Sleep is an absolute necessity
…and yet, to this day, we do not know what sleep is exactly. The only thing that science is starting to understand, is what happens in our bodies during sleep.
It is not at all surprising that restful sleep plays an important role when it comes to good health. What is surprising is why we humans choose to deprive ourselves of this simple requirement for sleep, time and time again.
Recently we Googled how many times in a month, sleep-related topics were searched for … world-wide on the internet. The results (listed below) validated our decision from the very beginning to place a high priority on sleep:
- insomnia 673,000 times in a month
- sleep apnea 301,000
- sleeping 110,000
- snoring 90,500
- sleeping pill 60,500
- sleep deprivation 60,500
- hypersomnia 27,100
- restless legs syndrome 18,500
Why we get tired and fall asleep
No matter who we are, where we are, or what time it is, at some point we are all affected by it– our eyes become heavy and we fall sleep. The reason why we are tired lies in the pineal gland located in the brain. It releases a sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin once it gets dark. This is also the reason why we become tired earlier in winter compared to summer. As soon as our eyes register light, the amount of melatonin being produced and released is reduced and stops, causing us to wake up. Interestingly, melatonin also affects our mood. We feel significantly better in summer when there is more light; whereas the overcast winter days leave us feeling sad due to increased levels of melatonin in the blood.
Interesting facts about sleep
- After falling asleep, our bodies produce growth hormone. Its job as we sleep is to repair and replenish (regenerate) everything that we have used during the day. Wound healing for example, can only take place during deep sleep phases.
- The immune system is active only when the body is in rest mode (i.e. during sleep). It is important to consider that our bodies are confronted with innumerable pathogens on a daily basis and at least five hours of rest is required to deal with this.
- New knowledge is stored in the memory as we sleep–for successful learning a healthy sleep is essential.
- Lack of sleep leads to a reduction in energy, lack of concentration (e.g. nodding off) and disease.
- Shift work (e.g. one week of day shifts followed by one week of night shifts) leads to a kind of permanent jet lag. This leads to an increased risk of cancer, nervousness and insomnia.
Tip: Don’t eat within four hours of sleeping
The final stages of digestion take place during sleep, when food is not being consumed. To avoid disturbing this rhythm, one should, if possible, not eat within four hours of going to bed.
Switch off mobile phones and wireless technology at night
To enable the body to regenerate optimally during sleep, there should be no unnecessary interference. It is therefore strongly recommended that wi-fi, mobile phones and cordless phones be switched off. If the mobile phone is used as an alarm clock, it should be switched to flight mode. Cordless phones used in the home should be of the low radiation type and any transmission signals between handset and base station should terminate when the handset is placed on the base station. More importantly, circuit cut-off switches should be installed on the correct circuits to address electronic pollution from internal wiring, preventing it from affecting the bedroom.
As we know that a healthy and regenerative sleep is an absolute necessity for good health, we offer Geobiological investigations of your home, and especially the bedroom, to bring this goal within reach. There is nothing like a cheerful and restful start to the day.