What You Don’t Know About Sleep
Including Sleep Problems, Sleep Disorders,
Children’s Sleep, Apnea etc.
by Stephanie Relfe
Dr. Dement has written a brilliant and very important book on sleep called “The Promise of Sleep: A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine explores the Vital Connection between health, Happiness and … Sleep”.
Most of the information in this book is unknown by most people, including the vast majority of doctors. And yet it is vital to health and wellbeing, so much so that lack of this knowledge often leads to death.
This is a big book of 470+ pages. I can only touch on what I feel were some of the most important points here. However, I highly recommend that you read this book for a fuller understanding and for what I’ve left out. This aspect of our lives is vital to understand.
I decided to write this article partly because I have found from muscle testing and questioning clients in my kinesiology practice the very same thing that Dr. Dement found from his 50+ years of studies on sleep – that a major and common cause of many health and emotional problems is not getting enough sleep. Also, not getting enough uninterrupted sleep. Maybe sleep seems to be so simple, and that is why it is overlooked as a cause of so many apparently complicated problems.
You will learn, however, that sleep is far from simple.
You may have already heard that your average doctor in five years of training gets only five to twelve hours training on nutrition. So it will probably come as no surprise to you that average doctor gets zero to two hours on sleep problems during those five years.
This is a good system if you control a multinational company that makes money from sick people. Those people will then think they need lots of drugs and operations to get better, rather than an improvement in their sleep.
Dr. Dement has done a great job of breaking free of his training as a doctor by researching sleep. However, as you will learn, it is a great pity that he is still affected by his training enough that he seems to think that drugs are often the best, if not only, solution.
Most people think that when we are asleep, the brain is resting and doing virtually nothing. It was Dr. Dement who discovered the shocking truth – the brain is as active during sleep as it is during the day!!!
Most of us think we go gradually to sleep. But Dr. Dement found that this is not the case. The brain produces different brain waves when you are awake and when you are asleep. There is no in-between area. You are either awake, or asleep. This is shown in the following graph of brainwaves:
There are different stages to sleep.
Stage 1 (Drowsiness) – When you first fall asleep, you are in Stage 1 sleep (Drowsiness). Stage 1 lasts just five or ten minutes. Eyes move slowly under the eyelids, and muscle activity slows down. You are easily awakened during Stage 1 sleep.
Stage 2 (Light Sleep) -Next, you go into Stage 2 sleep (Light Sleep). In Stage 2, eye movements stop, heart rate slows, and body temperature decreases.
Stages 3 & 4 (Deep Sleep) – Then you enter Stages 3 and 4 (Deep Sleep). During stages 3 and 4, you are difficult to awaken. People who are awakened during Deep Sleep do not adjust immediately and often feel groggy and disoriented for several minutes after they wake up. Children may experience bedwetting, night terrors, or sleepwalking during Deep Sleep.
Stage 5 REM sleep (Dream Sleep) – At about 70 to 90 minutes into your sleep cycle, you enter REM sleep. You usually have three to five REM episodes per night. Your eyes jerk rapidly in various directions under your eyelids, thus the name Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep. (Ref: http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm)
During the first period of deep sleep of the night, hormones such as growth hormone and prolactin are released. Growth hormone helps build new cells but it is also important in rebuilding old, damaged cells and is therefore important in staying young.
Different patterns of brain waves are produced when we sleep. Everybody has the same pattern of sleep. What are called periods of rapid eye movements (REM) happen roughly every 90 minutes. The brain values REM (rapid eye movement) sleep highly. We dream only during REM sleep.
The brain in every human being possesses a process that is active 24 hours a day. Its sole function is to induce and maintain sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, it increases your tendency to fall asleep. Once you start paying back the sleep debt to your body, it decreases the tendency to fall asleep.
Perhaps the most amazing of Dr. Dement’s findings is that we carry around a sleep debt. Most people need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, NOT COUNTING the time it takes them to fall asleep. HOWEVER, if you miss any sleep, then you ‘owe’ your body that much sleep. The body keeps an exact account of how much it is owed. This debt is added up for at least two weeks and probably a whole lot longer. We don’t know if sleep debt carries over after more than two weeks, because so far no studies have looked at this. Could we possibly still owe our body sleep from times of little sleep that happened 20 or more years ago? It is possible.
