See You Next Year, Summer! Hello, Autumn!

What happens to our sleep patterns when we move from the summer months into autumn? In Europe and North America, this transition has already started as we approach the end of September.

During the summer, sunlight continues into the evening hours and the feeling of night feels delayed. That’s why it may be so difficult to get children to sleep at their regular bedtimes during the summer months! As daylight hours shorten, it may become easier to get the small ones to sleep but actually harder for adults to get their needed rest. The reason for this is our exposure to vitamin D decreases in the autumn months.

Our bodies actually manufacture vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is important in the production of melatonin, which helps us regulate our circadian rhythms and promotes restful sleep. During the autumn months, there are fewer sunlit hours so our bodies may produce less melatonin. One way to overcome this possible shortage is to make sure to spend time outside, even as the weather cools down. In other words, make sure to get sun exposure!

Depending on personal preferences, some people may find it difficult to exercise when summer heat is at its highest. Autumn may well be the perfect outdoor climate for those who stayed in air-conditioned rooms all summer long! Getting a good dose of outdoor exercise—even in cloudy weather—helps obtain the sun exposure (you can get sunburned even when it’s cloudy!) and the sleep benefits that come along with a well worked-out body. And, exercise is known to decrease anxiety and stress, all of which help promote a good night’s sleep.

One proviso about exercise is not to work out too close to your bedtime. When you exercise, your body is revved up. If you do that right before you go to bed, it might take longer to fall asleep, because your body will need to calm down. In order to get the most sleep-boosting benefits, aim to workout at least three to six hours before you plan to go to sleep.1

When we transition into autumn, just as some people will find it harder to get restful sleep, there are others who might actually find it hard to stay awake until it’s their actual bedtime. This is again related to light exposure. Falling asleep too early can also disrupt the natural circadian rhythm and lead to an exhausting day; therefore, staying in brightly lit rooms up to two hours before bedtime is recommended. This helps to keep the brain alert until it’s the correct time to start winding down.2

Depending on your sleep habits—whether you sleep with the window open or use centralized air conditioning or heating—moving from summer into autumn may be the ideal time to change your bedding. You may opt for flannel sheets instead of lighter cotton and you may choose a warmer comforter for autumn. It all has to do with temperature control, and you are the best judge of what helps you sleep best.

Our immune systems are more fragile during seasonal transitions, especially since we are exposed to colds and flu at this time of year. We need good restful sleep to keep the immune system functioning optimally. So, if you can’t get the best sleep at night, try for a “power nap” during the day. Even 20 minutes can be helpful for staying in a state of Active Wellness.

No matter what season we are in, Kenko Sleep Technology is the Nikken way to help you sleep like a baby. We just added the Kenko Naturest® Makura to our line of sleep products and rave reviews are coming in. Try this layered ergonomic pillow with three types of sleep technology—pair it with a Kenko Naturest® Fit and add a Kenko Dream or Dream Light Comforter for sweet dreams. And don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day to get 30% off the KenkoAir Purifier®, HEPA filtration to help you breathe fresh air all day and all night long!

1 https://blog.fitbit.com/transition-sleep-routine/

2 https://www.wellandgood.com/change-in-seasons-affects-sleep/

To Sleep Well You Need to Breathe Well

To ensure good sleep, we tend to think about the comfort of our mattresses and pillows, room temperature and keeping the environment dark. According to sleep specialist and neuroscientist Dr. Chelsie Rohrscheib, breathing properly is essential for staying healthy and getting proper sleep.1

She says, “Poor air quality can increase your risk of developing allergies and certain diseases such as asthma, or respiratory infections such as colds, the flu, bronchitis, COVID-19 and pneumonia. People with proper breathing experience deeper, more refreshing sleep, are able to fall asleep faster, and are less likely to experience nighttime awakenings. If air quality is low, and breathing is poor, you may wake up several times per night. This can keep you from entering the deepest, most refreshing stages of sleep, leaving you feeling tired the next day.” 2

Scientists have noted that our brains function better when it receives an abundance of oxygen. The brain does not shut down when we are sleeping but continues to process information, so it still requires lots of breathable air even when the body is resting. Since the brain uses about 25% of total oxygen intake, supplying it with enough good air is crucial for health, not only during sleep but all day long.

