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"We live in an era of instant gratification.
But some things --- to reach their full potential --
cannot be rushed."
The episode opened with insights from a zoologist who studies sloths, the slowest mammals on the planet, and how this creature's behavior is advantageous.
But I found it challenging to apply the benefits of a sloth's behavior to humanity. (And I don't think my clients with knee pain would appreciate any analogies that involve this animal. ;)
However, I became more interested when the podcast shifted to an interview with Matthew Walker, PhD, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California - Berkeley & author of Why We Sleep.
He asserts, "There is no rushing sleep... You have to let sleep unfold naturally. You have to give in to sleep and give sleep time to do all of the wonderful things we know it does."
These benefits include improving learning, memory, mood, our immune systems, as well as regulating hormones, slowing the effects of aging, and improving physical healing.
"When you fight biology, you normally lose." ~ Matthew Walker, PhD
While this scientist is not a fan of rushing sleep, he does promote optimizing sleep. Dr. Walker has six recommendations for optimizing sleep:
establish a regular bedtime and wake time;
sleep in a cool room (65 degrees F, 18 degrees C);
create a dark environment;
get out of bed if you're awake for 25 minutes, and only return to bed when feeling sleepy;
avoid caffeine in the afternoons and evenings and limit alcohol; &
establish and maintain a routine immediately before going to sleep.
This key distinction -- optimizing rather than rushing -- also applies to healing and strengthening the body.
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