REST AND SLEEP -
ESSENTIAL FOR HEALTH
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© December 2015, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Millions of people throughout the world do not get enough rest and sleep. This is a major health problem.
However, most people need 8 to 10 hours of sleep daily for optimum health. They also need to go to bed early – between 8 and 9 PM - because the hours before midnight are best for resting the body.
Nutritional balancing. A complete nutritional balancing program will often solve sleep difficulties, even when nothing else has been effective.
Sleep studies. A study in 2014, cited by Dr. Mercola, found that sleep times in the 21 largest cities in the USA were remarkably similar, ranging from a low of 6.82 hours in Houston, Texas to a high of 6.93 hours in Orlando, Florida. On average, that’s just over 6.8 hours of sleep a night.2
Another study, the 2013 International Bedroom Poll by the National Sleep Foundation, which found, on average, Americans get only 6.5 hours of sleep on weeknights (but report needing 7.25 hours in order to function optimally).3
According to the same Jawbone Activity Tracker Study (2014), the average bedtime for New Yorkers is 11:15 p.m. – and that’s earlier on average than people in some other parts of the nation!
Many people falsely believe that rest and sleep
are a waste of time and energy.
This is the opposite of the truth and may be the most ignored cause of
disease next to bad nutrition.
This article discusses the great need for sleep, the many benefits of sleep, the harm that occurs when one does not get enough rest and sleep, and how to sleep better. Let us examine why each person today needs much more rest and sleep than in past generations.
WHY GET MORE SLEEP?
1. Most people are exhausted. Fatigue is epidemic. Lack of adequate sleep is one cause. Nutritional imbalances are the other important cause, and are discussed in several articles on this website such as Restoring The Body’s Energy System.
Studies by American, British and Australian Traffic Safety Agencies report that 20%-30% of traffic fatalities involve a fatigued driver. If you need coffee, soda pop, chocolate, anger, worry or other stimulants to get going in the morning or keep going, perhaps you are not getting enough sleep.
Prolonged fatigue contributes to nutritional imbalances that may not be so easily undone by just sleeping. However, rest and sleep are still important steps as part of a total nutritional balancing program.
2. All healing requires extra sleep. During the day, one primarily uses the sympathetic autonomic nervous system. It is associated with spending energy and tearing down the body.
This is balanced by the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system, which is associated with rest, nurturing and regeneration of body tissues. This is equally important. The parasympathetic activates primarily when one is resting. One may call it maintenance and repair time.
If you skimp on regenerative activity by not sleeping enough, physical and mental performance suffers, as well as one's work and relationships. Illness develops because there is not enough time to repair damaged tissues in the body.
3. Chronic illness requires extra rest and sleep. If you have any type of health condition, extra rest and sleep are essential to recover or even to maintain your health.
4. Detoxification and rebuilding the body require plenty of rest. Elimination of toxins, an issue for everyone, occurs primarily at night while the body rests. The removal process requires energy and one's energy is finite. If you use most or all of your energy running around all day, and do not sleep enough, you will not detoxify the body well.
5. Most emotional processing occurs during sleep. Often, during the day, thought processes are not completed due to interruptions or other distractions. The mind completes these processes during sleep.
You may notice that problems that seemed difficult are less daunting or even solved after a good night's rest. This can be due to increased energy, but is also due to actual problem-solving that goes on during sleep.
Processing of past traumas and old issues also often take place during the sleep state.
6. Learning. One can actually learn new information at night while resting. This has been amply documented. Sleep learning, as it is called, works well, but requires adequate rest and sleep to occur.
7. Mental processing. This is not exactly the same as learning information, as described above. Mental processing means thinking about ideas, perhaps integrating ideas, discarding some ideas that are not true, and thus changing your attitudes and understanding. It is a very important task of all human beings, and a lot of it can occur during sleep. It is another reason to allow yourself plenty of rest and sleep.
8. Development requires extra rest and sleep. Plenty of rest and sleep are also needed for development. On this website, development refers to a specific process whereby the human body is upgraded, healed and rejuvenated.
This development is of great importance today. It helps assure a long, healthy life and helps one gain wisdom. as well. It is not mentioned in most books because it is rare on planet earth, but it is very real.
This development requires a tremendous amount of extra rest and sleep. I cannot overstate this fact. This is a reason that many so-called “spiritually oriented” people often need extra rest. They often need a nap during the day plus 10 hours or more of sleep, at times.
