How sleep affects our overall wellness Part 1
On week 12, we are sharing a post on Sleep, it is amazing the lack-sleep issue. Are you getting a good night sleep? The Non-Sleeping has become an epidemic I even hear it from really young kids. It is amazing the number of drugs sold as a sleeping “AID”. An estimated 40 million prescriptions for such drugs were dispensed in one year alone, sales of generic Ambien (zolpidem tartrate) amounted to a whopping $2.8 billion and Lunesta another $912 million and is so many more aids being sold as we speak. Prescription sleep aids are some of the most heavily marketed drugs to the public. The issue here is that we are not addressing the bottom line source of the problem we are only suppressing the symptom, no long-term relief not to mention the side effects, addictions and the challenges get bigger and bigger. Here we did extensive research and we have authority based information to aid with this epidemic. We ask you to keep in mind that we are not Doctors. We are not prescribing or telling you to do any changes without consulting with your Health Practitioner before you make any changes. We are sharing information well researched and is very important that you the reader go through all the Posts. We are starting here with Post 1 and we will keep posting the follow-up Posts, it was too long otherwise and most people don’t have that attention span or “Time” even though it is a major subject for so many people. We wish for you the reader to find a solution to your sleeping challenge if you have one and if you don’t we are very happy for you. We are sure that you either know someone or will run across somebody that will really appreciate the information, so please pass it along and thank you for the support and following our blog. We take pride to do the research and love making a difference. Thank you from all of us at I-RAMA.
Recommended Lifestyle Changes for Insomnia
How Electronics and Technology Affect Sleep Quality
Do you experience pangs of sleep loss? Has it been some time since you’ve gotten a decent night’s sleep that you’ve simply just accepted that this is the way it is? Some people grew up with insomnia or they have small children and is not much choice. While those reasons are often quite valid as we say(especially the small children, I should know not only I have raised babies I also worked in the Film Industry), sometimes you have to look past the easy blames and really determine if there’s some other reason you’re not sleeping well. Like too much technology, perhaps. There are so many ways that technology affects our sleep. But I’ll overview the most common, and ones that I’ve determined are a challenge for so many people so you can decide for yourself if it’s something to consider.
So, What Are The Common Techno Dangers To Watch For?
1) Wi-Fi Signals
Can you tell that there is technology running when you enter a room? You can almost feel the low hum of radio signals in the air. Well, you’re not crazy. This is a thing.Devices that emit a Wi-Fi signal are negatively affecting your sleep. Everything from a wireless router to cell phones, I-Pad, etc. anything that produces a source of wireless internet in your home will fill the area with invisible electromagnetic signals and our brains get affected and respond to that.
A study was carried out in 2007 where scientists took two groups of people and put them in two different rooms. One group had real cell phones in the room with them and the other had fake ones. Neither one of the groups knew that ones were fake. But the group exposed to actual cell signals and Wi-Fi waves had a significantly harder time falling asleep and staying asleep in that experiment. So how can you determine whether or not Wi-Fi signals are interfering with your ability to get a good night’s sleep? It’s simple. Spend one week with all electronic devices removed from your bedroom and that includes shutting off all devices and unplugging the TV and alarm clocks an less they are battery operated or better yet if you have your electronics plugged into a power cord just click it off. After the first few days, you should experience better sleep. If not, then you should dig a little deeper.
2) Bright Screens
So, here’s another tip. In order for us to efficiently fall asleep, our bodies have to go through a process. And part of that particular process is creating melatonin. Melatonin signals our brain that it’s night time, time to sleep and regenerate. But when we stare at bright screens, the light that is absorbed through our eyes delays the release of melatonin and is a reason for that. Thus, making it harder to fall asleep. Nowadays, with the dawn of smartphones, eReaders, and tablets, let’s not forget TV we often spend hours at night staring at a bright screen before we have to go to sleep. Even on the lowest brightness setting, it’s still too much for our eyes and for the release of Melatonin the system is very sensitive for a reason.
A study was done by Mariana Figueiro of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where she and a group of researchers tested the effects of bright screens on a group of volunteers. The results were absolutely conclusive. People who stared at a bright screen for two hours prior to going to sleep simply could not do so. It took them a long period of time. So how can you rectify this and rule it out for yourself? Try a week quitting the screen time at least two hours before bedtime. If it’s reading you do, then try hard copy books for a while. If it’s work, maybe on a laptop, then try wrapping it up earlier in the day. But if you must use technology at night, there are programs and apps to help with this issue. They monitor when it starts to get late and will “warm up” your screens from the cold blue to a soft pink, also you can purchase blue screen shields for very little money, here is a link below.
