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Are You Having Trouble Sleeping?

Everyone would experience sleep problems at one time or another. These occasional sleep problems could be caused by temporal stress or external factors. A sleep problem is defined by regular occurrence that interferes with everyday life and it is usually link to poor sleep hygiene.

Insufficient quality sleep is a serious problem that can be a threaten lives. Ignoring sleep problems can lead and open doors to many unwanted stress, poor health, emotional imbalance and may interrupt your job performance.

Do you have any of these below?

1. Trouble falling asleep and staying asleep

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2. Feeling extremely sleepy during the day

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3. Stress at school, at home or at work

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4. Fidgety and restless legs when you sleep at night

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5. Constantly busy throughout the day and exhausted

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6 .Have difficulty concentrating in tasks

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7. Falling asleep while driving, sitting still, watching TV or reading

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8. Having trouble controlling your emotions

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9. Looking tired at most times

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10. Require caffeinated beverages to stay awake

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11. Slow in reaction and clumsy

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12. Inclination to take naps almost every day

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13. Constant travelling and jet lags

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If you said yes to any of these, you’ll need Rilax to improve your sleep. Rilax is a natural food supplement. Some people may need to take 1-2 capsules for at least 2 weeks in order for Rilax to begin regulating their sleep quality. It is safe, natural, scientifically proven, non-drowsy, non-habit forming and has no after-effects!

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While You Were Sleeping

What do you notice when you watch a child sleeping?

On the surface, you see a peaceful and restful child and oh-how beautiful they look. If you look a little longer, soon you will notice movement in the eyes, coupled with some light jerks of the hands and legs. Well, verily, verily I say unto you… it’s normal.

While all voluntary muscular activities are temporarily suspended, your brain is still somewhat active and shift into different STAGES – REM sleep & Non-REM sleep. These sleep stages can be seen with an electroencephalograph (now say it 10 times), in short, it’s just EEG! With these stages, you’ll understand sleep better and perhaps, just perhaps become more conscious of your own sleeping habit.

Here are the sleep stages in a nutshell.

Sleep Cycle

When we sleep, our brains cycle from stage to stage. To understand the stages better, just imagine yourself falling asleep in your apartment located in a very busy city. 

NREM Stage 1:

In this stage, you close your eyes but you are conscious of your surroundings. You can still hear the taxis honking and the piercing sound of an ambulance. It feels like you are not sleeping yet. Some may even feel the feeling of falling at this stage. 

NREM Stage 2:

Slowly, your body relaxes, your heart rate slows down and body feels a tad warmer. The hustle and bustle of the city begins to quieten down and it does not bother you as much. This stage of light sleep last only about 20 minutes and you are about to enter into deep sleep.

NREM Stage 3 & 4:

These two stages are relatively known as deep sleep. The EEG would show slow waves pattern (only 50% of brain activity). At this stage, your body repairs bones and skin, and stabilizes your hormone levels.

Stage 4 is more intense and it’s also an important stage of sleep because our energy is restored in this stage. If stage 4 is deprived, you wake up in the morning still feeling physically tired.

Stages 1 to 4 sleep cycle is also known as Non-REM sleep. The NREM stages is important for us because our body repairs and regenerates tissues, strengthens our immune system and builds bones and muscles. That explains why everyone needs plenty of sleep as it is essential for growth, health and brain development.

There are notable physical changes in the body while you sleep; for example, your respiration rate becomes more rapid and irregular but shallow, your heart rate increases, and your eyes move in different directions.

REM Stage (Rapid Eye Movement) Stage 5:

Most vivid dreams occur in this stage of REM sleep as a result of the intense brain activity.  From being in your room sleeping to suddenly rescuing a princess in the “Sahara Desert”, you engage your whole self in your “action-packed movie”, your body is temporarily paralyzed (called Atonia), this happens to prevent you from physically replicating the action-packed kung-fu movements in your dreams! The REM stage is the combination of heightened brain activity and muscular paralysis; hence, it’s sometimes called the paradoxical sleep! Interesting! 

