bodies and the environment, but we can make changes to the way we live that will help keep ourselves protected from some of these hazards. It is also important to feel connected to the positive things in the environment. Despite the need to change and the acceptance that some things are out of our control, it is possible to contribute to the debate about the future and create personal space that will enhance your own environment.