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Is Sleep Before Midnight Better Than After?

Happy Friday! We’re home from our last week of wedding trips (to Kansas City for a party and time with Kelly’s lovely new family — so fun!)  and grateful for safe travels.  The end of the summer is fast approaching and we’re pretty dang happy to be looking back on this very busy summer and relaxing a bit. And you?  This is the last of the wedding photos. LOL. :0)

kelly-married

Our highlight this week was attending a community Vegetarian Supper Club for the first time this past Monday.  You know, I don’t think anyone realizes how delicious vegetarian food is!  We have loved it for years and it’s fun to find some great people who also enjoy this important part of our life.  After dinner we watched a fascinating video called “Ancient Health Secrets.”  It included some facts on food, but also SLEEP, including the concept that pre-midnight sleep is more restorative than post-midnight.  Like Cinderella … Is that really true?  I think you’ll be interested in my thoughts and research below.

100x50-amazon-5-starsThis Week’s Weekly Winners For 08-19-2017 Are

Lu Anne Roberts: 1 Month Supply
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Chats

Both the tea and the socks continue to work their wonders.

Yesterday I visited with Anne Kapp Anderson who lives in Idaho.  (She’s an amazing pianist and we greatly enjoy our collection of “Soft Sounds for A Soothing Sunday” —  CDs she created with her sister.  Learn more HERE  )

Ann has Type II Diabetes.  One of the first places it manifested itself as far as true discomforts was in her feet, especially the toes with sensations that left them feeling cramped and very painful.  The socks have alleviated a great deal of that, Hooray! And most especially at night, allowing her to sleep in a much better way.

We agreed that life spins in an entirely different way when we’ve slept well.  Oh, the blessings of these amazing socks!

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Today’s Article

So, speaking of sleep — that’s the article today! I’ve always been a night owl.  Throughout my life, my best creating has often been done while everyone else is asleep.  That’s changing as I get older … and my late-nighters are much less frequent.  But I’m having a harder time getting to sleep and staying asleep.
I’m very open to new information on better sleep and was intrigued by the concept that sleep before midnight is better than sleep after midnight.

Of course, it generally makes sense if you need to get up on a schedule. That is, if you don’t get to bed before midnight, you’ve literally shortened the amount of time you have available to sleep for the recommended eight hours that are necessary to restore and energize your body.

There’s some research that indicates eight hours is not necessary for everyone, but for the sake of my message today:

If you don’t have to get up at 6:00 a.m., and can sleep ’til 8:00 a.m. or later, does it make a difference when you go to bed the night before?

Sleep is a very essential component to good health.  Common sense and documentation on that abound.  But before midnight???  Like Cinderella???

Dr. Matt Walker, head of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at the University of California, Berkeley says “The mythology is unfortunate because there’s no pumpkin-like magic that occurs.”

However: Walker says your sleep quality does change as the night wears on.

“The time of night when you sleep makes a significant difference in terms of the structure and quality of your sleep,” he explains. Your slumber is composed of a series of 90-minute cycles during which your brain moves from deep, non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep to REM sleep. “That 90-minute cycle is fairly stable throughout the night,” Walker explains. “But the ratio of non-REM to REM sleep changes.”

He says that non-REM sleep tends to dominate your slumber cycles in the early part of the night. But as the clock creeps toward daybreak, REM sleep muscles in. That’s significant because some research has suggested that non-REM sleep is deeper and more restorative than lighter, dream-infused REM sleep—though Walker says both offer important benefits.
What does this have to do with the perfect bedtime? The shift from non-REM to REM sleep happens at certain times of the night regardless of when you go to bed, Walker says. So if you hit the sack very late—at, say, 3 AM—your sleep will tilt toward lighter, REM-heavy sleep.
It’s important to understand that it’s during the first third of the night that we experience the deepest part of our sleep. We move into deep sleep more rapidly and it’s the phase of sleep during which we’re least likely to be disturbed and wake up.

This deep or slow-wave sleep (SWS) is the most restorative part of our sleep. We experience low levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as reductions in sympathetic nervous system activity – this is the stimulating activity associated with our ‘fight-or-flight’ responses. We also experience increased parasympathetic nervous system activity, which is associated with ‘rest and digest’ activity. So, you can see why it does us so much good!

This comes from the experts and doctors at www.sleepio.com

And that reduction in deep, restorative sleep, based on a late post-midnight bedtime,  may leave you groggy and blunt-minded the next day.

We night owls can attest to that. BUT, sometimes the things we accomplish in the middle of the night are worth it every once in a while.  You know?!?

I guess the most important thing is to not make a habit of it.

You can read the whole article, and how it impacts medical and shift-workers right here: CLICK HERE or paste in http://time.com/3183183/best-time-to-sleep/

I also highly recommend the www.sleepio.com website with some very helpful articles on getting your mind to stop racing, as mind does, at night.

Based on your many reports to me, the socks help, and the tea also helps with a better night’s rest!

Health begets health, and I love that when we’re healthier we sleep better, allowing us to be even more healthy!

Here’s to a great weekend and super slumber.  I’ll be back next week with Weekly Winners and more stories.

Carolyn Allen is the mother of 5 children and grandmother to 11 (so far!). She and her husband, Bob, have been helping people feel and look better for years with My Miracle Tea. Read More
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