World SLEEP Day

What on earth is World Sleep Day?

WHY do we need a World Sleep Day?

WHY is Sleep such a big deal?
WHY is Sleep super important to us?

WHY do we ignore the value of sleep?
WHY do we bang on about wanting more sleep?
WHY do some of us feel exhausted after a sleep?

WHY do we need help to go to sleep?
WHY do we have sleep disorders?
WHY do some people have low Melatonin levels?

WHY are we struggling to fall asleep?
WHY are we not getting the quality of sleep we need?
WHY are we fighting our natural sleep rhythm?

WHY are our children taking sleep medication?
WHY are our teenagers ending up in hospital with lack of sleep?
WHY are some adults hooked on sleep medication?

WHY are sleeping pill sales increasing?
WHY are there so many things to help us sleep?
WHY are our pharmacies and drug stores full of sleep aids?

WHY has our world got sleep issues?
WHY is sleep no longer a natural normal thing in life?

In 2016, World Sleep Federation (WSF) and World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) collaborated to found one International organisation called World Sleep Society. (1)

World Sleep Federation is an international organisation founded in 1988 and comprised of the following charter members who represented 53 sleep societies and organisations and over 12,000 individuals.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Asian Sleep Research Society
Australasian Sleep Association
Canadian Sleep Society
European Sleep Research Society
Federation of Latin American Sleep Societies
Sleep Research Society

World Sleep Day is an awareness activity of World Sleep Society and their mission statement is to advance sleep health worldwide. (1)

Their goal and purpose is to advance knowledge about sleep, circadian rhythms, sleep health and sleep disorders worldwide, especially in those parts of the world where this knowledge has not advanced sufficiently.

World Sleep Society currently represents over 600 individual members, 19 societies and is located in over 50 countries and organises the World Sleep Congress.

Sleep Medicine is the official journal that focuses on the human aspects of sleep, integrating the various disciplines that are involved in sleep medicine: neurology, clinical neurophysiology, internal medicine (particularly pulmonology and cardiology), psychiatry, sleep technology, paediatrics, neurosurgery, otorhinolaryngology and dentistry. (2)

So this stuff is for the sleep medicine clinician and means little to most of us on the street wondering how on earth we can get to sleep like a baby.

So there you have it a quick snapshot of all the bigwigs and more, trying to sort out something that is natural for all of us called SLEEP.

What we can add up here is that many countries are involved, so it is a global thing and with the following statistics, we have confirmation that Sleep is a big issue and it is not going away.

UK (3)

2013/2014

1 in 4 adults are experiencing disrupted sleep. (3)

50% of Britons say that stress or worry keeps them awake at night. (4)

3.5 million people experience excessive sleepiness.
Most  people blame the pressures of a 24/7 society. (3)

1 in 10 people ask their doctor for sleeping tablets. (3)

42% of people taking sleeping pills have been taking them for 11+ years. (5)

7.9 million have used alcohol to help them get to sleep at night whilst 6.8 million self-medicate with over the counter tonics. (4)

30% experience insomnia. (5)
Insomnia is difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning. (6)

15% of children aged 5 – 12 have sleep walked at least once.
18% of children have night terrors. (5)

37% of adults snore. (5)
3.5 million people have frequent nights of disturbed sleep due to snoring. (3)

90% of patients seen at the Royal Brompton Centre for Sleep, London, are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea. (3)

£432 million cost per year to NHS – Untreated obstructive sleep apnoea. (3)

40% oversleeping occurs in people with depression.
Oversleeping can result in extreme sleepiness throughout the day. (3)

11:15pm – average person goes to bed. (4)

39% of those that watch TV in bed sleep very poorly, most nights as do 16% of people who check their emails before going to sleep. (7)

38% watch television in bed.
12% use their laptop or tablet in bed.
14% check their emails in bed. (7)

USA (8)

2016

40 million people have a chronic sleep disorder.

5% of people have sleep apnoea.

62% of adults experience a sleep problem a few nights per week.

30% of adults experience insomnia during any one year.

37.9% unintentionally fell asleep during the day at least once in the past month. (Sep/Oct 2016)

4.5% nodded off or fell asleep whilst driving in the past month. (Sep/Oct 2016)

1,550 fatal car crashes and 40,000 non-fatal car crash injuries happen each year, because someone fell asleep.

50% more likely to get Diabetes when sleeping more than 9 hours a night than those sleeping 7 hours. This gives it a similar risk profile as under-sleeping. (3)

CANADA (9)

2011

40% adults are affected by sleep disorders.
20% unsatisfied with the quality of sleep.
13% displayed all the symptoms for insomnia.

AUSTRALIA (10)

2016

Problems with sleep and its daytime consequences have increased since 2010.

33 – 45% adults are affected by inadequate sleep.

8% have sleep apnoea.
Undiagnosed sleep apnoea is common.

76% of people that slept for less than 5 ½ hours reported frequent daytime impairment or sleep-related symptoms.

70% of people with frequent loud snoring, reported daytime impairment or other sleep-related symptoms.

26% of ALL adults both use the internet most or every night of the week, just before bed and have frequent sleep difficulties or daytime impairments.

16% of all working adults work just before bed and report frequent sleep difficulties or daytime sleep-related symptoms.

36% of 18 – 24 year olds work before bed.
28% of 25 – 34 year olds work before bed.

52% of people watch TV before bed.

23% said that their typical weekday routine does not allow them to get enough sleep.

17% missed work because they were sleepy.
17% had fallen asleep on the job.

29% said they had made errors at work due to sleepiness or sleep problems.

29% said they had driven whilst feeling drowsy.
20% had nodded off whilst driving.
5% had an accident in the past year whilst driving, because they fell asleep.

NEW ZEALAND

2012

25% have a chronic sleep problem.
55% never wake up feeling refreshed.
10-15% suffer from chronic insomnia. (11)

$40,000,000 a year is lost in productivity. (11)

2013

40% teenagers have a sleep disorder.
37% teenagers reported ‘significant sleep symptoms’ lasting more than a month.
21% teenagers do not get enough sleep. (12)

GLOBAL (13)

2012

150 million adults are suffering from sleep-related problems across the developing world.

There is a strong link between psychiatric conditions like depression and anxiety and sleep problems.

Bangladesh, South Africa and Vietnam had extremely high levels of sleep problems.
Bangladesh also saw very high patterns of anxiety and depression.

Old statistics so what is going on today 5 years later?
What are the real figures?
WHY has the whole world got sleep stuff going on?
WHY are we not demanding more research?
WHY have the researchers gone to sleep about sleep?
WHY is this not making it to big news headlines?

2015

Global Sleep Aids Market will reach $80,800,000,000 by 2020. (14)

So in the next three years we will be spending 80 billion dollars on finding ways to make us sleep.

That is a lot of money and would it be wise to stop and ask WHY do we need help to sleep?
What is going on inside our mind that is stopping us from sleeping?
How are we choosing to live every day that we need some aid to sleep?

WHY is this sleep aids’ market a multi multi billion dollar industry on the rise?

What is this spelling out to us?
What is it that we are simply not getting?
What is it that we just do not understand?
What is missing that is giving us a sleep issue?

WHY is insufficient sleep a public health problem? (15)

WHY are more and more of us needing some aid to sleep?

What are apps and surveys about our sleeping habits telling us?
What are all the ads and research giving us about sleep issues?

WHY do we need sleep hygiene tips to improve sleep? (15)
WHY do we need so much assistance to help us sleep?

WHY was there no sleep aids market in the past?

Where did it all start to go wrong?

What has changed in society that has got us a sleep problem?

Sleep Apnoea

What on earth does it mean?
Have we heard of this?
Do we know what it is?
Are we bothered about this sleep stuff?

Google tells us probably the most important advance in the history of sleep medicine was the discovery of sleep apnoea in 1965. (16)
So this gives us a hint it has been a problem for a long time and it sure is not going away overnight – pun intended.

Sleep apnoea is a chronic condition that requires long-term management. Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery and breathing devices can successfully treat sleep apnoea in many people. (17)

Well we should all be interested because sleep apnoea is a “common disorder” in which we have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while we sleep.

Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They can occur 30 times or more in an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

Sleep apnoea disrupts our sleep. When the breathing pauses we often move out of deep sleep into light sleep.

As a result, the quality of sleep is poor, which means you feel tired during the day.
Sleep apnoea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness. (17)

Sleep apnoea often goes undiagnosed. Most people do not know they have it as it occurs during sleep.

The most common type of sleep apnoea is obstructive sleep apnoea. In this condition, the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep. This causes shallow breathing or breathing pauses.
When we try to breath, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. (17)

Obstructive sleep apnoea is more common in people who are overweight but it can affect anyone.

Central sleep apnoea is a less common type of sleep apnoea and this disorder occurs if the area of the brain that controls breathing does not send the correct signals to the breathing muscles. As a result, no effort is being made to breathe during brief periods.

Central sleep apnoea is more common in people who have certain medical conditions or use certain medicines. (17)

Untreated sleep apnoea can increase the risk of

High Blood Pressure
Irregular Heartbeats
Stroke
Obesity
Diabetes
Heart Failure

It can also increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents. (17)

The British Lung Foundation tells us –

Obstructive: there is an obstruction in the airway of your throat
Sleep: it happens when you are asleep
Apnoea: this means you stop breathing (18)

The most common signs are snoring, interrupted breathing while you are asleep and feeling sleepy when you are awake. (19)

Some of the symptoms when awake are:

Waking up sleepy and unrefreshed
Headache in the morning
Difficulty concentrating and felling groggy, dull and less alert
Poor memory
Feeling depressed, irritable or other changes of mood
Poor co-ordination
Loss of sex drive
Heartburn
Poor quality of life (19)

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea can be made worse by drinking alcohol, using sedatives such as sleeping pills and smoking.

Our ability to drive safely can be affected as we are less alert, react more slowly and judgment, vision and concentration may not be at its best. When we are sleepy our mood is altered and we may become more aggressive behind the wheel. These problems increase if we are driving at night. (20)

Let’s join the dots and put our common sense hat on.

This is serious stuff and what is frightening is we may not know we have it.
This has got something to do with our breathing and we all know we need to breathe or we die.
Super scary as it goes on when we have nodded off so we are not fully aware at that point.

If we stop breathing repeatedly during our sleep, the brain and the rest of our body may not get enough oxygen. Is this scary enough for us to wake up to this fact?

We all know when we wake up feeling tired and want that alarm clock to go away, our day ahead is not going to be great. In other words, we are not feeling energised, revitalised and rejuvenated following a deep sleep. Even if we have the odd day, we may not be consistently waking up feeling amazing, deeply rested and alive to get on with whatever the day brings.

So could it be possible that How we are choosing to live during the day affects our sleep?
In other words, the quality of our day is simply reflected in the quality of our sleep at night?

Is our wake up call the fact we feel tired when we wake up?
Is our big fat sign that something is not right because our sleep is disturbed?
Is our exhaustion that we feel everyday something to do with the lack of sleep quality?

If this is making any sense, then could it be possible that if we are stressed during the day this has an effect on our sleep quality?
Could removing certain foods from our diet like dairy and gluten make a difference?’
Is this the lifestyle changes that the NIH are talking about that could treat the problem of sleep apnoea?

Are we able to see that maybe how we are living needs to be looked at in more detail?