One of the easiest ways to improve air quality is to allow fresh air to circulate through the bedroom. This increases oxygen levels in your blood, which then increases the overall quality of sleep. That’s why many sleep experts recommend keeping the windows open to let in outside air to boost ventilation.

Just as fresh air boosts the brain’s performance, stagnant air has an adverse effect. The brain will wake us up to force us to take deeper breaths to clear out carbon dioxide and get the oxygen it needs. The fresher and cleaner the air, the deeper the sleep because the brain does not need to work hard to get the oxygen it needs. Proper hydration and nutrition can also help improve oxygen levels.

On the other hand, people with allergies should be careful with open windows during spring and summer months, when plant pollen is at its highest level. There’s also the risk that outside air quality could be worse than inside your home—if you live in an area with high pollen counts or busy traffic.

With global conditions in today’s environment, using an air purifier is a good idea, no matter where you live, no matter which season of the year.

The entire month of September, we are celebrating sleep technology with the launch of the Kenko Naturest® Makura and the Makura Sleep Packs. To make September even better, we’re taking 30% off the KenkoAir Purifier® from September 20 through September 30. You’ll see the effects of ozone-free HEPA filtration combined with the revolutionary Kenko Naturest® Makura and Fit. It’s an Active Wellness combination that will help you sleep well all year long.

1, 2 https://www.sleep.com/sleep-health/fresh-air-benefits

Are You in Tune with Your Circadian Rhythm?

We’re reminded that humans are part of Nature when we discover the many similarities between all living things. One interesting commonality has to do with our circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things, including animals, plants, and microbes. One example of a light-related circadian rhythm is sleeping at night and being awake during the day.1

The study of circadian rhythms is called Chronobiology, from the Greek “chronos” meaning time, and “biology” which pertains to the study of science and life. The body follows an internal timekeeping system known as the circadian clock, and this clock is what regulates the natural circadian rhythm.

What makes up the circadian rhythm? Our daily cycles of sleeping and waking, hunger and digestion, hormonal changes and other bodily processes all pertain to the circadian rhythm. Circadian comes from Latin, “circo diem,” which literally translates to “about a day.” Most circadian rhythms automatically reset every in 24 hours, the timeframe for “circo diem.”

Circadian rhythms are not only affected by light and dark, but also by interactions with people, meal times, and hormonal fluctuations. For example, when the sun rises in the morning, the body produces cortisol, a hormone that makes us feel refreshed and alert. After waking, a healthy person will become increasingly tired throughout the day until the sun goes down, when feelings of tiredness are at their highest. As the sun begins to set, the pineal gland will release melatonin, a hormone that reduces wakefulness and alertness.

There are variations on when people feel tired and when they feel alert throughout the day. Two examples are “early risers,” who go to bed and wake up early, and “night owls” who go to bed relatively late and then sleep in. Our sleep rhythm may evolve and change with age—older people tend to go to sleep and wake up earlier in the day than younger people, while babies will sleep in multiple phases throughout the day and night.

A master clock in the brain coordinates all the biological clocks in a living thing, keeping the clocks in sync. In vertebrate animals, including humans, the master clock is a group of about 20,000 nerve cells (called neurons) located in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus where it receives direct input from the eyes. In the grand scheme of Nature, researchers have identified similarities in the master clocks of people, fruit flies, mice, plants, fungi and other organisms!

When our circadian rhythm goes out of whack, it can cause insomnia, weight gain, mood changes, anxiety, shortened attention spans, daytime sleepiness and lethargy. The good news is that we can help keep our circadian rhythm functioning smoothly.

  • Wake up every day at the same time: Keeping a regular sleep schedule will help reset your circadian rhythm. Even if unable to fall asleep at the desired time, make sure to set an alarm and wake up at the set time anyway. This will keep you on track.
  • Bright light therapy: Exposure to bright artificial lights can re-orient circadian rhythms. Different light therapy devices are available, including lightboxes, desk lamps and sunrise simulators. Before using one of these devices, it’s best to speak with a credentialed sleep medicine physician about the light exposure level and times of the day that are best suited to the particular timing of your personal circadian rhythm.2
  • Different meal times: Circadian rhythms regulate when we feel hungry and how we digest food—some studies have found that eating sooner or delaying meals can alter how your circadian rhythm adjusts those processes.
  • Exercise: Proper exercise can improve sleep quality and duration, while a healthy sleep-wake cycle ensures more strength and endurance when you work out. However, exercise is also stimulating if you work out too close to bedtime. If you find you don’t get enough sleep at night and want to reorient your circadian rhythm, try incorporating regular exercise into your routine. But as with all things related to the circadian rhythm, timing is important so do not exercise within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Keep your electronic devices off or out of sight. Light from electronic devices at night can confuse our biological clocks.