Sleep and brain

You must know that it sleep does not just progress through the sequence in order. The sleep cycles moves from stage to stage and it looks something like this: stage 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 3 > 2 > REM > 2. This sleep cycle happens about 4 to 5 times throughout the night. But when morning comes, most of your sleep consists of stages 1 and 2, or sometimes REM. Ideally, waking up in the early stages of sleep is best, helping you feel refreshed and less groggy in the morning.

Children and infants get most REM sleep, and as you age, the percentage of REM sleep decreases. The REM sleep is particularly important because many theories suggest with the lack of REM sleep, it causes irritability and anxiety as REM sleep aids in the development of our nervous system. Moreover, REM sleep can also help to improve memory.

Rilax is a natural sleep supplement formulated to help you experience a good night’s sleep, so that you wake up refreshed and ready to start your day. Rilax contains two clinically proven, award-winning all-natural ingredients (Alpha S1-Casein Tryptic Hydrolysate and L-Theanine) in a unique formulation that calms and promotes healthy sleep, as well as effective for relieving stress. Rilax your way to a good night’s sleep…

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Drowning in Sleep Debt

Did you know that sleep debt affects our bodily functions and causes us to be less productive, irritable and depressed? 

What is Sleep Debt?

Sleep debt or sleep deficit is the accumulative effect of sleep loss from insufficient sleep. An average adult should sleep at least 8 hours per night. When our body does not get enough sleep, our body may experience symptoms of sleep deprivation.
Sleep debt

Will one hour less of sleep make a difference?

YES.Even an hour of sleep loss disrupts certain cognitive and physical tasks. One with sleep deficit may experience slower reaction times, decrease in the ability to sustain attention, memory loss, or depression. Building sleep debt overnight can behazardous towards our health and increasing the risk of developing chronic illnesses. In short, sleep deficiency magnifies many negative effects.

Sleep is important.

Sleep is more than just a shut-eye. A night’s quality sleep goes a long way for your health.Depending on individuals,most healthy adults are built for 16 hours of wakefulness and 8 hours of sleep. While you sleep, your body undergo restoration, repair, cleaning and maintenance that is essential for daily functioning.

Are you sleep deprived? Find out here:

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/breus-sleep-deprived

How to Get Out of Sleep Debt?

Apart from getting a good bedtime routine and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Rilax sleep supplement has helped many to get good, quality sleep naturally and wake up refreshed and ready to start your day. Rilax’s safe and natural ingredients are known to:
  • improve sleep quality
  • helped many to fall asleep and wake up refreshed
  • have no side effects unlike sleeping pills
  • calm the nerves and mind
  • help relieve stress
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Sleep vs Football

Sleep and football

When the football season kicks off, sporting fans often had to make a difficult choice between sleep and football. Like most international sporting events held in countries where timing difference becomes apparent, the games may start at the time when you are about to sleep and last till the wee hours in the morning.

A week of this schedule and normal sleep patterns are now destroyed. Bleary-eyed and operating in less than optimal capacity, you get through the day with cups of caffeine.  It’s a tough choice: do you turn your back on the opportunity to watch live sporting or do you surrender to your biological requirements and rest your head on the pillow.

Studies of sleep deprivation have shown that missing the proper amount of sleep for even one day can cause reduced coordination, reflexes and decision making. The likelihood that people may drift off to sleep in potentially embarrassing situations or potentially very dangerous situations like driving a car becomes greater.  A person can easily drift off to sleep even though he is intending to stay awake.

So, how do you make sure that you get your sleep while enjoying your football matches? Here are two useful tips:

Adjust your schedule if necessary

It’s not the best solution, but if you must watch a game that starts when your schedule says you should be sleeping, try to go to bed at a different time if you can take or take naps during the day.