How many of us can honestly say we have great deep sleep 9 days out of 10?
How many of us are always complaining how tired we are in the mornings?
How many of us can admit we need our caffeine to prop us up first thing?
How many of us are willing to share we fight all the signs to go to sleep?
How many of us are truly lacking in having a daily sleep routine?
How many of us are suffering because we eat copious amounts of sugar?
How many of us can say we love our comfy carbs in the evening before bed?
How many of us indulge in foods at late night dinner parties?
How many of us feel we have to eat to stay awake because of our work?
How many of us have repeated ugly thoughts circling around our head?
How many of us go around with headaches because of our bad night’s sleep?
How many of us rely on sleeping aids to give us the sleep we want?
How many of us would do anything to get those noises out of our head at night?
How many of us are sick of a crap night’s sleep, which seems to be getting worse?
How many of us dread the next day as we know our sleep stuff sucks?
How many of us know that alcohol is affecting our sleep, but we need it?

Could it be that our body is simply communicating that the way we are living is not in respect to what we need to have true health and well-being?

Dear World

We are in trouble because we have a global sleep problem where most of us are not able to naturally fall asleep and wake up full of vitality to get on with the day ahead.

There is absolutely heaps and heaps of articles, news stories, journals, research, apps and a catalogue of this and that to help us sleep.

We even have our first ever World Sleep Congress where scientific ideas and experiences in sleep medicine are exchanged. For $500 we get to learn about recent advances in sleep medicine including up-to-date clinical and basic research techniques. (21)

Is this the answer, where our world bigwigs get together to bring us more solutions to function as we have a big world sleep crisis on our watch?
Do we actually want more scientific evidence or ideas OR do we want to learn and understand what on earth is the root cause of all our sleep problems?

Is it time we started asking ‘is something missing’?
Does any of this stuff really cut it?
In other words, does it really heal us at the root cause?
Is it doing the job long-term or are they just another band aid?
Do we each have the answer in-built inside of us?
Is it time to stop again and put our common sense hat on?

The influence of the circadian clock on sleep scheduling has been studied extensively in the laboratory; however, the effects of society on sleep remain unquantified. We show how a smartphone app that we have developed, ENTRAIN, accurately collects data on sleep habits around the world. Through mathematical modeling and statistics, we find that social pressures weaken and/or conceal biological drives in the evening, leading individuals to delay their bedtime and shorten their sleep. A country’s average bedtime, but not average wake time predicts sleep duration. We further show that mathematical models based on controlled laboratory experiments predict qualitative trends in sunrise, sunset and light level; however, these effects are attenuated in the real world around bedtime.
Walch, Cochran & Forger, 2016 (22)

Take note – “extensively studied in the laboratory” means not real life in the real world dealing with what comes up during the day with everything that goes on.

So let’s work this out –

Could it be possible we are never going to get true real life answers from anything done in a lab as they are closed conditions. In other words, not open to the stuff that actually goes on in the real world, on the street everyday?

Could it be possible that the way we are choosing to live during the daytime then affects our night time?

Specialists recommend winding down as the night goes on and having a period of ‘quiet time’ before bed without TV, smartphones or other forms of excess stimulation. (23)

The Sleep Council has coined the term, ‘Junk Sleep’ to describe the impact that entertainment gadgets such as mobile phones, tablets and TV’s are having on our sleep. (7)

What we are seeing is the emergence of Junk Sleep – that is sleep that is of neither the length nor quality that it should be in order to feed the brain with the rest it needs to perform properly.
Unfortunately, sleep seems to be going the same way as junk food.
It may even be the case that Junk Sleep leads to junk food. The message is simple: switch off the gadgets and get more sleep. (7)
UK Sleep expert, Dr. Chris Idzikowski, BSc PhD CPsychol FBPsS
Director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, President of the Sleep Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine (24)

So here we have a kingpin on the subject of sleep who is on everything talking about the screen stuff we seem to be doing more of during our wind down before sleep. He is also suggesting that the ‘junk sleep’ may lead to junk food. Does this make simple sense?

Could it be possible our on the go life in the fast lane means junk food is quick and does the job and we don’t think of it any further? In other words, we don’t stop and consider if this type of living might affect our sleep at night.

Could it be possible, if we have a busy busy day and we need to relax, we head for a glass of wine or two and that keeps us awake in the night?

Could it be possible, a few beers after work is disturbing our natural sleep?

Could it be possible, following a crap day, we overeat just to forget about the day and that affects our sleep?

Could it be possible after a great day we go off to celebrate with some scientific proven poison called alcohol that gives us a false sleep?

Could it be possible we wake up tired and we eat heaps of sugar filled snacks all day and this keeps us stimulated at bedtime?

Could it be possible that we are so hooked into our social media stuff that it kind of comes to bed with us and does not let us sleep?

Could it be possible we have a habit of overworking just before bedtime and we lose track of time and then we just can’t fall asleep?

Could it be possible that our drug taking has messed up all our sleep and we cannot get back on track?

Could it be possible that the sugar energy drinks we drink daily are stopping us from having a quality sleep every night?

Could it be possible those chocolate bars we scoff without thinking, may be in the way of a deep sleep at night?

Could it be possible that we know that smoking is keeping us awake but our pattern is to smoke before bedtime?

Could it be possible that we are hooked into our TV shows and we make that a priority over our sleep time?

Could it be possible, that we think it is not cool to nap, so we avoid it on our days off and that adds to the poor quality of our overall sleep?

Could it be possible that we think we are missing out on something, so we sleep as little as possible?

Could it be possible that we have no true education about what sleep is and why we need it for our true health and well-being?
In other words, those teaching us have not yet mastered sleep in their own lives.

Could it be possible that we do not actually know the value of what sleep does for our body, so we are not that bothered about it?

Could it be possible we do not really appreciate the benefits of sleep?

Could it be possible sleeping pills are our way of life and we just accept it?

Patients who have a tendency to be anxious or are diagnosed with anxiety disorders are much more likely to have sleep disturbances.
Dr Michelle Drerup – Sleep Medicine Specialist (23)

Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as Hypertension, Diabetes, Depression and Obesity as well as Cancer, increased mortality and reduced quality of life and productivity. (15)

USA

50 – 70 million adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder. (15)

The National Institutes of Health suggests
10 hours sleep daily for school-age children.
9 – 10 hours for teenagers. (15)

Is this where it is going wrong?
Is this actually taking place?
Is this really where we need to start?

Are our kids not getting the adequate sleep needed?

Are our teenagers choosing to have less sleep?

Are our youth doing something that is taking them away from their natural state?

What is causing them to have sleep disorders?
WHY are we hearing more teenagers have sleep problems?

According to sleep medical experts and researchers, kids that don’t get enough sleep are at risk of mental and physical health issues. (25)

Who are we blaming?
What is the cost to human health?
What is the cost to society when our children will be the next generation of adults?

We now need to wake up to the importance of sleep.
Dr. Catherine Hill – Consultant Southampton Children’s Hospital (26)

Is there more we can do as parents?
Is there more we can do by simply applying good old fashion common sense?
Is there more we can say about sleep by taking responsibility for our own sleep first?

Could it be possible that those who can bring about real change regarding sleep are those who have a deep quality of sleep every night that is not disturbed?

BBC News – 4 March 2017 – Sleep Problems mounting in children. (26)

Hospital attendance in England for children under 14 with sleep disorders has tripled in 10 years.

Ten times more prescriptions of common sleep medication, Melatonin have also been written for children.

Many aspects of how we live today are thought to interfere with children’s sleep.

Blue light emitted by tablets and smartphones is known to reduce the natural production of Melatonin.

Fizzy drinks, high in sugar and caffeine, have made it harder for children to switch off at night.

Research suggests a strong link between sleep deprivation in teenagers and weight gain.
When tired we are more likely to crave foods high in sugar and fat. (26)

The effects from lack of sleep are massive. Sleep deprivation not only influences an individual’s health and well-being, but has a significant impact on a nation’s economy.
Small changes could make a big difference.
If those in the UK currently sleeping under six hours a night increased this to between six and seven hours, it would add £24 billion to the UK’s economy.
Marco Hafner – research leader at Rand Europe (27)

The Cost of Sleep Deprivation by Country (27)

USA

1.2 million working days lost per year.
Cost – $411 billion. ($411,000,000,000). 2.28% of GDP.

JAPAN

600,000 working days lost per year.
Cost – $138 billion. ($138,000,000,000). 2.92% of GDP.

UK

200,000 working days lost per year.
Cost – £40 billion. (£40,000,000,000). 1.86% of GDP.

GERMANY

200,000 working days lost per year.
Cost – $60 billion. ($60,000,000,000). 1.56% of GDP.

CANADA

80,000 working days lost per year.
Cost – $21.4 billion. ($21,400,000,000). 1.35% of GDP.

These maybe just big numbers to most of us but this is huge and highlighting once again our lack of sleep is affecting the economy of our whole country, which means our whole world is affected.

Next –

What is Melatonin?

Most commonly called a hormone, Melatonin is

Autacoid – a biological factor that acts like a local hormone
Chronobiotic – an agent that causes changes to the body clock
Hypnotic – a sleep inducer
Immunomodulator –  a biological modifier

The following properties enable Melatonin to pass easily into any cell and fluid in the body:
Amphiphilic – has hydrophilic properties (strong affinity for water)
Lipophilic – capable of dissolving in lipids (fats)

Melatonin’s chemical structure C13H16N2O2 allows it to travel through the systems of the body with ease.

Melatonin was first discovered in 1958 by Lerner, Case and Takahashi.

Later in the 1970’s Lynch et al found that Melatonin was released from the pineal gland in a circadian rhythm.

From three months old, levels of Melatonin enter a cyclical pattern that will continue for the rest of an individual’s life.

Circadian rhythms are generated within the hypothalamus.
The circadian “clock” resides in two groups of cells within the hypothalamus known as the SCN – suprachiasmatic nucleus.
Using the daily cycle of light and dark, the SCN creates and maintains a daily cycle.
Information regarding light levels reaches the SCN from a set of special light receptors in the retina. This light information is relayed to the brain even when the eyelids are closed.
The timing of light and dark phases is passed from the SCN on to the pineal gland.

The pineal gland, deep in the centre of the brain responds and releases Melatonin at night.
Conversely, the release of Melatonin is suppressed during daylight.