Check out the latest contribution that Nikken has made to the world of Active Wellness and sleep technology with the Kenko Naturest® Makura and Kenko Naturest® Makura Sleep Packs. When you purchase a twin, full, queen or king Makura Sleep Pack, you get 10% off automatically.

1 https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/fact-sheets/Pages/Circadian-Rhythms.

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm/can-you-change-your-circadian-rhythm

A Revolutionary Revelation in Sleep Technology

Everyone needs restful sleep. There’s no debating that it’s an integral part of Active Wellness. In fact, TED talks, white papers, sleep test centers, hypnotists, pharmaceutical companies, therapists and parents have all put in their two cents’ worth on how to achieve that often elusive state we all desire: blissful sleep.

Nikken has been a pioneer in sleep technology for decades. With the introduction of the Kenko Naturest® Fit, a mattress topper made to fit on twin, full, queen and king sized beds, Nikken took sleep technology to a higher level. Portable and life-transforming, according to many who bring their Kenko Naturest® Fit with them whenever they travel, the Fit is designed to promote complete relaxation to improve all-night sleep.

Now that people committed to getting a good night’s sleep have the Kenko Naturest® Fit to put their weary bodies on every night, Nikken has introduced a partner product to the Fit. It’s called the Kenko Naturest® Makura and it truly is a revolutionary revelation. Makura is Japanese for pillow, and this exclusive-to-Nikken pillow is not only revolutionary in sleep technology but it also has a lot to reveal.

Here’s how it works and there’s nothing to even compare it with. It’s got 3 layers that are each removable, so you can customize your Makura to your personal preference. No matter how you choose to configure your Makura, it’ll be properly contoured for your neck to provide ergonomic support and help you stay aligned with your spine.

• The first is the outer foam layer and it has Rubberthane natural latex nodules, magnets and tourmaline. If you choose to sleep on this side, you have a firm pillow that provides a massaging sensation.

• The second or middle layer is like a thin traditional pillow. Think of it as padding.

• The third layer is the other outer layer, but this one has smooth Rubberthane sans latex nodules, but still has magnets and tourmaline. If you choose this side, you have a softer cushioned pillow that cradles your head.

Those familiar with Nikken magnetic and tourmaline technology will already know that magnets provide a cocooning effect that helps improve sleep quality. Picture a newborn baby being wrapped tight into a bundle, resembling a cocoon. She feels safe and secure, just like in the womb. Magnetic technology helps grown people feel that way.

Tourmaline is an interesting gem that reacts to heat, pressure and motion. Nature gave it unusual properties—in fact the way tourmaline reacts is to make us feel like we’re actually in a soothing natural environment. Picture a serene lake, a beautiful forest, and the feeling of actually being there. That tranquil feeling naturally helps us sleep better.

Last but not least, natural latex Rubberthane helps regulate body temperatures. The side with nodules provides a self-massage. An interesting fact about the nodules is that they contain minute bits of volcanic ash extracted from the Shirasu volcano in Japan. Baked at more than 1000 degrees, they are believed to impart additional temperature regulating properties to the Rubberthane.

Whether you choose to sleep on one, two or three layers, you’re going to be a happy participant in the latest Nikken revolutionary revelation! It’s Item 13122 in the shopping cart and it’s part of the new Makura Sleep Packs.

Putting the Restful Part Back into Sleep

A third of our lives is spent sleeping and resting, but not everyone actually feels rested after spending time in bed. There are many reasons for not sleeping—maybe tomorrow brings an event that is too exciting! Or, it could be the first day of a new job or at a new school. You could be auditioning for a gig as a musician or actor. There might be a big celebration to attend—an anniversary, a birthday, so many kinds of parties!