Resist the urge to load up on coffee or energy drinks

It’s not the best solution, but if you must watch a game that starts when your schedule says you should be sleeping, try to go to bed at a different time if you can take or take naps during the day.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Sleep

There are things in life that we often take for granted. Sleep is at times one of them. As our schedules get busier, one of the first things that we start to ignore is how much time we devote to sleep. Yet a lack of sleep can have grave consequences to your health. For instance, a prolonged lack of sleep is said has the same devastating effects on the body as if you were intoxicated with alcohol, according to the Journal of Applied Sports Science.

However, merely clocking in more hours to sleep doesn’t necessarily mean that you will awaken well rested. It’s not just the quantity, but really, the quality of your sleep. Here are some pointers on how you can get the most out of your sleep time:

Groove to the right rhythm

Find ways to understand your own sleep cycle – it is different from one individual to another. This is also known as your Circadian Cycle. Your sleep patterns are in 25 hour cycles and since we only have 24 hours in a day, it’s really easy to mess up your body rhythms whenever you stay awake too long or sleep at the wrong times. Be aware and keep tabs of your own body rhythms and make sure to get some shut eye when you need it. Maintain regular sleeping and waking times as much as you can help it.

Alarm clock

Carve a routine

Establish a small routine that you can do to wind down at the end of each day. Take a warm shower, do a bit of reading or listen to some soothing music. Anything that helps you relax and quieten down will certainly help get you a better night’s sleep.

Relaxing

Set the tone

Establish a small routine that you can do to wind down at the end of each day. Take a warm shower, do a bit of reading or listen to some soothing music. Anything that helps you relax and quieten down will certainly help get you a better night’s sleep.

Watch that diet

Establish a small routine that you can do to wind down at the end of each day. Take a warm shower, do a bit of reading or listen to some soothing music. Anything that helps you relax and quieten down will certainly help get you a better night’s sleep.

Just Rilax

It is hard to get a good night’s sleep if your mind is full of worry or your body is tensed up. Rilax helps you fall asleep and stay asleep so that you wake up refreshed and ready to start a new day. It is safe for consumption by both adults and children above 12 years old and has been proven to be helpful in keeping sleeping disorders at bay. It now comes with added L-Theanine, a green tea extract, in addition to the original formula that contains Alpha S1-Casein Tryptic Hydrolysate, a unique bioactive milk peptide. Both ingredients work synergistically and more effectively to promote relaxation and restful sleep.

Article by Susanna Khoo.

rilax wakeup refreshed
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Want A Good Night’s Sleep? Then Never Do These Things Before Bed

By Dr. Mercola

Sleep is one of the great mysteries of life. Like gravity or the quantum field, we still don’t understand exactly why we sleep—although we are learning more about it every day. We do know, however, that good sleep is one of the cornerstones of health. Six to eight hours per night seems to be the optimal amount of sleep for most adults, and too much or too little can have adverse effects on your health. Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realize you suffer from it. Science has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far reaching effects on your health. For example, interrupted or impaired sleep can:

  • Dramatically weaken your immune system
  • Accelerate tumor growth—tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions
  • Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you’ve already eaten, which can wreak havoc on your weight
  • Seriously impair your memory; even a single night of poor sleep—meaning sleeping only 4 to 6 hours—can impact your ability to think clearly the next day
  • Impair your performance on physical or mental tasks, and decrease your problem solving ability When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, your body produces less melatonin (a hormone AND an antioxidant) and has less ability to fight cancer, since melatonin helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer. This is why tumors grow faster when you sleep poorly.

Impaired sleep can also increase stress-related disorders, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Constipation
  • Mood disorders like depression

Sleep deprivation prematurely ages you by interfering with your growth hormone production, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep (and during certain types of exercise, such as Peak Fitness Technique). Growth hormone helps you look and feel younger. One study has even shown that people with chronic insomnia have a three times greater risk of dying from any cause. Lost sleep is lost forever, and persistent lack of sleep has a cumulative effect when it comes to disrupting your health. Poor sleep can make your life miserable, as most of you probably know. The good news is, there are many natural techniques you can learn to restore your “sleep health.” Whether you have difficulty falling asleep, waking up too often, or feeling inadequately rested when you wake up in the morning—or maybe you simply want to improve the quality of your sleep—you are bound to find some relief from my tips and tricks below.

