Sleep is the best meditation. Dalai Lama

We all need time to chill. Stop. Breathe. Relax. Sleep.

This is when our bodies have a chance to heal.

Rest recharges us, strengthens our brain and our memory, boosts our beauty and supports every function in the body. And, while most of us instinctively know we need to slow down now and then, we’re often quick to skimp here, looking for any opportunity to cram just one more thing into our day.

When was the last time you actually stopped “doing” (outside of vacations, of course) long enough to relax, notice a sunset, breathe, actually taste your food, sit quietly or take a leisurely walk without worrying about the next thing you had to check off your list.

I can’t remember when I last spoke with someone who didn’t use the words “crazy busy” – crazy busy doing, pushing, striving to get through our endless list of “to dos”, and all this busy-ness is generating a body of constant smoldering stress inside.

Occasional stress is normal – we’re built to handle it.

Constant stress is a whole different story and eventually overwhelms the body. It ages us prematurely, causes our immune systems to go haywire, turns us gray, wrinkles our skin, screws up our digestive and hormonal systems, damages the brain and fogs our thinking. And the worst part: It brings on inflammation which makes us more susceptible to chronic illness.

Luckily we have one amazing safeguard to protect us and it’s the body. Your body is so damn smart and resilient, it can handle much of the abuse you throw at it. In fact, it has all kinds of built in safeguards to protect you and come to the rescue when you screw up. It knows exactly what it’s supposed to do and even regenerates itself regularly to keep you functioning at peak performance without you ever lifting a finger.

However, in order for it to do its work, you need to get out of its way now and then and slow down. Be still. Sleep deep!

When you sleep, your body isn’t sleeping at all. It’s doing its best work, regenerating, detoxifying, repairing cells, secreting human growth hormone, strengthening your memory, rebuilding, replacing and fortifying you, all in an effort to keep your body strong, vital, beautiful and healthy.

Eking out a few more hours in the day to get a little more done is not worth the wear and tear on your body. Things happen, work happens, we can’t always control our lives, but we can make an effort to push our sleep time up there to a priority position.

Sleep Well!