Monday, March 10, 2014

Legally Drunk - due to lack of sleep

How much sleep do we really need? A long asked question that has - after a very long study - been answered... we think.
David Dinges, from the University of Pennsylvania, is a sleep and chronobiology researched. He has been testing large groups of people in the lab to find out what happens to people when they have specific amounts of sleep each night.
Three groups were set up where some slept for 4 hours, 6 hours of 8 hours. And over two weeks the groups had to complete certain tasks designed to measure alertness, mental aptitude etc.
"Every two hours during the day, the researchers tested the subjects’ ability to sustain attention with what’s known as the psychomotor vigilance task, or P.V.T., considered a gold standard of sleepiness measures. During the P.V.T., the men and women sat in front of computer screens for 10-minute periods, pressing the space bar as soon as they saw a flash of numbers at random intervals. Even a half-second response delay suggests a lapse into sleepiness, known as a microsleep." *1
"All told, by the end of two weeks, the six-hour sleepers were as impaired as those who, in another Dinges study, had been sleep-deprived for 24 hours straight — the cognitive equivalent of being legally drunk." *2
So heres the thing. Get more sleep! There is too much research today suggesting that sleep is good (understatement alert) that it makes sense to get to bed early.
The links below lead to more explanatory information and yet the answer to the question: How much sleep do we need? seems to be obvious... lots.

Rest well

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thinking about Sleep - those thoughts really matter.

The thoughts you have about sleep are effecting it!
Have you ever wondered how powerful the effect of your thinking is when it comes to sleep?
How many times have you woken up thinking that your sleep may have been somewhat lacking? And how would you know it was lacking? Because you are remembering the waking up and 'trying' to get back to sleep moments.

Have you considered that the way we look back at our sleep defines how we think about it and depending on how we 'think' we slept, those thoughts will influence the sleep we had. - Was that confusing or what?
Let me put it this way: when we only remember the bad stuff about an event, then those bad memories will influence the way we think about the event, and possibly our decisions about attending such an event again. Sleep is not different and yet very different.

Sleep is different because it is an unconscious state. You don't generally know that you are asleep. So when you look back a how you slept, you can only grade it on the awake moments. The awake moments are the only bits you can remember and they aren't necessarily what you want to remember. By only remembering the 'awake' bits and how you feel/felt about them you are influencing what you believe about your sleep.

I look back and notice that I have thought that I have not slept well because I have woken two or three times in the night. In honesty, I woke for minutes at most and then drifted back to sleep. All I could remember in the morning was the awake bits.

So, change the way you remember sleep and notice that you can acknowledge the times you woke up in a new way. They are moments or minutes within a period of unconscious sleep. Those wakeful moments/minutes were moments when you body needed to readjust or use the toilet. They may have been moments when you subconscious - always aware of sounds at night - was alerted by a shift in sound. This is a sign that your subconscious is doing what it is designed to do... keep you safe.

One more consideration. If, when you wake in the night, you keep the lights low (try not to use lighting) then you mental state will stay in the dreamy, sleep state so that when you return to bed you can rest easily and drift off again.

Rest well

What time to get to bed at night?

Timing is everything!
Ayurveda Pitha Vatha Kapha for a better sleep sooner
Pitha Vatha Kapha
for a Better Sleep Sooner

When it comes to a waking up having had a 'great sleep', so much can depend on timing.

In Ayurveda, an ancient and widely used form of holistic healthcare originating in India, it is believed that aligning ones daily activity with the vibrational movements of nature can lead to a more balanced and healthy life.

In a nutshell, there are three periods to the day, Pitha 10-2(am/pm) Vatha 2-6(am/pm) and Kapha 6-10(am/pm).
Pitta time is the time of the evening when the metabolism is at its highest and in the middle of the night that means it is the best time to be in a deep sleep - so that the body can do what it is designed to do (eliminate, rebalance, heal, detox, etc).

So, to put it simply, getting your head on the pillow before 10pm, especially if sleep is an issue in your life, is the key to dropping into a deep and healthy sleep so that the healing that come from a deep sleep can occur.

Becoming aware of the timing of sleep can have a massive influence on the depth and the power of the sleep that we get. In the end it is all about how we feel during the day.

Ayurveda on wiki:

Not Just for a Sunday

Photo by Aaron McLoughlin “Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment ...