Do you have difficulty getting 7-8 hours unbroken sleep at night? Do you tell yourself that the older you are the less sleep you need? Yes, that is what our parents believed, but science is proving otherwise. Virtually every process in our body can be improved with better quality sleep.
Science is proving that lousy sleep shortens life. Scientists are finding that less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep doubles our risk of cancer. Poor quality sleep is also being linked to Alzheimer’s disease and can fuel cardiovascular problems, resulting in stroke or heart failure. Poor sleep is a contributing factor in obesity, lack of sleep resulting in poor decisions around eating.
Sleep problems are usually categorized as follows:
- difficulty falling sleep, or
- sleeping well for a few hours, waking in the early hours and struggling to get back to sleep.
I definitely fall into the latter. I have just survived a week of getting to bed between 11 and 12 pm every night, yet every morning I still woke between 4 and 5. Towards the end, out of sheer exhaustion, I made it to 5h30!
Science shows that reaching for the sleeping tablet is not a solution. Many of these come with detrimental side-effects, they are addictive and the sleep that they induce is not quality sleep. So what can we do?
Melatonin now requires a prescription in South Africa, but it does help to regulate the day/night cycle in the brain that is disrupted by stress and anxiety.
I also find I sleep better if I reduce my evening meal. A heavy meal leaves me tossing and turning at 3 am. Not always so easy when you want to be social and join friends for a meal.
Another factor is the blue light rays emitted by our cell phones, TVs and laptops. This blue spectrum stimulates the brain and therefore we should turn the gadgets off a couple of hours before bed. Not so easy when you use the TV, Kindle or Facebook to catch up and unwind at the end of the day. There are apps that reduce the blue rays and should be considered if you simply cannot find a way to turn your technology off early in the evening. But definitely, no technology in the bedroom if you have problems sleeping!
I was so excited about the arrival of fibre in my neighbourhood that I did not really consider how they brought it into the house. It was only 6-8 weeks later when I had experienced a gradual worsening of my sleep patterns, till eventually I was sleeping for one hour at a time, and was starting to struggle with memory, that I made the link. I realised they laid the fibre through the ceiling, right across my bedroom. I now turn the router off every night and am sleeping better and the patchy memory is improving. Research is showing that these Electromagnetic Frequencies have a disruptive effect on the human body. You may have heard about those who suffer when cell phone masts are erected near their homes, it is the same thing.
I am noticing how many people of my age and older are saying they struggle with quality sleep. Have you managed to find a solution? If so, please share it here. I yearn to have 7-8 hours of deep sleep on a regular basis.
Just a quick note to tell you that my book will be FREE on amazon for 5 days from Wednesday! If you didn’t manage to get it when it was $1, you take advantage of the free deal this week. Please tell your friends about it , and PLEASE leave a review so I know what you thought about it!