Sweet Dreams are Made of...

The Impetus

Sleep is an essential physiological process (this means the body NEEDS sleep, not wants but needs), but in our fast paced, highly productive lives, we often sacrifice sleep for other activities.

This is due in part to our perception of sleep as a non-productive endeavor, when from a physiological and health standpoint it our most productive time of our day.

Work that must be completed, a project that just has to be finished, studying for that mid-term, getting up an hour early to exercise or miss that rush hour traffic on the way to work. We have many reasons not to get enough sleep. Many of us think that 6 or 7 hours a night is sufficient for a good night’s sleep. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night. In today’s fast-paced society, six or seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good, but in reality, it is a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation.

We often rationalize not getting the proper amount of sleep. Here are a few myths about sleep:

Myth 1: Getting just one hour less sleep per night won’t affect your daytime functioning.

Myth 2: Your body adjusts quickly to different sleep schedules.

Myth 3: Extra sleep at night can cure you of problems with excessive daytime fatigue.

Myth 4: You can make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends. 


Poor sleep can cause a number of health issues including obesity in adults and children, diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance, cardiovascular disease and hypertension, anxiety symptoms, depressed mood, poor immune function and alcohol or drug abuse.

William C. Dement, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University, is the world's leading authority on sleep.For this pioneering work in a previously uncharted field, he is sometimes referred to as the father of sleep medicine. Dr. Dement states, “Healthy sleep has been empirically proven to be the single most important determinant in predicting longevity, more important than diet, exercise and heredity.”

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 8 to 10 hours for teenagers 14 to 17 years old and 7 to 9 hours for adults. I personally recommend 8 hours of sleep for most people.  Women need more sleep according to Dr. Jim Horne, one of Britain's leading experts in sleep science. In an article published in the Daily Mail, Horne explained that on average women need twenty more minutes of sleep than men. The researcher pointed out that women tend to multi-task and use more of their brain than men leading to a greater need for sleep. Essentially, the more you use your brain during the day, the more it needs to rest while asleep.

You may be sleep deprived if…

•       Need an alarm clock to wake up on time

•       Rely on the snooze button

•       Have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning

•       Feel sluggish in the afternoon

•       Get sleepy in meetings, lectures or warm rooms

•       Get drowsy after heavy meals or when driving

•       Need to nap to get through the day

•       Fall asleep while watching TV or relaxing

•       Feel the need to sleep in on weekends

•       Fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed



Improve Your Sleep Today: Make Sleep a Priority

The Awakening

Schedule sleep like any other daily activity, put it on your "to-do list" and cross it off every night. But don’t make it the thing you do only after everything else is done – stop doing other things so you get the sleep you need.

Start by assessing your own individual needs and habits. See how you respond to different amounts of sleep. I suggest keeping a sleep journal for a few weeks. Pay attention to your mood, energy and productivity after a poor night's sleep versus a good one. Ask yourself, "How often do I get a good night's sleep?" The National Sleep Foundation has a downloadable Sleep Diary at https://sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/SleepDiaryv6.pdf that is easy to use and can be quite helpful. There are also many sleep apps that can be downloaded to your phone.

Tips for a better night’s sleep:

·       Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.

·       Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.

·       Exercise daily.

·       Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.

·       Beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine.

·       Turn off electronics before bed.

·       Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.



Get 8 hours a night of good quality sleep. It’s one way to be

Healthy by Choice. Sweet Dreams.


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Kenko Naturest® Mattress Topper

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• The foundation of the Kenko Naturest Mattress Topper is natural latex — not man-made polyurethane foam
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• The cover is woven in all-natural fibers, free from chemical pesticides, insecticides or fertilizers
• Natural fibers promote ventilation for regulation of temperature
• Fiber and latex are fully renewable resources
• 100% cotton sleeve surrounds the latex pad to add a layer of quality, protection and durability
• Meets federal flammability standards for mattress pads without flame-retardant chemicals

Shaped nodules are produced with a proprietary method that gives them the ideal degree of firmness. The effect is a relaxing massage while you sleep, that gently stimulates and can help lessen tossing and turning.

Author: Gary Lindner, PhD