Seeking Slumber   

Seeking Slumber

Adequate sleep is an essential ingredient for a healthy life. Top Wellness Health looks at why sleep is an essential vitamin our body craves to he fully energised and how the internal body clock can be retrained to help it get the right quantity and quality of sleep daily.

In modern times, we have become reliant on the alarm clock to 'regulate' our sleep cycle. However, this modern contraption has, in fact, intruded on the delicate and finely regulated process perfected by millions of years of evolution in man - the body clock.

Studies since the 1920s have shown how proper sleep is directly equated to our abilities to learn, retain and produce. In the late 1990s, a research by Dr Robert Stickgold, assistant professor of psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, make international headlines. Dr Stickgold demonstrated that sleep is, in reality, necessary for learning!

Dr Stickgold's research proved that without sleep, we reduce the retention of facts we have learned. While studying nights before an exam may be sufficient for passing an exam, it leaves very little useful traces in long-term memory. However, a simple procedure can improve fact and information retention and it is something we all do on a daily basis: Sleep.

We have to understand that the impact of proper sleep is indispensable for our intellectual development and preservation. Real good sleep is far from mere rest for our minds and bodies to re-energise.

Having enough sleep is as important as keeping ourselves hydrated. Pills and medication alone won't work when we're down with the flu, cold or fever. Doctors often tell us: "Drink lots of water and make sure you rest well". This naturally includes lots of sleep and that is why there are anti-histamines that make us drowsy. We have to sleep the ailment off.

We may not die from lack of sleep. Well ... at least not immediately, but let's be honest, we do get moody and cranky when we don't get enough of it. Hence the term: 'Waking up on the wrong side of the bed'. So how do we make sure we wake up on the right side of the bed every day? Simple Respect the importance of sleep.

Sleep is subjective and takes into consideration a variety of matters for it to be fully realised. Certain individuals can knock off the moment their heads hit the pillow while others toss and turn until the wee hours of the morning to get some shut-eye. Fatigue can help you sleep quickly or keep you awake the whole night.

The bed you sleep in, the person sleeping beside you, the day's activities and what you plan to do the next day ... these are just some of the things that may affect your sleep. Personal body metabolism too determines the type and duration of sleep one needs. Some people naturally need less sleep to function well, but gene rally, everyone needs around eight hours' worth, while others may need up to 12 hours! The amount of sleep needed differs from person to person and a simple way to gauge how much one needs is to see how alert you are after getting up in the morning.
However, sleep that is deep and restful will see you feeling alert and energised. A fitful sleep, even if a full eight hours, will still see you feeling tired, lethargic and listless.

Invented to assist us to get up on time, the alarm clock may have done more harm than good. Very few of us are capable of waking up without an alarm clock. While its functions are useful, there are downsides to the dependency on alarm clocks: Stress and sleep deprivation.

Studies in America shows that over time, waking up to alarm clocks damages memories, disrupts the ability to learn, affects mood and temper, tampers with the ability to focus and dampens overall intellectual performance. The poor sleep patterns created by dependence of alarm clocks naturally affects creative thinking, optimism and a balanced state off well-being.

The reason why alarm clocks do so much harm is that when we set them the night before, we create silent sleep stress in our minds and bodies. The mind worries about getting up at the set time and fears sleeping through the alarm. The loud, nerve wrecking sound of the alarm shocks the system into waking up and basically, sets the mood for the day. Perhaps it isn't the stress that traumatises you on a daily basis. It could very well be that alarm clock on your bedside that determinedly destroys your state of balance without fail each morning.

The human body is a marvellous piece of engineering that continues to evolve into greater perfection. And it even comes equipped with its own body clock that can alert us to a variety of physiological needs as and when required. However, like an unused knife that gets rusty over time, the body clock too gets dulled when not in use, especially with our dependence on modern machines. The good thing is that we can rely on the body clock to quickly bounce back into action once re -trained.

Body clock boot camp training does require a certain amount of discipline and determination but the end result will be genuine sleep that comes knocking at the prescribed hour, deep and restful slumber and the ability of waking up fresh and rested in a peaceful atmosphere instead of the shock to your system that you get each morning courtesy of the alarm clock.

" Even the need to get a good night’s rest can be stressful and keep you wide awake the whole night.


Happy reading,

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