zzz1b.gif (285 bytes) SLEEP

 

When you're working hard or enjoying yourself so much, it's easy to forget your body also needs rest. Moderate doses of sleep, 7 to 9 hours a night-, help you look and feel better. " If you don't sleep, you feel lousy and tired, and your outlook on life is negative,"says Dr. Christian Guilleminault of the Stanford University Sleep Disorders Center. Actually even varying the time you get to sleep by just a couple of hours can make you grouchy the next day- even if you get enough sleep. The reason as reported in Time Magazine last February 24, is that your mood deteriorates when the body's internal clock is thrown out of sync.

Getting enough sleep has also been linked to longevity. In a study by the California State Department of Health Services, people who slept 6 hours or less a night had 70 % higher death rates than those who slept 7 to 8 hours.

Some research suggests a link between deep sleep and the immune system. As Dr. David Sobel, co-author of the book Healthy Pleasures, says, "A variety of chemicals trigger slow-wave sleep- the deepest, most restful kind- as well as rouse the immune system into action."

If you find it hard to get to sleep, you have to do the same things, in the same order every night to train yourself to fall asleep on cue. Just as a baseball pitcher goes through a series of gyrations before he throws a ball to establish a ritual that says in effect, after this I'll pitch a terrific fastball, we can go through a series of actions, (wash your face, brush your teeth, open your window a crack, etc.) which will signal your body to turn off the light. If you can't fall asleep or wake during the night, get up and do something boring. Something repetitive like solitaire or needlepoint. Don't read a novel, or eat ice-cream, or watch something interesting on TV or else it's like you are rewarding yourself for waking up and you'll do it again.

If you're one of those people who think of sleep as wasted time- put your sleeping time to work by applying petroleum jelly to your cuticles, lotion on your body, moisturizer on your face, before sleeping.

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