The time it takes you to go to sleep is in direct proportion to your sleep debt. If you fall asleep (without any caffeine during the day) faster than 15-20 minutes, you are sleep deprived. If you fall asleep within 5 minutes you are severely sleep deprived. 10 minutes is borderline.
Accumulated lost sleep must be paid back. And it seems that it might have to be paid back hour for hour. Unfortunately, short naps don’t seem to make much difference. The body wants full sleep cycles of at least around one and a half hours.
So, if someone who needs 8 hours of sleep gets only 6 hours of sleep a night, after five days they owe their body TEN HOURS of sleep!!!! So sleeping in on the weekend does not pay the body back. What is needed is a change in lifestyle. Turn off the television and get to bed earlier every night.
Some times when people have had very little sleep over a number of days and they finally get an extra long sleep, when they wake up they feel terrible. Some people then say “I slept too much”. That is not true. The truth is that they have just started to pay off an enormous sleep debt. You cannot pay a large debt off, which is what most of us have, in one or even two nights sleep. What they need is more sleep on an ongoing basis, especially getting to bed earlier rather than just sleeping in (unless they are a teenage – more on that later in this article).
Sleep debt starts owing from the moment you wake up.
Exxon Valdez disaster – America’s worst oil spill.
There were ice floes. Newspapers blamed much of the disaster on the captain who had had some alcohol, but the captain was not on the bridge when the accident happened, and was not to blame. The final report told what really happened. The captain worked out a plan to keep the ship safe, and handed over command to the third mate and left the bridge. The third mate had slept only 6 hours in the previous 48 and was severely sleep deprived. He ordered the ship to starboard (to the right) but did not notice that the autopilot was still on, and the ship did not turn. Twice lookouts warned the third mate about the position of lights marking the reef, but he didn’t change or check his orders. His brain did not interpret the danger in what they said. When he finally realized the copilot was on and turned it off, and tried to turn the ship around, it was too late. Lack of sleep was the cause of the disaster.
The explosion of the space shuttle Challenger was also found, in the final report, to have been due to mistakes caused by severe sleep deprivation of the NASA manager.
A Stanford professor was in a bike and swimming race that lasted a number of days. He got very little sleep at night during that time. But then he got nine hours of sleep a night for two nights. Most people would assume that he therefore had no sleep debt. However, an extra two hours of sleep is not enough to pay off as large a number of missing sleep as he must have had. He woke up feeling alert and drove home. But coming down a mountain his massive sleep debt started to kick in. He started to yawn and his eyelids felt heavy. He did not think of pulling over and taking a nap. He saw a sign that there was a restaurant several miles ahead, and he thought he would get some coffee there. Right after that he fell asleep for a moment, and woke with a start to find that he had drifted onto the oncoming lane. He jerked the wheel to the right but the road went to the left and he want over a 30 foot cliff. The car went upside down. His right arm was completely paralyzed, but amazingly he survived.
When a car crash is attributed to alcohol, the real culprit, or a major part of the problem, is usually sleep debt. Alcohol plus a sleep debt greatly increases the effects of alcohol.
SLEEP DEBT AND PERFORMANCE
From the book: “It has taken years to create tests that can accurately measure performance … but as our probes have gotten better, we’ve found that the effects of sleep deprivation are beyond what we imagined. Every time we turn a page we find that it’s worse than we thought.”
Australian researchers found that after 17 hours awake, at 1.00 am, a sleep-deprived group had the same test scores as drinking volunteers who had blood-alcohol levels of 0.05 percent!!!! After 24 hours awake, the sleep-deprived group had the same coordination deficits as those with blood-alcohol levels of 0.1 percent!!!!
Remember: Drowsiness is RED ALERT.
Do you want to be more creative? After decades of study, Rothenberg found that the one trait that all highly creative people have in common is motivation. It is a myth that creativity arrives like a bolt of lightning out of the blue. Rothenberg demonstrated that almost all creative acts come after long, sustained struggle that requires motivation and perseverance.