Even when our human body is kept away from ALL external light sources and time references, the body maintains a near perfect rhythm, typically relaxing into a natural rhythm of 24 hours and 11 minutes. (28)

Most recent and accurate results suggest the natural circadian rhythm is close to the length of a natural solar day. (28)

Melatonin is used as medicine and is made synthetically in a laboratory.
Taken by mouth, applied to the skin or injected into the body. (29)

The main job of Melatonin is to regulate the night and day cycles or sleep and wake cycles in the body.
Darkness causes the body to produce more Melatonin, which signals the body to prepare for sleep.
Light decreases Melatonin production and signals the body to prepare for being awake. (29)

Melatonin uses include:

Jet lag
Shift work disorder
Insomnia
DSPS – delayed sleep phase syndrome
RBD – rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder
ADHD – attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder
Insomnia due to certain high blood pressure medications
In children with autism, cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities
Sleep aid after discontinuing the use of benzodiazepine drugs
Reduce the side effects of stopping smoking

Some people use Melatonin for:

Alzheimer’s Disease or memory loss (dementia)
Bipolar Disorder
Lung Disease
COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Insomnia caused by beta-blocker drugs
Endometriosis
Tinnitus
Depression
SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder
Non Alcoholic Liver Disease
CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Fibromyalgia
Restless Leg Syndrome
Sarcoidosis inflammatory disease
Schizophrenia
Migraine and other Headaches
Age-related vision loss
BPH – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Osteoporosis bone loss
Acid Reflux Disease
Helicobacter pylori
Exercise Performance
Infertility
Epilepsy
Menopause
Metabolic syndrome
Recovery after surgery
Agitation caused by anaesthesia
Stress
Tardive Dyskinesia – Involuntary Movement Disorder
Postural Tachycardia Syndrome – Abnormal increase in Heart Rate
Urinary Incontinence
Delirium
Temporomandibular Disorder and Jaw Pain
Ulcerative Colitis – Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Birth Control
Breast Cancer
Brain Cancer
Lung Cancer
Prostate Cancer
Head Cancer
Neck Cancer
Gastrointestinal Cancer
Chemotherapy
Thrombocytopenia (29)

Melatonin side effects may include:

Sleepiness
Lower body temperature
Vivid dreams
Morning grogginess
Changes in blood pressure (30)

Headache
Daytime Sleepiness
Short-term feelings of Depression
Dizziness
Stomach Cramps
Irritability
Do Not Drive or Use Machinery
Bleeding Disorders
Depression – Melatonin can make symptoms worse
Diabetes – Melatonin can increase blood sugar
High Blood Pressure – Melatonin can raise blood pressure
Seizure Disorders
Transplant Recipients – may interfere with immunosuppressive therapy (29)

Major Interactions (29)

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interact with Melatonin.
Melatonin and sedatives are not to be taken together as they may cause too much sleepiness.

Moderate Interactions (29)

Contraceptive Pills taken with Melatonin may cause too much of it to be in the body, as contraceptive pills increase the amount of Melatonin that the body makes.

Caffeine actually decreases the amount of Melatonin in the body.

Fluvoxamine (anti-depressant) taken with Melatonin can increase the effects and side effects of Melatonin.

Diabetes Medication.

Medications to decrease the immune system as Melatonin increases the immune system.

Anticoagulant and Antiplatelet drugs (prevent blood clots) as Melatonin might slow blood clotting. Taking the two together could cause bruising and bleeding.

Nifedipine and Verapamil (high blood pressure and angina medication).

Minor Interactions 

Flumazenil (reverses the effects of Benzodiazepines).
It is not yet clear why this interaction occurs. (29)
34 drugs (104 brand and generic names) are known to interact with flumazenil of which
13 are major drug interactions. (31)

This drug is used to reverse benzodiazepine sedation to help wake us up after our medical procedure. Also used to treat benzodiazepine overdose in adults.
Question – Could it be possible we are overdosing because we simply want more to help us sleep and take away the anxiety we feel?

So let’s join the dots and have a go with some common sense here, as science does not yet have clear answers WHY this interaction occurs.

Can we start with saying something is clearly not right here?

Benzodiazepines may not mean anything to us but we may just recognise some of their other names like Xanax, Tranxene, Valium, Diazepam, Klonopin and Ativan.
They are generally prescribed as a sedative before surgery, for sleep, to reduce Anxiety, Panic disorders and Muscle relaxant – so now we know their job. This drug has been created to make us relax and sleep.

Note – when benzodiazepines are combined with other sedatives or alcohol – risk greatly increases.

Could it be possible that those who have anxiety and cannot get to sleep may turn to alcohol or other sedatives, just to help them get the sleep they want?

Also worth knowing that there are long-acting benzodiazepines which can remain in our system for a long time thus causing problems like dizziness, confusion or unsteadiness.
Short-acting benzodiazepines generally prescribed for insomnia because theoretically they produce less next-day drowsiness, but many patients still experience the effects of long-acting. (32)

So in theory (a supposition – a belief held without proof or certain knowledge, an assumption) the short-acting drug is not doing what it is supposed to for ‘many patients’. This is serious stuff.

Back to the Flumazenil, which is a benzodiazepine antagonist antidote and they say some controversy exists over its use.

Drugs dot com tells us the most important thing we need to know is Flumazenil may cause seizures (convulsions) especially in people withdrawing from sedative addiction. (33)

This means people want to sedate themselves and then get hooked and depend on the drug to give them that feeling of calm. Chances are the addiction means they need to take more to get the same effects as the body becomes more tolerant and the small dose might not cut it because nothing has changed to deal with WHY we needed the drug in the first place.

Commonly reported side effects of flumazenil include: dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
Other side effects include: headache, agitation, depersonalisation, depression, dysphoria (state of unease or generalised dissatisfaction with life), euphoria, hyperventilation, insomnia, nervousness, palpitations, paranoia, paresthesia (pins and needles), tremors, uncontrolled crying, visual disturbance, diaphoresis (unusual degree of sweating). (34)

Reading this can we say that we know why ‘some controversy exists’.
Important question – WHY do we have drugs that are used to reverse the effects of another drug?

More importantly for the purpose of this article – How does this affect our sleep quality?
Are we simply taking what the medics prescribe because we are so desperate?
Are our medical professionals simply prescribing what they think is best for us?
Are our pharmaceuticals coming up with more and more drugs because we demand them?
Are we relying on drugs to get our sleep sorted because we don’t want to change our lifestyle?
Are we at the point where we would do anything just to get that sleep thing on track?
Are we ready and willing to look at another way that needs no drugs to make us sleep?

So is this what we call minor?
Is it minor because not everyone is prescribed this drug?
Is the classification still ‘minor interactions’ after reading the list of side effects?

Are they really side effects, like hanging on the side of us OR are these effects actually going on inside us?
Is this Why some of us display the symptoms and our drug companies then record that fact?
If this is minor, then what on earth would major interactions be doing inside us?
Is it possible that our body is in conflict when we use drugs to give us relief?
In other words, it talks back to us by saying “listen mate this is not what I want inside me”
Is it worth considering how we are using drugs to not deal with what is going on underneath?
In other words – get to WHY we have anxiety and sleep problems?
Is this making any sense?

Back to Melatonin –

Our body is naturally inbuilt with something that just KNOWS about the cycles and rhythms regarding sleeping and waking times. It all magically seems to work with the 24 hour clock and that means –  all the other cycles of our planet, the moon and the sun and beyond.

So what are we doing and how are we living that starts to mess up this natural hormone?
What choices are we making every day that stops this Melatonin doing its daily job?
What is it that we are doing that is disturbing this Melatonin every day?
WHY are we not questioning that maybe, how we are living has something to do with it?
WHY are we not listening to our body when it is communicating that something is wrong?
WHY is it so hard for us to stop and question anything when it is about our body?

What if there is a science about going to bed early?
In other words, getting the optimum health benefits because our body is telling us?

Scientist Dianne Trussell says that going to bed early can change your life and that there is plenty of scientific research to support this but it is not presented in a way that makes simple sense, so we don’t make the choice to make the change.

Her life changing article is saying –

The hippocampus is the part of our brain that takes all our thoughts and what we have felt, done and experienced during the day and sorts it out during a quiet space while we sleep from 9pm until midnight. During the sorting out, it also connects us to everything else we have thought, felt, done and experienced in our past. It communicates with the cortex – the thinking, understanding, associating, sensing part of our brain that “knows where we are at”.

Why the hippocampus needs to talk to the cortex is because it has to know what is already inside the ‘files’ so that it can file the new stuff in the right places in the cortex. All this back and forth during the night is done during 2 types of sleep that we alternate between – dreaming (REM) and non-dreaming (SWS). In each cycle of REM and SWS, more files are transferred to the cortex and some parts will be done early and other parts will be done later in the night.
To get the whole job completed, we need the whole night so that all parts of our cortex is updated.

There are important things going on that can impact this process.
Cortisol – the stress hormone can disturb the natural filing because when we go to sleep, our brain’s natural cortisol level starts dropping and reaches the lowest level at midnight.
After midnight it starts to rise again and it goes high by the time we wake up.

If we choose to go to bed later than 9pm or super late, then we miss out on the quiet time where the brain can do the crucial first lot of work it has to do and then get ready for the later work of the night and for tomorrow.

Repeatedly going to bed after 9pm is measurable – 9% shrinkage of the hippocampus, a degree of shrinkage associated with depression. (35)

“…highlights the importance of adequate sleep timing and especially that of going to bed early in preventing hippocampal volume loss”
Diana Kuperczko – Dept. of Neurology, University of Pecs, Hungary et al in 2014 entitled
Late bedtime is associated with decreased hippocampal volume in young, healthy subjects in ‘Sleep and Biological Rhythms’ (35)

Whether we are depressed or not – is this making sense?

Just common sense would tell us that if any part of our brain is shrinking then it is certain that it cannot do its natural daily job and the knock on affect is we will not cope well with life.

“There is also a potential for psychiatric disorders, sleep disorders and Cushing’s syndrome from too much cortisol for too long, leading to things like high blood pressure, bone loss and Diabetes.” (35)

This study found that changing the times does not work so there is no benefit going to bed late and expecting the optimum cycle results which come from going to sleep between 9 and 10pm and sleeping for 7 – 9 hours.

It is important to note that the actual amount of sleep that we each need depends on how we are living and what our body truly needs.

Going to bed late does not work according to Trussell who says “The cycles to which our bodies naturally work are tied to much bigger and precise cycles of the planet, the moon, the sun and in fact the whole cosmos…”
In other words, our body is part of a greater whole and needs to live in sync. It would be unwise to escape from that natural law. If we keep pushing our body with the late nights, then we will ‘end up sick or crazy or both’. (35)
Dianne Trussell, Bachelor of Science, Honours – majors: Biological Sciences, Earth Sciences, Chemistry & Psychology, 17 years experience in Medical and Biological University Research (Primarily Neuroscience and Cell Biology), Co-author of 12 Peer-Reviewed Publications in Scientific Journals

WHY are we not asking questions when it comes to our crazy sleep habits?
WHY are people thinking it is cool to stay up all night?
WHY is it that we need something un-natural to keep us from sleeping?
WHY do we fight our sleep like it is the enemy?
WHY do we hate going to bed early like it is some punishment?
WHY do most of us hate going to bed early?
WHY do we not feel that sleep is offering us something of great value?
WHY do we not see sleep as a balance for our daily life of motion?
WHY do we need to get something to make us sleep?
WHY do we need to force ourselves to sleep?

We’re still stuck in this perception of sleep as a luxury, instead of seeing it as “a positive health behavior with beneficial outcomes for productivity”.
Dr. Natalie Dautovich, US National Sleep Foundation (36)

What if there was another way?
What if lifestyle changes could be the answer?

What if we truly took the time and space to develop a sleep routine?
What if we went to bed super early on our days off?

What if we were honest when we feel tired?
What if we could just say we are so exhausted and cancel the night out?

What if we simply ate less because our sleep was filling us up?
What if we took no stimulants and see how long we could stay awake?

What if our world is busy giving us solutions only to function?
What if sleep quality is what is missing in all of this?
What if respecting our body meant listening to it carefully?

What if sleep is really important in our development and evolution?

What if we can master our own sleep as we do have the answers?
Master is when something is LIVED in the body – not just words.
In other words, done consistently day in and day out without perfection.

That means having a regular routine with Simple Living Basics.

That means clocking when we feel tired and taking action with early bed that night.
That means having a steady and strong wind down routine.