I encourage all readers to pay attention to this need, rather than object or become angry that you need more rest and sleep. I also encourage you to find jobs and other activities that allow you to nap during the day, even if it is just for 15 minutes or so. For more on this topic, pleas read Sleep And Development on this website.
State work laws in America require a 15-minute break in the morning and again in the afternoon. Although this is hardly enough time, it is a start and anyone in any job should, if possible, take advantage of this rule.
9. Dreaming. Dreaming is another important activity that only occurs during the sleep state. Dreaming is complex and can have various purposes, such as processing past or present events. Even unpleasant dreams, nightmares, premonitions and other phenomena may be important. Retracing during nutritional balancing programs may involve dreams.
If one does not sleep enough, the dreaming process is interrupted or prevented. This always impacts one’s health and one’s development.
In summary, there is no substitute for sleep. Also, sleep is anything but a
waste of time. It is an essential
part of each person’s daily life that can also be a rich time of not only
rejuvenation, but of insights and other healing processes.
WHY SOME PEOPLE CAN GET ALONG ON LITTLE SLEEP AND REST
You may envy those who seem to have lots of energy, yet get by on little sleep. Let go of this envy. Those individuals are either:
Š Burning themselves out. Many of them don't know it, or they know it and don't care, or they care but do not know what to do about it.
Š Using stimulants. Their energy is false. One of these days it will catch up with them and they will become ill. Stimulants are not just items such as sugar, caffeine or amphetamines. They include factors such as too much worry, fears, anger and other emotional factors that definitely stimulate the body.
Š Illness or certain biochemical imbalances. Many who do not sleep much are either very toxic with copper and other metals, or have various other physical imbalances such as biounavailable or deficient calcium that prevent them from resting adequately. They have gotten used to this, and can function quite well. However, it is not normal and it is certainly not healthful. They are not really rested when they wake up in the morning. In fact, they are just driven, often by toxins in the body or other imbalances.
Š Energy vampires. Some people get by with less sleep because they know how to steal energy from others. This is called energy vampirism, and it is very real. For more about this subject, please read Energy Vampirism on this site.
When to go to bed. I recommend going to bed between eight and nine PM every night. The hours before midnight are far more valuable for rejuvenation than those after midnight. Some say they are two or three times more useful for healing the body and mind.
The hours after midnight are less conducive because the energy of the earth has shifted and the new day is starting. This brings a crescendo of solar energy that can tend to cause lighter sleep in many people.
Another reason for this has to do with what are called the organ cycle in Chinese medicine. At different times of day, different organs are active. Between 7 PM and 9 PM is a quieter time and an excellent time to go to bed. Later than this, the body may become more active, and getting to bed may become more difficult for some people.
How Long To Sleep. Most people need at least eight, and often up to ten hours of sleep every night. However, certain factors can modify this:
1. Many people have a ‘sleep deficit’. That is, they will require much more rest at first, for up to several years, when they begin a nutritional balancing program. This is especially true for anyone who is ill. They may require 12 hours of sleep daily for a few months or longer. Most of this can come from resting at night, while napping is also excellent.
2. To obtain a full 8 or 9 hours of sleep, most people need to set aside another half hour to an hour in bed.
3. Try not to make exceptions to these rules for holidays, weekend parties or anything else. If one parties late at night, then at least sleep late in the next day, although going to bed early each night is a key to having excellent energy.
Children and teens need more sleep. Children and especially adolescents need 11 or even more rest and sleep! Ideally, there should be no exceptions for sleepovers, camping trips, late movies, or other distractions.
I realize this may be difficult, so do your best as a parent to guide children with this. If a child is up late one night, be sure he or she can sleep in and that the next night the child goes to bed very early.
College-age students are the most slee-deprived. This is due to late night studies and classes, parties, outings, and other distractions at this age. Young people also have more natural hormonal activity, so they seem to “get away with it”. However, it causes illness, in all cases.
Sleeping Positions. The best position for sleeping is on your back without a pillow. If you prefer a pillow, it should be soft enough so that your spine remains fairly straight. Also, the pillow should not cut off your air supply in any way.
Also, the pillow case needs to be cleaned often, as otherwise you will be breathing lots of dust, bacteria from your scalp and other debris all night.
If possible, sleep with your legs and arms straight and slightly out to the sides. This prevents you from crossing your own energy field with your arms or legs.
