sleepingman

Maureen Minto, Contributor

Do you know that sleep is vital to your health? The Heavenly Father designed that man should get eight hours sleep. We spend about one-third of our lives asleep. This healing sleep is best obtained during the dark part of the day, that is, in the night. Persons may miss an hour or two sleep at nights, which create a sleep debt. Although the individual may not realise his or her need for sleep, this sleep debt can have powerful effects on daytime performance, thinking and mood.

50 per cent of persons who suffer from lack of sleep, insomnia, also experience depression and other psychological disorders such as anxiety, stress or grief. It will make the brain work harder but less effective, decreases one’s ability to concentrate, compromises one’s ability to produce problem-solving ideas, decrease creativity, makes simple task seems difficult, causes memory lapses, loss of energy, fatigue, lethargy, drowsy driving, problems in your relationship and in your workplace.

There are more than 70 known sleep disorders; the most common are: insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome. The majority of persons who suffer from these sleep disorders are unaware of – and have not been diagnosed or treated for – their disorder.

Insomnia, the most prevalent sleep disorder, is characterised by an inability to fall asleep easily or when awakened during the night, finding it difficult to go back to sleep. Primary insomnia is more common in women than men and tends to increase with age. Insomnia may result from a combination of physical or mental disorders and prescription or non-prescription medications.

Modern society, however, requires that services and businesses be available 24 hours a day, so some individuals must work the night shift. This disrupts the sleep-wake cycle, circadian rhythm, which favours irregular eating times that leads to increased metabolic risks for cardio-metabolic syndrome, hypertension, inflammation, overweight and irregular blood sugar concentration, obesity, and may increase the risk of developing cancer and cause death.

Sleep should be cyclic, occurring at the same time every day. Real sleep is delta wave sleep, it is an unconscious sleep. It is also described as dream sleep or a state of being dead to the world. In this state of sleep, your body repairs itself, especially its nervous system. The repair of your nervous system takes place in the last four hours of your eight-hour sleep. For persons who sleep for less than eight hours, this repair is not done and physiologic and neurological diseases develops.

Recommendations

Here are some useful recommendations that can help to produce better sleep:

Eat simple, calming foods such as mashed potatoes, cooked or raw green vegetables – both from land and sea.

Consume a wide variety of foods that are rich in protein and B-vitamins such as nuts, legumes, wheat germ, wheat bran, and nutritional yeast.

Do not smoke or drink alcohol.

Avoid processed or refined foods, including white rice, white flour and sugar.

Avoid meat or foods with preservatives.

Decrease your intake of caffeinated substances such as coffee, tea and cola beverages.

Avoid spicy or fatty foods.

Eat before four o’clock or at the latest before sunset, and this meal should be very light and a small one.

Avoid unnecessary stressful circumstances.

Avoid watching intense TV shows, paying bills, or engaging in other stimulating activities an hour or two before bed.

Avoid certain medication, especially those for cold, anti-depressants, anti-seizure and some high blood pressure medication.

Take deeper breaths daily.

Exercise every day.

Only listen to calm relaxing music.

Take time to pray. Prayer gives you an opportunity to cast all your cares on Him who is more than able to take care of you.

Sleeping pills does not cure insomnia, they temporarily relieve the symptoms, but they can do more harm than good. Researchers say that 50 per cent of people who take sleeping pills on a regular basis actually find that it worsens their insomnia and helps them to develop dependency syndromes.

Persons who take sleeping pills on a regular basis are 50 per cent more likely to have accidents on the road or in the workplace, and are more likely to have suicidal experiences or death. They also contain toxins that can damage the kidney and the liver as well as cause addiction.

Sleep allows the body to conserve energy and other resources; it repairs nerves, muscles and the immune system. Healthy sleep produces healthy skin, mind and body. Dreams come to us while we are asleep, and through dreams and visions, the creator, Yahweh, has warned and saved many nations from impending dangers. Since dreams can have life-changing effect, it is important to resolve anything that will prevent your dreams.

There are herbal treatments that can correct insomnia. It is necessary to take herbal remedies that will strengthen and revitalise the nervous system, reprogramme your body’s clock system, keep the bowels free of toxins, and will provide the body with the needed nutrients for its daily repair. The healthy living nerve and sleep tonic will naturally heal your sleeping disorder. It will revitalise, reprogramme and energise your nervous system and restore healthy normal eight-hour-dream-sleep.

A woman has three basic needs: love, conversation and affection. The quality of your conversation affects the quality of your relationship. A woman loves an excellent conversation. Can you imagine a woman trying to express herself to a man who is always sleepy or too tired to hold a sensible conversation? Remember, too, that a tired man will not perform as well as a man that isn’t tired.

Never forget, healthy living is a lifestyle.

Maureen Minto is the chief naturopathic consultant at the Healthy Living Herbal Clinic and president of the Caribbean Natural Remedies Association. Email: healthylivingjamaica@gmail.com; yourhealth@gleanerjm.com

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