Dr. Dement found that one of the first things to go when sleep is shortchanged is motivation. Anyone who is feeling a little poorly due to lack of sleep will be less motivated. And hence less creative.
So add two or more hours of sleep a night until you catch up on your debt and see your motivation and creativity improve.
CAN WE SLEEP LESS?
While there are people who try to teach how to do with less sleep, Dr. Dement found that sleeping less is seldom a good idea and virtually impossible in the long run. People who are lacking sleep don’t think as well and make mistakes. Little mistakes can turn into serious or even fatal mistakes. All the studies done show that no one can ‘train’ themselves to do with less sleep, in order to get more work done. Every individual needs a specific amount of sleep and this amount cannot be altered. It’s analogous to our body temperature – it HAS to be at 98.6 o F when we are healthy. The few people who really can do with only a few hours of sleep without detracting from their performance did not learn how to do that, they were born that way.
If you want to be more efficient, it is, better to catch up on your sleep debt so you can work more efficiently over a longer period of time.
THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK
If we have sleep debt, why aren’t we sleepy all day long? That is because there is another mechanism which works against the one whose purpose it is to put us to sleep when we need it. That is the biological clock.
There are two main times when your body clock will make you extra alert: In the morning when you wake up and in the very late afternoon, around 6 pm, with the peak at possibly 9 pm. It is at its lowest around mid day – the time when many societies traditionally took (or still take) a siesta.
Now, some people may ask, what is the point of having increased energy between 6 and 9pm? I believe that at that time we are meant to be in bed!!!! Note that all daytime animals go to bed at sunset and get up at sunrise, and that for millenia, that is what people did. I believe that that extra energy is meant to be used, not for surfing the net or going out to dinner, but for healing. Healing takes energy. So I believe that energy is meant to be used on the body, while you are asleep in bed.
There is a saying, or an old wive’s tail that “an hour’s sleep before midnight is worth two hours sleep after midnight.” I have found this to be true for myself. This extra energy before midnight explains this belief. (By the way, this does not apply for teenagers, who are meant to go to be late and sleep in late – see further in the article).
This is probably not what most people want to hear. But I suggest that if you have a serious health pain or problem, that you try this. Get to bed by 7pm. And if you wake up at 4 am – get up and start your day.
HUGE DANGERS FROM LACK OF SLEEP
A woman Helen was worried sick about her husband who had just been called unexpectedly away to active military duty in the Middle East. At the same time her brother-in-law went to hospital in critical condition for a heart problem. Helen’s sister left Helen with her three children so Helen then had four children to look after. Not surprisingly, Helen lay awake on her own for three nights without sleep worrying about her husband. Helen became utterly exhausted. She knew she had to get to sleep and asked her doctor for a sleeping pill. The doctor refused.
Dement explains how in emergency situations like this, it is wise to have a sleeping pill and there are in fact some now available that don’t seem to hurt people. Although I hate drugs with a vengeance and think they should always be a last resort after trying kinesiology and other natural methods, I can see that in a case like this, a few nights with a sleeping pill really was what was recommended.
After another sleepless night, Helen was so utterly exhausted that she could hardly look after herself, let alone the four children. She called her mother who lived 200 miles away and arranged to bring the children to her and stay with her mother. Helen started to feel some relief knowing that help was at hand. But now there was less stress to keep her awake. The sleep debt that had been mounting over the past four nights began to assert itself.
In mid afternoon (when we are at our lowest due to circadian rhythms) Helen was driving through a small town and did the unthinkable. She drove through a red light. Helen still does not remember approaching the town or seeing the light, but she does remember the nightmare of the squeal of brakes as a pickup truck smashed into the side of the car.
Miraculously, no-one were killed, but all sustained injuries of varying severity. The car was totaled.
Lack of sleep doesn’t just make people fall asleep at the wheel. It can also do what happened to Helen. It can stop brains from working properly.
