Anyone not getting 8 to 9
hours of good, healthy sleep you are endangering their health and
A consistent, healthy sleep pattern of 8 to 9 hours a night is
unheard of for more and more adults and children. Part of the issue is
our culture and part of the issue is not recognizing the importance of
sleep. The results from longitudinal epidemiological studies are now
beginning to suggest that it is likely we can reduce the risk or
severity of a host of diseases with better sleep.
These studies have shown that sleep is essential for normal immune
system function and to maintain the ability to fight disease and
sickness. Sleep also is vital for your nervous system to function
normally, and for people to have the ability to function normally
physically and mentally. On top of that, sleep is essential for
learning and for normal, healthy cell growth.
Wilt Chambelain once
claimed to get only about 4 hours a sleep a night, yet he died young.
We can't say the lack of sleep was the cause, but again the research is
beginning to support the idea that it contributes to ill-health.
There are generally considered three categories of sleep disorders and
a total of over 70 such disorders. The first category would be
excessive sleep. The next is disturbed sleep. The final category is
lack of sleep.
For our purposes we are more intersted in a discussion on lack of
sleep. A lack of sleep affects large numbers of people and has a grave
impact on health and learning.
There are numerous causes and solutions for sleep problems such as
insomnia. What we want to focus on here would be some behavior causes
and there solutions. These are simply discussions about basic sleep
problems, the impact of the problems, and strategies to minimize the
problems. You most certainly should consult your doctor and have a
discussion with your doctor.
In the discussion with your doctor we would recommend you talk to him
or her about non drug related strategies to try first. Medication does
have its place.
Influence of Television and Visual media
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
Stroke, about 40 million people in the United States suffer from
chronic long-term sleep disorders each year. Another 20 million people
suffer from occasional insomnia.
Teachers are noticing that more and more of their students are
exhibiting sleep related problems. Our culture makes it challenging to
get that healthy sleep. We watch television late into the night and do
learn how to truly let our minds relax.
Television nor video games
relax the mind. Besides cutting out the stimulus before going to bed or
while trying to go to sleep, we can make some other changes that could
greatly improve the quality of your sleep.
An article published in Pediatrics in
2007 covers the findings of a research study. The goal of the study was
to investigate the effects of excessive television and computer game
consumption on sleep patterns and memory performance of children.
There had been other studies done that indicated excessive television
viewing and computer game playing were associated with emotional and
behavioral issues, sleep complaints, attention problems, and family
interaction problems. The researchers, however, stated that "there is
insufficient knowledge about the relationship between singular
excessive media consumption on sleep patterns and linked implications
The conclusions of the researchers were that the results suggested that
television and computer game exposure do affect children’s sleep as
well as negatively impact their verbal cognitive performance. They
argue the results support the hypothesis that this exposure negatively
impacts children's sleep, learning, and memory.
It is becoming widely accepted that video game playing and television
have a negative impact on the sleep of teenagers. There is an article
published in Kidshealth.org that explains the problem.
While we are not stating ther is any scientific studies to show
correlation we see that over the past forty years video gaming and
television watching have increased dramatically while test scores have
Music and other cultural influences
An article in eMedExpert
discusses the positive impact music has on health and well-being,
including sleep. Relaxing classical music is safe, cheap and easy way
to beat insomnia. Many people who suffer from insomnia find that Bach
music helps them. Researchers have shown that just 45 minutes of
relaxing music before bedtime can make for a restful night.
Listening to slow, quiet classical music, is proven to reduce stress.
Countless studies have shown that music's relaxing effects can be seen
on anyone at any age. The key point here is the type of music they are
Listening to heavy metal or hard rock may or may not lead to behavioral
problems, but listening to that music as you fall asleep or try to fall
asleep is NOT a prescription for getting a restful sleep.
Keys to healthy sleep
One of the first things you can do to get healthy sleep is invest in a good mattress.
Selecting the right mattress is a matter of preference as well as
research. A good mattress must properly support you body. Tempurpedic
are two very popular and excellent mattresses.
we have already mentioned learning to relax before going to sleep by
finding a quiet place and simply listening to good, soft music can be
amazingly affective. Stop watching television at least 30 minutes
before trying to go to sleep and put on some soft music and just relax.
Learning self-hypnosis, visualization, or other psychological
techniques can be incredibly valuable to help you release stress and
change your thought patterns. Many Christians swear by spending that
time in prayer. It is important to just be able to let go of things and
television IS NOT the answer for relaxing in order to get healthy sleep.
Another important healthy sleep hab it that will improve your ability
to get healthy sleep is to have a healthy diet and proper exercise.
Being physically active on a regular basis is incredibly important.
While many people use gyms to work out and build their body as well as
get cardiovascular exercise getting outdoors for physical, recreational
activities is invaluable.
The benefits of fresh air and sunshine over the stale air of gyms
should not be dismissed lightly. So, finding time to take an evening
walk even if you have already worked out will serve you well. That
coupled with simple eating practices like not overeating, be warying of
the combinations of foods, as well as your intake of sugar and caffeine
before bedtime will help you get healthy sleep.
a good mattress, proper nutrition and exercise, and listening to soft
music just before sleep, another healthy sleep habit would be the use
therapy. While there is not conclusive research regarding medicinal value
of essential oils,
there is plenty of research on the power aroma as on the mind and the
influence the mind has on your ability to get healthy sleep.
Essential oils allow the aroma of plants to put you at ease and help
you relax. If there are medicinal benefits all the better. Another
product that could be of great benefit for getting healthy sleep is the use of biomagnets.
There are many forms of energy that can exert an influence on humans.
The energy comes from a variety of sources. Magnetism, for example, is
a part of the natural environment for all living things. Modern
civilization have diminished our contact with the Earth’s magnetic
field, and enhanced contact with electrical fields. Magnetic technology
is designed to help counterbalance this effect.
One of the leading
biomagnetic companies in the world, Nikken, calls this Magnetic
Equalizing Technology, as an aligning or normalizing factor to help
produce conditions that more closely correspond to nature. Use
of biomagnetic technology gives incredible results in sleep and pain
management. If you want to get consisten healthy sleep you may want to investigate this technology.