Sleep Longer for Better Physical and Mental health
When our kids were smaller, we would ensure that their daily routine was executed with clockwork precision, making sure they were in bed not later than 8 pm every night, never mind that it was a weekend, or some holiday, not even on Christmas, because we all knew that a well-rested child is a well-adjusted child! Our kids were so accustomed to the regularity that we were not allowed to be late serving dinner! Later, when they became twins and teens, and their internal body clocks ran amok due the onset of puberty, I was ready to send myself to the nuthouse! The loud crashing music, the late phone calls to friends (studying over the phone!), the light under their doors as they read or researched late into the night would send me into paroxysms of anxiety and sometimes, rage, as I worried that they wouldn’t be able to function the next day. And I wouldn’t be often wrong! Calls from the school with complaints of flagging attention and sleeping over lessons were not uncommon, making me lose sleep myself, and thereby the whole family becoming sleep deprived over time! Today, as I watch other parents go through the same trauma, I wonder how earlier generations coped, and if the stress levels were indeed less because technology hadn’t provided enough exciting gadgets yet.
The Invaluable Seven-hour Sleep
Today’s lifestyle has seen to it that our days seem shorter, our schedules are crammed to overflowing, and precious sleep hours are sacrificed – we toss and turn in bed, disturbing significant others, till we give up the pretence and hit the computer again, sleep, elusive as never before!
The National Sleep Foundation, a non-profit organization of researchers, patients and health care facilities, has stressed the importance of a seven–hour sleep at night, the optimum for our body to rejuvenate itself for efficient daily functioning. It is during this time that proteins for repair is released into the bloodstream, encouraged by the hormone, Melatonin, which also suppresses awareness and slows down the heart for the human body to repose. The perception of light sends melatonin skittering away to leave you wide awake.
We have become a truly 24/7 race, and the transformation has been insidious, what with the advent of the internet and cell phones, and today, WhatsApp! What would we do without WhatsApp? Even the blinking of the tiny green light flashing off our phones is enough to disrupt our sleep patterns, not least the pinging or buzz of WhatsApp messages. Apart from that, we have street lamps and electronic hoardings flashing all night through, even if you live in an obscure one-horse town, though I hear towns like Tenney, Minnesota, has disappeared, much like Buffalo did! But even the smallest of townships have a Dunkin’ Donuts sign or some factory or warehouse sign flashing, signalling the approach of ‘civilization’, and thereby, lost sleep!
Teens need 9 hours of sleep, if not more, for optimal daytime awareness, but most teens don’t due to school, part-time work and social pressures. Lost sleep, aside from interfering with concentration in school it also leads to consequences such as mood swings and accidents, much like it does for adults.
Another study published by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University has shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours are thrice as likely to develop colds, probably because sleep deprivation affects the body’s immune system.
So what’s the solution? Teens and young adults are certainly not going to give up their gadgets. But the good news is that the technology that gave us life altering gadgets has also given us mechanisms that combat their effects!
Automated Blackout Cellular Shades from Graber
Much like the remotes we have to power our AV systems on and off, we can employ the same to window dressings like the blackout cellular shades that have been approved by the National Sleep Foundation as the most important home product that aids in uninterrupted sleep.
Cellular Shades are constructed out of two layers of pleated polyester Spun-lace, point bond, and woven fabrics to join at the creased edges to form hexagonal cells that trap air that provides both thermal and acoustic insulation. One deployed within the frames of windows, aided by light blocking side channels, it forms a barrier between the window and the room, cutting the transfer of heat and sound so effectively that occupants have the peaceful feeling of being cocooned within a mother’s womb! The blackout cellular shades also annihilate light – The interiors of the shades’ cells are lined with a metallize plastic film called Mylar that blocks the infringement of light through the fabric. Ever heard of such a thing? Well, that’s cutting edge technology for you, brought to you by Graber, to combat sleep deprivation due to ambient light and sounds. The side tracks or channels aid in blocking the ‘halo effect’ that is wont to happen through gaps that are inevitable with inside mounted shades. In addition to these splendid features, add contemporary edge to your windows with the awesome textures and colors available in the cellular range of window dressings, and no more do you have to fret over lost sleep!
Though a ¾ inch cell size is more efficient in trapping air, suggest the 3/8 Inch Cocoon Double cell – the Cocoon fabric is made of Spun-lace that sandwiches Mylar for a wonderfully refined elegance for windows. Go for it! Switch off cell phones and power off gadgets and deploy the blackout cellular shades for that undisturbed sleep you’ve craved!