I remember one time when I was a university student. I was a passenger with a friend who was partially color blind. He could not tell red from green, and so at stop lights had to see where the light was located – top or bottom – to distinguish if it was red or green. We were returning from a holiday with other students, so probably were sleep deprived, and the drive was 12 hours long. I still remember with horror how we just drove on through a red light. Fortunately, nothing happened to us (I have had a number of miracles like this happen to me). After I came out of the shock I was in and regained my breath, I asked my friend if he knew that he had just driven through a red light. He was surprised that he had – and shamefacedly apologized.
It is stories like this that makes me always slow down and look both ways when approaching a GREEN light. Most people assume that a green light means they are safe to sail on through. But you have to look out continually not just for drunk drivers, but also for drivers on drugs and now you know from reading this article, drivers who are sleep deprived.
Dr. Dement tells another story of how a friend of his flew with his wife to France for a holiday. They did not stop to give themselves time to recover from jet lag from the 12 hour flight, even though the husband had had five nights beforehand with difficulty in falling asleep. They started driving immediately. The husband fell asleep at the wheel in the French Alps and his wife was killed.
In another story Dr. Dement tells, an American Airlines flight in South America flew into a mountain and killed 149 people because the pilot was so sleepy that he pressed the wrong button for navigation.
Dement also goes on to explain how many serious accidents in hospitals are also related to sleep deprivation.
Dement asks that if you remember nothing else from the book, make sure you remember these stories. Anytime that some one has trouble sleeping for a full night, for more than a night or two, they and those around them are in GREAT DANGER.
Tests show that people are terrible judges of how likely they are to fall asleep. So if you become drowsy at any time during the day, resolve to be cautious in hazardous situations. Have a nap BEFORE you drive. If your eyelids are heavy and you are driving – STOP and take a nap. Even a few minutes can make a big difference. If your sleep debt is large enough, no amount of will power or caffeine will be enough to keep you awake.
HOW LIKELY ARE YOU TO FALL ASLEEP?
How likely we are to fall asleep depends on three things:
1) How big the sleep debt is.
2) How alert you are because of what’s happening at the time (eg boring work versus stressful work).
3) What time of day it is. This is called Circadian rhythms.
Dement concluded after 40 years of study that sleep debt is the most important factor in the quality or excellence of psychological and cognitive function. When we are sleep deprived, cognition functions are one of the first to go. In addition, once you repay your sleep debt, you may find as many others have, that people or things that you previously found dull and uninteresting are now in fact interesting.
THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK & SLEEP CHANGES WITH AGE
Babies sleep 16 to 18 hours a day, but it is spread over six to seven brief periods of sleep. Parents become extremely sleep deprived because it is not until many months that the baby will sleep for as long as five hours at a time. It is very important that a mother-to-be has absolutely NO sleep debt before a baby is born.
Prolactin is released when we have deep sleep and also by nursing mothers. When I was nursing my son and getting very little sleep, I realized after a while that although I normally require a lot of sleep, I was doing remarkably well. In fact, I was doing much, much better than my husband, who was getting quite a lot more undisturbed sleep than I was at that time. I realized that somehow the act of nursing was making it possible for me to function with a lot less sleep and with interruptions. In his book Dr Dement says that prolactin is released in the night’s first cycle of deep sleep. So I have hypothesized that the prolactin that my body produced when I was nursing somehow replaced some of the need for sleep. I really pitied women who were not breast feeding.
Another way to get a lot more sleep when one has an infant is to do what the famous pediatrician Dr William Sears, Author of “The Baby Book” recommends. He regularly asked women who seemed to be doing the best job of raising children what was their secret. They would whisper to him that they slept with their children. This is not as strange as it may seem to us who slept in a room away from our parents. Most of the world does so, and I have heard that even the King of England used to sleep with his children.
BABIES & CHILDREN
This is a sensitive topic to many people, especially if it is too late for them to make use of this advice. But the buck has to stop somewhere. If it’s too late for children, one day there will be grandchildren.
Children should sleep in the same room as their parents. The most important part of a child’s upbrining is love, and sleeping with a child is the best way to show that love. Putting them in another room is a sure message that you do not love them. I believe that a main reason for most people having a subconscious belief that they are unloveable, or with having trouble with relationships and with loving other people, is because their mother did not sleep with them.
In India, all children up to the age of 12 sleep in the same room as their parents.
