Of Good Health (You thought this was going somewhere else, didn’t you?!)
What is so important about quality sleep? Are you an insomniac? If you are, read on. Poor sleep and degenerative disease often go hand in hand.
Quality sleep has been empirically proven to be the single most important factor in predicting longevity, more influential than diet, exercise, or heredity. Few know this truth. We are a sleep-sick society, ignorant of the price of sleep deprivation.
How widespread is the problem?
- 70% of Americans reports sleep problems
- 100,000 automobile accidents are caused by drowsy drivers per year
- 72,500 fatalities and injuries are resulted in these accidents per year
- 51% of Americans admit to have driven while drowsy
- 17% of Americans admit to have dozed off while driving
Source: National Sleep Foundation
Whether you are an insomniac or not, here are important tips to start sleeping better!
- Go to sleep and get up at about the same time every day – even on the weekend. This will support your body’s natural sleep rhythms. Either eliminate completely or limit naps to early afternoon and no more than 15-20 minutes.
- Lights out between 10 – 11:00 pm. The deepest and most regenerative sleep occurs between 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. The more sleep you get during this period, the more you are able to recovery from the stress you experience during the day.
- Sleep in a dark room. Best to remove, but at the very least, cover up all electronics to block the lights they omit. Research shows that too much unnatural light such as from TV at night can disturb the natural balance of melatonin and keep you awake. Don’t turn on bright lights if you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Invest in a full spectrum light.
- Regular exercise is good to promote sleepiness. Wrap up rigorous exercise 3 hours before bedtime.
- Watch what you eat and drink. Eat less and lighter food close to bed time. Alcohol, though relaxing, can interfere with your natural sleep cycle. Limit caffeine intact to before lunch.
- Sleep in a cool environment, 65 degrees being ideal.
- Sleep on a supportive and comfortable mattress and or mattress topper. Be particular in your choice of bedding linens, comforter, and pillows to create an environment conducive to comfort, temperature regulation, and support. Explore the Nikken Sleep System designed to mimic Mother Nature, based on the physiology of sleep.
- Develop a bedtime ritual using relaxation, meditation, and/or visualization practices. Avoid confrontation and worrisome topics several hours before bedtime.