Sleep with your head toward the pole. Ideally, if you live in the northern hemisphere, sleep with your head to the North, more or less, and legs facing to the South or West if possible. If you live in the southern hemisphere, sleep with your head facing South.
The reason is there is a flow of subtle energy from the poles to the equator of the earth. When you align with it, you move energy downward from the head to the feet, which is extremely health-producing. For much more on this subject, please read Down Energy And Healing on this site.
Mattresses. Avoid sleeping on very soft mattresses that distort your posture. A firmer mattress is often better.
Memory foam mattresses are very good, as are some conventional beds and some air beds. I do not recommend water beds, although some people like them. I don't think it is ideal to be sleeping on water. Some mattresses are smelly when new and contain toxic fire retardants, so check on this.
I do not recommend magnetic mattress pads. Most help for a while. However, prolonged use usually is not helpful and may be harmful. A lot of 'magnetic deficiency syndrome' is caused by iron and other ferrous metal toxicity in the body.
Pillows. If possible, skip pillows if you sleep on your back. If you must use a pillow, use a new one and keep them very clean. Place them in the washing machine or replace them when become dirty. A pillow should not cause neck strain.
POOR EXCUSES FOR NOT SLEEPING
I hear many excuses why more sleep is impossible. Here are some common ones:
1. I don't have time. If this is really the case, then it is
time to restructure your life.
Schedule naps, nap with your children after lunch or even after all
meals, get help so that you are freed up, take on fewer projects or otherwise
This may mean your house is not quite as clean, or perhaps you will not volunteer at church. However, making such changes can save your life.
In Western culture, to simply put your feet up or lie down and rest in the afternoon is difficult for many people. Resting more makes some people feel guilty, lazy or unproductive. Let these feelings go!
These problems are the worst if you identify yourself with what you do, instead of with who you are. Although perhaps it is not obvious, you affect others much more by whom you are than by what you do.
For example, if you work for peace but are full of anxiety and tension inside, you will radiate the vibration of stress and anxiety, the opposite of peace. If you are good to others, but not good to yourself by resting enough, you radiate the non-respectful vibration, although this can be very subtle.
Many people remain busy and active because they are afraid or uncomfortable resting and relaxing. One may busy oneself with the problems of others, because in a resting state, one is faced with one’s own life, and one’s own concerns. A key to learning to rest more is to be at peace and fully accepting and loving of yourself. Otherwise, resting more may bring up vague feelings of anxiety or even panicky feelings.
In order to slow down, know that these feelings may come up and do not let them get in the way of your rest periods.
2. Sleep is a waste of time. I hope I have explained why this is not so. Plenty of sleep is an absolute necessity.
3. I could sleep for days and sleeping more doesn't make me feel better, so why bother. Most likely your body chemistry is out of balance. Correction may be simple, but usually it is not. It often requires a nutritional balancing program for a year or perhaps several years.
Ninety percent of people have exhausted adrenal glands, and many have sluggish thyroid gland activity. These can make one very tired. The answer is not to take replacement hormones, but to rebuild the glands with a nutritional balancing program. This is not that hard to do, although most doctors, even holistic doctors, don’t know how to assist you to do it, so they recommend replacement hormones – a very inferior answer. However, not sleeping will only make the problem worse.
4. I don’t want to miss my favorite television programs, movies, or parties. It is possible to leave parties early, schedule parties and movies earlier, and record late television programs.
5. I can't go to sleep earlier. If I do, I'll be up at 3 AM. This is a common excuse. The section below regarding sleep difficulties may be helpful. Many people are stimulated by toxic substances in the body that prevent them from relaxing thoroughly. Blood sugar imbalances and other problems may also prevent one from sleeping through the night.
6. I have loads of energy. Rarely, this is real energy. Most often, however, people who say this are out of touch or using stimulants that irritate the nervous system. The energy is nervous energy, and it won’t last for too long. You might as well slow down now, before complete burnout occurs.
7. I just love staying up. Many people are night owls. They enjoy the peaceful feeling at night when activities slow down. It is a pleasure for many sensitive souls. Sometimes creative work is easier to do at night.
However, depriving yourself of sleep is not the answer. You may need to live in a quieter environment so you can experience peace during the day. Otherwise, arrange your schedule so that if you stay up, you can sleep in the morning or nap so you get enough sleep. Ideally, go to bed very early and get up early when the world is still peaceful and quiet to experience the peace you need.