Sleep is not about sex. It is about being vulnerable. If parents want to make love they can do it in another room when the child is asleep.
Imagine that you are on a tropical island all alone except for your baby and maybe some wild animals. Would you put your baby to sleep at one end of the beach while you slept at the other? Of course not.
I met a man who could remember when he was two years old being terrified to go to sleep every night. He wondered why he wasn’t allowed to sleep with his parents.
I believe that when children “cry themselves to sleep” they are not just upset. They are TERRIFIED. A baby knows only its mother. ONLY the proximity of mother will make it feel safe and loved. A baby or infant sleeping on its own has no way of knowing that its very life is not at risk, or that it has been abandoned forever.
Maybe the reason so many parents have a problem sending children to bed is because their children have become anchored to sleep as a time of fear and abandonment. I believe this fear also contributes to bedwetting. If they sleep with their mother until they choose to sleep elsewhere, they can grow strong internally. They know they are loved. And they don’t have to EVER cry at night. Even four year old children would much rather sleep in the same room as their parents than be in a dark room all by themselves – or even with other brothers and sisters.
All mothers want more sleep. The best way to get it is to breastfeed and sleep with baby. Breastfeeding puts babies and infants to sleep, very quickly a lot of the time. Plus you don’t have to get out of bed to warm up any milk or to wash anything or to comfort anyone.
PRESCHOOLERS / CHILDREN
Children need about 10 – 12 hours of sleep before they reach puberty. This is in addition to what time it takes them to fall asleep. Unfortunately, many kids do not get this. I have seen parents walking the mall late at night with toddlers rubbing their eyes and the parents oblivious to the fact that the child should have been in bed an hour or more ago.
Dr. Dement believes, as I do, that a lot of so called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – in other words – bad behavior – would be healed or at least noticeably improved if children had more sleep. Even an extra half an hour of sleep every night can make a big difference. Determine to start getting them to bed by 7pm.
Again, if your kids are having trouble sleeping, ask how you would feel being all alone without your parents beside you, all alone in a dark room? They still depend on you for nearly everything at this stage. Sleeping close to your children is one of the easiest ways to let thenm know you love them.
Remember, the darker the room, the easier it is for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. If your kids wake in a totally black room because of a bad dream or a need to go to the toilet, the experience may be so terrifying that they forever associate sleeping with fear and horror. If you are nearby, this does not happen.
In addition, you don’t need to worry about them getting too hot or cold – you are close by to feel their foot to see if they need more or less blankets. It is quite possible that the only time your kids will feel safe falling asleep in a totally black room, or even ANY room, is if a parent, preferably mother, is in the same room, as close by as possible.
Preteens also need about 10 hours of sleep, plus the time it takes them to fall asleep. Unfortunately, many children get a lot less sleep than this.
Dr. Dement reports one case where by a school mistress discovered that many of her students were up as late as 11 pm. She called a meeting of the parents and asked that all children be in bed by 9pm. There was a huge increase in improvement of the behavior of the children thereafter.
My sister told me of a school in New Zealand that changed the school hours for boys, since apparently this rule applies even more to boys than to girls. The boys do not have to come to school till 10.00am. After that rule was applied, behaviour and marks improved markedly.
The onset of puberty comes with a rise in the amount of growth hormone in the blood. People are told that a poor diet or toxins such as smoking can stunt ones growth. Unfortunately, most of people do not know that sleeping less can also stunt growth by reducing the amount of growth hormone.
Studies clearly show that sleep loss affects how well children learn.
A huge 53% of people 18 – 29 years old say they suffer from daytime sleepiness. This explains why so many young people are killed in traffic accidents.
One of the most surprising discoveries of Dement is that teenagers have very different sleep needs from children and adults. They find it very, very difficult to fall asleep before around midnight or even 1am. But then they really do need to sleep in until noon. Therefore, school times for teenagers should start many hours later than they do at present.
Dement found independently what most kinesiologists already know from muscle testing – that one particular symptom like “insomnia” can have many, many different kinds and many, many, many different causes. Giving one symptom – difficulty in sleeping – one label gives us the wrong impression that we are dealing with just one symptom and one cause.
