This week, The Weekly Beet reports on why we need to go to sleep. Naturally, Mary Kent goes Sleeping Beety to reveal how important it is to get a good night's sleep.
Sleep, necessary for the regeneration of the body and the mind, is the single most important act we must follow to ensure optimum health. Sleeping allows the brain to take a break from emotional and mental activity, the nervous system to repair itself, the body's cells to increase in production, and the body to grow and develop. On the contrary, lack of sleep can lead to obesity, diabetes, a weakened immune system, anger and irritability, depression, poor memory and concentration, and even premature aging! While sleeping, the body experiences 5 different stages, categorized as non-REM and REM sleeping. The first four stages of non-REM sleep relax muscles, slow down breathing, and change brain waves in order for reparative, growth hormones to be released. Stage 5, known as REM sleep, is the stage when dreaming occurs, breathing and heart rate become more active, blood pressure increases, and, mysteriously, muscles become temporarily paralyzed. With so much naturally happening in one night of sleep, the body simply can not miss out on such a fine tune-up!
Obviously, there is a mastermind behind the workings of our internal clock! In a millenium where everyone is running to meet the clock, why isn't anyone listening to their natural tick tock? It's because our hectic lifestyles have us so out of touch with our internal ticking! The National Institute of Health estimates that over 70 million Americans are sleep-deprived, with even more affected by sleep disorders such as insomnia, excessive snoring, sleep apnea, nightmares, overuse of sleeping pills, restless leg syndrome, and sleepwalking. It's no surprise that in 2004, Americans spent $2.1 billion on sleeping pills, making brands such as Ambien and Lunesta the only ones able to have sweet dreams. We say it's time to slow down and sleep naturally.
Here are our top secrets to dreaming like Sleeping Beety:
Still can't get enough REM sleep? Read The Beet on insomnia.
- Learn how to listen to your internal clock. When you are tired go to bed. Research shows you should sleep 7 to 9 hours.
- Buy a comfortable or therapeutic pillow such as to give neck and back support.
- Turn off all lights. Sleeping in darkness is a must!
- Buy a sleep machine.
- Take a calcium and magnesium supplement daily.
- The position in which you sleep is important.
- Eat foods high in triptophan such as bananas, figs, almond butter, turkey, and yoghurt.
- Add a few drops of lavender oil on temples and behind ears. Try a few drops on a lamp ring. The ultimate in relaxation!
- Avoid foods with tyramine such as bacon, cheese, chocolate, potatoes, sugar, spinach, wine, and tomatoes close to bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. It's best to eat 4 hours before bedtime.
- Don't stay in bed if you can't fall asleep.
- Try to go to bed by 11PM and wake up at the same time every morning.
Wake up and learn to get enough sleep. Night night and sweet dreams! Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week.
PS. Check out Paula Begoun, Bestselling Author, Founder and President of Paula's Choice, on Ladies Who Launch.
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