Your Mother and Shakespeare Knew

AMAZING BREAKTHROUGH!

Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards of colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?

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Does this advertisment sound hyperbolic? Yes.

But is it inaccurate? No.

If this were a new drug being advertised on TV, people would line up and shell out gargantuan sums of money for the smallest dose possible. The company that manufactured this drug would be a trillion dollar company as demand for the drug (and resulting sales) would skyrocket.

But this advertisement does not describe a new wonder drug.

This advertisement describes the proven benefits of a a full night of sleep.

Skeptical? There have been over 17,000 (highly scrutinized) scientific reports to date that support these claims.

And the best part of all: this drug is 100% all natural… oh and its free.

Your mother knew of this wonder drug…

Sleep will help you heal emotionally! It will help you learn and remember! It will gift you with a solution to that problem you can’t figure out! It will prevent you from getting sick and ward off infection!

Things your mother has probably said to you about the power of sleep

And Shakespeare also knew of this wonder drug back in the year 1611…

Sleep is “the chief nourisher in life’s feast.”

Macbeth, Act Two Scene Two

It really does seem like science has finally caught up in terms of providing proof of everything our mothers and Shakespeare knew…

So how can one improve the quality of their sleep? Without further ado…

12 tips for healthy sleep

Verbatim from sleep expert Matthew Walker

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. As creatures of habit, people have a hard time adjusting to changes in sleep patterns. Sleeping later on weekends won’t fully make up for a lack of sleep during the week and will make it harder to wake up early on Monday morning. Set an alarm for bedtime. Often we set an alarm for when it’s time to wake up but fail to do so for when it’s time to go to sleep. If there is only one piece of advice you remember from these twelve tips, this should be it.
  2. Exercise is great, but not too late in the day. Try to exercise at least thirty minutes on most days but not later than two to three hours before your bedtime.
  3. Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Coffee, colas certain teas, and chocolate contain the stimulant caffeine, and its effects can take as long as eight hours to wear off fully. Therefore, a cup of coffee in the late afternoon can make it hard for you to all asleep at night. Nicotine is also a stimulant, often causing smokers to sleep only very lightly. In addition, smokers often wake up too early in the morning because of nicotine withdrawal.
  4. Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. Having a nightcap or alcoholic beverage before you sleep may help you relax, but heavy use robs you of REM sleep, keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep. Heavy alcohol ingestion also may contribute to impairment in breathing at night. You also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the effects of alcohol have worn off.
  5. Avoid large meals and beverages at night. A light snack is okay, but a large meal can cause indigestion, which interferes with sleep. Drinking too many fluids at night can cause frequent awakenings to urinate.
  6. If possible, avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep. Some commonly prescribed heart, blood pressure, or asthma medications, as well as some over-the-counter and herbal remedies for coughs, colds, or allergies, can disrupt sleep patterns. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist to see whether any drugs you’re taking might be contributing to your insomnia and ask whether they can be taken at other times during the day or early in the evening.
  7. Don’t take naps after 3 p.m. Naps can help make up for lost sleep, but late afternoon naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
  8. Relax before bed. Don’t over-schedule your day so that no time is left for unwinding. A relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music, should be part of your bedtime ritual.
  9. Take a hot bath before bed. The drop in body temperature after getting out of the bath may help you feel sleepy, and the bath can help you relax and slow down so you’re more ready to sleep.
  10. Dark bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget-free bedroom. Get rid of anything in your sleep bedroom that might distract you from sleep, such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, or warm temperatures. You sleep better if the temperature is kept on the cool side. A TV, cell phone or computer in the bedroom can be a distraction and deprive you of needed sleep. Having a comfortable mattress and pillow can help promote a good night’s sleep. Individuals who have insomnia often watch the clock. Turn the clock’s face out of view so you don’t worry about the time while trying to fall asleep.
  11. Have the right sunlight exposure. Daylight is key to regulating daily sleep patterns. Try to get outside in natural sunlight for at least thirty minutes each day. If possible, wake up with the sun or use very bright lights in the morning. Sleep experts recommend that, if you have problems falling asleep, you should get an hour of exposure to morning sunlight and turn down the lights before bedtime.
  12. Don’t lie in bed awake. If you find yourself still awake after staying in bed for more than twenty minutes or if you are starting to feel anxious or worried, get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy. The anxiety of not being able to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.

Full credit and source for this post goes to Matt Walker for 1) the title and content of this post which is the title of Chapter 6 in his book Why We Sleep and 2) all the facts in this post are also from his book and are primarily verbatim content or content that is loosely paraphrased

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