Better Sleep Month
I don’t understand what people mean by ‘I have to get ready for bed.’ I am always ready for bed.
Getting a good night's sleep is very important and increasingly difficult to accomplish in today's distraction-laden world. Sleep deprivation has become so prevalent that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls it a public health epidemic.
Part of the problem with sleep is that for decades we have considered sleep an unproductive part of our day, when from a physiological standpoint it is the most important part of our day. As self care advocates let’s change the paradigm of people bragging about how little they sleep to boasting about getting a full 8 hours a night of quality sleep. We know that getting 8 hours of sleep each night has a long list of benefits, including helping you maintain a healthy weight, feel energized, concentrate more easily and protect your long-term health. Insuﬃcient sleep, on the contrary, has devastating consequences. It causes a host of illnesses, compromises health and safety, productivity and quality of life.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the first thing people should do to improve sleep is stick to a regular schedule. "Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night”. For more information and tips to a better night’s sleep, see Sweet Dream Are Made Of…
I recently became aware of an excellent book, “Why We Sleep”, by Dr. Matthew Walker professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkley. Dr.Walker has made it abundantly clear that sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when it is absent. As he points out, lack of sleep will prevent your brain from making new memories. It will also lead to a build of a toxic protein in the brain, beta-amyloid which has been associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. The lack of sleep effects the body in many ways. The link between poor or inadequate sleep and cancer is so strong that recently the World Health Organization classifies any night-time shift work as a possible carcinogen. One poor night’s sleep can reduce your body’s immune function as much as 60 to 70%. We also know that lack of sleep effects our cardiovascular system. It is during deep sleep that our heart rates and blood pressure go down and as Dr. Walker explains, provides a natural blood pressure medication that reboots our cardiovascular system. If you are getting six hours of sleep or less, you have 200 times increase in having a fatal heart attack or stoke during your lifetime.
One illuminating concept that Dr. Walker talks about is: What is the recycle rate of a human being? In other words, how long can we last without sleep before we start to see declines in brain function or impairments within our bodies? It seems to be about 16 hours. Once we get past 16 hours, research shows that’s when we see mental and physiological deterioration in the body. Take look at Dr. Walker’s informative five minute video, “Why We Sleep”.
As Nikken consultants and part of our International Wellness Community we can be of service to the millions and millions of people that struggle with sleep deficiency. We can educate on the importance of sleep and share solutions we have in our Nikken Kenko Sleep System and Kenko Sleep Products. As a go-to sleep resource, we want to help everyone get a quality night’s sleep and Be Healthy by Choice.