REST AND SLEEP - ESSENTIAL FOR HEALTH
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© February 2023, LD 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.
NOTE: 3/12/21. A new sleep remedy that is quite amazing is to place a small bowl containing 3% hydrogen peroxide near your head when you sleep. For details, see the Peroxide Sleep Multiplier section below.
Table Of Contents
How Much To Sleep
The Sleep Position
When To Go To Bed
Children And Teens
Sleeping With Someone Else
Magnetic Mattress Pads
IV. WHY SOME SEEM TO GET ALONG ON LITTLE SLEEP
They are burning out
They are using stimulants
They are energy vampires
V. POOR EXCUSES FOR NOT SLEEPING
Learning And More
VII. HANDLING SLEEP DIFFICULTIES
The Peroxide Sleep Multiplier
Handling Difficulties During A Development Program
Handling Difficulties When One Is Not On A Development Program
Natural Sleep Remedies
“Junk” Sleep Threatens Teenager’s Health
If Afternoon Naps Interfere With Sleep At Night
Random Sleep Schedules
Night Work Shifts
Living In Apartments And Some Condominiums
Hot Flashes That Keep One Awake
Sleeping With An Ozonator/Ionizer Air Purifier
Yin And Yang Related To Sleep
Hair Patterns And Insomnia
Recent Sleep Research
Biphasic And Multiphasic Sleep Patterns
Update: July 2019: A new finding is that taking lecithin helps many people relax. If you are having sleep difficulties, we suggest trying this simple and safe nutritional supplement. One can take up to 12 1200 mg capsules daily or the equivalent in liquid or granule form. For details, read Lecithin.
Millions of people throughout the world do not get enough rest and sleep. This is a major health problem.
A complete development program can help solve sleep difficulties, even when nothing else has been effective. This is because it can remove toxic metals such as copper, and it can correct other imbalances in the body that interfere with normal sleep.
Some do not sleep enough due to insomnia or inability to sleep. Many, however, just like to stay up late and yet they must get up early for work.
Some people are tired all the time, and sleep does not refresh them. They may reduce their sleep time because it doesn’t seem to matter.
Others do not sleep much because they like walking around in a sleepy state all day. This article discusses many aspects of rest and sleep.
How much sleep is best. Most people need 8 to 10 hours of sleep daily for optimum health. However, it is best to break this up into two four-hour periods. These are sleep cycles.
An easy way to do this is to get up once during the night and walk around for 10 minutes. Then go back to sleep. I realize many people do not like this idea, but it is best. If you get up anyway in the middle of the night, do not resent it, as it is best.
The reason is that when one sleeps for more than about four hours at a time, the brain goes into a deeper sleep cycle. This is good for healing, but is a more yin condition in macrobiotic terms that slows development. For details about development, read Introduction To Development on this site.
When you awaken at night, rub your feet and twist your spine in bed. Then get up, go to the bathroom, have a little water, perhaps, and then go back to bed after 10 minutes.
We do not recommend staying in bed much longer than 10 hours at a time because this can have a detrimental effect on some people. It is often best to get up, even if you need more sleep. Take a nap or two later in the day, as needed.
When to go to bed. We recommend that everyone go 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 interferes with sleep, to a degree.
Try not to make exceptions to these rules for holidays, weekend parties, movies, television shows, or anything else. Ideally, start and end the parties early, leave the other ones at an early hour, record the television programs, and go to the early movies or rent them on DVD. These are just good lifestyle habits.
Babies. Babies, at least up to the age of 1 and about 3 months, must sleep with a parent. The parent’s energy field helps protect the baby from negative entities and other problems.
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 sleep-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 with someone else. While it sounds unromantic, married couples usually get the best rest if they sleep in separate beds. Sleeping in the same bed usually causes poorer quality sleep.
It is fine to push two beds together next to one another to be close to your partner. Short naps in the same bed are fine.
Sleeping with your baby. This is okay and excellent for the baby. Another option that works is to place the baby’s crib right next to the mother’s or father’s bed. Placing the crib across the room is not as good.
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.
GETTING INTO THE SLEEP POSITION
The following is a simple way to fall asleep faster and sleep better. The method is to put yourself in a particular position when you want to go to sleep.
To get into the sleep position, do the following:
1. Use the bathroom just before going to bed to empty the bladder. Also, wear comfortable sleep clothing and be sure you are warm enough.
2. Sit on the bed and pull your bed clothing up at the back of your neck. This will assure that the clothing is not tight against the front of your neck.
3. Lie down on your back. Lie with legs extended, knees are straight and near to one another.
4. Check to make sure your clothing does not restrict your movement. If it does, adjust it.
5. Do a basic spinal twist. This means to lift one leg in the air and then swing it over the other leg. Then do the same with the other leg.