FOUR STAGES OR ASPECTS OF SLEEPING
Sleeping actually involves at least four aspects of human physiology. These are:
1. Rest. The body simply rests. This is extremely important for a number of hours each day. Otherwise, the body literally can wear out sooner. Rest is the time the body begins to regenerate itself.
2. Muscle relaxation. Although this is similar to rest, it is listed separately because it is somewhat different. The muscles require a special type of rest that is somewhat unique. Just putting your feet up on the couch or in bed is excellent to relax most of the musculature of the body, another necessary aspect of rest and sleep.
3. Dreaming and rebuilding the body. This aspect of rest requires that the conscious mind be put aside for a time.
4. Processing and learning. This can be further divided into many aspects that are more esoteric. Most people travel out of the physical body in what is called the finer body. They literally learn study, teach, heal, assist others and may have other experiences during the sleep state.
RELAXING VERSUS DRUGGING YOURSELF TO GO TO SLEEP
A lot of people believe they must drug themselves to go to sleep. They may use sleeping pills for this, but other ways to drug yourself to sleep are:
1. Eating late at night.
2. Using sedative herbs.
3. Staying up late until you are exhausted.
4. Exercising until you are exhausted in order to sleep.
These methods are not ideal. It is better to relax to go to sleep. Some of the suggestions below can help you to do this.
PART III. HANDLING SLEEP DIFFICULTIES
Sleep problems can be related to diet, lifestyle, the sleeping environment, biochemical imbalances, one’s temperament and other factors. Here are suggestions for improving your sleep:
1. Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet. Install black velour fabric or other light-blocking material behind curtains, or use other methods so your sleeping area is very dark, and preferably very quiet as well.
2. Eat dinner early. Eating late may leave undigested food in the stomach that interferes with sleep, especially if the food quantity is excessive or you have gas or other symptoms of indigestion.
3. Before bed, try to dissipate harmful or stray energies that we all pick up during the day. Possible ways to do this are:
- Take a quick shower just before bedtime. Do not take a bath every night, as many people do. This can cause you to absorb too many toxins in the bath water, and it is quite yin, as well, in macrobiotic terminology. A quick shower is best for this purpose.
- Get in a near infrared lamp sauna for at least 10-15 minutes. Other saunas are not as good, but might work, too.
- Go out in the sun for several minutes after using the computer or television. Do this also if you feel uncomfortable after being with a person whom you know is ill or has a ‘difficult’ personality.
Shine a reddish heat lamp on your abdomen for 10 minutes or more before going
4. Avoid sweets, juices or chocolate, especially at night. Sugar upsets body chemistry and may cause one to toss and turn or to get up hungry in the middle of the night.
5. Avoid stimulants, particularly in the evening. Stimulants just whip your body. They always result in more tiredness eventually. These include coffee, tea, caffeinated soft drinks, chocolate and sugar in any form. More subtle stimulants include anger, hatred, resentment, worry and fearfulness. Remember this next time you listen to the news or watch a violent movie.
6. Reduce mental activity in the evening. If you have trouble sleeping, it is wise to forgo intense intellectual effort at night. Relax, do light reading or other activities that do not overstimulate the mind.
For example, you may need to turn off the computer at 6 PM, and only read or watch programs that are relaxing or engage in social activities after this time. Also, decide you will not initiate or take phone calls after 6 PM, since this can easily stimulate a person and keep one awake.
7. Avoid vigorous exercise in the evening. Better to exercise in the morning or during the day. In the evening , limit exercise to perhaps a gentle walk, an excellent way to end the day.
8. Do some spiritual reading before bed each night, rather than watch the nightly news or a movie. This can make quite a difference for some people. It is relaxing, uplifting, and can help one to have a sense of peace and tranquility.
9. When you go to bed, be sure you are warm enough, but not hot. This includes your feet. Wear socks if needed, or heat your feet with a heater. A warm bath or sauna before bed can also be excellent.
10. Drink more earlier in the day. Drink water in the morning and less after 6 PM so you are not having to get up many times to urinate at night. Getting up at night is okay. For some people, however, it can disturb sleep if you do not fall asleep easily.
11. Some ventilation and movement of air is often helpful for sleeping. This might mean running a ceiling fan or opening a window a small amount.
12. Let go of physical tension in the body. Methods that can be used include ten minutes of slow, deep breathing, or gentle stretching in the evening. The spinal twist exercise is very good when going to sleep to relax the body.
13. Foot reflexology is superb to relax before bed. This is excellent to calm the nerves and help restore the natural energy flow in the acupuncture meridians of the body.
