Have you noticed that a common conversation these days has to do with the lack of sleep? I hear it not only personally, but it is on the news and discussed on talk shows. It is a typical complaint in women who have gone through or are going through menopause, but it seems to be a problem for just about every age and both genders as well.
I have spoken about the importance of getting your eight hours of sleep every night in a earlier blog. Sleep is where our bodies grow, repair, heal, and rest. It is how we rejuvenate ourselves to prepare for another day.
Some of the problems in our present time that helps to create our "insomniac" riddled society is the use of computers and television during evening hours. We produce a hormone called "Melatonin" that helps us to sleep. The peek hours of our melatonin production is between 2 and 4 am for those of us who sleep regular hours.
Melatonin is reduced in the day light hours and increased at night during the dark. When we watch television or use a computer late at night, these artificial sources of light will reduce our natural production of melatonin. This is why many of us are not sleeping like we should.
I have found a product called "Tranquil Sleep" that has helped me tremendously with my sleep. I began to have this problem when I went through menopause, but now with the Tranquil Sleep wafers, I sleep like a baby. I am also conscious of having too much television or computer light at night. The combination of these two things has helped me a great deal.
I know many teenagers that have a difficult time getting enough sleep nowadays. Taking into consideration that the artificial light can have a big effect on not sleeping, I do know that many of these teens are on their computers most of the day and into the night. Their melatonin production is obviously low.
Having a "sleep" routine is important too for getting a good nights sleep. What this means is that you do the same things each night to prepare you for sleep. This way your body gets the same message every night before bed. For instance my routine is to take a warm shower, have a cup of chamomile tea, take my melatonin wafers, crawl into a cleanly made bed, and begin to relax.
Within a half of an hour I am sleepy and can hardly keep my eyes open. I love that feeling! I never understood why kids fight that feeling. I welcome it, and always have.
So if you are having trouble getting enough sleep, make sure you have the lights out in time enough for your body to naturally produce the melatonin that you need. Stay of the computer devices, and turn the television off.
Your sleep is so important for your overall health and well being, it is worth taking the time to prepare for it and let it happen.
- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.