6. Pop the toes. Do this by pushing down firmly on the top of the toes, one foot at a time. When you do this, you may hear a distinct popping sound. This is good and relaxes the toes.
7. Then put at least a sheet or blanket over the body. Make sure you cover up your shoulders.
8. Pull the sheet or blanket down, away from your neck, so that it does not touch the neck. If it touches your neck, it may tickle you while you sleep.
9. Put your arms and hands inside the sheet or blanket and bring them to rest at your sides. Do not bend the arms.
10. Turn the palms of your hands so the palms are facing upward. This opens the body a little and helps posture.
Do this each time you lay down to go to sleep.
OTHER SLEEP IDEAS
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, 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 or ether 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.
People have various preferences for mattresses. We don’t recommend mattresses that have a lot of metal springs in them, which are the standard type.
Memory foam mattresses are good. However, they are a little toxic when new, so if you get one, let it outgas for about a week before using it.
If you want something lightweight, use two or three three-inch memory foam mattress toppers on top of each other instead of one thick one. This is also cheaper than most memory foam mattresses.
Some conventional beds and some air beds are also good. We do not recommend water beds, although some people like them. We 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.
Magnetic mattress pads. We 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. These metals will come out of the body with a development program.
1. Most people are exhausted.
2. 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 asleep.
3. Detoxification requires 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.
4. Mental and 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.
5. Learning. One actually learns new information at night while resting. The entity soul flies around and may study at night.
6. Development requires a lot of extra rest and sleep. Development is the goal of all our healing programs. For details, read Sleep And Development and Introduction To Development.
Ideally, find a job or career that allows you to take a short nap every day. This is very helpful for development and healing, as well.
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.
7. 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 development programs may involve dreams.
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.
IV. WHY SOME SEEM TO GET ALONG ON LITTLE SLEEP
You may envy those who seem to have lots of energy, yet get by on little sleep. Please let go of this envy, and don’t try to copy these people. Reasons why some seem to get along on not much sleep are:
1. 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. Some are “driven” by emotions or biochemical imbalances, which is not healthy.
2. Using stimulants. This is common today because people are so tired. Stimulants can include sugar, caffeine, energy drinks, eating too much meat, kombucha tea, vigorous exercise, or taking pills such as amphetamines. Other stimulants are too much worry, fears, or anger.
The problem with using stimulants is that one's energy is false and often delicate. Eventually, one will have a “crash” or become ill.
3. 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.
V. POOR EXCUSES FOR NOT SLEEPING
We hear many excuses why people do not sleep enough. None of the following are valid, so we hope you do not use them:
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 restructure.
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.
2. “Sleep is unproductive.” 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 who you are than by what you do.
For example, if you are good to others, but not good to yourself by resting enough, you will radiate a 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.
3. “Sleep is a waste of time.” We have explained in the section above why this is incorrect. Plenty of sleep is an absolute necessity.
4. “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 development 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 thyroid hormones, but to rebuild the glands with a development program. Not sleeping enough only makes the problem worse.
5. “I don’t want to miss my favorite television programs, movies, and parties.” It is possible to leave parties early, schedule parties and movies earlier, and record late television programs and watch them the next day.
6. “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.
7. “I have loads of energy.” Most often, people who say this are out of touch or somehow stimulating themselves to keep going. In this case, it is nervous energy, and it won’t last for too long. It is better to slow down now rather than experience a crash, which may be more difficult to overcome.
8. “I just love staying up.” Some people are night owls. They enjoy the peaceful feeling at night when activities slow down and others go to bed. Sometimes creative work is easier to do at night.
However, going to bed late or depriving yourself of sleep are not the answer. Go to bed very early and get up early when the world is still peaceful and quiet, in order to experience the peace you need. If that does not work, you may need to live in a quieter environment so you can experience peace during the day.
Sleeping actually involves at least four aspects of human physiology. These are:
1. Rest. This is extremely important to do for a number of hours each day. Otherwise, the body wears out sooner.
2. Muscle relaxation. Although this is similar to rest, it is listed separately because it is somewhat different. The muscles require rest, as well. Even putting your feet up on the couch or in bed is excellent to relax most of the musculature of the body.
3. Dreaming. This unusual human activity requires that the conscious mind be put aside for a time.
4. Processing and learning. This is somewhat complex. Most souls travel out of the physical body during sleep. They learn, teach, heal, assist others and may have other experiences during the sleep state.
VII. HANDLING SLEEP DIFFICULTIES
THE PEROXIDE SLEEP MULTIPLIER
A newer sleep remedy (3/10/21) is to place a bowl containing at least one tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide from the drug store near your head when you sleep. It needs to be just a few inches from your head.
You can place the bowl on a night table near your head or on the bed itself near your head. You can use the same peroxide for days, although it will likely evaporate and you will need to add some more each evening or every other evening.