3) Info Overload
One of the cons to living in the modern world is the fact that most of us live a “cyber life”. It’s tough to get through a single day without using some form of electronic. And for the most part for the purpose of seeking information, gaining knowledge, researching products etc. We fill our brains up with information all day long about one thing or another. Whether it’s an action-packed TV show or late night news or even a website full of articles to read we are constantly on it. It’s called cognitive stimulation and while it’s great for exercising our brains, it’s best done throughout the day, not at night and like anything else in moderation.
We need at least two hours’ prior to bedtime to help our brains relax and wind down from the overload of the day’s events and the new information well collected in so much abundance. But if you’re laying in bed with your digital device, reading all about the latest updates on the election or fumbling through science articles, then your brain will be buzzing with lots of stimulation. So how can you balance this? Well, it’s easy to stop winding up your brain before bed. There are many ways technology affects sleep, but even watching a boring TV show can stimulate it because the response that happens in your body, the neurons firing up, don’t know the difference from fiction to reality the nervous system still gets activated and will stop you from a restful sleep and that is just the reality of it.
4) Unlikely Alarms
We all are aware that who owns a cell phone most likely set the alarm on it. That’s just common action nowadays. But these aren’t the types of alarms I’m talking about. I’m referring back to the fact I mentioned before; we’re all living wired lives and even in our sleep we’re still “connected” when we go to bed. To better describe you the scenario, ask yourself if you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night because your phone alert you to a new message or update on social media. What about text messages and voicemails? They all create sounds to alert you and our brains and nervous system get going and we proceed to go into a marathon of thoughts even do is nothing we can do in the middle of the night about what we are thinking about still we lose sleep.
We are not generally aware, but technology has become so commonplace that we simply accept these annoyances as a part of everyday life. But it’s seriously affecting the way we sleep and the quality of rest we incur and with that affecting the overall of our health, relationships, and general performance. So, to change this issue, I tried a test for ten days. Before going to bed I turned off all electronic devices, I like to use a power strip so I turn all off it at once. I got my old battery operated alarm clock and used that in place of the one I normally used on my phone. After an adjustment period of two nights, I began to sleep straight through the night and woke up feeling rested. Coincidence? I think not.
5) White Noise
We don’t have to believe it, electronic devices create a noise. It’s a low hum on a particular frequency and most people can’t pick up on it with the naked ear. But it is there and it affects us regardless we hear it or not. Is call white noise, but it’s really just the electromagnetic waves of the operating system of the devices, like in computers etc. While is of some belief that white noise is meant to help you sleep by cutting down on the difference between background noises like city streets and such, the kind of white noise I’m talking about is the opposite. It’s the minute buzzing that all of our devices constantly radiate, keeping us awake without us really knowing.
The sound enters into our brains and keeps us on the edge of consciousness, never really allowing us to fall into that deep sleep we actually need and without really realizing it happens over and over when devices are on. This is called Rem sleep and it’s crucial that we have it in order to properly rest our minds and bodies and regenerate. There are three levels of sleep that we go through each night; a light stage where we’re still half awake but slowly falling into slumber. Then there’s stage two where our heart rates slow, our temperature drops and our muscles relax. Then there’s REM. It’s the mother of sleep stages and without it, we never really rest. How to manage it? Either turn off or remove electronic devices from your bedroom before you go to sleep I even go further I turn off all of it in the house. Have ever open your car doors from inside your house? well, it went through walls right? if you have internet and phone signal inside a building no matter how tall it means that the signals are everywhere correct so turning you room apparatus off won’t really solve the issue.
This one is true for so many people and unfortunately for the majority of kids. With the rise and increase of technology, so has our addiction to it. We have constantly plugged in anywhere we go and dangerously even when driving, eating, having a visit with friends or family etc. If someone told you ten years ago that you could access the entire web, operate Microsoft programs, watch TV and movies, and read books all over your telephone you’d probably have laughed. But it’s the reality we live in. When our phone runs out of charge or we leave it at home or anywhere else, we feel a teensy bit lost. Let’s be honest. It’s hard, oh so hard, to let go and get through a single day without the aid of technology. Myself, I just to spent late hours sitting in bed reading eBooks and doing research, answering emails and hanging out on social media for our blogs and sites.
So I recommend putting the phone and devices away in another room OFF!!! away (somewhere you can’t reach it at night.
