I give treatments to many women and I'm amazed at how many suffer from lack of sleep, which is particularly common in mum's to be and new mums.
Lack of sleep has a dramatic effect on our lives as the main symptoms are: fatigue, sleepiness, clumsiness, irritability, poor concentration and even weight gain! If ever there was a list of symptoms resulting from modern living, this is it!
The amount of sleep we need varies from person to person, and recent findings from a team at the University of California, San Francisco, indicate that a gene may explain why some people can get by with half as much sleep as the rest of us. Margaret Thatcher was famous for needing only four hours of sleep a night when she was Prime Minister! We're not all like Margaret Thatcher though, so most of us need at least eight hours sleep at night.
As we get older, most of us get less than the required eight hours because it takes us longer to fall asleep, we're lighter sleepers and we wake more easily during the night. One way for the elderly to avoid the adverse effects of sleep deprivation is to simply spend more time in bed: going to bed earlier and having a bit of lie-in in the morning!
But what about the kids? Both primary school children and teenagers need 9 to 10 hours sleep per night. Most parents ensure that their younger children get enough sleep, but it's much more difficult to get teenagers off to bed due to the hours they spend with their: friends, computers and (sometimes) homework and studies.
The impact on children of too little sleep is often overlooked, but anyone who's lived with teenagers will know that they all suffer from the same classic symptoms of: fatigue, sleepiness, clumsiness, irritability and poor concentration! (as listed above)
But how can we all get more sleep and better sleep? You might want to try one or more of the following:
Some people swear by power-naps, which are thought to maximize the benefits of sleep versus time. But you should remember that power-naps should always be less than 40 minutes long, as sleeping longer than this may lead to you entering a normal sleep cycle but failing to complete it, which can result in the opposite effect and increase drowsiness.
And if all else fails... most of my regular clients swear by the effects of reflexology. In fact some of my clients can't wait to get home for a good nights sleep and happily fall asleep during the treatment session. The deep relaxation induced by reflexology and similar treatments should, if practiced regularly, help break a pattern of sleeplessness.
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