Whatever the reason, between 10 and 30% of adults have insomnia at one time or another, but thankfully there are simple steps to take to get a sound night’s sleep. Where and how you sleep can make a difference in how well you sleep.

When you rest in an environment that is comfortable and soothing, it helps you fall asleep. Even though you are sleeping, getting enough rest is part of the Active Wellness lifestyle. Here are a few things to try.

• Keep the room dark and quiet. In other words, whenever you’re able to, keep any stimulation out. Some people fall asleep to the TV or headset every night. If you can sleep through the night that way and get up feeling rested, that’s great, but chances are, the TV and the headset could keep you awake longer.

• Try keeping your electronic devices off and see if it helps you. The cell phone is an especially big disruptor because it can jar you awake when you’re in a nice, sound sleep, and then you can’t fall back asleep. Make sure to turn it off or at least keep it on silent.

• Give yourself the chance to calm down and empty the mind. Breathe in and breathe out, slowly and rhythmically. It may even help to count 1, 2, 3 as you breathe in and 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 as you breathe out, keeping the exhalation slower than the inhalation.

• Have you heard the “counting sheep” method of going to sleep? This is similar to counting your breaths, but parents have been known to tell their children to count sheep when they have a hard time falling asleep. The monotony of visualizing sheep and counting them has a slightly hypnotic effect that may lull you to sleep.

• Ventilation is as important as your breath. If the bedroom is stuffy, open a window. If there’s no window, try a fan. The KenkoAir Purifier® is also a big help, because it cleans the stale air.

• If you feel wired, don’t go to bed. Wait until you feel sleepy! A warm bath or shower may help you unwind.

• Make sure you get some kind of routine exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, but getting the circulation going earlier in the day will help you be tired and ready to catch some zzzzzs.

• In bed but not quite ready to shut your eyes? Pick up a real book with pages, not an e-Book. Reading tires out the eyes and does not have the same effect as an electronic device that lights up—and paper does not give off undesired electromagnetic waves.

• To get your body to calm down and feel more connected to a natural state, try putting a KenkoGround® under your feet or neck—just make sure it’s touching your skin.

• Very importantly, make sure your bedding is comfortable. Nikken has a whole Kenko Sleep Pack, sized for different beds, that can help make your nightly slumber a restful experience to look forward to!

Nikken is launching a revolutionary pillow that takes Sleep Technology to a new level. We’ll explore this innovation next week. Meanwhile, check it out in the shopping cart: Kenko Naturest® Makura, Item 13122. It is in all the Makura Sleep Packs but once you try the new pillow, you’re going to want one or more for every bed in the house!

Post-Graduation is One of the Most Stimulating Times of Life

Transitioning from high school or university life to the work world can be daunting or exciting, depending on each graduate’s personal outlook on life. Personal growth, professional development and real world experience are all part of the transition.

Every graduate will deal with this major life transition in different ways. And, depending on the graduate’s mindset and individual characteristics, a “nine-to five” job may simply not be the best use of time. Others may even have job offers lined up and fall into a first out-of-school work opportunity with little effort.

New graduates are fortunate to live at a time when there are side hustles and other options to choose from. Side hustles are usually part-time or temporary situations, but in some cases, can lead to bigger jobs or full-time careers. Some graduates may already have experience with side hustles as they worked through school.

•          Dog walking is a perfect part-time job for someone who loves the outdoors and of course, dogs. People book dog walkers per walk and by the amount of time spent. There are dog walkers who specialize in senior dogs and special needs dogs as well as those who are strong enough to walk athletic dogs.

•          Those who love pets in general can become pet sitters. During the summer months when many people travel, pet sitters are highest in demand. People who love their pets as family members are often willing to pay to have them cared for in the comfort of their own homes when they go on vacation, travel for work or simply need to be away from home.

•          Graduates who are proficient on social media can make quite a bit of money when they become “influencers.” Whether it’s on TikTok, YouTube, podcasts, vlogs (video blogs) or any other platform, the more followers amassed, the more money advertisers are willing to pay. Influencers generally have specific expertise, and sometimes in surprising areas, such as makeup techniques, creating arts and crafts out of junkyard findings, and so many ways to cook or combine unexpected herbs and spices. Some young people develop entire musical or artistic careers by performing on their social media platforms and being found.

