How Important Is Sleep?
“Psychology and sleep researchers have confirmed that your emotional stability and cognitive strength are strongly affected by your sleep. But it’s actually even more significant than that – poor sleep contributes to alterations in mood, concentration, motivation, attention and motor skills (coordination and timing). If you were wondering why there’s a segment on sleep at the OMT Base level, now you know!”
Types of Sleep Issues
Some of the issues people have with their sleep include: falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up, feeling rested, and getting enough sleep. If any of the above occur regularly over an extended period of time and your daytime functioning becomes impaired, you may have a sleep disorder. If that’s the case, we recommend you consult a sleep expert or enroll yourself in a sleep study (read the story on the next slide about how sleep disorders can destroy your life).
How to Improve Sleep
Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to improve your sleep. Here’s a list:
- Find out if you have a sleep disorder;
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day;
- Get the same amount of sleep each night;
- Eliminate caffeine, alcohol and other drugs;
- Use your bed for sleep only (not for reading, eating, watching TV or listening to the radio);
- Don’t exercise or eat within 3hrs of your bed time;
- Spend extra money on your mattress and pillow (you spend 1/3rd of your life in bed!);
- Experiment with taking a warm bath with lavender;
- See a professional who specializes in using amino acids to affect the lateral hypothalamus (sleep center in your brain); and,
- Use Gap Training to quiet your mind.
Sweet dreams! But wait, why are dreams important anyway?
As you can see in the sleep cycle chart to the right, most people head into 2 deep stages (for physical recovery) within the first 3hrs, and then spend progressively more time in REM sleep (dreaming). REM sleep is what enables humans to keep their sanity (mood, concentration, coordination, etc.). Perhaps you can now see why people with sleep issues also often have performance decreases.
A former client for years had felt exhausted in the morning, even after getting 8hrs of sleep. As a result, he was diagnosed with several serious mental disorders. He approached us to improve his tennis, and we immediately suggested he get tested for a disorder called “sleep apnea.” As it turned out, he had a bad case of it where he would choke every 15min throughout the night. This prevented him from getting enough deep sleep as well as REM sleep. After several months of treatment, his sleep was better and his life dramatically improved. His mental disorders gradually went away, and he no longer needed drug therapy.
Typical 8hr Sleep Cycle
“I sleep therefore I am.” – Zen Buddhist Monk