Don’t allow the peroxide to contact the bed sheets because it will make holes in the sheets. If you spill some on the bed sheets, immediately pour some water on the area, rub the water around, and then let the sheet dry.
To prevent spills, you can soak a washrag with the peroxide. Using a polyester cloth or rag will last longer than a cotton one, since peroxide is somewhat corrosive.
How it works. We are not sure how this method works. It definitely super-oxygenates the brain. Peroxide has many benefits.
You may want to try this method even if you sleep fairly well to see if you sleep even better.
Feedback about this method indicates that peroxide is not just a remedy. It actually enhances, extends or multiplies sleep. This means you get more rest from the same amount of sleep time. Quite amazing!
CAUSES FOR SLEEP DIFFICULTY
Sleep problems can be related to diet, lifestyle, the sleeping environment, biochemical imbalances, one’s temperament, and other factors. I will divide this section into:
1. Handling sleep difficulties during a development program.
2. Handling sleep difficulties if you are not following a development program.
3. Natural Sleep Remedies
1. SLEEP PROBLEMS DURING A DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
During development programs, at times some people complain of sleep difficulties. Reasons this occurs are:
1. A copper elimination can stimulate the brain and cause sleep difficulties.
2. Development can cause lighter sleep. In fact, development proceeds faster if you get up at least once during the night and walk around for a few minutes. Perhaps have a glass of water or use the bathroom. This is perfectly normal.
3. Your development program needs changing because body chemistry has shifted. This can occur at any time.
4. Retracing a trauma or incident may cause strange or fearful dreams.
5. You may just be processing a lot of information during the night. Try to go to bed early so you will have time to obtain enough sleep. Also, take naps during the day if you are tired.
Suggestions for sleep difficulties during a development program:
1. Do the pushing down exercise in bed, as this puts some people to sleep. Also, be sure to twist the spine, and push the toes down until they pop. This will relax the body and can help sleep.
2. Rubbing the feet in bed is also excellent. There is a “sleep point” on the bottom of the big toe, near the middle of the soft toe pad.
3. I find that taking a quick shower if I cannot sleep usually causes me to fall asleep. I am not sure why it works, but it does.
4. 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.
5. You may also get in the sauna in the middle of the night to help fall asleep.
6. Do not panic. Nap the next day if you can to make up for missing sleep at night.
7. Have your consultant ask me to check your program to make sure it is still correct.
8. Be sure you are following the program correctly.
9. A copper eliminations will pass. However, ask for help, please, and sometimes we can identify a cause and suggest help.
10. The suggestions below may also be helpful.
2. HANDLING SLEEP DIFFICULTIES WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE FOLLOWING THE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
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. This is very good! 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 to bed.
4. Avoid sweets, juices, chocolate and alcohol, 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, kombucha tea, 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.
10. Do not ignore drinking water. Dehydration can cause restless leg syndrome, leg cramps, muscle tightness and other things that interfere with sleep.
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.
Rub more in 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 that may help sleep is on the big toe of both feet. It is on the bottom, in the soft area around the middle of the toe.
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.
The prayer could be something like "Thank you for this day. It is complete. I now release all worries and concerns to the Holy Spirit, (or the High Self, or God, or Jesus), and I rest peacefully."
16. Ear plugs. These are helpful for some people who are in noisy environments, when traveling, or when sleeping with a partner. The foam rubber ones are fine, but not as good as the silicone type. They cost more, but block more sound.
17. 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 earplug and blinders to cover your eyes if the room is not dark enough.
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. If this happens, 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 “kick in” and can keep you awake.
20. If possible, turn off electronic devices near where you sleep. Also, sleep at least 10 feet away from wifi routers, cell phones, TV sets, computers and all other sources of EMF (electromagnetic fields).
In general, battery powered devices are not as much of a problem as those that plug in to the wall. However, try keeping them away from you at bedtime as well.
Turning off some electrical equipment is not always enough. Some radios, amplifiers, televisions, boom boxes, and other electronic devices have transformers that stay on even if the device is off. These can disturb sensitive individuals and are not healthful for anyone during sleep.
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.
21. 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.
22. Definitely avoid sugar and alcohol in the evening. These keep some people awake.
23. Hydrotherapy. Taking a brief shower if you wake up at night helps some people fall back asleep. No need to soap up. Just get wet all over and relax a few minutes in the shower.
A more unusual method to help one fall asleep 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.
24. Empty the bladder and bowels. This may be obvious, but having a full bladder or even a full colon can interfere with sleep.
25. 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 before bed. However, if it works better, you can listen to quiet music instead.
26. Experiment with clothing. Some sleep better with less clothing, while others may do better with pajamas.
3. NATURAL SLEEP REMEDIES
Calcium and magnesium. One can take a little more of these an hour before bed. Several clients have also reported that taking more calcium and magnesium during the day, not just before bed, helps them sleep better.
