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Monday, November 5, 2012

How to Get Enough Sleep

Hey y'all,

I'm going to start doing videos on Bluebonnet Natural Healing Therapy and the first one is called "How to Get Enough Sleep."

Let me share some interesting things about sleep.

First, here is a chart from the National Sleep Foundation showing how much sleep each person needs by age:

What happens when we sleep?

While we are snoozing in the Land of Nod, our body is still very busy. Sleep is the time for:

  • Muscle repair
  • Memory consolidation
  • Growth hormone activation
  • Appetite hormone activation
If we do not get enough sleep, we cannot concentrate fully, we cannot make good decisions, and we have trouble engaging socially with others. We may also feel hungrier, because our appetite control hormones have not had enough opportunity to work properly. A lack of sleep may actually contribute to unwanted weight gain.

How does sleep work?

75% of the night is spent in four sleep stages:
  1. The period of time between being awake and fully asleep; dozing or light sleep
  2. Falling asleep; disengaging from surroundings; body temperature drops; heart rate and breathing are regular
  3. Deep sleep; blood pressure drops; breathing is slower; muscles relax; muscles repair and grow; energy is restored; hormones are released
  4. Same as #3
25% of the night is spent in REM sleep. This first occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep, and recurs about every 90 minutes. As the night progresses, the time between REM cycles lengthens.

During REM sleep, the following things are observed:

  • Dreams
  • Eye movements
  • Muscles relax and the body becomes immobilized
  • Cortisol levels drop, and elevate when it is close to time to wake up
I think I will do a couple of videos and blog posts on natural ways to prepare for sleep and how to deal with insomnia naturally. I'll share a really nice herbal recipe I have and talk about some herbs that may help you wind down.

As I mentioned in the video, feel free to leave a comment and tell me how you feel after getting eight hours of sleep. Maybe you could also share how you rearranged your schedule and life to get enough sleep. 


  1. I think I need more like 9-10 hours of sleep for peak mental activity. I also think babies need more. Actually, I think everyone needs more than on that list. Just my super expert opinion. :-)

    1. I have heard videos from pro bodybuilders who say they all get 9-10 hours sleep so they can "grow." It's essential. I watched a video last week from a pro cyclist who said he tries to get 12 hours sleep each night. I think most people have no idea how important sleep is.

      I suggest 8 hours because I don't think anyone would try to attempt to get more sleep than that starting out.

  2. I have trouble getting uninterrupted sleep. I fall asleep great but I will wake up after 4 hours and then fall back asleep and wake up again 2-2 1/2 hours later and as a result the next day I am not as rested or clear thinking.

    1. Hi KL! Thanks for the comment!

      I'm going to do a video later on with an herbal formula to help people stay asleep. It might help.

  3. We all understand how important to have enough sleep. There are people who spent more than enough time to sleep but still feel unsatisfied. While other people spent only less than 6 hrs sleeping a day but feel contented. Do we really need to follow the required hours to sleep or it all depends on our biological needs?

    1. Great question, Ramon!

      It really does depend on biological needs. I think here in the US it's almost a contest to see how little sleep we can get by with. As I said on the video, we can do that for a while but eventually it catches up with you and you start seeing things like fried adrenals, anxiety, or chronic illnesses.

      For me personally, with a lot of small children and an overload of responsibilities over decades of time, it did catch up with me.

      We need to respect our bodies and take care of them. :)