Optimizing Your Sleep Sanctuary

1. Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible.

Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep. This will help decrease your risk of cancer. Close your bedroom door, and get rid of night-lights. Refrain from turning on any light at all during the night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom. Cover up your clock radio.

Cover your windows—I recommend using blackout shades or drapes.

All life evolved in response to predictable patterns of light and darkness, called circadian rhythms. Modern day electrical lighting has significantly betrayed your inner clock by disrupting your natural rhythms. Little bits of light pass directly through your optic nerve to your hypothalamus, which controls your biological clock.

Light signals your brain that it’s time to wake up and starts preparing your body for ACTION.

2. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F.

When you sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level, generally about four hours after you fall asleep. Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.

Cover your windows—I recommend using blackout shades or drapes.

All life evolved in response to predictable patterns of light and darkness, called circadian rhythms. Modern day electrical lighting has significantly betrayed your inner clock by disrupting your natural rhythms. Little bits of light pass directly through your optic nerve to your hypothalamus, which controls your biological clock.

Light signals your brain that it’s time to wake up and starts preparing your body for ACTION.

3. Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs).

These can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin, and may have other negative effects as well.

To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, starting around $50 to $200. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house.

4. Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed.

If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least 3 feet. Remove the clock from view. It will only add to your worry when you stare at it all night… 2 a.m. …3 a.m. … 4:30 a.m.

5. Avoid using loud alarm clocks.

It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, an alarm may even be unnecessary. I gave up my alarm clock years ago and now use a sun alarm clock. The Sun Alarm™ SA-2002 provides an ideal way to wake up each morning if you can’t wake up with the REAL sun. Combining the features of a traditional alarm clock (digital display, AM/FM radio, beeper, snooze button, etc) with a special built-in light that gradually increases in intensity, this amazing clock simulates a natural sunrise. It also includes a sunset feature where the light fades to darkness over time, which is ideal for anyone who has trouble falling asleep.

6. Reserve your bed for sleeping.

If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.

7. Consider separate bedrooms.

Recent studies suggest, for many people, sharing a bed with a partner (or pets) can significantly impair sleep, especially if the partner is a restless sleeper or snores. If bedfellows are consistently interfering with your sleep, you may want to consider a separate bedroom.

Preparing for Bed

8. Get to bed as early as possible.

Your body (particularly your adrenal system) does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period. If you are awake, the toxins back up into your liver, which can further disrupt your health.


Prior to the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after sundown, as most animals do, and which nature intended for humans as well.

9. Don’t change your bedtime.

You should go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.

10. Establish a bedtime routine.

This could include meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy or essential oils or indulging in a massage from your partner. The key is to find something that makes you feel relaxed, then repeat it each night to help you release the tensions of the day.

11. Don’t drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed.

This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom, or at least minimize the frequency.

12. Go to the bathroom right before bed.

This will reduce the chances that you’ll wake up to go in the middle of the night.

13. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed.

This can provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.

14. Also eat a small piece of fruit.

This can help the tryptophan cross your blood-brain barrier.

15.Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars.

These will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.

16. Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed.

When your body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating slumber. The temperature drop from getting out of the bath signals your body it’s time for bed.

17. Wear socks to bed.

Feet often feel cold before the rest of the body because they have the poorest circulation. A study has shown that wearing socks reduces night wakings. As an alternative, you could place a hot water bottle near your feet at night.

18.Wear an eye mask to block out light.

As discussed earlier, it is very important to sleep in as close to complete darkness as possible. That said, it’s not always easy to block out every stream of light using curtains, blinds or drapes, particularly if you live in an urban area (or if your spouse has a different schedule than you do). In these cases, an eye mask can be helpful.

