Mens Health Month Chp. 3

If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it - then I can achieve it.
— Muhammad Ali

June is Men’s Health Month

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This month we encourage men to ‘make the time and take the time' to improve their health.

One of our core principles of the Self Care Awakening is quality sleep. We have blogged extensively about this and our body’s need for sleep.

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. 

As Matthew Walker, professor of Neurobiology and Psychology at the University of California, Berkley states, “Sleep is a non-negotiable biological necessity,” that includes the quantity and quality of our sleep.

Sleep Matters

For many men, sleep is just one more thing at the bottom of the list of all that needs to be done in a day. It seems like wasted time that prevents them from getting any work done. These mistaken ideas about sleep prevent men from tapping into the power of a well-rested mind and body.

Often, men don't realize that they need more sleep. They interpret sleepiness as an indicator that they must be working hard. They get accustom to feeling tired, and they think that's the way it's supposed to be. They believe that they just must fight through it and try to catch up on the weekend. Not a good plan, as this has been proven to be a myth about sleep and we have a very difficult time in making up for lost sleep.

Every person has their own need for sleep. This need varies from one person to another. On average, most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to feel alert and well rested. Many men do not get this much sleep on a regular basis. As a result, they are not able to function at a maximum level of health, energy and concentration.

Gender differences in sleep are a fascinating and important area of study. Research has shown that men and women have different sleep tendencies. Some of these differences might be a factor as to why in general, men don’t sleep as well as women and may be a factor as to why women are healthier and live longer than men. 

 A 2011 study suggests that there are marked differences in the circadian rhythms of men and women. In this study, researchers observed the circadian cycles of 157 men and women between the ages of 18 to 74, measuring melatonin levels and body temperature in order to track the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. Researchers found significant differences between men and women in both the timing of their circadian clocks (which help govern sleep times and wake times) and the interval of the circadian clock.

Women’s circadian clocks are set to an earlier hour than men’s, making them more inclined to fall asleep earlier and to wake earlier. Women demonstrated a stronger inclination for activity earlier in the day than men. In other words, the body’s natural rhythms make it more likely that if you are a man, you will be a night owl, and for women, an early bird.

 While eight hours per night on average is ideal for both genders, it turns out that men are harder hit by periods of sleep deficiency. Lack of sleep causes work performance to suffer more for men than for women, and men recover less quickly from lack of sleep than women do. 

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Most men will sleep much better if they simply develop the habits of good sleep. Sleep hygiene consists of basic tips that help you develop a pattern of healthy sleep. 

Sleeping in later is not an option for most people who must be at work early in the morning. Not too many employers are going to let you take a daytime nap, either. The solution is to go to bed earlier. Plan to go to bed early enough so that you will have eight hours before you must get up in the morning. Set it as a goal and make it a priority. After doing this for a while, you will have a better idea if you need even more than eight hours of sleep to feel refreshed when you wake up.

Men’s Health Month Tool Kit:

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.  Here is a link to a recent video we did on Sleep Matters that illustrates why The Nikken Kenko Sleep System should be pat of your Men’s Health Tool Kit.

As a go-to sleep resource, we want to help everyone get a quality night’s sleep and Be Healthy by Choice. Sweet Dreams.