Rub both entire feet, for at least five to ten minutes each. Be sure to include rubbing all the toes, the top of the foot, the heel and a little ways up the legs. Pay more attention to any area that is tender or painful. “Popping” the toes by pushing them down, and twisting the toes gently are also very good.
A reflexology sleep point. A reflex point on the soft area about the middle of the bottom of the large toe, slightly nearer the inside of the toe next to the second toe, appears to be specific for assisting sleep and rest.
14. Use a chi machine just before bed. This is a box that sits on the floor and you place your ankles in cradles on top of the box. When activated, the machine gently moves your legs back and forth, relaxing the spine and the entire body. These are not too expensive, as a simple one usually works just fine and cost about $120.00 new.
15. Do your best to let go of fears and worry at bedtime. This may be why spiritual reading is so helpful for some people. A simple affirmation might even be enough, particularly if repeated for a while so it becomes part of your lifestyle. It could be something like "This day is complete. I now release all worries and concerns to the holy spirit or the higher self and I rest peacefully. I release this day."
16. When traveling, many people sleep better by bringing their own pillow and even their own sheets or sleep pack if you are not sure how clean the sheets will be. Also bring earplugs, which are great all the time if you need them, and an eye covering device to make sure the room is dark enough.
17. Ear plugs. These are often helpful, especially in noisy environments, when traveling, or when sleeping with a partner. The foam rubber type are fine, but not nearly as good as the silicone type. They cost more, but block more sound.
18. Separate beds for partners can be a helpful idea, though it sounds horribly unromantic to some. It is better energetically for many people. It also helps assure that a partner’s visits to the bathroom, or just random tossing and turning, will not wake you up.
19. Avoid becoming overtired. When one is overtired, the adrenal glands are overstimulated. In this case, one may need to “unwind” before going to bed.
This is one of the most important reasons to go to bed early. If you stay up late, the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal glands may tend to keep you awake by secreting hormones.
20. If possible, don’t get out of bed until about 7 AM. The adrenal glands become active about 5 AM. Many people awaken at this time and want to get going. However, this prevents the adrenals from resting more.
It is best to go back to sleep, if possible, or just lie awake and meditate, for example, and get up after 7 AM, when the adrenals are less active. One may feel more tired at first, but it will help rest the adrenals.
21. Turn off electronic appliances, or at least sleep 8-10 feet away from wifi, cell phones, TV sets, computers and all other sources of EMF (electromagnetic fields). If at all possible, turn these devices off and do not keep alarm clocks right next to your head. Battery powered devices are not as much of a problem, however, if you need an alarm clock.
If you are very sensitive to electronic emissions, know that even turning off some electrical equipment is not always enough. Some radios, boom boxes, tape decks and more have transformers that stay on even if the device is off. These will disturb sensitive individuals and are not healthful for anyone during sleep.
Wifi should not be near your bed. Move the router, modem and other components to other parts of the house or apartment.
House wiring. In some cases, sleep will improve radically if you make sure the electric power is off in your bedroom. This is because even the wiring in the wall gives off EMF and RF frequencies. It is more work to install a special switch or circuit breaker, but I know people for whom it has made a lot of difference in their rest.
22. In a few cases, reduce your salt intake, but only if you are eating a lot of salt. Even good quality sea salt can be somewhat stimulating for some people. Avoid all table salt, which is a junk food. Especially if eaten late at night, it can possibly be a stimulant that interferes with sleep.
23. Natural Sleep Remedies.
A. Calcium and magnesium during the day to assist sleep. Several clients have reported that taking more calcium and magnesium during the day, not just before bed, helps them sleep better. Most likely, the reason is it keeps the nervous system calmer all day and avoids one becoming as overtired or overstimulated. The amount to take is usually about 250-500 mg of calcium and about 150-300 mg of magnesium three times a day with meals.
During the night, if you cannot sleep, you can take a little more calcium and magnesium. For the fastest action, chew your supplement or use a liquid calcium/magnesium supplement. Beware that excessive magnesium is laxative for some people. Also, too much calcium and magnesium is not helpful for long-term use unless you are guided by a professional.
B. Chamomile tea. One of the best is a cup of strong, freshly brewed, organic chamomile tea. You can also try valerian root tea or Sleepytime tea available at health food stores.
These are excellent because they do not interfere with body chemistry to any significant degree. For this reason, they can be used safely at any time.
