Even before the economic collapse last fall, people were having a tough time getting a good habitual night’s sleep. Various research studies indicate that perhaps as much as 60-65% of Americans are sleep deprived on a regular basis. Chronic Insomnia is a new epidemic hitting the country, some say with a vengence! Although there are many causes for insomnia (from jet lag to menopause) it is estimated that over half of all insomnia is the result of STRESS! Insomnia is such a problem that it not only affects work productivity and safety (such as driving), but ultimately one’s health. One of the biggest effects of NOT getting a good night’s sleep regularly is the impact on one’s immune system which is greatly compromised, thus laying the groundwork for many chronic health issues. One of the first aspects to consider when understanding a case of insomnia is what is known as “Sleep Hygiene:” When approaching your own sleep hygiene, it’s best to consider everything that affects the five senses (e.g., light, heat, noise and sleeping surface…such as linen and pillows, etc.). By and large, most people could use an upgrade in their sleep hygiene, including removing the television from the bedroom. The topic of insomnia is far more complex than a short blog can do justice to (which means we will revisit this topic again).
• Stress Tip for the Day:
The hormone melatonin is secreted in the evening hours as natural light diminishes and it is this hormone that is called the “sleep hormone” because it is responsible for ensuring a good night’s sleep. Eating carbohydrate rich food is known to increase Serotonin levels which will decrease melatonin levels, thus impacting your quality of sleep. One suggestion for a good night’s sleep is to consider NOT eating a late night snack. Currently, we don’t know the full effects of cell phone use (ELF’s) on the brain, but it is suggested that repeated cell phone use decrease melatonin production as well (FYI).
• Links Worth Noting:
These two links were sent to me last week. They are from the TED.com website which features various luminaries in a 20 minute lecture format. This lecture highlights various aspects of new technology. If you are interested in seeing where things are going, take a peek:
• Photo of the Day:
While there are many photos I could have used for this photo, I opted for a bedroom scene I shot while on vacation in St. Lucia (Jade Mountain). This place is paradise and from what I hear, everyone sleeps well while on vacation.
• Quote for the Day:
“Americans are the most entertained and least informed people on the planet”
—Robert F. Kenney JR
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.