•          Graduates who feel fulfilled when they are of service can become helpers for senior citizens. This can involve driving the elderly to their appointments or anywhere they need to go. It can be about running errands, such as buying groceries or accompanying them for some outdoor time at a park.

•          On the other end of the age spectrum, graduates can help new and working parents with babysitting or nannying. Some parents will require licensed caretakers but networking with friends and families can produce lucrative childcare leads that are mutually beneficial.

•          There are websites and apps that pay people to test their functionality. There are websites that pay people to take tests and/or surveys.

•          Work as an online tutor or if willing, as an in-person tutor. Tutors generally specialize in particular age groups and subject matter. Tutors for high school math and elementary school reading are often in high demand. There are also tutors who specialize in college entrance exams.

•          Network marketing has been a source of income for many students and graduates. It’s not only a way to make money but also a way to stay in touch with old friends and make new ones. At Nikken, there’s a whole new generation of entrepreneurs who have decided to forgo corporate life to be their own bosses.

No matter what choices graduates make, this is truly an exhilarating time, full of possibilities and decisions. To make sure the transition is not overwhelming, here are some tips for graduates to succeed in their new lives:

•          Manage time. Be punctual to interviews, meetings, appointments and dates! It shows character and respectfulness. Do not procrastinate: do what you can do today.

•          Manage personal finances. Even if you win the lottery, always spend less than you have and put some away. Even if you don’t need it, you may be able to help someone who does. Learn how to create a monthly budget and adopt the green way of reduce, recycle and reuse.

•          Shy or outgoing? Both types can cultivate effective communication skills. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It will help in every relationship, personal or professional, through an entire lifetime. Be yourself and avoid pretense. Communicate in a way that errs on the side of kindness.

•          Be quiet for a little bit of time every day. Some call it meditation, but being quiet with yourself doesn’t have to be a time of deep meaning. It can be time to breathe deeply and give yourself a time out. Being quiet with yourself means no phones or electronic devices, no TV, no virtual assistants.

•          Maintain good health. Having so much going on at this time of life, it’s common for graduates to forget to eat regular meals, exercise daily, drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Developing Active Wellness habits will keep you functioning at high energy levels with an active immune system.

If you’re looking for a great gift for the graduates in your life, today is the last day to take advantage of the huge 30% off sale on all sizes of the Kenko Naturest® Fit mattress topper! Since the Fit is portable, it’s easy to roll it up and take it on vacation or when traveling.

Congratulations to all the graduates of the class of 2022 from Nikken! We welcome you to our Global Wellness Community!

Fatherhood Then and Now

As we adapt our lifestyles to environmental challenges and our evolving communities, there is one notable area which is changing and heartwarming for everyone involved: fatherhood.

Generations ago, fathers played the roles of protectors and breadwinners for the family. They were guardians who fought off enemies and the scourge of natural disasters. Mothers played the roles of nurturers and educators and were often children’s sole source of emotional support and physical affection.

As women entered the work force—jumping from 33% to 60% between 1948 and 20011—men’s roles in parenting adjusted accordingly to share in the duties of the primary caretaker. The effects of these changing roles are being studied and have already shown some positive effects not only on fathers but also on their children. Historically, research on child development has focused more on the sensitivity of mothers to fulfilling their children’s needs. However, in the last 20 to 30 years, research has increasingly focused on fathers. This is due to the growing role modern day fathers play in caregiving.

A study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) found that fathers tended to be more involved in caregiving when they worked fewer hours than other fathers, had high self- esteem, lower levels of depression and hostility, and coped well with the major tasks of adulthood. In general terms, those fathers lived with co-parenting mothers who worked more hours outside the home than other mothers.2

Other research on the role of fathers suggests that the influence of father love on children’s development is as great as the influence of a mother’s love. Fatherly love helps children develop a sense of their place in the world, which helps their social, emotional and cognitive development and functioning. Moreover, children who receive more love from their fathers are less likely to struggle with behavioral or substance abuse problems.3

Fatherhood has become more complex as fathers take on more caregiving. Three areas of fatherhood that anthropologists and behaviorists have reported notable changes in are:

1. Commendation: Fathers of the past took on the role of disciplinarian and were sparse in their compliments. Modern fathers use positive re-enforcement to sustain outstanding performance in their children.4

2. Accessibility: Children have the freedom to talk to their fathers more than it was possible in the past. Now fathers communicate freely with their children. Very few topics are off-limits with the modern father. 5

3. Emotional Availability: In the past, fathers were mainly involved in protecting their children from physical harm. Now fathers want to be part of every little detail of their children’s well-being, from mental to physical health. 6

In the 1970s, attachment theory was the focus of child development studies, focusing on the first years of children’s lives and their bond with their mothers. Michael Lamb, a forerunner of fatherhood research and still continuing with studies at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., explains, “That went along with the assumption that the bond with the mother was the only [primary] relationship kids could form.”7 However, Lamb and a small number of other researchers were all coming to the same conclusion: Babies can form as strong an attachment to their dads as to their moms. From that seed has grown an intriguing but limited body of evidence stating that not only are men built to care for children, but that being an involved dad impacts kids’ physiologies, psychologies and outcomes for the rest of their lives.8

It wasn’t until the turn of this century that researchers discovered the fascinating detail that men’s bodies transform when they become fathers. Oxytocin—the “love hormone”— has been known to play a role in a mother’s initial bonding with her child after birth. Recently, researchers have observed that the same spike in oxytocin occurs when fathers hold and play with their newborns. The new fathers also register an increase in prolactin—a hormone best known for helping women produce breastmilk. Its purpose, it turns out, is greater than that.9

University of Notre Dame anthropologist Lee Gettler explains that the presence of prolactin goes back hundreds of millions of years to our animal ancestors—before mammals existed (even before breastfeeding existed). Over the past decade, Gettler’s research has come to some conclusions about the hormone’s function in modern-day dads. “Fathers with higher prolactin play with their babies in ways that are beneficial for their babies’ learning and exploration, and the fathers also seem to be more responsive and sensitive to infant cries,” he says. In other words, this ancient hormone plays some role in increasing dads’ desire to be close.10

In the book Do Fathers Matter?, science journalist Paul Raeburn summarizes findings from a 2007 Swedish study: “Children whose fathers played with them, read to them, took them on outings and helped care for them had fewer behavioral problems in the early school years, and less likelihood of delinquency or criminal behavior as adolescents.” When you talk to involved dads, you quickly discover that the positive effects of becoming one aren’t just for the children. Fathers’ own ideas of manhood expand during the transition, as do their abilities to form rewarding human connections. Having an involved dad has been associated with fewer cognitive delays, better school readiness, a decrease in tantrums and aggressive behavior, and lower rates of depression.11

Happy Father’s Day from Nikken! On June 19 this year, Nikken is celebrating fathers and men’s health with a self-care pack that empowers men with Active Wellness. Our Father’s Day Pack, available June 1 through June 30, targets the immune system and gut health with one bottle of Kenzen® Immunity and one bottle of Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0. You also receive a bonus bottle of Kenzen® Mega Daily 4 for men at no cost, an added retail value of $53 US / $65 CA.

1, 2, 3 https://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/changing-father

4, 5, 6 https://guardian.ng/life/life-features/fatherhood-in-the-past-and-fatherhood-today-what-changed/

7, 8, 9, 10, 11 https://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/the-science-of-how-fatherhood-transforms-you/

Restful Sleep is So Sweet

Scientists don’t yet understand exactly why we need sleep so badly.  They believe it restores us physically and helps us organize things in our brain.1 We do know, however, that we can’t live an Active Wellness lifestyle without it. We cannot force ourselves to fall asleep, just as we can’t force ourselves to digest food more quickly or to eat as much as we want without gaining weight. In other words, we can’t control our sleep patterns; however, we can create the right conditions for sleep, both mentally and physically. That is, we can create good sleep habits for a pleasant sleep experience.