He also says that insomnia is not a disease – it’s a symptom. It’s a pity that he didn’t take the next step in realizing that ALL diseases are symptoms of the body trying to health themselves. For example, a fever is the body trying to kill bacteria. Diarrhea is the body trying to get rid of toxins.
Dr. Dement says that people who have chronic insomnia are rare. What is more important is the cases where people have it temporarily. The results can be disastrous. Some examples of this were described earlier in this article.
He says the cause of many cases of persistent insomnia is problems with the biological clock. If the person has problems falling asleep, then they may be being affected by their biological clock becoming more alert in the evening. This is called DSPS or delayed sleep-phase syndrome. He says that one remedy for this is sitting in front of a lot of bright lights in the morning.
I would suggest some other possible remedies that he may not have mentioned. One is to make sure you do not look at a computer for a few hours before you go to sleep. I have found that the bright light of the computer really wakes up my biological clock. Darkness helps your body to produce melatonin and to get you to sleep. The darker, the better. Even a tiny, tiny, tiny night light or a crack of moonlight through the curtains can help keep one awake,
Dement says that the biggest challenge to treating insomnia is persuading doctors and even the people who have insomnia that it is a SERIOUS problem. He says that when they do treat insomnia with pills, it is usually an antidepressant and not the new generation of sleeping pills that were developed specifically for insomnia.
I myself would never take drugs but that is because I have always been able to heal any problems with kinesiology and other natural methods. However, while I normally never recommend drugs because there are spiritual as well as health ramifications, perhaps it would be beneficial for some people to follow Dement’s advice and take Ambien should they find themselves in the position where they haven’t been able to sleep for several nights. Remember, a few nights without sleep can kill, because it can cause accidents which kill the person and others. Dement says that Ambien is a short-acting hypnotic that does not induce tolerance and has little or no potential to become addictive. Also, it is metabolized in the body overnight, so there is no residual drowsiness in the morning. I personally would not take any kind of hypnotic drug because any kind of hypnosis shuts down the conscious mind and / or can open us to being affected by negative energies. But when it is an emergency, this may be the only alternative for some people.
HOW TO GET TO SLEEP
I learned this from a seminar I went to. It has worked for me many times. It’s the old ‘counting sheep’ but with some important changes.
Imagine on the right hand side of your mind there is a field full of 100 sheep. Look at each sheep and you will see the word ‘SLEEP’ shorn into their sides in BIG letters. Then sheep #100 walks slowly to the middle of your field of view. Again, see the word SLEEP on his side. She jumps over a low jump. Again, see the word SLEEP on her side. Then she walks over to the left side of your mind – see the word SLEEP – and curls up and goes to sleep.
Then repeat for sheep #99 and so on.
If you do this fully and slowly, chances are you won’t even get to #80.
This is a very weird dis-ease which is relatively common. It is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden, brief attacks of muscle weakness. When a narcoleptic attack happens, the person will literally fall down and be unable to move, especially if they have a strong emotional feeling, even laughter. Dr. Dement tells one story of a woman who was at a party holding a tray of champagne glasses. Someone told a very funny story. She laughed and then fell to the ground, with all the glasses crashing down also.
I would be very interested to see what kinesiology could do for someone with narcolepsy, and what muscle testing would indicate as possible causes for this very strange condition.
RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME
Some people cannot get to sleep because of what is called “restless legs syndrome”. These people get strange feelings in their legs when they lie down, which makes them want to move around. 15 to 20 million Americans have it. I have not had any experience of this with my kinesiology clients, but it would be very interesting to see if kinesiology and muscle testing could locate the cause of this symptom. Dr. Dement says there are drugs that can help with this so a person can finally get to sleep. Again, I believe there are options other than drugs, particularly kinesiology, but for some people, maybe drugs may be the answer.
Vitamin E may be of some benefit. See www.TalkAboutSleep.com.
Another cause of people not being able to get to sleep is something that Dement does not address fully and that is caffeine. Caffeine is a drug. The ‘half-life’ of a drug is the time it takes the body to remove one half of the dose. We know from the brilliant book “Caffeine Blues” that the half-life of a single dose of caffeine ranges from three to TWELVE hours. That means that when you go to bed, even if you just had one dose of caffeine in the morning, you can still have ¼ of a dose in your body before you go to bed. More than one cup and the amount goes up a great deal.
