Today, I’d like to reverse that… and tell you about a couple of things that can go very, very right for you when you’re sleeping well. And I’ll top it off with three tricks to help you get more and better sleep.
First, the surprising results of a recent study…
Did you know that sleeping well is good for your bladder?
A study of 4,145 Boston-area men and women discovered that people who sleep better also have fewer bladder problems. People who slept soundly and more than 5 hours a night were far less likely to develop bladder and urinary tract problems over the next 5 years.(1)
Another recent study revealed that sleep is key to healthy weight loss.
Good sleep leads to a slimmer trimmer you
Conventional wisdom says you tend to eat more when you’re not sleeping well. So getting a good night’s rest has been considered good diet advice.
But now we know its good advice for another reason. Getting a good night’s sleep encourages the right kind of weight loss. Here’s what I mean….
Researchers split a group of overweight men and women into two groups and put them on a reduced-calorie diet.
One group was allowed 8.5 hours of sleep a night for a week. The other group was only given 5.5 hours of sleep. Then the groups switched sleep “allowances” for a week.
Sleeping only 5.5 hours a night changed both groups’ weight loss. But not by amount…by quality. Short sleepers burned 55% less fat and 60% more lean muscle than long sleepers.(2)
In other words, sleeping well at night could help you build a trimmer, more toned body.
Three tips for getting better sleep – naturally
So how do you take advantage of sleep’s benefits? Here are three ways to get more and better sleep – naturally.
Chances are your mother, grandmother or even a babysitter used to sing you to sleep from time to time. It turns out they had the right idea.
Chinese doctors tested music on two groups of mature adults (aged 60 – 83 years). When listening to music at bedtime, both groups fell asleep faster and slept longer and more soundly than when they didn’t listen to music. Plus, they functioned better in the daytime, too.(3)
Simply playing a music CD quietly while getting ready for bed could be enough to improve the quality of your sleep.
Exercise is another well-known sleep enhancer. But it turns out that the type of exercise can make a big difference.
118 people with mild sleep problems took part in an Oregon study. Some did low-impact aerobic exercise, while others practiced Tai chi. both groups exercised for the same length of time each week. And both were sleeping better after 24 weeks.
But the improvements weren’t equal.
The Tai chi group averaged 48 minutes more sleep per night than the low-impact group. And they fell asleep about 18 minutes faster, too.(4)
That may not sound like a big difference, but let’s look at it another way. The Tai chi group spent 2 hours less every week lying awake. And they got more than 5-1/2 extra hours of sleep.
Over the course of a year, that’s 291 extra hours of sleep! Just by using a different form of exercise.
Finally, a medical sleep clinic in France discovered another way to maximize your sleep time. It’s called “thermoneutrality.”
That’s basically a fancy way to say there’s an ideal temperature for getting maximum sleep. If you wear pajamas or a nightgown – or if you sleep under the covers – the ideal room temperature is 60 – 66 degrees.(5)
Even faithful energy-savers rarely set their thermostats below 68 in the winter. And most bedrooms are much warmer than that in the summer.
This last trick may not be practical for everyone – it uses more energy. But if you haven’t been getting the sleep you need, it could help. And when you consider all the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep… it may be worth a try.
1 Araujo AB, et al. Sleep Predicts the Development of Urologic Symptoms in a Longitudinal Study. The Journal of Urology, Volume 185, Issue 4, Supplement , Pages e24-e25, April 2011.
2 Nedeltcheva AV, et al. Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity. Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 153, no. 7, 435-441, October 5, 2010.
3 Lai HL and Good M. Music improves sleep quality in older adults. J Adv Nurs. 2005 Feb;49(3):234-44.
4 Li F, et al. Tai chi and self-rated quality of sleep and daytime sleepiness in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004 Jun;52(6):892-900.
5 Onen SH, eet al. Prevention and treatment of sleep disorders through regulation of sleeping habits. Presse Med. 1994 Mar 12;23(10):485-9.
Dr. Woliner is a board certified medical physician and modern day pioneer in the world of alternative men’s health and nutritional science. Using a unique combination of modern “Western” medicine and traditional holistic healing practices, Dr.Woliner has revolutionized men’s health care treatments for many of today’s most common male health concerns – specializing in alternative treatments for Prostate enlargement (BPH) and a myriad of erectile concerns and men’s sexual health issues.
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