That means making sure we don’t have pockets of our life we ignore and not deal with.
That means being committed to all areas of life.
That means appreciating jobs like changing the bed sheets.
That means not rushing around last thing at night.
That means preparing for the next day like clothes and food in advance.

That means listening to our body when it is tired.
That means honouring what we feel – all the time.
That means taking a nap on our day off and not dismissing it.
That means eating foods that do not keep us awake at night.
That means choosing not to drink poison like alcohol at any time.
That means being aware of when and what we are craving.

That means going for a walk every day without any agenda.
That means learning to live more connected to our body.
That means respecting our precious body.
That means not finding ways to function to keep going.
That means not pushing our body beyond its natural limits.

That means not taking on other people’s stuff.
That means minding our own business.
That means not chit chatting and gossiping to bring stimulation.

That means focusing on being present with any task.
That means not checking out into airy fairy world as we don’t like how dense we feel.
That means not listening to music, which then keeps repeating in our heads.

That means no more trips to the drug store or pharmacy for sleep aids.
That means not bugging our doctor for stronger sleeping pills.

That means saying No when we mean No to anything that harms us.
That means asking questions and not just accepting things if they don’t feel right.

That means dealing with issues so they don’t come to bed.
That means we keep our sleep space clear and clean at all times.
That means not doing social media and screen time before bed.
That means stopping porn and gambling sites that offer relief before bedtime.
That means applying common sense to daily life.
That means being sensible about the choices that are being made during every day.

That means building a true foundation that supports us in life.
That means having a real relationship with our internal body clock.
That means never having to dread the alarm clock going off.
That means no more irritable things bugging us in the day.
That means no more mood swings because we can’t get to sleep.
That means wearing our understanding hat every single day.

That means living a life of True Consistency, which is a life of True Responsibility.

Tall order maybe but does it make any sense?

Could it be this simple?

The author of this blog and hundreds of others have applied the teachings of Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine where the science of early bed makes sense and actually works. No late nights for 10 years is living proof that top quality sleep is possible for all of us. The bonus is our immune system becomes much stronger and there are heaps of other benefits too.

Many of us are just waiting for more scientific research before we will accept the truth of something, but what if our own body is the living science?

What if we can access the truth?
What if that truth comes from our body?
What if all we have to do is learn to listen to what our body is communicating.

We are in serious trouble with our sleep problems and yet we may just have the simple answer after reading this blog.

The Simple Living Global Back to Basics Program’s primary focus is about Building a Strong Sleep Rhythm and sticking to it.

Could this be the simple answer?

References

 (1) (2017). World Sleep Day. World Sleep Society. Retrieved March 11, 2017 from
http://worldsleepday.org/about-us

(2) (2017). Sleep Medicine. Retrieved March 11, 2017 from
http://www.sleep-journal.com/

(3) Bestic, L. (2014, January 22). Sleep Disorders Go Beyond Insomnia. Raconteur. Retrieved March 11, 2017 from
https://www.raconteur.net/healthcare/sleep-disorders-go-beyond-insomnia

(4) (2013, March 1). What You Need to Know about the Nation’s Sleep.
The Sleep Council. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
http://www.sleepcouncil.org.uk/first-ever-great-british-bedtime-report/

(5) (2014). Raconteur. Retrieved March 11, 2017 from
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(6) (2015, December 9). Insomnia. NHS Choices. Retrieved March 12, 2017 from
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insomnia/pages/introduction.aspx

(7) (2013, March 1). The Great British Bedtime Report. The Sleep Council. (p. 18, p.31). Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
http://www.sleepcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/The-Great-British-Bedtime-Report.pdf

(8) (2016, October 7). Sleeping Disorder Statistics. Statistic Brain. Retrieved March 11, 2017 from
http://www.statisticbrain.com/sleeping-disorder-statistics/

(9) Université Laval. (2011, September 8). Sleep Disorders Affect 40 Percent of Canadians. Science Daily. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110908104005.htm

(10) Adams, R., Appleton, S., Taylor, A., McEvoy, D., & Antic, N. (2016, March). Report to the Sleep Foundation – 2016 Sleep Health Survey of Australian Adults. (p. 2, p.8). Retrieved March 12, 2017 from
http://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/pdfs/surveys/SleepHealthFoundation-Survey.pdf

(11) Harper, P. (2012, March 16). Quarter of Kiwis Have Chronic Sleep Issues – Study. NZHerald.co.nz. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10792536

(12) O’Keeffe, K. (2013, December 9). Sleep Disorders in New Zealand Teenagers. Sciblogs. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
http://sciblogs.co.nz/sleep-on-it/2013/12/09/sleep-disorders-in-new-zealand-teenagers/

(13) (2012, August 1). Global ‘Sleeplessness Epidemic’ Affects an Estimated 150 Million in Developing World. The University of Warwick. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/global_145sleeplessness_epidemic146/

(14) (2015, July 31). Global Sleep Aids Market Will Reach US $80.8 Bn by 2020: Persistence Market Research. GlobeNewswire. Retrieved March 12, 2017 from
https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/07/31/756724/10144080/en/Global-Sleep-Aids-Market-Will-Reach-US-80-8-Bn-by-2020-Persistence-Market-Research.html

(15) (2015, September 3). Insufficient Sleep is a Public Health Problem. CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 12, 2017 from
https://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/

(16) (n.d). When Was Obstructive Sleep Apnea Discovered. Google. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C5CHFA_enGB723GB723&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=What+is+sleep+apnea&*

(17) (2012, July 10). What is Sleep Apnea. NIH – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Retrieved March 12, 2017 from
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea

(18) (2016, May). What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)? British Lung Foundation. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/obstructive-sleep-apnoea-osa/what-is-it

(19) (2016, May). Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). British Lung Foundation. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/obstructive-sleep-apnoea-osa/symptoms

(20) (2016, May). Driving and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). British Lung Foundation. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/obstructive-sleep-apnoea-osa/driving

(21) (2017). World Sleep Congress. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
https://worldsleepcongress.com/

(22) Walch, O.J., Cochran, A., & Forger, D.B. (2016). A Global Quantification of “Normal” Sleep Schedules Using Smartphone Data. Sleep Advances; 2: 5. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/5/e1501705.full

(23) (2013, January 14). 40% of Canadians Suffer from Sleep Disorders, Study Says. CTV Kitchener. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/40-of-canadians-suffer-from-sleep-disorders-study-says-1.1113990

(24) Chris Idzikowski. sleepspecialist.co.uk. Retrieved March 13 ,2017 from
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(25) Sadler, A. (2016, June 15). New Guidelines Reveal How Much Sleep Your Kids Need (VIDEO). Clark. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
http://www.clark.com/new-guidelines-how-much-sleep-kids-need

(26) Kleeman, J. (2017, March 4). Sleep Problems Mounting in Children. BBC News.
Retrieved March 12, 2017 from
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39140836

(27) Hope, K. (2016, November 30). Sleep Deprivation ‘Costs UK £40bn a Year’. BBC News. Retrieved March 12, 2017 from
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38151180

(28) Newman, T. (2016, January 21). Melatonin: Facts, What Does Melatonin Do? MNT – Medical News Today. Retrieved March 12, 2017 from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/232138.php

(29) (n.d). Melatonin – Overview, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosages. WebMD. Retrieved March 12, 2017 from
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-940-melatonin.aspx?activeingredientid=940

(30) (n.d). Melatonin – Overview. WebMD. Retrieved March 12, 2017 from
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/tc/melatonin-overview#1

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(32) (2014, May 4). Benzodiazepines: Overview and Use. Drugs.com. Retrieved March 16, 2017 from
https://www.drugs.com/article/benzodiazepines.html

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(35) Trussell, D. (2015, September 20). The Science of ‘Early to Bed’. Medicine and Serge Benhayon. Retrieved March 12, 2017 from
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(36) Knight, L. (2017, January 10). How to Nap Successfully at Work. BBC News. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38498488

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Comments 65

  1. This could definitely be the simple answer – the effects of changing our sleep patterns can have an almost immediate effect.
    I had sleep problems, not sleeping at all every other night and only sleeping 3-4 hours on most of the other nights. Feeling completely shattered most of the time, trying all sorts of sleeping aids (except prescribed sleeping drugs), nothing seemed to work. At one point feeling the increasing blood pressure I had to have 1 week off work to just try to relax and unwind.
    At this point I became aware of Serge Benhayon and his teachings and, almost as a last resort I started going to bed early, winding down prior to bedtime, reducing the time I spent looking at screens, cutting out caffeine and alcohol, gluten and dairy food. Low and behold, within just a few months, I was sleeping like a baby, my blood pressure was normal again and I was feeling more vital and vibrant than I had done for years.

    So yes, the answer for me was quite simple, and completely connected to lifestyle choices. Thanks for writing this “simple” blog.

  2. What a detailed insightful blog and the author knows what she is talking about. Up until 6 years I had chronic exhaustion.
    I survived on 2 hours sleep for at least 20 years. Mixed with anxiety not a great combination. When I look back I have no idea how I kept going.
    To be honest I was hanging by a thread. I ended up with a chronic thyroid condition amongst other things.

    6 years ago the author of this blog showed me there was another way to live.
    I started going to bed an hour earlier for a week. No easy feat when you are used to being awake for most of the night.
    Week two, 2 hours earlier and so on. It took a year to really get into the flow of a regular sleep pattern.

    Present day I have reversed my thyroid condition and I go to bed early which is Normal for me now.
    My chronic exhaustion has lifted. Sleep is so important for the body to re-generate and no matter where I am particularly when I travel with work, I stick to the same sleep rhythm.

    You are right what is world sleep day. What I would say World is READ this blog!

    1. It is truly amazing and inspiring Priscilla to read how you reversed such acute and chronic sleep and health issues.

      I have been close to many people who suffered with insomnia; it always seemed there was no way out for them.

      I now know it is possible to build quality sleep into a life that never had it as I have witnessed my partner pull out of long term debilitating sleep issues (2-4 hours of sleep per night for years).

      It has been incredible to watch his transformation over the past 6 years, as he worked with the support of the author of this blog to establish healthy sleep patterns and as a result come to life.

      I have learned that without adequate sleep everything feels like a struggle and life can become a joyless existence but with true restorative sleep the body can reconstitute it’self and heal and life can be lived without difficulty.

      Seeing more and more radiant smiles on this dear man’s face is all the proof I need that deep sleep is needed, it can be achieved and it is worth it.

    2. Thank you for sharing Priscilla and of course there will be the sceptics and critics who can easily dismiss what you are saying but the Truth is coming from your own body, which lets face it is a living science.

      If we apply common sense, we seem to actually shift things and this is what the sleep stuff comes down to. Back to Basics and doing our best with the sleep routine and committing to it, so that our body can be receive the maximum support it needs to do its job during the sleep time.
      Simple really, no rocket science or heaps of sleeping aids to rely on.

  3. I did not realize that I had sleep problems most of my life. I did not know it because I had nothing to compare it to. I understand now that it was partially because I was afraid to go to sleep. There was something scary about letting go, surrendering to sleep. Like if I fell asleep I would lose control.

    By doing the Back to Basics program, from Simple Living Global, I began to trust that I could deal with the sleep issue. There was a point just before I fell asleep that this intense fear, that I did not want to feel, would rise. I had to just allow myself to feel this fear, not push it away. It was very intense but my body was able to deal with it because of all the intensive self care I had done. It has been an ongoing process, but after 60 years of poor sleep, I am finally getting the deeper sleep I needed.

