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. 

Loving Our Furry Family Members

We love our pets so much and our affection is reciprocated in ways that melt our hearts. In North America, the two most common pets are dogs and cats. Not only do those who live with pets receive that special love from their furry family members but cohabiting with them teaches children how to treat non-humans with kindness, care and respect. This in turn shows children how to treat living creatures, big and small, as part of planet Earth.

Since 1998, the pet population in the United States has almost doubled, with two thirds of the country being pet owners.1 Similar to humans, dogs and cats that sleep well, live a healthier lifestyle than those that don’t. Not only that, but a good night’s rest can help improve your dog’s memory and can even make your pooch smarter, according to a study published in a 2017 edition of Scientific Reports.2

Domestic dogs and cats sleep an average of 12-15 hours daily, with up to 20 sleep cycles, each lasting 15 minutes. In contrast, humans average four to five sleep cycles, each lasting 90 minutes. Cats and dogs reach REM less, so they need more sleep to obtain adequate rest.3

Humans spend a lot of time searching for the perfect mattress that provides us with ample support, good circulation and all-night comfort. The Kenko Naturest® Fit supports quality human sleep and the Kenko Sleep Pet Pad does the same for our furry friends. Both are made with magnetic, rubberthane and tourmaline technologies. Together, these technologies impart a gentle massaging effect that is activated by the sleeper’s natural movements. The breathable fabric helps with temperature control by allowing air circulation and helping your pet to maintain a comfortable level of body heat. And because we know well how much shedding and staining can occur with any pet, both the small and large Pet Pad have removable covers that are easy to launder.

Keeping our pets healthy and happy also makes it easier for us to live the Active Wellness lifestyle. Recent studies suggest having a pet can actually help reduce our blood pressure, alter the course of heart disease and decrease our stress levels.4 By taking good care of our pets, we are actually taking better care of ourselves! Astounding numbers show that this reciprocal relationship between humans and their pets is growing:

• According to the National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association from 2017-2020, there were approximately 95.6 million pet cats and 89.7 million pet dogs in the United States as of 2020.

• In Canada, there were about 8.1 million pet cats and 7.7 million pet dogs in 2020.5

Contrary to common belief, some cats and dogs live together happily, proving that interspecies “siblings” can love each other as much as we love them! It’s a win-win situation!

1 https://www.amazon.com/Pet-Nation-Affair-Changed-America/dp/0593083865

2 https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/the-importance-of-a-good-dog-bed/

3 spacecoastpetservices.com/2020/01/09/how-much-sleep-dogs-cats/#:~:text=Dogs%20and%20cats%20go%20through,lasting%20up%20to%2090%20minutes.

4 https://thezebra.org/2021/04/05/the-love-affair-with-our-pets/

5 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1015882/number-of-pet-cats-and-dogs-canada/

Sleep Your Way to Better Health

There’s no question that a good night’s sleep can brighten our days and is an integral part of Active Wellness! Why is sleep so important? Why does it affect us so much? Here are seven bodily actions that take place to help understand the importance of sleep:1

  1. Your brain processes your day while you sleep, sorting and storing information. This process is particularly important for creating long term memories, as your brain consolidates all the information it’s picked up during the day and files it away for later use.
  2. Hormones flood your body during sleep. The pineal gland releases melatonin, which controls sleep patterns. Levels increase at night time, making you feel sleepy. The pituitary gland releases growth hormone, which helps the body to grow and repair itself.
  3. Your sympathetic nervous system needs rest. When deprived of sleep, activity increases in the sympathetic nervous system, which is accompanied by an increase in blood pressure. Scientists studying coronary disease are investigating whether decreased sleep may increase the risk of heart disease.
  4. Cortisol levels are lowered. Known as the stress hormone, cortisol decreases during the first few hours of sleep before rising to peak soon after you wake up. This helps you feel alert and energetic when you awaken.
  5. Your muscles are paralyzed. While asleep, you cycle through periods of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). The most vivid dreams occur during REM. During this stage, your muscles are temporarily paralyzed, so you can’t move.
  6. Anti-Diuretic Hormone (ADH) helps you not have to get up and use the bathroom. It is released by the brain under a circadian rhythm which switches off the need to urinate as often overnight as during waking hours.
  7. Your immune system releases cytokines, which are small proteins that help the body fight inflammation, infection and trauma. Without enough sleep, your immune system might not be able to function at its best.

To help get quality sleep consistently, Nikken has an entire Sleep System that encloses you in a coccoon of magnetism. The latest addition is the Kenko Naturest® Fit, a thin mattress topper with elasticized skirts on four sides, so that it fits easily over the mattress, under a fitted sheet. Made with Nikken Sleep Technology, it has 800 gauss magnets, reflective fibers and rubberthane to help achieve sweet dreams while feeling relaxed and massaged! Alone or as part of a Sleep Pack, it may well change your waking hours as much as your sleeping ones! (The Kenko Naturest® Fit is available for pre-orders. We expect it to be in our warehouses near the end of May.)

1 https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/7-amazing-things-that-happen-to-your-body-while-you-sleep