Healthy sleep is as important as diet, exercise and stress treatment for health.
Many Americans are not trying to get healthy sleep and believe sleep is widespread. Studies begin to show us that this is not true. We are losing sleep at our own risk.
"There is plenty of compelling evidence to support the argument that sleep is the most important predictor of how long you will live, perhaps more importantly than smoking, exercising or having high blood pressure or cholesterol levels." (19659003) * Can increase your ability to think clearly and function at the highest level
* Can increase althletic performance by 30%
* Does it improve or not your skin and appearance
* Helps you lose weight  * Improves memory and ability to learn
* Reduces the risk of diabetes
* Helps to protect your heart and reduce the risk of heart disease
* Improves your ability to fight infections
* Reduces the risk of accidents (2-4)
Benefits of sleeping:
"We are not healthy without our sleep being healthy." writes a pioneer, William Dement, MD (1).
We have always known that sleep is important. "There is nothing better than a good night's sleep" is a common expression of this understanding. But for some reason we do not listen to our own wisdom. Like children, most of them had bed-hours that were home-law. Our parents made sure we had enough sleep. They knew what was good for us. When we were older, most of us seem to have forgotten or ignored sleep values. We live in a culture that feels industrialization, work, and productivity, and it falls on sleepiness.
Within the last year (2008) there has been a lot of attention to the media about sleep and insomnia. This is a major consequence of more studies that have shown the effects of insomnia on previously uncontrolled conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity and weight gain. Scientists now point out that insomnia is a major risk factor for this disease.
Why do we lose so much healthy sleep?
The great cause of lost sleep is stress and overtime.
At stressful times in our lives, a common response is to meet our demands. Emphasis can be placed on our individual lives. But now our whole society seems to be stressed. Almost no one would argue that we are now experiencing historical stress (about 2008).
One of the first shocks to stress is healthy sleep. We Americans are struggling with insomnia more than ever. In 2005, the National Sleep Foundation survey reported that less than half of all Americans believe they get healthy sleep either nightly or every other night (5).
Lack of health on healthy sleep is reflected by the use of hypnotics. Forty-nine million hypnotics prescriptions were written in 2006 (3). This was a 53% increase over the past five years. The major sleep drug is Ambien, which accounted for 60% of bedtime drugs in 2006, or $ 2.8 billion in sales. In 2006, pharmaceutical companies spent $ 600 million on advertising. The primary focus of all advertising has been "detrimental to sleep pills" (5).
Although the main reason for our insomnia is stress, our modern environment also reduces sleep.
Artificial light and human resources give us many reasons to stay awake in the evening. Remember, in the greatest of humanity, the darkness at night is really pumped to stay awake at the pot. Grandparents and our parents slept 1 1/2 hours more than we do every night, according to Dr. Christopher Gillin, Psychiatrist and Professor at the University of San Diego (6). He explains that one in three Americans complain of last year's insomnia and one in six considers their insomnia to be severe.
Thomas Edison himself, the inventor of an electric light bulb, believed that too much sleep would be bad. "Whoever escapes eight or ten hours at night is never completely sleepy and never quite awake – he has only varying degrees of valleys throughout the 24 hours," Edison said. He found that people got twice as much sleep as needed. Survivors caused them to be "unhealthy and inefficient" (1).
Although Edison is known to have fallen asleep for only four hours at night, he also reported that he also received a frequent newspaper. His total time seems to have been close to 8 hours in 24 hours. In light of Edison's personal information, he discovered an electric light bulb. No original invention has so disturbed the human body as an electric light.
Rhythm healthy sleep and biological clock
Our biological clock takes time for our natural rhythm of sleep and awakening. It sets the timing of healthy sleep. The clock on our body can be changed by artificial light. Our body follows the day night by recording light through the eyes. This daily rhythm is called a circular rhythm.
Every 24 hours when our earth turns the axis we experience this rhythm. It is a 24-hour recurring cycle that our life is portrayed for. The darkness of the night stimulates the brain to release melatonin, the body tissue of the hormone. Melatonin helps to induce sleep. Artificial lighting reduces melatonin secretion and can affect our ability to sleep.
The height of our 24/7 community
When our ancient "burned midnight oil", the light intensity was insufficient to interfere with the circulatory limits of our bodies. Light intensity is measured in luxury. One luxury is the amount of light given by one candle. Scientists have shown that only 180 lux can reset or interfere with our biological clock. A 100 watt 10-foot bulb gives 190 lux, which is enough to reset your biological clock.
