Lack of Sleep Can Cause Illness
Most of us like to sleep, but most of us do not sleep enough, and the headlines keep reminding us that lack of sleep causes illness. If it was only as easy as that, sleep more, and you will feel better. There are different stages of sleep with two main types of sleep being responsible for the vast majority of cognitive and health benefits. These are "Slow Wave" and "REM Sleep." During Slow Wave Sleep (known as deep sleep), the
brain focuses on recovery, the secretion of growth hormones (for development) and relaxation of the parasympathetic nervous system. During this sleep phase, the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle and strengthens the immune system. Lack of sleep during this phase can play a role in depression, anxiety, ADHD, diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, Parkinson’s and high blood pressure. Slow Wave Sleep also naturally declines as you age (40- 45% of sleep time is Slow Wave). REM sleep is that dream sleep time, your breathing becomes more rapid, irregular, and shallow and eyes may move around in various directions. Certain transmitters shut down (norepinephrine, serotonin, and histamine) temporarily paralyzing your limbs and muscles, so you do not act out your dreams. REM sleep is essential for developing the brain, creating memories, learning and memory retention; it allows the body to recover and resets those reactive neurotransmitters. Lack of REM sleep is often found in Autism, learning disorders, memory retention, dementias etc.
Understanding the Underlying Factors
If you have any chance of improving your sleep, you need to better understand the underlying factors that are affecting sleep. Shift workers or jet-lagged travellers have sleep issues due to disruption of their circadian rhythm. Supplements like Natural Factors Melatonin can help to reset your internal clock. Controlling pain and inflammation can help with a better night’s sleep. If your body is constant pain, nerve activity cannot settle down. Natural Factors Curcumin Rich Joint Optimizer is an excellent formula for inflammation and pain reduction. If you are on your feet all day, restless legs at night can be a real problem. Try settling those muscles with Preferred Nutrition MagSense™. It contains magnesium, which helps to naturally relax muscle contractions and spasms with
added minerals and amino acids to support proper electrolyte balance, which can reduce cramping and discomfort from reflux and other gastrointestinal conditions that need to be brought under control throughout the day so you can sleep at night. Consider supplements that are specific to your gut health needs. Hormones can cause havoc to sleep patterns, and no amount of sleeping pills will regulate their activity. Get to the root of the hormonal issues first whether it be PMS pain or Hot Flashes from Menopause. Womensense has a full line of supportive hormone products. Anyone who experiences anxiety, stress, and depression may find it more difficult to fall asleep, or their sleep patterns tend to be light and include more REM sleep and less (Slow Deep Sleep). Stress caused by daily concerns can stimulate an arousal response at night and make restful sleep more difficult to achieve. Supplements, such as SomniSense or 3 Brains Restful sleep address many of the more common sleep issues.
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