In addition, caffeine prevents one from having good, deep sleep, because it is a drug that puts the body into stress. Dr. Dement never mentions this. Perhaps he does not know it. He does mention that people should ‘cut down’ but like the vast majority of people today, including many doctors, he is a caffeine addict himself. An addict is anyone who will not give up a harmful drug. In fact, in some parts of the book he even recommends taking caffeine as a regular thing. And yet in another part of the book he writes: “Most of my colleagues agree that if caffeine were a new drug, it would never get approved for human use from the Food and Drug Administration because its side effects outweigh its benefits as a stimulant.”
Addicts can be very good at justifying why it is okay for them to take the harmful drug. Dr. Dement was like that with cigarettes. He said that he kept smoking even though he knew how dangerous smoking was. It wasn’t until he had a dream where he got lung cancer and woke up terrified, that he gave it up. Caffeine is still not advertised as dangerous. You have to actively seek for the information that lets you know that caffeine puts your body into stress. It is an AGING drug.
Extra growth hormone is released during the night’s first period of deep sleep, which strongly indicates that deep sleep is essential for repairing the body and to prevent aging. Caffeine prevents deep sleep. So, again, we see how caffeine contributes to aging and dis-ease.
Dement says that much insomnia is caused by psychological problems, such as depression. It is a shame that he does not mention that 90% of people who suffered from depression who came to Cherniske, the author of “Caffeine Blues”, and gave up caffeine totally found after a two months their depression went away!!!! Caffeine stops your body from having proper deep sleep, which is ESSENTIAL for full wellbeing.
A person with apnea literally stops breathing while asleep, because their throat collapses. Breathing only starts again when the person awakens, but the person does not remember doing this. The person wakes up – starts breathing again – and then goes back to sleep without remembering having woken up. This happens HUNDREDS of times a night!
Every night in America, 50 million people stop breathing. In the worst cases, no air enters the lungs for 40 – 60 seconds or longer. About 38,000 fatal heart attacks and strokes each year are from apnea.
Dr Dement says that apnea sufferers often have super loud snoring and high blood pressure. Apnea is often but not always associated with snoring. It is always present if snoring is present. It is often associated with extreme fatigue.
‘Jackhammer’ snorers have the most dangerous form of snoring.
Apnea is a major cause of many heart attacks and strokes. But then, we need to ask, what is the cause of apnea?
Dr. Dement says the cause is that the air passage collapses. But again, what is the cause of that? I suggest that, like all dis-eases, it is related to whether or not the person is in balance energetically, and their diet etc. The brilliant book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” is a record of a dentist who went to many different societies around the world, to record what the effects of modern diet did on them. He visited Eskimos, Swiss, Scotsmen, African tribes and many others. At that time, the only bad things introduced into people’s diet was sugar and white flour. They didn’t have all the extra bad stuff we have today like margarine, hydrogenated oils, MSG, microwaved food, Genetically modified foods, soy etc.
The author reported many of his findings with photos. As a dentist he particularly noticed that the people who started eating sugar and white flour would get pinched noses and narrow jaws. He suggests that it is our modern diet that is the cause for the rarity of good opera singers these days. I suggest that if he could see further, he would also find that these people have weaker throats, which then cause snoring and apnea.
Snoring can be healed. I did it with my husband Michael. When we first got married, he snored like a jackhammer. This happened even though he never drank alcohol, which can make snoring even worse. I don’t know how long it took, but he now never snores like that. There is only the odd light snore on occasion. This happened after improving his diet – including eating more raw food and less cheese –and with kinesiology. As well, we trained him to lie on his side (with the aid of a back pack filled with tennis balls).
I have heard of one method to improve apnea which was taping the mouth shut, thereby forcing the person to breathe through their nose.
I have helped many people improve their sleep by balancing their body with kinesiology. I believe that anyone with apnea would improve that condition with kinesiology. In particular, they should have the energy system known as the cloacals checked to see if it is in balance.