19. Put your work away at least one hour before bed (preferably two hours or more).

This will give your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling calm, not hyped up or anxious about tomorrow’s deadlines.

20.No TV right before bed.

Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even completely out of the house. It’s too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from falling asleep quickly. TV disrupts your pineal gland function.

21. Listen to relaxation CDs.

Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to before bed is the Insight audio CD. Another favorite is the Sleep Harmony CD, which uses a combination of advanced vibrational technology and guided meditation to help you effortlessly fall into deep delta sleep within minutes. The CD works on the principle of “sleep wave entrainment” to assist your brain in gearing down for sleep.

22. Read something spiritual or uplifting.

This may help you relax. Don’t read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novel, which has the opposite effect. In addition, if you are really enjoying a suspenseful book, you might be tempted to go on reading for hours, instead of going to sleep!

23. Journaling.

If you often lay in bed with your mind racing, it might be helpful keep a journal and write down your thoughts before bed. Personally, I have been doing this for 15 years, but prefer to do it in the morning when my brain is functioning at its peak and my cortisol levels are high.

Lifestyle Suggestions That Enhance Sleep

24. Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible.

Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, may adversely effect sleep. In most cases, the condition causing the drugs to be taken in the first place can be addressed by following guidelines elsewhere on my web site.

25. Avoid caffeine.

At least one study has shown that, in some people, caffeine is not metabolized efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. So, an afternoon cup of coffee or tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night. Be aware that some medications contain caffeine (for example, diet pills).

26. Avoid alcohol.

Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short lived and you will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body does most of its healing.

27.Make certain you are exercising regularly.

Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it.

28. Lose excess weight.

Being overweight can increase your risk of sleep apnea, which can seriously impair your sleep.

29 .Avoid foods you may be sensitive to.

This is particularly true for sugar, grains, and pasteurized dairy. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating and gas, and other problems.

30. Have your adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician.

Scientists have found that insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress.

31.If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, get checked out by a good natural medicine physician.

The hormonal changes at this time may cause sleep problems if not properly addressed.

If All Else Fails

32. My current favorite fix for insomnia is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

Most people can learn the basics of this gentle tapping technique in a few minutes. EFT can help balance your body’s bioenergy system and resolve some of the emotional stresses that are contributing to your insomnia at a very deep level. The results are typically long lasting and improvement is remarkably rapid.

33. Increase your melatonin.

Ideally it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and absolute complete darkness at night.
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Lost Sleep Can Never Be Made Up

Staying in bed on the weekends won’t make up for a weeks’ worth of sleep deprivation. A new study finds that going long periods without sleep can lead to a sort of “sleep debt” that cannot simply be undone with extra sleep later.

Such chronic sleep loss may eventually interfere with a person’s performance on tasks that require focus, becoming particularly noticeable at nighttime. This could be due to the effects of your natural sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm.

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Your natural tendency to want to be awake during the day may mask signs of sleep debt when it’s light out. But this protective effect may go away as darkness arrives.

Further, just 10 percent of adolescents are getting the optimal hours of sleep each night.

Here’s how parents can help teens get the most possible sleep, despite the demands of school and work:

  • Teenagers should stick to a consistent bedtime, preferably before 10 PM
  • Keep sleep and wake times as consistent as possible from day to day; maintaining a more regular sleep schedule makes it easier to fall asleep
  • Don’t sleep in — strive to wake up no more than two to three hours later on weekends to keep biological clocks on cycle

Sources:
Live Science January 13, 2010
U.S. News & World Report January 15, 2010

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

According to a 2007 survey of 12 to 16 year-olds, 25 percent fell asleep with the TV, computer, stereo, iPod headphones or other electronic gadgets on. The same survey revealed these teens only received four to seven hours of sleep each night.

Other studies show that adolescents actually have a different circadian rhythm than children or adults. Teenagers experience a temporary resetting of their body clocks which prompts them to fall asleep and wake up later.

The hormone melatonin is produced later at night for teens, which can make it hard for them to fall asleep at an earlier hour. This temporary adjustment in their body clocks is one of the reasons young adults don’t get the amount of sleep they require.