    So much appreciation and thanks to Simple Living Global and Serge Benhayon for presenting another way to live that has totally changed my life.

    1. Appreciation to you Ken Elmer for sharing the truth about your sleep issues.

      The Simple Living Back to Basics Program is hot on the sleep stuff.
      We know it is a priority to focus on this if there is to be a true foundation that supports our health and well being. Without a proper real sleep routine and rhythm things just don’t flow and it brings up all sorts of stuff – emotionally, physiologically and mentally.

      We are spending billions on research for so many human ill conditions and yet more and more we are hearing that lifestyle changes would make a difference.
      How about we start with getting this sleep stuff sorted?

  4. Brilliant Blog, much needed conversation – sleep is so fundamental to our body.

    In the NHS there has been an increased intensity and one NHS Hospital – Guy’s and St Thomas’ are implementing a new initiative called HALT (Hungry Angry Late Tired):
    http://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/news-and-events/2017-news/march/20170317-halt-campaign.aspx
    Whereby – “Dr Mike Farquhar, Consultant in Sleep Medicine at Evelina London, which is part of Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “Breaks for staff are not a luxury, especially when doing busy or intense night work. Regular rest is essential to ensure staff can provide safe, effective patient care to the best of their ability. The HALT campaign emphasises that, unless critically ill patients require your immediate attention, our patients are always better served by clinicians who have had appropriate periods of rest during their shifts.”

    Sleep, rest, breaks are much needed not just for our quality and vitality but for the quality and vitality we offer others when we work.

    1. Thank you Jane Keep for this link which is saying that our medical staff need to take breaks and in particular with night shifts.
      Great that they have presentations and workshops to support them now.

      Could we go one step further and question those who are teaching and presenting –
      How is their sleep quality and have they mastered sleep?

      Could it be possible that to have real change, those who are making suggestions, leading the way by teaching and presenting, are themselves masters of the subject. Not by theory or memory recall, but by simply living what is being presented everyday?
      So the knowledge is there but is second to the lived experience.
      Could this be the real way to have lasting results as it holds a different quality?
      A bit like saying – give up smoking, but the person telling us is still smoking.

  5. There was an article in the Guardian ‘Britons missing an hour’s sleep every night’
    (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/01/uk-hours-sleep-night-report-average-royal-society-for-public-health) where they state:
    Colin Espie, report co-author and professor of sleep medicine at Oxford University, said: “The importance of sleep for individual and societal benefit has been almost completely neglected in both policy and practice.
    “Insomnia, the most common expression of mental disease, is like a Cinderella disorder – seldom receiving proper attention, despite the fact that it is the most treatable precursor to depression.”
    We really do need to look at this – as it is a public health issue and something that as this blog says has an enormous ripple effect of so many things – illness and disease, mental health, productivity etc.

    1. Adding up the statistics of the 5 countries listed – the USA, Japan, UK, Canada, Germany – the total is eye-watering. The statistics show the cost of sleep deprivation for those countries last year was 2,280,000 working days and $680,400,000,000 lost.

      I can’t even comprehend the enormity of that. And I doubt those statistics even include the earlier stage ‘Cinderella disorders’ you reference here, Jane.

    2. To add to your comment, Jane Keep, another article from the Daily Mail, 21/01/17, says the complete opposite.

      The article is asking, “Could you really stockpile sleep?”

      It was thought that the only way to get over sleep deprivation was to catch up afterwards but a study by researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada suggests that getting an extra two hours sleep a night for a short period is just as good at improving physical performance, brain function and memory recall.

      They had twelve healthy young men who normally slept well and kept them awake for 38 hours. The men did the experiment after getting their normal amount of sleep then repeated the experiment after going to bed two hours earlier for six nights.

      The results, reported in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, showed physical and mental performance was better when they ‘banked’ sleep in advance.

      The article points out that British sleep experts said the study was small and there is no scientific rationale behind this theory.

      So, what constitutes a ‘normal sleep’?

      Are they talking about quantity or quality?

      Is it possible that everything we think, say and do, everything we eat or drink in the day has an effect on how we sleep at night?

      How were the subjects of this study living in the daytime during the experiment?

      Although the subjects of this study normally slept well:

      Is it possible that, if the subjects could actually sleep for that extra two hours, then they NEEDED the extra sleep?

      Is it possible that these men’s bodies were already exhausted so any increase in sleep was always going to have a positive effect?

      Is stockpiling sleep really the answer?

      From someone who does shift work, I have found that having a sleep in the day if I feel I need to, before or after work, helps me immensely.

      If needed, I will even have a sleep in the day on my days off.

      Our bodies are very intelligent and it is very good at telling us when it is tired and if it needs to rest.

      Our only choice is whether we listen or not.

  6. With support from Simple Living Global, I have been working with the concept of letting go. It has been easy for me to let go of all the physical things that I have, but letting go of the non physical things had been more difficult for me. This is part of my difficulty in falling asleep. I am afraid to let go. I am afraid something bad will happen if I lose control.

    This process of letting go, was about feeling safe enough to let go. With all the incredible support from Simple Living Global and Universal Medicine, I have felt safe enough to let go and start trusting the world again. This has allowed me sleep and let the world in.

  7. Not getting our sleep stuff right is causing so many problems for us and as most people are talking about not getting a deep quality sleep.

    We seem to rely so much on research and science and wait until they tell us but what about some simple common sense?
    What happens when we apply real common sense?
    Think of a baby and how we bend backwards to ensure they get the sleep rhythm tickety boo with no disturbances. Pukka pukka and no compromise ever.
    So what happens?
    WHY and WHEN does it all change?
    What would happen if we started treating our body like a precious tiny baby and got into a strong routine for bedtime and stick with it.
    Talking from lived experience it works and there is truth in this science of early bed.
    Those who think it is twaddle need to try it out and see and feel the benefits.

  8. There is so much offered in this blog.

    Reflecting on it, I have a LOT of conversations about sleep, especially at work. So many of us struggle with it – not being able to ‘switch off’ at night, difficulty getting to sleep, waking up in the night, going to bed too late, waking up tired etc. Everyone seems to know how critical it is, but deep, quality sleep with consistency evades us.

    The information here about melatonin levels and the hypothalamus are fascinating and it makes perfect sense that early nights are the simple solution to regulating them.

  9. I find it so fascinating that the two parts of the brain communicate with each other, the first shift being between 9 and 12 pm, filing Everything from the day. So going to bed late and stimulated doesn’t allow this to happen and the body doesn’t get the quality sleep it requires, or to do the filing. Surely there is then a heavy, foggy feeling in the morning from the congestion still in the body from the day before?

    I can really relate to this as I used to watch TV into the evening often falling asleep whilst watching, but then wake up feeling dreadful and not able to sleep well after. No quality in my sleep there and a rough start to the next day.

    When I started going to bed just before 9, after a proper wind down.. no stimulation, and then with a rhythm established, not only did I feel much more deeply rested but I didn’t need so much sleep and woke feeling much more refreshed and clear. No way would I go back to my old way now.

  10. Deep restful sleep is so critical to our quality of life. No matter how healthy we are, if we have even one night of poor sleep, it totally effects our next day.

    I remember how critical it was for my young children to get their nap. Without it they were a completely different person.

    If we want to improve the quality of our life, take this blog seriously. The Back To Basics program has turned my life around.
    No more dreading the thought of having to go to sleep. Now I go to bed with deep appreciation for myself for making the commitment to deal with my sleep issues.
    I truly feel if we really want to make changes in our life, there is unlimited support available.

  11. There was a study in 2012 (http://www.ishn.com/articles/94247-lack-of-sleep-linked-to-274000-workplace-accidents-a-year) suggested that lack of sleep/sleep issues were responsible in USA for “274,000 workplace accidents and errors each year” back then the study suggested employers pay more attention to it, and even screen employees for it, or ask them about it.

    I wonder how many employers discuss sleep and rest with their staff?
    Genuinely so – in terms of raising awareness of how foundational and fundamental sleep is in our life, health, and for productivity.
    Some studies and articles have looked at sleep and work, and there have been cases where staff can have interventions such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) – and whilst this or sleep medication can support, as this blog says – there is something more going on here, and until we really look at why in our world today we are not sleeping, or we are not sleeping well, and we continue with fix it and short term solutions we will find ourselves continually to be a sleep deprived world.

    On the other hand, if together we look at the way we are living our lives, why and how often we are going against the natural rhythm of our body, and the natural rhythm of who we are we may get to a deeper root cause of the planet’s sleep problems. Animals don’t have a problem sleeping – so why do we?

  12. From Simple Living Global, Universal Medicine and especially my own process of healing my sleep issues I am understanding more of what sleep is all about.

    Sleep is a incredible healing process much more complicated than I thought. Basically my sleep was bad and I was exhausted because of how I had been living my life.
    I have been working on a huge backlog of ignoring my bodys signals to stop. It took me awhile to understand and except that my poor sleep was because my body was working hard healing me and some of the healings were very old stuff, so it takes time.

    Rest was a critical part of my process. Because my sleep was so light from all the healing, I needed alot of rest, and this was very challenging for me after 60 years of motion. I feel the rest helped me slow down my raciness.

    I now wake up in the morning ready to go out and make a difference in the world. So much appreciation for myself and all the amazing support I have received.

  13. I just read an article called THE SECRET HORRORS OF SLEEP-DEPRIVED DOCTORS, written by Pamela Wible, (an MD herself) and I find this title to be terribly appropriate.

    “Recently, the ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) made the reckless decision to increase work hours to 28-hour shifts for new doctors.” -Wible
    …The consequences have been, as you might expect, catastrophic.

    What I gather from this and from many other articles which have been emerging is that there is a brutal form of pressure in the medical world to succumb to the protocols, schedule’s and demands that the system throws at you even if it is literally killing you and your patients…

    The pressures and bullying on medical staff and in particular interns and new doctors to take the abuse of sleep deprivation silently could be called unconstitutional, a crime or a human rights issue.

    Sleep deprivation is an actual torture technique used by militaries because the symptoms cause not only pain but acute suffering.

    There is something very wrong when doctors to be so tortured that they wish for a car accident so they can sleep or literally become suicidal.

    Pressures to accept abuse are extreme when surgeons are falling asleep during surgery instead of demanding sleep time.

    Social pressures are a problem when 4 hours of sleep in a 72 hour surgery shift is silently accepted and when doctors are working for 40 hours straight and have 80-100 hour work weeks.

    What we have here is a sleep deprivation experiment being done on real people, our surgeons and doctors, while they are working with real patients…

    How did it get this bad?

    Why do we have a system that is supposed to care for the health and well being of people but it is, by policy depriving the carers themselves of a basic physiological need and in this jeopardizing their safety and the safety of those seeking help form them?

    It is important to say out loud:
    ‘This is inhumane’ ‘
    ‘This is unsafe’
    ‘This is not only unsustainable but it is cruel’
    ‘This is irresponsible to the core’
    AND
    ‘There is another way’…

    http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2017/03/secret-horrors-sleep-deprived-doctors.html

    1. I agree THERE IS ANOTHER WAY and this blog is presenting another way.

      We put our medical doctors through years and years of training and studying and then expect them to work excess hours.
      Imagine the pressures they undergo and ADD to that sleep deprivation and you have a deadly cocktail that harms ALL.