Note that ANY light can affect your biological clock and ability to sleep deeply. The darker the room, the better.
Recently I started to have trouble reading small print. But one day I realized that I was having no trouble reading fine print – because I was outside reading in the sun. I then realized that many, many hours of the computer had done something to change how much light my eyes required to read properly. Sure enough – when I checked the light intensity on my monitor, it was up very high. I lowered it as much as I could, and my eyes sight improved markedly. I suggest that right now you lower the light intensity on your computer screen and especially on that of your children.
Dr. Dement says in his book that it can help a person to get to sleep quickly and easily if they don’t look at any emails or news after about 7pm, because of getting the body starting to work on tomorrows work today. However, he doesn’t seem to have thought of what I figured out – that staring at a bright computer screen resets your biological clock into thinking it’s daytime so it’s harder to get to sleep.
HOW KINESIOLOGY MAY HELP
In my specialized kinesiology practice a number of my clients had their sleep improved by the use of kinesiology to balance their energy systems. Confirming that what is called the ‘cloacals’ are in balance is especially important. The cloacals are an energy system that seem to be related to the Central Nervous System. The cloacal correction comes from Applied Kinesiology.
The muscle test for having the cloacals out of balance is to gently ‘thump’ the person’s upper arm and then to muscle test the other arm. If the cloacals are out of balance, the person will not be able to hold that arm up when tested. This is generally a great surprise to the person. One can see how stressed a body is if a gentle thump causes another muscle to not be able to hold. (Note: This may only work if the person knows how to do muscle testing correctly, and has done the pretests. Many kinesiologists do not do either of these).
Because so few people, even many Applied Kinesiologists, do not know about the cloacals correction, I have included it in my DVD Training Series, “Perfect Health with Kinesiology & Muscle Testing”.
We dream during what is called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. In one case it was seen that a man’s eyes had an unusually rhythmic left to right movement. When they woke him, it turned out he was dreaming of watching a ping pong match. They tested and found out that his eye movements matched up with the same time it would take for a ball to travel back and forwards during a real match. So it looks as though the eye movements are directly related to what is happening in the dream.
Fortunately, during REM sleep generally most of our bodies are paralyzed. This stops us acting out our dreams. There are a few exceptions to this – the heart, lung and penis. However, the penis is moved by being filled with blood, not by muscles. Some people think that penile erection during sleep is because of thoughts of sex. This is not the case. No matter what a dream is about, REM sleep will cause an erection in a man who is not impotent. Even newborn boys have erections during REM sleep! The reason why men sometimes wake up with an erection is simply because they were having a dream when they woke up.
The major characteristic that distinguishes dreams from reality is continuity. Our life and events in the real world are smoothly continuous. Dreams, by contract, generally jump all over the place.
Some people think they dream in black and white but Dr. Dement found that everyone dreams in color. It’s just that the memory of color fades quickly.
It is possible that the reason why we don’t remember most of our dreams is that it might get very confusing, remembering what was a dream and what was real.
GOOD SLEEP IMPROVES OUR MOOD
Study after study shows that good sleep gives us good, positive feelings and moods.
In addition, study after study shows that our bodies can NEVER adapt to short sleep.
Sleep debt makes us feel (and act) lousy. However, we often don’t realize that it is lack of sleep causing the bad feelings because clock-dependent alerting masks this effect at certain times of the day. During the hours when your body is experience clock-dependent alerting, the person will feel okay and maybe even good. But when the clock-dependent alerting drops off, the effects of sleep debt will be felt even more.
If you have children who are grumpy or unhappy at any time in the day, see what giving them 10 hours sleep EVERY night, in addition to the time it takes them to get to sleep, does for them.
And do the same for yourself.
Lowering sleep debt can make us feel better, happier and more vital. It will also improve how well our brains work.
GET A LATEX PILLOW
Having the right bed is important for sleep. However, since it is also expensive, here is a tip that is relatively cheap that can help you to improve your sleep right now. Get a latex pillow. Your head is buried in your pillow for one third of your life. You don’t want to be inhaling any molecules of artificial substances, and as few molecules of anything at all. I have seen how a latex pillow can stop a person make “snuffling” sounds overnight.
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