But on some level, the tumultuous torrent of my thoughts has been placated for I am not alone. "A recent NSF (National Sleep
Foundation) 'Sleep In America' poll found that 60% of American adults experience sleep problems." (NSF)
So what can you do?
It depends. We live in a fast-paced world. (Yeah, I know the expression is cliched by now but it's still relatively effective.) More and
more people are working more and resting less. It's an essential part of this big global-village of which we've become a part.
Schedules are more fluctuant than ever. It's an interesting paradox. On one side many of us are finding it necessary to adopt a
24-hour plus schedule.
We are out of sync with the planet but we adapt. On the other side, our bodies respond to the light and darkness and when night
sets we find ourselves wanting to sleep ( a wonderful throwback of Mother Nature -- but a useful trick if you have birds).
The U.S. Navy is in total agreement with my findings (okay they did the research, I paraphrased). Here's what they had to say:
Humans have a biological clock with a cycle length (tau) longer that 24 hours. People generally remain synchronized to the 24-hr day
due to daily resetting by time cues, particularly the light-dark cycle.
(I think my version is much better.)
This leaves us in a wonderful state of awakedness (This word is not found in Dictionary.com but can be found searching Google, go
figure!) for which there is little escape. Let's go back to Mother Nature for a moment.
If, as the Navy has concluded, the human body is on a cycle length that exceeds the Earth's rotation then how did we get that way?
Evolution? If so, it is somewhat safe to conclude that the possibility exists that other elements in Nature possess this same "tau". In
this respect I think the compensation was the light-dark cycle effect.
Nature came to the rescue! As she always does. And always shall. I think my personal favorite is the tsetse fly. Okay, not exactly
the best way to induce sleep but a fun name just the same. In addition to the light-dark cycle and the tsetse fly, Nature has also
provided us with an array of plants that aid in the promotion of relaxation. Kava Kava, for instance has been used for centuries safely
in the South Pacific for its calming effect and its ability to relax muscles. The natives are known to prepare a fermented liquor from it,
producing a relaxing drink before important religious rites. There's also Valerian Root. This herb is best known to help calm nerves
during the day and improve sleep quality while promoting relaxation and night time rest.
Valerian Root is used world wide for its relaxing effect on the body. Studies show that regular intake of Valerian Root may aid the
body's response to lack of sleep or tension. These ingredients have been shown in clinical studies to:
They've been tested against the benzodiazepines and barbiturates most frequently prescribed for insomnia and anxiety and have been
shown to be just as effective as:
- Decrease sleep onset latency, the time it takes to fall asleep
- Improve sleep quality, with increased proportions of "deep" (slow wave and REM) sleep
- Reduce nighttime awakenings and prolonged sleep time
- Enhance daytime psychomotor performance and feelings of well-being.
There's no escaping the need for sleep. There's a rapidly dwindling window in
which we can escape the rigours of modern society. Without the proper treatment,
our bodies will simply shut down. Most of us have heard the expression,
"Your body is a temple meant to be worshipped." (or some such expression).
Muslims hold the belief that our bodies have a right over us. (Muslims.net)
If this is true don't we owe it to ourselves and our bodies to get the rest
- Halcion (triazolam)*
- Valium (diazepam)**
*Halcion is a registered mark of Pharmacia & UpJohn.
**Valium is a registered mark of of Roche Products
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