C. Milk near bedtime. An old sleep remedy is a small cup of warm milk. Milk is high in tryptophan and calcium. This works well for many people and does not harm the body, as can the sleep-inducing drugs. L-tryptophan or its precursor, 5-htp, may also be used by themselves. These are safe and help some people.
D. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. It definitely helps sleep in some people, and it seems to be harmless when used correctly.
E. Others. Other sedative products include choline, inositol, L-threonine, and sedative herbs such as hops, passionflower and others.
F. Somewhat Less Recommended Sleep Remedies. Copper toxicity is a very common cause for sleep difficulties. Symptoms also include headaches, acne, rashes, premenstrual tension in young women and emotional ups and downs.
If you suspect copper toxicity, which is discussed in another
article, you may try a symptomatic approach, taking up to 30 mg of zinc, up to
200 mg of vitamin B6 with the evening meal or possibly before bed, and more in
the middle of the night if needed.
To get rid of copper toxicity also requires a complete nutrition program to strengthen the adrenal glands and address other possible causes of copper toxicity.
Avoid Chinese patent herbal remedies such as An Shui Wan and Worry Free, Sleep Easy (Shui de An). Chinese herbs can contain toxic metals, even the best brands, in my experience.
24. Hydrotherapy. An older method I have used is to stand in the back of a shower and allow cold water to run just on the legs and feet. The water must be quite cold. Wear a night shirt, if needed, to keep warm. This procedure draws the blood down from the head to the feet very effectively.
To make it even more powerful, do not dry your legs. Get into bed with them wet, as it will keep working once you are in bed.
25. Empty the bladder and bowels. This may be obvious, but having a full bladder or even a full colon can interfere with sleep.
26. Listen to a boring lecture or other boring
CD or tape. This can be surprisingly good, and much better than
listening to music or watching a movie, at times.
27. Drug therapy for sleep is not usually needed if all the above is used. Only consider it if you are doing all the above suggestions to no avail.
In a few rare cases, sleep is so important that a sleeping pill can be helpful until your body chemistry is corrected so your body will relax enough to rest. Do not take sleeping pills any longer than absolutely needed. The following was excerpted from an article at www.Mercola.com:
A startling study in 20128 revealed that people who take sleeping pills are not only at higher risk for certain cancers (35 percent higher), but they are also nearly four times as likely to die as people who don't take them. The list of health risks from sleeping pills is growing all the time, including the following:
• Higher risk of death, including from accidents
• Increased risk of cancer
• Increased insulin resistance, food cravings, weight gain and diabetes
• Complete amnesia, even from events that occurred during the day
• Depression, confusion, disorientation, and hallucinations
Studies recently submitted to the FDA revealed that blood levels of zolpidem (found in Ambien and other sleeping pills) above 50 ng/mL may impair your driving to a degree that increases the risk of an accident, especially among women. As a result, FDA recommended manufacturers cut the dosage of zolpidem from 10mg to 5mg for immediate-release products (Ambien, Edluar, and Zolpimist) and from 12.5 mg to 6.25 mg for extended-release products (Ambien CR).9
Are You Sleep-Tweeting?
Aside from increasing your risk for premature death, by taking sleeping pills, you may be in for some extremely awkward experiences. Sleeping pills can cause a variety of strange behavioral reactions10 that are not only bizarre but also potentially risky—and at the very least embarrassing. The following are being reported with increasing frequency:
• Sleep eating (including bizarre things like buttered cigarettes, salt sandwiches, or raw bacon)
• Sleep-sex or “sexsomnia” (sexual acts carried out in your sleep)
• Sleep-texting or sleep-tweeting
These behaviors, called “parasomnias,” are more common when you are stressed or sleep-deprived, but can also be triggered by certain medications, such as sedatives and hypnotics. Reports of “sleep-texting” are on the rise.11 Users are shocked to find messages they have no memory of sending—some of which are total gibberish. If this happens to you, you may want to hide your smart phone from yourself when you go to bed at night and avoid the use of sleeping pills, which may trigger a social media nightmare.
“JUNK SLEEP” THREATENING TEENAGER’S HEALTH
Electronic gadgets have overtaken many teenagers’ bedrooms, damaging their health due to lack of sleep, according to a British survey.
The Sleep Council warns that “junk sleep” could rival the unhealthy junk food craze as a major lifestyle issue for parents of teenage children.
Their poll of 1,000 teenagers between the ages of 12 to 16 revealed that 30 percent got only four to seven hours of sleep. And almost 25 percent said they fell asleep while watching TV, listening to music, or using some other electronic gadget.