One reason this may work 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 extra of calcium and about 150-300 mg extra 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 supplements or you could use a liquid calcium/magnesium supplement. Beware that excessive magnesium is laxative for some people.
Strong chamomile tea. This is very relaxing. Use 2 teabags and ideally use organically grown chamomile tea.
Valerian root tea. This is also relaxing, although I have not found it as good as chamomile tea. Both are quite safe, however.
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 some people, and is quite safe.
L-tryptophan or 5-htp help some people sleep, and are safe.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. It helps sleep in some people, and it seems to be harmless when used correctly.
Others. Other sedative products include choline, inositol, L-threonine, and sedative herbs such as hops, passionflower and others. ONLY USE SLEEP REMEDIES IF NEEDED. Try not to make them a habit. As you develop, sleep will eventually improve.
Sleep remedies to Avoid. I suggest staying away from 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.
I also do not recommend homeopathic remedies because they are very yin in macrobiotic terminology.
Drugs for sleep are toxic and rarely needed if the suggestions above are followed. They should be used only as a last resort.
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 2012 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 includes:
- 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
- Impaired driving to a degree that increases the risk of an accident, especially for women.
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.
“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.” References:
The Sleep Council Press Release
The Sleep Council Teenage Sleep: Facts, Figures & Tips
Scientific American August 28, 2007
IF AFTERNOON NAPS INTERFERE WITH NIGHTTIME SLEEPING
This happens, at times. It can be due to low vitality. One 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 SCHEDULES
Some people do remarkably well with a random sleep schedule. It is necessary in a few occupations such as flight attendants and commercial airline pilots, for example. However, as a general rule, the more similar the sleep schedule each day, the better.
NIGHT WORK SHIFTS
This is often hard on the body. If one is not feeling well on this schedule, do whatever you can to change it to a regular day shift, even a late day shift.
LIVING IN APARTMENTS AND SOME CONDOMINIUMS
Living in a detached house is usually preferable to living in an apartment or attached dwellings because there is less electromagnetic fields and often less noise in detached dwelling. This can affect one’s sleep.
If you must live in an apartment, try to live in an end unit, with as few people above or below you as possible such as a garden apartment. If possible, get to know your neighbors and ask them to turn off the TV and other electronic gadgets early in the evening, so you can go to bed early in a peaceful electronic environment.
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. Losing weight helps stop some snoring. Nasal strips often work well by opening up the nostrils a bit. Plastic strips and mouth guards are also sold that go inside the nose and mouth.
Special physical exercises are also available that may help snoring. These are available through the intenet.
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 highly recommended. It adds a little oxygen to the air, which everyone needs today. The machines are offered by Atlas and other manufacturers via the internet. 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 or less. 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 is good for most people.
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 more yin. This is the reason I do not recommend staying in bed for more than 10 hours at a time.
HAIR MINERAL PATTERNS OF INSOMNIA
Hair mineral testing can sometimes, but not always, help one understand the reasons for insomnia. Here are mineral patterns that may be associated with insomnia:
Copper Imbalance. Copper causes the mind to race and enhances emotions, both of which interfere with sleep.
When copper is out of balance, the hair copper level may be normal or even low. However, hidden copper imbalances are usually present. Assuming the hair test is performed correctly, which means the hair is not washed at the lab, indicators for copper imbalance include:
· Copper greater than about 2.5 mg% or less than 1 mg%.
· Zinc less than about 14 mg%
· Calcium greater than about 70 mg%
· Potassium less than about 4 mg%
· Mercury greater than about 0.03 mg%
· Na/K ratio less than about 2 or greater than 10
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 closely associated with insomnia, in some instances, because it is functionally the same as a calcium and/or magnesium deficiency.
I used to have 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 and muscle tension that made relaxing difficult. For more on this topic, please read Adhesions.
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. Chamomile tea was often helpful. Taking a quick shower at bedtime and again if I woke up helped.
I decided I would not waste the time at night. So I listened 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 enough 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 a development program. Now I sleep well. I still do the spinal twist, 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.
RECENT SLEEP RESEARCH
The Jawbone Activity Tracker Study (2014) 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
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!
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 development program, especially losing weight, if needed, may correct the entire condition.
As one develops, sleep patterns may change. At some point, one needs less continuous sleep. Some complain that they are up after three or four hours and cannot get back to sleep easily.
Biphasic sleep. This is because there is a need at some point in development for a biphasic sleep pattern. This means two short sleep phases every 24 hours. This is normal and not a problem. It works well, although it is somewhat unusual, at first.
Typically, one goes to bed early, between 8 and 9 PM. One gets up at about 12 to 2 PM for three or four hours and can work, read, clean house or whatever. Then one goes back to sleep around three or four AM for another four hours or a little less.
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.
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