      There is no getting away from the fact that if our medical doctors are going with less sleep then the body is going to cop it and they are not going to be alert and fully present to do their job which requires a finite level of precision and concentration to say the least.

      They are RESPONSIBLE for the lives of other fellow humans and yet they are being told to go without sleep as there is a DEMAND for them to see more patients.

      Is this crazy and who on earth thinks up this stuff and makes it policy?

      We all need to start taking sleep seriously and not advising others without trial and test.
      In other words, LIVE what we want the world to do as this brings about real change.

      I am one person who has been applying the going to bed science of sleep as mentioned in this blog for over a decade and it works. I can honestly say I no longer have exhaustion in my body and most days I work a two day in one day and I am most certainly not whacked out or requiring substances to pep or prop me up.

      By that I mean I work longer hours than the average, but without the need of stimulants that most resort to in order to keep pushing and going all day.

      There is a huge difference in the quality of what we put out in a day’s work when we have a deep quality of sleep every night. It is priceless and the only way to get it is to get on with it and stay committed and consistent. No point doing early bed few nights and then blowing it all at the weekend as that does not work. Done it, been there and got nowhere, so sharing this just incase anyone was wondering if they can get away with the odd late night. Sorry mate its not how our body works.

  14. It is no surprise sleep deprivation is a form of torture. Probably a well researched one, at that.
    To know that someone will suffer hugely when deprived of sleep, we must know how important sleep is to the body and how it will break down without it, causing physical and psychological issues.

    Why would we choose even a bit of that in our every day?

  15. I have not put much value to my sleep in the past. Treating it as something I needed to do. Almost like a bother and because of this, my sleep became pretty bad.

    I thought I could ignore my sleep.
    It was not that important.
    I felt that getting things done was the goal in life.

    This did not work because no matter how much I got done, I did not feel okay at the end of the day. So I would push to do more.
    An endless cycle.

    With support from Simple Living Global and my body telling me I was doing something wrong, I began to understand that life is not about getting a lot of things done, it is about how you are doing things. When I am more focused on the activity of life, rather than getting the job done, I feel more complete at the end of the day. This allows me to except sleep as the next thing.

    This simple realisation has totally changed my life just like a good night’s sleep can make your day.

  16. 28th March 2017

    Research from academics at Surrey University and Harvard Medical School have found that teenagers turning lights down in the evenings, including switching off their tablets and smartphones at night would help them get up in the mornings. This is advocated over schools implementing later start times as a way to help them get to school on time.

    https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/later-school-start-time-not-solution-tired-teens

    Interestingly the research also states that a later school start time would affect teenagers’ body clock as it would drift later and later and so in a few weeks time, they would find it just as difficult to get out of bed.

    This is really important research. When reading about the proposed later school start times, it never made any sense. What this research is showing is that what happens before we go to bed and how we spend our time in the evenings, all have an impact on our sleep and our ability to wake-up in the mornings.

    I feel that this research applies not just to teenagers but to all of us.

  17. Metro Newspaper – 24 November 2016

    This news story is saying that women lose out on more than a week’s worth of sleep each year, according to the biggest ever study of our sleep habits.
    It is based on ‘sleep debt’ – the difference between the amount we get and how much we feel we need to function.

    77% wake up feeling tired
    Clinical Sleep Research Unit, Loughborough University

    So just this one statistic is speaking volumes to us about the state of our sleep in the UK.

    Lets join some dots with our common sense hat on.

    Sleep debt is a choice – we all have this Free Will business that allows us to do whatever we want, whenever we want and most of us if we are honest do not pay attention to the value and importance of sleep.

    Taking it one step further –
    Could it be possible that if we are not choosing to live with a deep regard for our body, then we might not be able to actually calculate how much sleep we feel we need to function?
    In other words we may not have the clarity of mind to know what is the truth when it comes to sleep because we have a blind spot.

    Next – the word ‘function’ when we talk about our body needs to be considered more deeply.
    Is function the answer or does our body want more?
    We all know if we eat or stick a blast of sugar in our mouth, or a dose of caffeine we can function and keep going. Is this simply a solution?
    Do we need to ponder on getting more honest and perhaps looking at how function in the long term does not serve us as a race of beings because it does not expose the exhaustion that seems to be underlying unaddressed?

    We can keep asking for more research and more gadgets and solutions to find ways to bypass what our body naturally demands of us – QUALITY SLEEP.

  18. How much sleep do I need? The experts say 8 hrs. How do they know how much sleep I need? A baby knows exactly how much to sleep and no one told them.

    So when do we start looking to the experts for answers? When our sleep is bad and we do not know why. And we think that someone else can tell us what is wrong.

    If we do not take responsibility for our own lives, we start to lose trust in ourselves and our bodys natural ability to deal with life.

    Like a child, we know exactly how to deal with our sleep issues, just stop, surrender and listen to our bodies infinite wisdom.

  19. You are on your way home on a packed out underground train in London flicking through the freebie newspaper. There you have the solution, the so called answer to ‘sweeter dreams’ – a big page telling us how to have ‘better sleep’ and we have on offer silk eye masks with flowers and a bow, noise machine, sleep bath foam, sleep body butter, sleep pillow spray and sleep tea.

    The products available at my pharmacy for sleep issues have gone off the scale. The world and its mothers, brothers and sisters want to get a deep night’s sleep and need the props to deal with the problem. We just want to fall asleep and it drives us nuts that we can’t.

    I was one of those trying everything to just shut that mind up from jabbering on and racy thoughts that made no sense or a download of a stupid song I heard in the day.

    It took time to master my sleep. So what do I mean master sleep?
    I would claim that if we do something day in and day out then we have mastered it.
    No certificate or award needed.
    Just an authority coming from our body when we talk about it because it is lived.

    Going to bed early for 12 years now is the answer. Paying close attention to the body at all times and honouring what I feel in any given moment sure helps.

    So what if I mess up, fall off the wagon or get it wrong. That’s the human bit.
    Who said we need to be perfect? Where did that nonsense come from?

    A decent night’s quality sleep is normal for me and things on the outside no longer disturb me during the day as I don’t take them with me to bed.

  20. Thank you Simple Living Global for this well needed blog highlighting a subject that is really not given the respect or consideration it deserves.

    As a society, we are very nonchalant about the benefits or harm that sleep, or the lack of, can bring.

    Lack of sleep in particular is very harmful and hence, sleep deprivation is used as a torture method.

    Our bodies require sleep to rejuvenate but the focus is generally put on the quantity of sleep rather than the quality of sleep.

    Quality of sleep is so much more important and as you have highlighted, too much sleep has a negative effect.

    As someone who used to abuse my body with late nights of watching TV/DVD’s and using alcohol to numb myself to sleep, and then waking up only to feel like I could go back to sleep for a week, I can also attest to the teachings of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

    To wake up, without an alarm clock, and to not feel tired and be ready for the day ahead, was something that I couldn’t imagine, after all, it was the norm for me to wake up exhausted reaching for my caffeine or sugar fix.

    The presentations of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine have given me a way of life that brings an immense amount of joy and in that way of life, a quality of sleep that I had never experienced before.

  21. ‘How many of us know that alcohol is affecting our sleep, but we need it?’ – Simple Living Global

    Dr Max Pemberton, NHS Psychiatrist writing in the Daily Mail on 25th February 2017 writes about a woman who ‘thought’ she had found a solution to her sleep problems through alcohol. He was speaking with her at an alcohol detox clinic after routine blood tests at her GP surgery found that her liver was on the ‘brink of failure’. She was drinking 1 – 2 bottles of wine per night.

    Dr Max shares that in his professional experience this is not unusual.

    He also quotes a study released in February 2017, which stated that 25% of us regularly use alcohol to get to sleep. In 2013, the figure was just 15%.

    When we are of sound mind this does not make sense, but I can understand the desperation we must feel being sleep deprived. Alcohol may knock us out the first night, but very quickly a dependency occurs and having one problem turns into two or three as an addiction develops plus consequential harm to the body.

    Dr Max agrees stating ‘While alcohol undoubtedly has the ability to knock out even the most hardened insomniac, it doesn’t allow the body to go through a full sleep cycle.’ He also noted that waking up groggy is common among those of us that drink alcohol regularly, as our brain has not rested properly.

    He also shares his experience of people using alcohol to self-medicate when we experience depression. Alcohol makes the mood of a depressed person worse as it is a depressant.

    So here we have it, a psychiatrist letting us know that using alcohol to numb our problems is not the way – it never has been and it never will be.

    As one reader, reading the story of the lady who ended up in alcohol detox is a wake-up call for the focus to shift from the management of sleep issues to us getting to the root cause through looking at the way that we live, as this article on Sleep by Simple Living Global is presenting.

    I know that everything changed for me in my life once I started to go to bed early consistently. I became less moody and I no longer wanted to put harming substances into my body like alcohol as I so enjoyed (and still do) the benefits of waking each morning feeling rested, alive and ready to engage in the day ahead.

  22. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317735.php

    This hot news story posted yesterday on Medical News says that the time we eat affects our biological clock.
    The new research study from University of Surrey, UK is published in the Journal Current Biology.

    The findings that were significant were that the participants’ blood sugar levels changed.
    Late meal times delayed blood sugar rhythms by an average of 5 hours.

    “Timed meals therefore play a role in synchronizing peripheral circadian rhythms in humans and may have particular relevance for patients with circadian rhythm disorders, shift workers and transmeridian travellers”.

    These findings are giving us a clue about how our blood sugar is connected with our sleep and wake cycles.

    How many of us if we were honest do not feel like we had a quality sleep after eating later or at odd times, which is not our normal routine?

    How many of us feel a lot lighter and better for not eating a heavy meal in the evening?

    How many of us benefit when we do not eat sugary foods before bedtime?

    We could say common sense tells us all of this or we could wait for even more research to keep telling us what we all innately know makes sense.

  23. Sleep is such a precious thing.

    After a week of late nights and room sharing at a company event, I had a deep sleep at home. Waking up the next day was like having a big reunion with my body – it felt amazing and it was easy to stay connected with it as I went about my day.

    Who would have thought sleep could do that – help you stay tuned in to what you’re doing when you’re awake, instead of functioning checked out, on autopilot?

  24. An article from the BBC News, March 2017, talks about how Sleep loss ‘starts arguments at work’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-39444997?ns_mchannel=email&ns_source=inxmail_newsletter&ns_campaign=bbcnewsdaily

    Researchers say that even a single nights loss of sleep can cause erratic and disruptive behaviour, which is linked to lower levels of self-control.

    The study published by the Rotterdam School of Management says that this disruption can cause billions in lost productivity.

    The study argues that sleep loss reduces peoples self-control and their ability to ‘regulate their impulses’, it could contribute to unethical behaviour and can also make it difficult for people at work to overcome feelings of failure which then contributes to workplace problems seeming to become overwhelming.

    This study is simply stating what is fairly obvious.

    I’m sure we have all experienced times when we have reacted differently than we normally would have done because we are irritable and snappy because we are tired due to another late night or being unable to sleep for some other reason.

    On a personal note, although very rare, if I haven’t got adequate sleep I notice that my work output, whether it be at home or at work, is reduced slightly and I have less motivation to do things and I am pulled to eat things that I normally wouldn’t.

    We are all individuals and sleep loss can affect us in many different ways, so this study is just a confirmation of the importance that adequate sleep is very necessary.

  25. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317780.php?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly

    5 June 2017 – Medical News Today

    New research suggests that going to bed and waking up later on weekends than weekdays may have negative health consequences.

