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Here Is Why a Good Night’s Sleep Is So Important

No matter how old you are, and no matter what race or nationality, all human beings need sleep. It's a well-documented phenomenon. The process of sleeping can be broken down into two categories. The first category is Rapid Eye Movement, or REM, sleep, which makes up 20 to 25 percent of our sleep. The other is Non-Rapid Eye Movement, or NREM, which makes up the rest of our sleep, about 75 to 80 percent. We have also discovered that our sleep cycles are cyclical. They occur in 90-minute phases of both REM and NREM sleep, with a person have anywhere from three to six REM and NREM cycles in a night. Therefore, a good night's sleep is very important, and a lack of sleep is damaging to our bodies both mentally and physically. 1

Unfortunately, in today’s society, many people do not get a good night’s sleep. In fact, according to a Consumer Reports survey of over 4,000 American adults, at least 27 percent of the participants said they had problems falling asleep or staying asleep most nights of the week. 2 In fact, according to Kathy Whitney of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, at least 25 percent of the American public have sleep deprivation issues. 3 That’s a lot of people.

woman exhausted at her desk What Does Sleep Deprivation Do To the Body?

It affects staying away and paying attention.

One of the most common things that sleep deprivation does is severely affect how alert you are and your ability to stay awake. This becomes a particularly acute problem when you are operating a motor vehicle. In fact, over 40 percent of drivers have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at least once. 4 Falling asleep at the wheel cannot only injure or kill you, but you could hurt or kill someone else too.

It Severely Affects Your Physical Health

It’s been shown that lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. 5 These issues are all serious and very detrimental to living an active lifestyle.

It Severely Affects Your Mood

Not getting a good night’s sleep can have an adverse effect on your mood. It can lead to more irritability, which can affect your family relationships, including your relationship with your spouse and your children, and it can affect your working relationships. It can also lead to both minor and severe depression.

A Good Night’s Sleep Is Important

So a good night’s sleep is very important, and there are things you can do to help you go to sleep and stay asleep. The use of aromatherapy and essential oils is one of those things. According to the University of Minnesota, breathing in essential oils before you sleep can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. 6

What is aromatherapy, also known as essential oil therapy? It is the use of the oils of plants and herbs in a non-medicinal way for the promoting of wellbeing of the mind, body, and soul. It is a practice that has been around for thousands of years, and the Indians, Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese have all used a form of it. 7 Today, the practice of aromatherapy happens in a wide variety of settings including spas, hospitals, and massage centers. The therapy is common today with everyday citizens who use aromatherapy by a variety of means, such as with a portable diffuser.

chamomile Chamomile

Chamomile is a common essential oil for relaxing and getting a good night’s sleep. The oil is derived from a perennial herb that is small and resembles a daisy. Chamomile is a calming agent. It not only can help with irritation, but it also can be calming. It can also help with cleansing the body which can remove toxins as well as cool the body, which can help alleviate fevers.

kava Kava

Kava is another essential oil that is great for calming. It originates from Vanuatu, which is a South Pacific nation, and it’s been used for hundreds of years as a herbal medicine and it has also been used in ceremonies. It relaxes you, and this can help with nervousness and relieving mild aches. When it comes to falling asleep, Kava essential oil promotes restfulness and helps create a state of sedation.

lavender in field Lavender

One of the most commonly used essential oils that also smells great is lavender. It’s an oil that not only encourages sedation but can also help ease muscle discomfort. It can be used to help with insect bites, bee stings, and minor burns, and for cuts and other skin defects, and many people even use it to help with motion sickness and nosebleeds. Lavender is one of the most versatile of the essential oils.

Getting To Good Sleep

Combine your enjoyment of the essential oil diffuser with other bedtime rituals such as turning off your TV, putting away your cell phone and other electronic devices, dimming your lights and mentally quieting your mind.

When we get a good night’s sleep, we not only improve our physical body but our mind and soul as well. Going from lack of sleep to a good night’s sleep may not happen right away, but with practice, you can be well on your way to improving your sleep and eliminating sleep deprivation from your life for good.

Photo credits: Stokkete/, JONG16899/, Carpentry/, ol_dmi/, DenisVal/

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