About 40 percent said they felt tired each day, and some 20 percent of the boys admitted their quality of sleep was affected by leaving their TV or computer on. However, only 11 percent said they were bothered by the lack of quantity, or quality, of sleep.
Dr. Chris Idzikowski with the Edinburgh Sleep Centre stated, “What we are seeing is the emergence of Junk Sleep – that is sleep that is of neither the length nor quality that it should be in order to feed the brain with the rest it needs to perform properly at school.”
OTHER SLEEP ISSUES
If afternoon naps interfere with nighttime sleeping. This happens, at times. It is due to low vitality in some cases. The person is somewhat delicate and the nap upsets the normal rhythm. Often, as health improves, this problem disappears by itself.
In some cases, a person may, by taking an afternoon nap, upset their body chemical patterns enough to begin eliminating a stored stimulant such as caffeine, cadmium from cigarette or marijuana smoke or something else. Releasing this chemical into the blood could also interfere with sleep later in the evening.
Random sleep habits. Some people do remarkably well with a random sleep schedule. It is often necessary in occupations such as a commercial airline pilot. However, as a general rule, the more similar the sleep schedule each day, the better.
Night work shifts. This is often difficult on many people. If one is not feeling well on this schedule, do whatever you can to change it to a regular day shift, even a late shift.
INSOMNIA DURING A NUTRITIONAL BALANCING PROGRAM
This happens, at times. Here is what to do:
1. First check whether your program needs to be changed. This is a common cause of insomnia on the program. Please ask your nutritional balancing consultant to have me check this.
2. Be sure you are following the program correctly.
3. Copper elimination, in particular, can cause insomnia. In this case, it will pass. However, ask for help, please, and sometimes we can identify a cause and suggest help.
1. Do not panic. Nap the next day if at all possible.
2. During the night, do your best to rest at night lying down. If sleep is impossible, listen to quiet music, an instructional CD, the radio or other quiet activity.
3. You may do a coffee enema at night, even in the middle of the night if you have a headache or other toxic symptoms. I have often been able to fall back asleep afterwards. Perhaps use a little less coffee at night.
4. You may also use a sauna in the middle of the night, and it may help move a toxic reaction along faster or stop pain so you can sleep.
Apartments and Condominiums. Dwellings such as apartments and condominiums are hard to insulate as well as houses, though it can be done. If you live in one, try to be sure you are not sleeping against a wall that has a large TV set or even a computer on the other side. This applies to a regular home as well.
Apartment type dwellings also have more electronic fields due to more people in them. The best is often an end unit on either the first or the highest floors. Get to know your neighbors and ask them to turn off the TV and computers and other electronic gadgets early if possible in the evening so you can go to bed early in a peaceful electronic environment. Houses are preferable to apartments and condos, in part for this reason.
Snoring. This can and does interfere with one’s sleep, not just your partner’s sleep. Snoring occurs usually when the tongue blocks the airway a little.
Many methods can help overcome snoring. Nasal strips often work well by opening up the nostrils a bit. Plastic strips are also sold that go inside the nose and may be more comfortable.
Special physical exercises are also available that may help snoring. These are available through the intenet. It is worth taking care of snoring in some bad cases, as it can lead to or indicate sleep apnea. Losing weight helps some people stop snoring.
Hot flashes that keep one awake. Some women at or near the menopause experience hot flashes at night that keep them awake. For safe, simple ways to deal with this problem that often work well, without the need for drugs or natural hormones, read the article entitled Menopause.
Sleeping with an ozonator/ionizer air purifier. This is recommended highly. It adds a little oxygen to the air, which everyone needs today. The machines are offered by Better Living or Eco-Quest, and perhaps by other manufacturers. All are acceptable, as far as I know as long as they have an ozonator and an ionizer in them. For more on how to acquire one of these machines inexpensively, click here.
Place the machine in the bedroom, preferably high off the floor on a book shelf. Set the ozone production to about half way. Full power is too much and will irritate the lungs. Close the bedroom door most of the way, ideally, to keep the ozone in the room.
Do not be afraid of ozone – it is not harmful when used correctly. Adding a little more even in a polluted city with a higher natural ozone level should be okay for most people, especially if one eats well and drinks some carrot juice that is high in vitamins C and E, the antioxidants.