With darkness our eyes record less light. This means our brain to release melatonin, the body tissue of the hormone. Melatonin levels rise higher in the evening and fall during the day, all in response to light coming into our eyes. Thus, mankind experienced the day night for 1000 years.
A brilliant bright light at midnight tells your body that the sun is shining and, consequently, the brain lowers melatonin. This disturbance of melatonin may affect our sleep health. Melatonin has been shown to have many benefits to health. Its reduction in the body can also affect our health separate from the sleep problem. In our modern society, there is a lot of stress and 24/7 activity. The combination of two seriously affects our sleep. For most of us, our sleep is no longer healthy.
What is healthy sleep?
Healthy sleep means that you get enough sleep and that you have all the levels of sleep in the right amount. How Much Sleep Is Enough? Consistency among sleep studies is that adults need about eight hours a night.
Sleep Studies, Dr. William Dement puts it this way: "Normally, people need to sleep one hour every two hours awake, which means that most people need eight hours to sleep at night and need much more or less." (1) Before you begin to justify prolonged insomnia, consider this powerful statement Dr Dement:
"Although sleep needs to be variable, people who sleep about eight hours have an average tendency to live longer." (1)
Another number of hours you get, how can you tell if you get enough sleep? The best way is to see how fast you can fall asleep during the day if you have the opportunity. This is how scientists measure sleep disturbances. Many sleep studies are used by scientists to assess the extent to which individual exercise is asleep.
Investigators get to lie comfortably in a quiet, dark room in the middle of the day. Volunteer hearing waves are monitored to see if and when they go to bed. The test lasts only 20 minutes. Investigators will be seated comfortably in a quiet, dark room in the middle of the day. Volunteer hearing waves are monitored to see if and when they go to bed. The test lasts only 20 minutes.
If a substance is asleep within less than 5 minutes, this is a serious lack of sleep. Physical and mental reactions of these substances are often very impaired "(1) Falling sleep between 5 and 10 minutes is believed to be" the border "deprived of sleep. Falling sleep between 10 and 15 minutes indicates an adequate amount of sleep. Sleep for 15 to 20 minutes or not at all indicates that the subject has excellent monitoring.
Another way to see how sleep is deprived is to look at how sleepy you are. This food, called the Epworth sleepiness indicator (8), is accurate if you are someone who needs more than eight hours, if you are asleep, you will not get enough sleep.
Normal sleep period.
The part of getting a healthy sleep is having a normal sleep ring, which means that you go through all the circles of sleep and experience each of them for a sufficient amount of time.
There are four stages of sleep and REM. sleep from sleep (level 1), to light sleep (level 2) and then deep sleep (levels 3 and 4). In deep sleep, the body is in a severely extinguished state. Muscle tension is relaxed, blood pressure slows, heart rate and breathing decreased. In deep sleep, the body leaks pulse of human growth hormone.
Human growth hormone is sometimes called hormone-based youth because of its invigorating properties. Every night, the body works and regains itself under the control of human growth. After a deep sleep, one enters REM sleep. During REM sleep is a fluid eye movement. REM is already dreaming. The researchers found that REM sleep seems to help us remember what we learned the day before.
1 Dement, William C., Vaughan, Christopher. The promise of sleep. Introduction. © 1999, Dell Publishing, NY, NY. William Dement, MD, is a pioneer in sleep research that has been working to raise awareness of the epidemic of insomnia and its weaknesses.
2 Susan Brink (2000, October). Sleepless community If you stay half a night, we might be at risk for our health. US News & World Report, 129 (15), 62-72.
(3) Well, the Olympians freed willing to go to gold. (2006, February). USA today, 134 (2729), 15.
 Lauren Wiener, Hollace Schmidt. (2007, March). Your new # 1 stay-healthy task: get more sleep. Form, 26 (7), 98, 100-102.
5 Mooallem, Jón. The Sleep-Industrial Complex. New York Times, November 18, 2007.
(6) From published radio broadcast weekly comments March 31, 1999, Lichenstein Creative Media, The Infinite Mind.
(7) The Free Dictionary by Farlex.
(8) From Wikipedia, the keywords: Epworth Sleepiness Scale