    “Social jet lag” is a term that describes what happens when people go to sleep and wake up later on weekends than they do during the week.

    A new study assessing the impact of social jet lag on overall health was published in the academic journal Sleep.

    Researchers found that with each hour of social jet lag, there was an 11.1% increase in the likelihood of developing heart disease.
    The results did not depend on insomnia or sleep duration so the jet lag on its own may be responsible for these health outcomes.

    There is more to read but is it all too complicated and could we just for a moment put our common sense hat on and join the dots?

    This blog has given us much to ponder on and if we keep it simple – does it make sense to follow a natural cycle of sleep and wake times, take note of the science of going to bed early, cut out foods like sugar and caffeine which stimulate the mind, knock out screen time in the evening and stick to the plan. The plan is making sure we consistently have some quality preparing for bedtime and not just checking out with a full belly of food in front of the TV.

    With due respect to all our researchers, WHY are we not applying common sense or at least giving this ‘going to bed early’ a go?

    WHY are we demanding more and more research to catch up on the global issue we now have regarding our sleep.

  26. When such a large percentage of people do not experience the deep restorative kind of sleep the body is designed to have we start to really lose our way; in other words we do not have role models and people around to show us what ‘true’ sleep is.

    We need to see a problem and recognize it before we can begin to address it.

    My life and how I feel in it, is night and day different when I am getting the kind of sleep I need.

  27. I was talking about sleep with our grocery delivery driver this morning. He was sharing how he watches TV in bed to get to sleep and sometimes puts the radio on too.

    He said he watches 5 minutes then falls dead asleep and has no idea what’s happening on the TV, but it soothes him.

    He says it’s his habit now and he wouldn’t know how to sleep without it.

    How many of us have lost connection like this, with something so natural as the act of going to sleep?

    Thank you for this blog, which offers a way back.

  28. Why are we waiting for more research? What a great question.

    Why do we give away our own knowing and common sense this way?

    There are many examples of this in life.

    We all know vitality is linked to the quality of our sleep. To increase true vitality, we know where to start.

    Cutting stimulants. Early nights. Consistency.

    What if we all took a dose of this medicine? What sort of shift would we see?

  29. Scientists have found that when we have a sense of purpose it aids our sleep

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jul/10/sense-of-purpose-aids-sleep-us-scientists-find

    I can attest to that. The more that I have felt the reason why I am here on Earth and more so accepting the value that I bring to others and so adjusting my life so that I take care of myself so that I am fit to continue contributing to life and fulfill that purpose – the sounder I sleep at night knowing why I wake up each morning.

  30. This sleep business I feel needs to be mastered and by that I mean LIVED every day to the best of our ability.

    Taking into account the science of going to bed early, which is really just a bit of common sense if we think about it, we could all benefit from a quality that is not craving this and that but feeling more settled and steady.

    Having practiced going to bed early for over a decade, I can say as a living science that I am proof – the evidence of what is possible with this amount of regular sleep.

    You get to look and feel younger, things don’t irritate and bug you and above all you do not get sick as the immune system is strong. The fact I do not get a cold or sore throat says a lot from someone who had an asthma pump, cold hands and feet and bronchitis every year. That’s just a few of my symptoms – there are more.

    Add to this my GP telling me recently I have perfect blood pressure.

    Sleep quality and the way we choose to wind down before sleep is EQUALLY important if you ask me and it is for this reason that I have dedicated my life to writing and presenting Back to Basics stuff like this, so that humanity can have more awareness. I see no point taking all this great lived wisdom to my grave and not sharing it.

  31. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38918056

    I recall reading this news story earlier this year and was thinking how come kids are sleeping through the loud noise of a smoke alarm.

    Forensic scientists and fire investigators have warned that smoke alarms may not wake children.

    A research study confirmed how children tested REPEATEDLY slept through smoke detector alarms.

    This is alarming news (pun intended) and a wake up call that something is seriously wrong.

    Should we all be asking questions as to WHY our kids are not waking up?
    Do parents need to look into this and take note as this is very very serious?
    Are we raising our children in a way that leaves them exhausted during sleep time?
    Are our youth living in a way that is not alerting them to danger like a loud alarm?
    Are our kids so dis-connected with their body that they simply are not in touch with their senses?
    Are we looking at what choices our children are making in daily life that may contribute to this?
    Are we as adults being real role models for our children when it comes to rest and sleep?

    Could it be possible that our children are sleeping repeatedly through alarms because something is deeply wrong with how they are living during the day?

  32. Dr. Max in the Daily Mail on 6th May 2017 talks about a dummy sleeping pill which actually helped people sleep better and they felt rested in the morning.

    How on earth can a placebo have this affect?

    Dr Max thinks it’s because many people experience anxiety when they find it difficult to sleep and this is why they have insomnia.
    The association of going to bed is linked to lying awake worrying about sleeping, so it’s harder to nod off.

    But when people take the placebo, they expect to get to sleep. This relaxes them so they do actually sleep.

    This says a lot if we stop and think about it.
    We are so reliant on something on the outside to fix us and bring us the solution but is this the real answer?
    Is this going to sort out our sleep quality for the long-term?
    Are we happy getting a few winks a week and winging it for the rest?
    Are we willing to make sleep a priority so we can have real vitality levels?

    Most of us know there is a direct correlation with sleep and our immune system.
    I am a living science and so I do not need to be stuck in a lab and tested.
    I would claim I have a strong immune system as I have not taken any supplements for a decade and I do not rely on any stimulants or aids to help me sleep. I have not had a cough or cold in 12 years so that in itself speaks volumes. Not a sore throat or flu.

    Add to that – I do not have tranquil countryside nature surroundings every night. I live off a very busy London high street and yes we have noisy neighbours. But that’s ok as it has zero effect on my internal state. I have done my best to apply the science of going to bed early as mentioned in this blog and I for one know it really does work and supports me in every area of my life.

    Without sleep quality, I feel we are robbed of our natural way of living. It is so worth getting this sleep stuff sorted.

  33. On this government website http://think.direct.gov.uk/fatigue.html it states that –

    ‘Research suggests that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related’

    ‘Sleep-related accidents are more likely than others to result in a fatality or serious injury’

    ‘Studies have shown that drivers don’t fall asleep without warning. Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel have often tried to fight off drowsiness by opening a window, or by turning up the radio. This doesn’t work for long.’

    In general tiredness affects our concentration and response time.. so does this mean that if we are more responsible with the time we go to sleep and our wind down before doing so.. how we go to bed.. we could reduce this percentage or even cancel it out? and have safer roads for us all?

  34. In college I worked part of one summer at a farm in Vermont that had no cell service and no TV. We woke up at 5am, did morning chores, ate breakfast, tended to the fruits and veggies, ate lunch (including tomatoes picked off the vine), more work, then dinner, card games and conversation, and then asleep by 9pm…and I felt amazing. That was a miracle because at the time I wouldn’t even register for 10am classes knowing I would struggle to get there.
    I wasn’t able to hold on to that lesson, but starting to revisit it again right now. Thankfully insomnia’s not been an issue but I delay actually going to sleep even when tired – like a toddler throwing a tantrum about bedtime but it’s clear the tantrum is caused by the exhaustion. Banning screens from my bedroom helped but I still spend (less) time on screens at night in the living room. Going to try a more intentional wind-down routine and see how that goes.

  35. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/14/driver-m1-crash-killed-eight-people-did-not-have-lorry-licence/

    The driver of a lorry was asleep on the motorway for 12 minutes before the fatal accident that killed 8 people.

    We could just sit and blame or we could use this tragic story to start asking some very serious questions?

    How on earth can someone with that amount of Responsibility ie driving a Heavy Goods Vehicle, even contemplate or consider sleeping on the road?

    What was going on for this person that makes them want to just sleep literally at the wheel without any awareness of the consequences?

    What was going on in the mind of this driver that just stops on a motorway lane to sleep?

    Is the alcohol which we all know is a mind altering substance the reason this has happened?

    Are we going to ban everyone from drinking alcohol when driving as no amount is safe?

    Are we going to get real now and see the harm that is caused when someone is over the drink drive limit?

    Are we ready to say No to a scientific proven poison called alcohol that can have such a devastating effect on us and others?

    Are we going to join the dots and make simple sense that sleeping on the motorway is dangerous and anyone in their right mind would never attempt it?

    Are we going to do something about this or just put it down to a terrible news story?
    Are we going to realise that lack of sleep and alcohol abuse are a lethal cocktail?
    Are we going to put our common sense hat on and see this all for what it truly is?

    How do we as a nation get over the worse motorway tragedy in 25 years?

    NOTE – this comment is also published on our Alcohol Blog

  36. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-39232620
    BBC news story – 11 March 2017

    A prominent gamer has died during a live streaming when he popped out for a cigarette break after 22 hours into the gaming.

    SLEEP or lack of sleep could be the most common sense answer here or we could wait for some studies and fund more researches and wait around to confirm what we know right now.

    We all know about drugs and alcohol – they alter our natural state of being and are simply poison to our human body that is not designed to have these substances.
    It is clear and obvious that if our natural state is tampered with then our sleep is going to be out.
    We do not need any scientific study to tell us that immutable fact as common sense will tell us.

    So could gaming be a drug?
    Reading our blog on video games – http://simplelivingglobal.com/video-games-day-12-september/
    – there is much being presented that would leave us in no doubt that we cannot sustain sitting in front of a screen without movement for long periods. ADD to that what this blog is saying about our circadian rhythm and BINGO we have the answers.

    Just because the world of science is not bang up to date with research on this new modern day global epidemic does not negate the fact that we have a new legal drug called gaming and it’s taken off. Those investing are not going to be losers when it comes to money, but is that driving factor enough when we know the real Truth?

    Can we blame them or anyone who creates all this stuff OR do we take a look at the supply and demand and wake up to see it is us demanding and so they supply. If we stop the demand then they have to cut the supply as no one wants it.

    Are we going to take our SLEEP seriously enough to know that it needs to be a priority if we are ever going to stop the rise of illness and disease in our world?

  37. Why do we put SLEEP at the back of the queue over everything else? Over the past few years I have come to realise just how important sleep is and the quality of it. I remember the days when Sleep was not at the top of my list; and as a result I ended up with chronic exhausation.

    Fast forward present day my sleep pattern is incredibly important to me and forms part of my daily living.

  38. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/06/lack-of-sleep-could-contribute-to-mental-health-problems-researchers-reveal?CMP=share_btn_tw
    The Guardian- 6 September 2017

    Researchers have revealed that Mental Health problems including psychotic experiences could in part be down to lack of sleep.

    Having insomnia doubles our chances of developing depression says Daniel Freeman from the University of Oxford.

    Reading this blog we know without quality sleep we are in deep trouble.
    This study was conducted on students and if we read what our youth are up to these days it is no surprise that there is such a rise in sleep issues and insomnia is one of them.

    There is no therapy on earth that is going to stop some people staying up late and doing whatever it is they want with zero regard for their health and well being.

    There is also not enough on the ground, real life research spelling out to us that lack of sleep needs to be addressed if we are ever going to get on the front foot of the rise in illness and disease.

    This blog is spelling out the dangers we have of ignoring our natural rhythms and cycles that we need to pay attention to.
    It seems we do this easily and without effort for young babies and then somewhere along the line we lose the focus and things go off track.