In addition to a shortage of rest, the quality of sleep these kids get can be very poor.

In order to get the highest quality sleep, you need to be in a room that is dark as possible. Even the slightest bit of light can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm and production of melatonin and serotonin, two hormones vital to your health.

Many people are not aware that exposure to the smallest amount of light at night will cause your body to shut down further.

Artificial Light and Your Wake/Sleep Cycle

The invention of electrical lighting has been both a boon and a bust. The benefits of artificial light are obvious, but what about the drawbacks?

One of them has to do with how long and how well people sleep these days.

When artificial lighting was introduced, it increased the amount of daytime hours and decreased the number of hours of an average night’s sleep down to seven.

Circadian rhythms are no longer able to adjust to a predictable pattern of daytime and darkness, which has created a chronic modern day sleep deficit and potentially devastating health consequences.

The Dangers of Underestimating Your Sleep Requirements

Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days you might not even realize you suffer from it. You might assume, since you rise when the alarm clock rings and feel reasonably alert once you’re up and moving, that the sleep you’re getting is adequate.

If you’ve shorted yourself on hours and your quality of sleep for any length of time, it’s likely your state of sleep deprivation feels normal to you.

Researchers, however, will tell you that a sleep deficit can have serious, far-reaching effects on your health. Among them:

  • A single night of sleeping only four to six hours can impact your ability to think clearly the next day.
  • Good sleepers and poor sleepers experience about the same number of daily minor stressful events, but good sleepers are less disturbed by them. Poor sleepers experience life events as being more negative than do those who sleep well.
  • Sleep deprivation can cause changes in your brain activity similar to those experienced by people with psychiatric disorders.
  • Sleep deprivation puts your body into a pre-diabetic state, and makes you feel hungry, even if you’ve already eaten.
  • Interrupted sleep can dramatically weaken your immune system
  • Tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions.

How Lack of Sleep Damages Your Health

Melatonin is an antioxidant that helps to suppress harmful free radicals in your body and slows the production of estrogen, which can activate cancer. When your circadian rhythm is disrupted, your body may produce less melatonin and therefore may have less ability to fight cancer.

Exposure to light while your body is trying to sleep activates your stress response and weakens your immune system, which is why irregular sleep cycles can lead to stress-related disorders including:

  • Constipation
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Depression
  • Heart disease

A disrupted body clock can wreak havoc on your weight. Losing sleep raises levels of two hormones linked with appetite and eating behavior. Sleep deprivation reduces leptin, a hormone that tells your brain you’re satiated, and increases ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger.

Lack of sleep can destroy your memory. If your internal clock isn’t functioning properly, it causes the release of too much GABA, the brain inhibiting neurotransmitter. According to the results of the Stanford study, an excess of GABA inhibits the brain in a way that leads to short term memory problems and the inability to retain new information.

Sleep deprivation ages you. Lack of sleep interferes with metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes. Chronic sleep loss may speed the onset or increase the severity of age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and memory loss.

More Ways to Disrupt Your Body Clock

Artificial lights aren’t the only way you can disturb your circadian rhythm. You can also confuse your body’s sleep/wake cycle by:

  • Staying up late
  • Working the night shift
  • Using a night light
  • Switching time zones (jet lag)
  • Eating in the middle of the night or too close to bedtime

Many of your major organs and body systems have their own internal clocks. These clocks influence everything from your body temperature to hormone production to your heart rate. When these clocks are out of whack, all kinds of things can happen which impact your daily life and your overall health.

A Debt You Can’t Repay

For most people who don’t sleep well, it has become a pattern and not just an occasional night of restlessness.

A chronic lack of high-quality sleep simply cannot be recovered. You can’t stockpile a supply to use later, nor can you pay your body’s sleep debt back.

You may feel rested and sharper after sleeping in, but the benefit is temporary and can be compared to depositing money in your account then withdrawing it again a day or two later.

