Massage & Bodywork

MARCH | APRIL 2022

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Put Yourself to Bed The Essentials for a Good Night's Rest By Heath and Nicole Reed 82 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k m a rc h /a p r i l 2 0 2 2 Are you a sleep saboteur? Do you put off going to bed so you can have some extra "me" time at the end of the day? Are you scrolling, reading articles, checking emails, or playing games until the wee hours of the night—conscious of time, yet resisting being governed by it? If so, you're in good company with this article's co-author, Nicole. Or perhaps you are one of the 35 percent of Americans who suffer from insomnia: Maybe you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or difficulty sleeping through the night. 1 Or maybe you consider yourself a decent or even good sleeper—but are you getting quality sleep? Research recognizes that sleep is essential at any age, and yet according to Wayne Giles, MD, "As a nation, we are not getting enough sleep," because a third of Americans do not sleep long enough on a regular basis. 2 According to the National Sleep Foundation, getting 7–9 hours of sleep a night for adults (and even more for children and teens) is crucial for resilient health, mental clarity, and emotional well-being. Yet, even if you're getting those recommended hours, if your sleep is frequently interrupted, you're not getting quality sleep. The quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity. 3 Many of us have experienced the dread of being wide awake, waiting to succumb to sleep, or struggling with the inability to fall back asleep once awoken in the middle of a sleep cycle. For some, simply creating new habits and routines can be a game changer, though for others these experiences may be an indication of a deeper underlying issue. Join us as we illuminate the unconscious life we live while we sleep, reveal the life-giving benefits of a good night's rest, and share biohacks of what we can do to get to sleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed and restored. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SLEEP? We spend on average of one-quarter to one-third of our lifetime sleeping. 4 Since the 1950s, scientists have been observing the sleeping body, recognizing that sleep is essential for our survival. Sleep allows the body and mind to restore, recharge, and repair, as well as avert illness, disease, or premature death. Without enough essential skills | SAVVY SELF-CARE sleep, the brain cannot function properly, leading to diminished concentration, muddled thinking, and inaccessible memories. Our internal body clock helps regulate our sleep cycles, telling us when we feel tired. It operates on a 24-hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm, which connects us to the patterns of light and dark expressed in nature. Once asleep, our bodies follow and repeat a sleep cycle divided into four stages, with each sleep cycle lasting approximately 90–120 minutes. THE WHY OF SLEEP Why we sleep is still unknown, yet there are many theories. Continued research reveals that getting enough sleep is necessary for many biological reasons: energy conservation, cellular repair, brain FRANCESCA TOSOLINI/UNSPL ASH

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