Vitalist Sleep Support Class at CSCH with Courtney Huges, CH. Tuesday, Jan. 22, 6-8 pm
Sleep is an important part of a person’s overall health. Yet it is often something we put aside in an effort to be more productive. Sleep debt (cumulative lack of sleep) contributes to many different common diseases. Lack of sleep can result in an increased risk and severity of long-term diseases or conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
The effects of poor sleep are particularly damaging to your heart and circulatory system. Any condition that fragments sleep can increase the risk for heart attack, elevated blood pressure, heart failure and stroke.
Poor sleep can also lead to depression and other disturbances in mood. Waking up frequently during the night can significantly worsen mood and negative emotions. We have all had the experience of a bad day after a night of tossing and turning. This effect is even more pronounced in someone who is struggling with a mental health disorder. Sleep impacts mental health and conversely mental health impacts sleep.
The first step in improving the amount and quality of sleep we get is proper sleep hygiene. Things such as going to sleep at the same time every night and avoiding screens an hour before bed can go a long way in supporting a healthy night of sleep. The blue light that radiates from our devices essentially tells our brains “Stay awake!” and this effect doesn’t instantly go away when the screen goes away. Also, turning down the lights in the room during the late evening can start to prepare our brains for sleep.
Another matter that is important to consider when discussing sleep is room temperature. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 65 degrees as an ideal sleep temperature. When the temperature rises too high or drops too low, sleep is disrupted. A small drop in body temperature can signal to our brains that it is time for bed.
It may seem obvious, but regular physical exercise contributes to a good night’s sleep. Many people only make enough time for sleep or exercise. Even an extra thirty minutes of walking during the day can make a big difference in sleep quality.
The good news is, along with proper sleep hygiene, there are many herbs that can help facilitate a night of rest. There are hypnotic herbs such as Valerian and Passionflower that can effectively support a good night’s sleep. There are nervine herbs, such as Skullcap and Chamomile, that can be helpful for relieving mild daily mental stress and can better prepare the body and mind for sleep.
Join Courtney Hughes as she discusses all this and more during the class, The Secrets of Sleep. We will go deeper into the relationship between sleep and common disease pathologies, discuss strategies for improving sleep and go over some Materia Medica for hypnotic and relaxant herbs. There will also be plenty of herbs to sample.
Courtney Hughes is a Certified Herbalist and is currently a student clinician in the Evergreen center at The Colorado School for Clinical Herbalism.
Location: Colorado School of Herbalism, 424 E. Simpson Street in Lafayette, Colorado.
Date & Time: Tuesday, January 22nd, from 6-8 p.m.
(This class is open to the public, a donation of $10 is appreciated. For current students attending CSCH this class is free. Tea refreshments will be provided.)
The Sleep Revolution, Arianna Huffington
The Sleep Solution, W. Chris Winter, MD