SLEEP AND YIN AND YANG
Sleep is actually a yin activity, but it has a yang effect of rejuvenating the body. The prone position is yin, and for this reason, I do not recommend staying in bed for more than 10 hours at a time.
Some people do not rest well, though they may sleep. One cause is sleep apnea. With this condition, one stops breathing periodically during sleep. The usual cause is the tongue slips back into the throat, blocking the air flow.
Detection of sleep apnea. Sometimes a partner will just notice that you stop breathing at times. However, the other way the problem is identified is to go to a sleep clinic. These are available in many locations. One goes to sleep at the clinic and cameras observe one’s breathing and movement during the night.
Correction. The common medical treatment is to wear a face mask connected to a machine that pumps air into the mouth and nose. It is called a continuous positive air pressure machine or CPAP machine.
Instead of this machine, which is somewhat costly and inconvenient, some doctors just recommend a splint in the mouth that keeps the tongue positioned correctly. Also, a complete nutritional balancing program, especially losing weight, if needed, may correct the entire condition.
HAIR MINERAL PATTERNS OF INSOMNIA
Hair analysis often tells us who has insomnia or a tendency for it. Here are the patterns most associated with insomnia:
Copper Imbalance. Copper causes the mind to race and enhances emotions, both of which interfere with sleep. The hair copper level is often normal or even low. Many people, however, have what is called hidden copper imbalance. Assuming the hair test is performed correctly, which means the hair is not washed at the lab, indicators for copper imbalance include:
Š Copper greater than about 2 mg% or less than 0.9 mg%.
Š Zinc less than about 14 mg%
Š Calcium greater than about 70 mg%
Š Potassium less than about 4 mg%r
Š Mercury greater than about 0.03 mg%
Š Na/K ratio less than about 2 or greater than 10
A fast oxidation rate. This is often associated with low calcium and magnesium, another common hair analysis pattern associated with insomnia.
Four low electrolytes pattern. This is often associated with anxiety, irritability and impaired sleep.
Calcium and/or magnesium deficiencies. A hair calcium level below about 35 mg% or a hair magnesium less than about 4 mg% may indicate deficiencies that often interfere with rest and sleep.
Calcium and magnesium are needed to relax the muscles and the nervous system.
Biounavailable calcium and/or magnesium. A hair calcium level greater than 175 mg%, or perhaps even less, often indicates some degree of biounavailable calcium and perhaps magnesium. This is highly associated with insomnia in many instances because it is functionally the same as a deficiency.
Many other hair analysis imbalances may contribute to insomnia. These include mercury toxicity, other high levels of toxic metals, and an imbalanced sodium/potassium ratio – either too high or too low.
A PERSONAL STORY
I have had a lot of difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, starting around age 30. Copper toxicity was definitely a culprit. I also had a lot of adhesions that made relaxing difficult.
I tried most of the methods in this article. Sometimes one would work better than another. At bedtime, doing the spinal twist, pushing the toes down, and doing some foot reflexology definitely helped relax me. A little exercise during the day also seems to help.
The best herbal remedy I found was one that contained mother of pearl. However, it became unavailable and I have not seen it in 10 years.
I decided I would not waste the time at night. So I would listen to instructional tapes or CDs if I could not sleep, and I would do the pushing down exercise for an hour or two in the middle of the night. Eventually, I would fall asleep, though I was often tired in the morning.
I learned to take naps, not to plan too much during a day, and to go to bed early so that hopefully I could get a few hours of sleep sometime during the night. Only rarely would I get up and work or watch television at night if I could not sleep.
The insomnia problem definitely got better about 10 years ago when my central channel or conception vessel opened. This required at least 15 years on the nutritional balancing program. Now I sleep well, although I still do the spinal twist and rub the feet and pop the toes every evening when I lie down to sleep. To read about opening the central channel, please read The Conception Vessel on this website.
BENEFITS OF INSOMNIA
Some people panic with insomnia. It is not all bad, however. You can do the pushing down exercise, listen to instructional CDs, or some quiet music, breathe deeply and rub your feet. You will not waste the time.
ATTITUDES ABOUT SLEEP
Interestingly, people have very different attitudes about rest and sleep. They include:
1. Love it
2. Hate it. Brings up issues.
3. Waste of time.
4. Excellent use of time.
5. Sexy and fun (usually with a partner)
6. Very boring.
1. Dement, W.C. and Vaughan, C., The Promise of Sleep, Dell Publishing, NY, 1999.
2. Wiley, T.S., Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival. 2001.