The study of sleep makes for fascinating science. Here are some interesting facts about other species:

• English bulldogs are the only canines known to experience sleep apnea, a breathing disorder. Their unusual airway anatomy (short snouts and underbites is the likely reason.2

• Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don’t drift away from each other.3

• Whales and dolphins literally fall half asleep. Each side of their brain takes turns so they can come up for air.4

• Trees go to sleep at night by relaxing their branches and perk them up in the morning.5

• Snails can sleep for three years.6

• Giraffes can get by on an average of 30 minutes of sleep each night.7

There are also intriguing facts about humans and our sleep patterns:

• We are the only mammals that willingly delay sleep.8

• Thirty minutes of exercise each day correlates with 14 minutes of extra sleep per night.9

• Parents of newborns lose about six months’ worth of sleep in their child’s first two years of life. Each additional child increases the mother’s loss of sleep by 46%.10

• Sleepwalking is most likely to occur between the ages of three and 17, with 15% of people thought to be sleepwalkers.11

• Women sleep longer than men. The reason is that women tend to multitask more than men; therefore, their brains work harder and take longer to recover.12

• We can dream in color or in black and white. About 12% are believed to dream exclusively in black and white.13 Today about 75% dream in color, while only 15% did before color television became available.14

Scientists used to think that everything shut down when we sleep, but over the last 60 years, they’ve discovered that our brains are very active while we sleep. In fact, some parts of the brain use more oxygen and glucose while asleep than when awake. The timing of our need for sleep is based on how long we have been awake and our body clock. For example, if we stay awake all night, we will feel more tired at 4 am than at 10 am.  Recent breakthroughs may have identified the gene that makes some people cope more easily with a lack of sleep.15

Have you tried Kenko Sleep Technology to help you get a great night’s sleep? For the entire month of November, Nikken Registered Customers will receive cash back in the form of Nikken Reward Points on the purchase of any Kenko Naturest® Fit or any Kenko Sleep Pack. There’s nothing else like the Kenko Naturest® Fit anywhere—it’s only from Nikken. Designed with natural latex nodules to massage you while you sleep, the reflective fibers help keep you warm while promoting air circulation. Tourmaline interspersed between 800 gauss magnets help create a calming effect, to help you get your best night’s sleep, every night! The Kenko Naturest® Fit transforms any mattress into a Kenko Sleep System that supports your body’s natural abilities to recuperate while sleeping!

1, 15 https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/facts-about-sleep.html

2, 3,4, 8, 14 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/22-facts-about-sleep-that-will-surprise-you/

5, 6, 7, 10, 12 https://www.thegoodbody.com/sleep-facts/

11, 13 https://www.thinktank.org.uk/blog/1363-30-fun-facts-about-sleep.php

Sleep Can Be Your Superpower

To maintain an optimal level of Active Wellness, we can eat right, exercise regularly, use a good air filter and drink hydrogen water. Even more importantly, we need to sleep well and sleep enough! According to sleep and brain scientist Matt Walker, “Sleep is a non-negotiable biological necessity. Sleep is the Swiss army knife of health.” 1 Humans are the only species who intentionally deprive ourselves of sleep, creating the public health challenge of the century.

What are some of the benefits of getting a good eight hours of restful sleep? Matt Walker states that in studies of restful sleepers vs. sleep-deprived participants, the hippocampus in the brain shows significant memory signals in the good sleepers but not in the sleep-deprived. Here’s why:

  • Sleep prepares the brain for learning activities.
  • Sleep helps create permanent memories after learning.
  • Deep sleep acts like a transfer system for memories and learning.
  • Gene activities are impacted by sleep. Good sleep increases immune system activities, while poor sleep is associated with an increase in genetic stress activities and chronic inflammation.

Disruptions of deep sleep can impact brain functions, leading to certain dysfunctions. The good news is that scientists can now research ways to rectify this situation, as it is believed that sleep loss leaks into every aspect of physiology. Here are some tips for good sleep:

  1. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time as regularly as possible. The body likes regularity and a fixed schedule. (This is why new mothers who are sleep-deprived or those who are on a split shift and can no longer adhere to a regular sleep schedule say they have “fuzzy” brains or “can’t think.”)
  2. Keep it cool. It takes a two to three degree drop in body temperature to fall asleep and stay asleep. 65º F or 18 Cº is generally ideal for most people.
  3. When you can’t sleep, get out of bed and preferably go to another room. The bed should be associated with sleep, not with tossing and turning.
  4. Go to bed only when sleepy.
  5. Turn off all electronic devices. In other words, don’t fall asleep with the TV on. Don’t have your mobile phone on and blinking and buzzing throughout the night.
  6. Stay away from alcoholic or caffeinated beverages before bedtime, preferably hours beforehand.
  7. Don’t take sleeping pills, unless prescribed by your physician. It’s easy to form a dependence on sleep aids, but it is not a natural way to go to sleep. We can retrain our bodies to rest naturally, but like any activity, it takes practice and patience.
  8. Invest in comfortable bedding. Make sure your mattress has the firmness that supports your comfort level.