    Is it time we just apply simple common sense and start getting to bed early and developing a sleep routine that we stick to that actually supports our sleep quality?

    Would we all benefit in the long-term if we got the basics in place like early bed?

  39. The global market for sleep aids will reach $80.8 billion by 2020. It is already worth well beyond $58 billion.

    The primary factor is considered to be ‘our stressful modern lifestyle’.

    Apparently home sleep testing and wearing body monitors at night are now very common.

    Perhaps it’s time to study those who have true rest and vitality and consider why.

    1. This report details the factors associated with not getting quality sleep.

      Factors like obesity, alcohol consumption, sugary drink consumption, smoking, lack of exercise, mental health problems and stress.

      This is not surprising.

      I know for a fact when I don’t get quality sleep, I make bad food choices and am in particular drawn towards sweet things. And one bad choice seems to lead to another.

      In my experience the opposite is also true.

  40. Metro News – 24 October 2017

    A train driver on night shift ‘briefly closed her eyes’ before crashing and injuring 5 people.

    It says the driver was at the end of a ‘relatively demanding night shift’.

    So what is it about shift work that really affects those who have to do it.

    My partner who works in transport has, if you ask me, mastered all shifts including night shift. He makes sure he rests on his rest days and he is focussed on taking deep care of himself with making his food for work and exercising. His priority is to ensure his body gets plenty of sleep regardless of what the clock time is saying and he does not rely on stimulants.

    He is known for swapping straight from nights to early morning or day shift with no problem at all. All this has taken some time but well worth it as he can adjust and it shows us that it is possible.

    What many people I know do is use stimulants like sugar, alcohol, caffeine to stay alert and awake. Over eating is not the answer and neither is drugs. I know heaps of people who work late in the restaurants who are taking drugs to keep going and stay awake.
    It confirms that sleep is really needed and it comes to balance our waking life. Ignoring and overriding our body when it needs sleep is the cause of so many ills today in this world if you ask me.

    I for one was overweight, moody, emotional and stressed for decades. Once the sleep thing got mastered, I am not craving sleep or needing any aids to make me sleep.

    To me sleep is a priority and without that deep quality of sleep, life ain’t worth functioning as we miss out on the joy of actually breathing and living life to the full.

  41. WHY are we struggling to fall asleep?

    I realized today in a Simple Living Global, one-on-one session that I’ve been struggling for the last two or three weeks to fall asleep quickly even when I’m tired and that that’s probably a good invitation to take a pause and likely even rest more rather than less.

  42. I was thinking tonight about how since I started living the lessons on this blog and how grateful I am to have sleep to return to each night like the in breath of a meditation. I’ve started to really look forward to going to bed rather than resisting it.

  43. The commentary on circadian rhythms in this blog is so interesting – the information about them being generated in the hypothalamus in 2 groups of cells. With the SCN creating and maintaining a daily cycle based on data it receives about light levels from receptors in the retina – timing it passes on to the pineal gland. Then with the pineal gland releasing melatonin at night and suppressing it in the day.

    This sounds like magic and yet it is happening inside us every day.

    And it happens wherever we are in the world, even when moving across time zones.

    I recently travelled to an 8 hour time difference timezone and my body tuned itself in to the circadian rhythm, meaning no symptoms of ‘jet lag’. Simply awake and vital during the day and sleeping deeply at night.

    What if the magic of circadian rhythms is right there available to all of us, but we interfere with it in one way or another, with the choices we make in our daily living?

    1. Good point Jenifer about us making choices in our daily life that actually interferes with the natural cycles of circadian rhythms.
      As humans we have made a real mess of this sleep business if you ask me and I am talking from lived experience.

      I realise that my exhaustion was because I had no sleep rhythm and I lived on this nervous racy energy day in and day out and with acting like I was superwoman, I just kept going until illness forced me to stop. I always felt a constant anxiousness but could easily override it with my super busy life and eating copious amounts of sugar.

      It was over a decade ago that a wise man called Serge Benhayon presented about sleep and it just was simple and making some sense to me. I felt I got an understanding and that it was possible to change as he was living proof of the fact that we can master our sleep where it is no longer an issue. So I started to apply what was being said and bingo ten years later, I could write a blog like this only because what is being presented is being lived. So there is no hot talk just a delivery with authority on a topic that remains very close to my heart.

      WHY? It is because I say all the time that if we get our sleep sorted things would change in a true way and be of great benefit to our mind and body, our world and its brothers.

      Many of the ills we have created today come from our lack of respect and honouring of our body and giving it the true rest it needs. We have become too reliant on wanting products as some kind of solution to fix our sleep as we demand it, but not once wanting to take responsibility and make changes that will not require any sleeping aid.

  44. Last night I went to bed too late and this morning I feel tired.

    This shows me I need to go bed earlier and don’t drain myself because I will wake up tired if I do.

  45. Last night I went to bed early but tossed and turned until 11 and then woke up at 4:30am.

    Now that I am used to how I feel on a great night of sleep today I felt an enormous difference – among other things I felt very slow/foggy, much less connected to my body. I am grateful that the contrast is so sharp.

    Interestingly in that tired stage the one thing that seemed to really help with energy levels was one on one conversations with people where I was able to let curiosity lead.

  46. I recently changed jobs and left my job of 9 years to work closer to home. This is having a profound effect on my sleep quality. Now I have a 20 minute walk to work rather than a 90 minute underground journey.

    This is my first week in the new post but what I have found already is that I now have the space to sleep until my body naturally wants to wake, rather than being concerned about the time and being late. Just having that concern allayed has meant that my sleep quality is much deeper and when I wake in the mornings my heart feels very much at ease, open, expanded and ready for the day ahead.

    The quality of our sleep really does have an affect on our organs. It would be great for research to be carried out in this area.

  47. Sleep is such an important part of my life and going to bed early has become the norm over the past 6 years. I have friends whose children go to bed later than me. That is a worrying sign that sleep is still not at the top of the agenda.

    If our children are not getting into the rhythm of going to bed early, how are we expecting them to grow into alert adults?
    I was in the shop the other day and there were three school children around 12 years old buying a half litre bottle each of energy drink.
    Do our children feel this is the only option to turn to other than going to bed early?

    It was great to re-visit this blog!

  48. Thank you for this powerful post on the importance of having a strong sleep rhythm that is in harmony with our natural cycles and the needs of our bodies. Thank you also for covering comprehensively the costs of not having a strong sleep rhythm.

    Reading this post has required me to honestly look at my baseline energy levels and I have to admit that I am absolutely exhausted.

    I cannot seem to function without that first cup of coffee in the morning.
    Also, through the day I frequently turn to surfing the web, reading the news or turning on the TV to get a quick fix of mental stimulus which allows me to override my body and bury my exhaustion. These behaviours are no solution – I can see and feel that I urgently need to build a strong sleep rhythm.

    Reading this post has helped me to make connections that I have not made before. I have suffered depression for much of my adult life and in recent years my sex drive has been very low – I had never considered before that perhaps my poor sleep habits have contributed to these 2 issues in my life. These issues of depression and poor sex drive have caused me much anguish over the years – so I have to ask myself now:
    Could the way to begin to heal these 2 health issues really be as simple as sorting out my sleep and building a strong natural sleep rhythm?

  49. I have been very focused over the last month or so on consistently going to bed early.

    One of the most surprising things that is happening is that I have started to wake up relatively frequently before my alarm clock goes off, which has only very rarely happened in my life before now.

    I take it as a sign that I am finally getting the amount of sleep I actually need, and I do notice that my energy levels are higher overall these last few months.

    I am also seeing that I am much more attuned to when I am more tired – for example this past weekend I realized I had had a very busy week and needed extra rest so let myself sleep with no alarm and got an extra two hours each night, after which I seem to have reset to the now-normal schedule.

    Amazing how the body pulls us to what we need if we listen.

  50. As I prepare for sleep writing a daily comment on this website is part of my preparation. Some may ask why. My reason is because this is a website that I know through and through is about Truth and it presents that there is another way for us to live, in the wake of everything else in our world not working. This is very worthy of my time as I know so many others benefit because this website is up and running on the worldwide web.

    The subject of Sleep is a huge one. A very important aspect of our lives that we do not pay enough attention to.

    When I had a long period of sickness absence from work, sleep became one of my priorities and I found myself sleeping much more, especially napping in the day. I feel that this has gone a long way now in building a stronger body. I am currently working in a very intense job, but do not find that my energy levels are dropping. I definitely notice that the less I ‘take things on’ and ‘get involved’ in things that do not concern me, the less drained and tired I am at the end of the day. I feel that going to sleep at times that I know work for me, support me to be able to discern whether I need to get involved in x, y, z as opposed to suddenly finding myself landed in situations.

    So I do have to question why the sleep aids industry is a multi-multi-billion dollar industry when taking care of our sleep and having improved sleep, without aids is possible.

    Do they work?

    Will choosing sleeping aids make us happy, as some companies claim?

    Will the right pillow spray, bath soak, moisturiser, cleanser, night oils, etc, etc, do the trick?

    What is the measure of the claims from sleep aid companies of the percentage of people who slept better with the use of their products?

    Could it be as crazy as sleeping for 3 hours instead of 2?

    Are sleep aids yet another way that we avoid taking responsibility for making truly sustainable lifestyle changes?

    I reckon we have got it all wrong with this focus on sleep aids as sleep issues are rapidly growing, affecting more people at younger and younger ages.

    I know that sleep aids never did anything to support me with improved sleep. If anything I wasted a lot of time, energy and money trying to find a solution.

    Today my relationship with sleep is very different.

    The majority of the time I sleep soundly and I so look forward to going to sleep as well as waking up in the morning.

    The best bit for me is waking up in the morning and feeling deeply appreciative of the restfull and deep sleep that I have had.

    This has all come about as a result of listening to my body and taking heed of what it has been telling me – not just with sleep but also with what to eat; when to eat; how I express myself with others; conduct myself at work, home and in my community as some examples.

    How true we are to ourselves and our bodies, in the way we go about our daily lives all contributes to the quality of our sleep.

  51. I am amazed at how after a few months of focusing consistently on sleep 9pm rolls around now and my body is basically like, “cool, that’s it for the day let’s call it.”

    Routine is really powerful.

  52. Daily Mail – 3 June 2017

    One in five will at some point be affected by Insomnia.

    This news story is saying that more often than not, Insomnia is a symptom of an underlying problem, and a sleeping pill is little more than a band-aid that never really gets to the root of the issue.

    Sleep researchers are warning us about the dangers of over-reliance on such pills, linking them with cancer, falls and even heart attacks.

    Waiting lists are long for alternatives like talking therapy.

    So can this blog help?
    Does it present some valuable questions and theories that make sense?

    As the author of this article, I can say with absolute confidence that I do not have a sleep issue of any kind. What has done it is living in a way where I value and respect the internal cycles and rhythms that I do know about and at the same time making sure I continue to commit to my sleep and winding down routine each day.

    Of course there are times, because of work or social things, that means a late night but this is not a big deal as I make sure I plan as best as I can to support me.

    I have also found that my choices during the day, what I reacted to and what I got involved in have an affect on my sleep. That staying awake insomnia stuff was also at crazy levels when I drank alcohol, ate copious amounts of sugar, stayed up late on that screen time, usually TV and listened to music on repeat.

    To have zero sleeping aids for over a decade gives me the authority to write about a topic that may just inspire another, as it is coming from lived experience and that to me makes sense.

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