Great sleep is a matter of correct lifestyle. How to Obtain Restorative Sleep

How to Obtain
Restorative Sleep

Getting a good night's sleep is possible, at any age.

Obtaining Restorative Sleep

Obtaining restorative sleep can be as simple as looking outside your front door, twice a day.

Take a close look at the task at hand, shown in the graph immediately below to the right.

The most valuable period of sleep each night occurs during approximately the first three hours. This is true no matter if you go to sleep at 9 or 11 at night. This is your nightly period of restorative deep sleep. Disruptions experienced during the night degrade the quality of your sleep. Taking bathroom breaks are NOT necessary for a sleep disruption to occur. All that is required is obtaining consciousness, or waking up, no matter how briefly. You are making good progress towards a great night's sleep when you do not wake up, during the first 3 or 4 hours of sleep.

The first 3 hours of sleep is the most valuable

While a good night's sleep is indeed possible for all, with Sleep Therapy, that does NOT mean that you should expect to sleep well, while living an unhealthy lifestyle. The absolutely worst work schedule possible for getting a good night's sleep would be shift-work, followed by working nights. Thus, if you are personally working shift-work, or the graveyard shift, your number one priority should be getting a job where you can be awake during normal daylight hours, and can sleep during the night as nature intended. Night, and especially shift, workers have been shown to experience higher rates of cancer.[1],[2],[3]

Need I say that working for more than 10 hours in a single day is bad for your health, in a direct response to medical hospital interns being forced to work routinely 30+ hours without sleep? Next, living a lifestyle where you constantly jet off to a different time zone every few days would be likewise extremely bad for your personal health.

It is a big mistake to sleep late on the weekends in an effort to make up for poor sleep during the workweek. No matter which day of the week it is, you should always go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time each day, for the best results.

 

How Circadian Rhythm Affects Sleep

In Hollywood fantasies all things are possible, but NOT so in the real world. No matter how the media tries to put a positive spin on an active nightlife, morning people are always going to be healthier than night people are. Furthermore, lifestyle determines if you are a morning person, or not. The reason why morning people are always going to be healthier than night people is very simple. Nature designed it that way. Going back a few million years, primitive man hunted for food in Africa during the daylight hours. Those who intentionally try to buck the natural order created by Mother Nature are doomed to fail.

Transition to the correct healthy lifestyle and you will automatically experience great sleep, every night.

 

Get Your Circadian Rhythm Back in Sync

Give your brain a visual cue when morning has started.

The most important step towards experiencing great sleep each night is getting your circadian rhythm, or biological clock, back in sync with the time zone of your residence.

Upon arising in the morning, at the very least, you should greet each day by looking out of an open door or window, and enjoy the emerging light of dawn. My recommendation is to take a ten-minute walk outdoors every day each morning. The brighter the daylight the better. The importance of bright sunshine cannot be over emphasized. While walking in the rain, or on a overcast day, is a good load bearing exercise, it won't help you to re-sync your circadian rhythm nearly as well as bright light does. Afternoon walks, also, can produce decent results, but the weather conditions ideally should be mostly sunny or better. The more time that you spend each day outdoors in bright sunlight, the better your sleep patterns will be.

Be sure to give your brain a visual cue when it is time to go to sleep.

As your bedtime approaches, dimming indoor lighting an hour or two before going to bed is an effective form of sleep therapy. Looking outside through an open door or window before going to bed helps to give your brain a visual cue that it is indeed night, and time to go to sleep. Just be beware of light pollution, and its negative effects on your health. Taking a quick walk outside around your house in the dark will help even more.

Physically taking walks outdoors provides a kinesthetic experience that is not duplicated by merely looking out a window.


Return to Resilience

How to Obtain Restorative Sleep Comments:

References:

  1. The dark side of light at night: physiological, epidemiological, and ecological consequences.
    Navara KJ, Nelson RJ.
    J Pineal Res. 2007 Oct;43(3):215-24. Review.
    PMID: 17803517
  2. Light pollution, reproductive function and cancer risk.
    Anisimov VN.
    Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2006 Feb-Apr;27(1-2):35-52. Review.
    PMID: 16648818
  3. Lighting for the human circadian clock: recent research indicates that lighting has become a public health issue.
    Pauley SM.
    Med Hypotheses. 2004;63(4):588-96.
    PMID: 15325001


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