For the entire month of November, any Nikken Registered Customer will receive cash back in the form of Nikken Reward Points on the purchase of any Kenko Naturest® Fit or any Kenko Sleep Pack. There’s nothing else like the Kenko Naturest® Fit anywhere—it’s only from Nikken. Designed with natural latex nodules to massage you while you sleep, the reflective fibers help keep you warm while promoting air circulation. Tourmaline interspersed between 800 gauss magnets help create a calming effect, to help you get your best night’s sleep, every night! The Kenko Naturest® Fit transforms any mattress into a Kenko Sleep System that supports your body’s natural abilities to recuperate while sleeping!

1 http://t.ted.com/NKWxqbD

Technologies That Augment Natural Energies

Our guest blogger Dave Balzer is a Technology Consultant and International Advisor in Product Development, Design Engineering, Prototype, Manufacturing, and Regulatory compliance of new devices. He has worked with Nikken on many projects over the past three decades. Since 2012, he has guided his own medical device company that produces specialized diagnostic kits.

All of the Nikken technologies take their cue from the natural world. Whether it is magnetic energy, warming energy, or negative ions, Nikken has keenly observed nature and created ways to support the benefits that it offers.

Nothing could be more natural than magnetism. In fact, the earth itself is a giant dipole magnet that imparts its flux energy to every living creature on the planet. This flux energy forms a shield over the globe known as the magnetosphere. The magnetosphere protects the surface of the planet from being irradiated with harmful solar energy. In essence, the shield itself acts as a filter, which permits biocompatible light energy to pass through. Without the protection offered by the earth’s magnetic flux, life as we know it would be destroyed. 

Many animals are able to sense the earth’s magnetic field. This is true for birds, insects, plants and even humans. All of the creatures sensitive to the earth’s magnetic energy possess a protein known as a cryptochrome. It is this molecule that reacts to magnetic energy. Unfortunately, NASA has reported that the earth’s magnetic field is weakening and even developing irregularities. Nikken has chosen to utilize permanent dipole magnets in many of its products as a way of buttressing and supporting the degradation of the earth’s natural magnetic energy.

The energy from the sun that reaches the surface of the planet is made up by visible, ultraviolet and infrared light. The visible wavelengths of light are the ones humans can detect with their eyes. They comprise 40% of the light energy reaching the earth’s surface. Ultraviolet light cannot be seen by mammals and makes up 7% of the total. This leaves infrared light energy representing 53% or the majority of the sun’s energy that reaches the earth’s surface. Infrared light is fundamentally important to human life. Tissues and cells found in the body are in tune with infrared energy. They absorb, utilize and even emit infrared energy.

Nikken produces several products that incorporate special ceramic reflective fibers. These fibers have the ability to absorb light energy and reflect it back to the user as infrared energy. In doing so, Nikken is able to support and balance the natural warming energy found in the environment.

Negative ions are all around us. Nature provides them in abundance in forests and near waterfalls. They are a key component to inducing the feeling of wellness and relaxation that is experienced during a nature walk. It is ironic to understand that negative ions have a positive impact on wellness while positive ions have the opposite effect. Appliances, electronics and other fixtures of city dwelling emit positive ions and can cause feelings of fatigue and depression. Consequently, the environment needs to be buttressed with new sources of negative ions in order to counteract the ill effects of the positive ones. Nikken offers an advanced air filtration system known as the KenkoAir Purifier® that utilizes negative ion technology.

Some examples of Nikken magnetic products with patented DynaFlux® technology are the insoles (Kenko mSteps® and mStrides®) and the KenkoTouch® handheld massage system. Ceramic reflective fibers are found throughout the Kenko Sleep system, including the Kenko Naturest® Fit, comforters and pillows.