Lost sleep is lost forever, and persistent lack of sleep has a cumulative effect when it comes to the

havoc it can wreak on your health.

How to Get the Amount of Sleep Your Body Needs

As a general rule, adults need between six and nine hours of sleep a night. Most adolescents and teens do best with at least nine hours a night.

There are, of course, exceptions – some people can function well on less than six hours and others need more than nine.

Other factors that can affect your sleep requirements include illness, emotional stress, and the time of year (some folks need more sleep during winter months). If you’re pregnant you might require more sleep, especially during your first trimester.

If you feel tired when you first wake up, you probably aren’t getting sufficient sleep. It’s best to observe how you feel immediately upon awakening rather than after you’re up and moving around.

Those first few moments of wakefulness, before your mind fully kicks into gear, are a better measure of how your body is feeling.

Some tips for getting good quality sleep include:

  • Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. This will raise blood sugar and inhibit sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you might wake up and not be able to fall back asleep.
  • No TV right before bed. Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even out of the house, completely. It is too stimulating to your brain and it will take longer to fall asleep.
  • Wear socks to bed. Your feet will often feel cold before the rest of your body. A study has shown that wearing socks reduces night waking.
  • Get to bed fairly early. Our systems, particularly our adrenals, do a majority of their recharging or recovering during the hours of 11PM and 1AM.
  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes and particularly the upstairs bedrooms too hot.
  • Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. This can provide the L-tryptophan need to produce melatonin and serotonin.

For a comprehensive list of practical solutions for sleep problems, be sure to read my 33 Secrets to a Good Night’s Sleep.

If you have trouble falling or staying asleep because your mind is racing or you’re emotionally overwhelmed, I recommend you use Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for insomnia.

Quality Sleep is One of the Pillars of Good Health

Sleep is one of your most precious resources. You undervalue its importance to your health, longevity and the quality of your life at your peril.

Just like exercise, the health benefits you receive every night from sleep depend on how long you spend at it and the quality of it.

Just as eating for your nutritional type provides your body with a solid foundation for health, so does good sleep.

And just as processing your emotions and stressful events in a productive way helps you remove the barriers to achieving optimal health and fitness, adequate high quality sleep is also a core building block for a lifetime of wellness.

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Why We Need A Good Night’s Sleep

Few people realize that sleep deficit can be a serious threat to their health and well-being. Lack of sleep and not having quality sleep each night can lead to a weakened immune system, bad skin, poor memory, loss of concentration and high blood pressure.

“Sleep comes from the brain, is a product of the brain, and benefits the brain,” says Allan Hobson, famed Harvard Medical School sleep researcher. Indeed, restful sleep is the ultimate rejuvenation elixir and leads to improved physical performance and greater emotional stability.

Man Sleeping

Ideally, we equate a good night’s rest with total relaxation. But behind closed eyelids, there is a great deal going on. While we sleep, our body’s organs regenerate and repair themselves. It’s also the time when your mind lays down its memories and processes the information gathered during the day.

Sleep is actually a dynamic process with three distinct and necessary cycles. Each night we cycle through these stages of sleep ranging from light sleep to deep sleep and finally, to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. A complete cycle consists of REM and non REM cycles that alternate every 90 to 110 minutes and is repeated four to six times per night. REM sleep helps in mental consolidation while non REM helps in cell growth, physical repair and rebuilding.

The earlier part of sleep is mostly non-REM. During that period, our pituitary gland releases growth hormones that repair our body. The latter part of sleep is more and more REM type.

To be mentally alert during the day, the latter part of sleep is more important. We may find that upon waking up to an alarm clock after 5-6 hours of sleep, we are mentally irritable throughout the day (lack of REM sleep). And if we have slept for less than 5 hours, our body is in a complete physical mess (lack of non-REM sleep), we are tired throughout the day, moving like a zombie and we tend to fall sick easily.

So get a good night’s sleep, every night. Try Rilax, a natural sleep aid, to improve your sleep quality.