In the beginning of the 1900s we had experienced television sets coming into peoples’ homes all across the country. Not to mention, other sources of light. You might not ever think of how much we take these inventions for granted. But one thing is certain, prior to the invention of the light bulb – our ancestors were up at the crack of dawn to work and ready to sleep at sundown. Today, in this new world, we don’t practice that; and therefore our sleep regimen has been interrupted.
The connection here is the rate at which people are getting less sleep, and the rate at which people are practicing more and more brain stimulating activities during the night – which in effect make it difficult for us to sleep. Research suggest we sleep up to six to eight hours a night. I believe it is to maximize our fullest potential of the mind and body. Furthermore, It aids in alertness, regulating stress levels, the production of energy and to keep our biological sleep rhythm regulated.
It’s estimated that 70% of Americans are sleep deprived. It’s no wonder why one cup of coffee is never enough for some people. As a society we truly undervalue sleep, and sleep is critical to our body and immune system. Research shows that sleep deprivation is associated with obesity, heart disease, making you fat, depression, pain, diabetes and much more.
If you feel you have tried countless sleep methods to improve your sleep and feel nothing works, Your in LUCK!
Lets go back to our brain. More specifically, a region of the brain called the pineal gland. The pineal gland is a small gland located within the brain and produces a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin aids in regulating our natural sleep rhythm – or our biological “clock”. When the sun sets our brain recognizes darkness and perceives it is time to go to sleep. However, because we tend to continue out our task through out the evenings we put our rest hours at risk and inhibit the production of melatonin. Nevertheless, the good thing is that we are able to promote higher levels of this hormone. After all, it is desperate to be produced.
If you are feeling hopeless because of a lack of quality sleep; here are my 5 steps to better long lasting “deep” sleep and to reset your natural biological rhythm.
1. Choose a time to get to bed and make it a priority!
It is critical that we get our bodies to recognize a sleep pattern. We must stop eating late dinners, surfing the web, answering emails and so on.
2. Practice a regular sleep habit!
At the rate at which social media is sky rocketing and other means of communicating, so is the lack of sleep. So ditch the smart phone set your alarm and get to bed.
3. Only use your bed for sleep and sex!
NO phone!, NO watching T.V.!, NO laptop! Remember: the idea here is to reduce the amount of light being glared into your eyes. Our brain must recognize that it is night time so the secretion of melatonin is at its fullest potential. Alternatively, read a book with dimmed light or create a sleep ritual that has an inducing effect on the brain.
4. Avoid high levels of caffeine and other stimulants such as; medications and energy drinks!
Not only caffeine before bed may have an effect, but because it is also considered a stimulant, high levels at any time can affect our sleep rhythm.
5. And do not exercise excessively, or eat a heavy meal before bed time!
When attempting to reverse a defective sleeping pattern – keep in mind the body does not catch on right away. Be consistent and allow some time for your body to go through the new sleeping habit. Typically, the body can take up to 6-8 weeks to feel some changes. REST WELL Y’ALL!
In Your Good Health,