You want to live to see more days? Then plan on having some better nights.
Because new research once again makes the link between GOOD sleep and BETTER health. And this new study gives us even more insights than the others we’ve seen making this critical link.
It doesn’t just show how sleep, in general, can cut your risk of chronic disease. It zeroes in on the ONE TYPE OF SLEEP you need most.
In fact, scientists say this single sleep phase is so critical that missing out on enough could come with deadly consequences.
But that, of course, could ALSO mean getting MORE of this specific form of shuteye could lead to a longer, better, and healthier life.
So today, get ready for a different kind of pillow talk. Because I’m not only going to share with you the eye-opening results of this new study. I’m also going to show precisely how you can get more of this all-important sleep phase.
And perhaps add years to your life.
Not ALL sleep is created equal
We tend to think of sleep as something that just happens. “Good sleep” is when you get your seven or eight hours in. And “bad sleep” is when you fall short.
But there’s more to it than that.
There are different phases of sleep, and your body uses each one for various tasks. Some allow your brain to “detoxify.” Others help you to store and consolidate memories. And in “deep” sleep, your entire body basically goes into repair mode.
The best-known phase that most of us have heard about before is REM sleep. It’s when you dream, and it also plays a role in both mood and memory.
Babies are in REM about half of the time, but then it’s all downhill from there. As you get older, you get less and less. And by the time you hit your senior years, you could spend as little as 20 percent of your sleep in the REM phase.
But the new study reveals an unsettling fact. The researchers found the less time you spend in this critical phase, the higher your risk of an early death rises.
LOST REM could send death risk climbing
The details are disturbing. Every five percent drop in REM levels could lead to a jump in mortality of up to 17 percent. And that’s just ONE risk of poor REM sleep.
In 2018, researchers found that even a ONE percent loss of REM can increase your odds of developing dementia by nearly 10 percent. YIKES!
So like I said earlier, it’s not just how much you sleep that’s important. It’s the amount of time you spend in each phase. And while researchers stopped short of declaring a cause and effect relationship, the association between LESS REM and GREATER mortality rates is clear.
You might think this is out of your control. But it’s really not.
There are ways you can encourage more REM sleep. And when you get more, not only could it cut your risk of early death, but it could also help ensure you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your day.
First, avoid late-night alcohol. It can throw all of your sleep phases out of whack. If you want a bit of booze… in moderation, of course… have a little with dinner, not as a nightcap.
And second, if you’re struggling with sleep, consider an herbal therapy called magnolia bark, or honokiol.
This natural alternative to valium can help cut levels of the stress hormone cortisol and raise soothing GABA. That, in turn, not only may help you sleep better overall, it could specifically help promote that all-important REM sleep.