All of these things affect our sleep schedule, the predetermined settings that we’ve programmed our brains to follow. By staying up a little bit later than normal each night, we unknowingly push back our sleep schedule and when you understand and learn how the natural cycles in your body work you will see the value of staying in check with the Cyberworld and controlling your urge to be in it at all times. Then, on nights where we get the chance to go to bed early, we simply can’t fall asleep until the late hour we’re now used to. So, the solution? Cold turkey is best for me I don’t like to prolong the obvious it doesn’t make sense. Unless you need your devices for work and even do manage your time better, is times perhaps that you have no choice but does n’t mean is every day correct? Set a limit and cut off time each day.
Meditation for Sleep
Good sleep provides your body with many necessary conditions for regeneration. When you say you want better sleep, you’re basically implying that you want to provide your body and mind more optimal conditions for rest and regeneration. To have better sleep, it’s important for everyone to engage in some form of unwinding like meditation for sleep. Meditation for sleep, how can this help you?
Here is Dr Black’s contribution
David Black, Ph.D., assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. DR David S. Black said meditation greatly helped settle the brain’s arousal systems. And unlike widely used sleep drugs, it does not have potentially severe side effects, said Dr Black, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California.
With the many health concerns pertaining to sleep aid medication, he added, “meditation appears to be a safe and sensible health-promoting practice to improve sleep quality.”
From Harvard University
Dr Herbert Benson, director emeritus of the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. “Mindfulness meditation is just one of a smorgasbord of techniques that evoke the relaxation response,” says Dr Benson.
The complete relaxation response, a term he referred to in the 1970s, is a deep physiological shift in the body that’s the opposite of the stress response. This relaxation response can help ease many stress-related issues, including depression, pain, and high blood pressure, to mention a few he stated. For many people, sleep disorders are closely tied to stress, says Dr Benson.
There are so many recent studies about meditation and sleep here is a good place for you to do research and source and this will help you be aware of your mind, body connection, also enjoy and please share and like in our social media please it is what help Blogs stay.
Meditation practices have been a lifestyle practised thousands for years. Consistent meditative practices help to integrate the brain functions in a much more efficient way, regulate various physiological mechanisms resulting in a state of mental and physical well being. Studies of long-term meditation practitioners have shown that Meditation helped to achieve a state of “restful alertness” a state of deep physiological rest that is associated with periods of respiratory suspension without compensatory hyperventilation involved, decreased heart rate, heightened galvanic skin response along with enhanced overall wellness (Wallace, 1970). This restful alertness state of being and hypometabolic state were believed to be the outcome of physiological and biochemical changes brought about by meditation practices (Young and Taylor, 1998).
Meditation, Melatonin, and Sleep
Meditation practices are reported to regulate the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) Axis and as consequently the cortisol and catecholamine levels (Jevning et al., 1978a; Infante et al., 2001)increase. Meditation techniques were also known to increase dehydroepiandrosterone (Glaser et al., 1992), anterior Pituitary hormones like growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), prolactin (Jevning et al., 1978b; Werner et al., 1986; MacLean et al., 1997), and melatonin levels (Massion et al., 1995; Tooley et al., 2000) when you click on the links it will show you the studies done on it.
Melatonin, as we know, play a vital role in the physiological regulation of sleep in both blind and normal individuals (Pandi-Perumal et al., 2006). The Melatonin rhythms follow a raising and falling phase with corresponding alterations in sleep propensity (Dijk and Cajochen, 1997; Dijk et al., 1997).The use of Melatonin is known widely for the management of sleep rhythm disorders due to jetlag, night shiftwork, and insomnia (Martinez and Lenz, 2010). Aside from its role in sleep, melatonin acts as an antioxidant and immunomodulator (Maestroni, 2001),, an antiaging agent, and helps in bringing sense of wellbeing (Armstrong and Redman, 1991; Reiter, 1995; Maestroni, 2001; Guerrero and Reiter, 2002; Pandi-Perumal et al., 2006). When we start ageing we decrease the melatonin secretion (Sack et al., 1986) and hence affect the sleep quality in the more mature population.
Meditation practices are well reported to enhance the melatonin levels (Tooley et al., 2000),
Meditation increases melatonin concentration by slowing its hepatic metabolism or augmenting the synthesis in the pineal gland (Massion et al., 1995). Diurnal melatonin levels were found to be significantly high in meditators (approximately 300 pg ml) than non-meditating controls (65 pg ml; unpublished data). We have to be aware that by considering the role of melatonin in sleep maintenance, it is concluded that meditation practices enhance melatonin levels and hence the quality of sleep, with all this in mind meditation has a tremendous benefit on quality of sleep and by that the results of a wellbeing that otherwise is not easily accomplished.
Below we are sharing a great meditation that will change the way you enter your journey to sleep, enjoy, from all of us at I-RAMA.
Deep Sleep – Guided meditation By Cory Cochiolo