The Power Of Sleep Ahhh…the joy of a good night’s rest or nap. If only we could all get quality rest regularly, then the world would truly be...
The Power Of Sleep
Ahhh…the joy of a good night’s rest or nap. If only we could all get
quality rest regularly, then the world would truly be a better place. I
know it sounds cliché, but it is true! Short-term sleep deprivation can
affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may
increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. Long term sleep
deprivation has been linked to a host of health problems including
obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.
This suggests that if we all slept well and enough we would be wiser,
happier, healthier and have an overall better quality of life. Who
doesn’t want that?
You see, sleep isn’t exactly a time when your body and brain shuts
off. While you rest, your brain stays busy, overseeing a wide variety of
biological processes that keep your body running in top condition and
preparing you for the day ahead. Sleeping gives your body the
opportunity to “Reset”. Without enough hours of restorative sleep, you
won’t be able to work, learn, create, or communicate at a level even
close to your true potential. If you regularly skimp on sleep, you’re
headed for a major mental and physical breakdown.
Melatonin is the “sleep hormone” It is a hormone produced in the body
that induces sleepiness and maintains the inherent sleep-wake cycle.
Melatonin is also an antioxidant that can enter the central nervous
system and heal the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve cells. It has
many other function that I will not get into in this blog, but you can
do your own research online or read Taming Pain.
Knowing how important sleep is for the human body, what can you do to
improve your sleep quality? Here is a list of 5 things with which you
Five things you can do to improve the your quality of sleep.
Give yourself enough time to get 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep daily.
No caffeine, alcohol or smoking 6 hours before bed. All these
stimulants linger in the body well after consumption and can affect
End “screen time” 2 hours before bed. Studies show that watching TV
or working on the computer suppresses melatonin production for that
Get melatonin in your system: 3 to 5 Mg tablet of Melatonin or
Cherry Juice Concentrate (CJC) 30 minutes before bed. See our fact sheet
on CJC for more info.
Sleep in a dark, cool & quiet space: Light inhibits melatonin
production, so get light blocking blinds or thick curtains in your
bedroom. Turn down temperature. Experts say that a cool room (65° or so)
makes for the best sleep, and research backs this notion. The quiet
space is self-explanatory.
For a detailed explanation of the sleep cycle and its functions see our fact sheet entitled The Sleep Cycle.
References & suggested reading
Barrett J, Lack L, Morris M. The sleep-evoked decrease of body temperature. Sleep. 1993;16:93-99.
Carskadon MA, Acebo C, Richardson GS, Tate BA, Seifer R. An approach to studying circadian rhythms of adolescent humans. J Biol Rhythms. 1997;12:278-289.
Carskadon MA, Labyak SE, Acebo C, Seifer R. Intrinsic circadian
period of adolescent humans measured in conditions of forced
desynchrony. Neurosci Lett. 1999;260:129-132.
Coren S. Sleep deprivation, psychosis and mental efficiency. 1998.
Dement WC, Vaughan CC. The Promise of Sleep: The Scientific Connection Between Health, Happiness, and a Good Night’s Sleep. Pan; 2001.
Foundation. NS. 2006 Sleep in America Poll: Summary of Findings. Washington, DC: National Sleep Foundation; 2006.
Hagenauer MH, Perryman JI, Lee TM, Carskadon MA. Adolescent changes in the homeostatic and circadian regulation of sleep. Dev Neurosci. 2009;31:276-284.
Howatson G, Bell PG, Tallent J, Middleton B, McHugh MP, Ellis J.
Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and
enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr. 2012;51:909-916.