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!

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