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.
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?
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?
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
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
Feeling depressed, irritable or other changes of mood
Loss of sex drive
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?
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?
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 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)
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)
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.
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:
Shift work disorder
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)
COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Insomnia caused by beta-blocker drugs
SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder
Non Alcoholic Liver Disease
CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome
Sarcoidosis inflammatory disease
Migraine and other Headaches
Age-related vision loss
BPH – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Osteoporosis bone loss
Acid Reflux Disease
Recovery after surgery
Agitation caused by anaesthesia
Tardive Dyskinesia – Involuntary Movement Disorder
Postural Tachycardia Syndrome – Abnormal increase in Heart Rate
Temporomandibular Disorder and Jaw Pain
Ulcerative Colitis – Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Melatonin side effects may include:
Lower body temperature
Changes in blood pressure (30)
Short-term feelings of Depression
Do Not Drive or Use Machinery
Depression – Melatonin can make symptoms worse
Diabetes – Melatonin can increase blood sugar
High Blood Pressure – Melatonin can raise blood pressure
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.
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).
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?
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?
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