By Michelle King Robson Expert HERWriter
How do you feel at 8:00 each day, in the morning and in the evening? These used to be really unpleasant times for me. I would be groggy when the sun rose and sluggish when the sun went down. And I would struggle to relax—contending with hot flashes, joint pain and restlessness during the twilight hours in between.
I am an ambitious person. Like most of you, I am juggling work, volunteering and spending time with loved ones. And I always strive to make a positive impact through what I do. But I also know that if I don’t take care of myself, then I can’t be a source of support to others.
That’s why I came up with these healthy nighttime habits to help make sure I wake up empowered for the day. I think you deserve these too!
1. Maintain an evening routine to unwind and disconnect
When bedtime rolls around, my mind is usually still active with ideas and thinking of my long to-do list.
The Didgeridoo is a wind instrument that is a hollow tube made out of anything from PVC pipe to eucalyptus wood (material used by the Aborigines in Australia from whom this instrument originates). To play it requires no particular knowledge of or ability to read music but does require learning how to make the resonant and comforting drone sound. Most people can get the initial sound fairly easily though production of the sound requires a certain amount of relaxation of the jaw and face.
Additionally, playing didgeridoo requires “circular breathing.” Circular breathing is a musical technique to keep the drone constant without the player having to stop to take a breath. (saxophonist Kenny G is famous for playing a sustained E-Flat for 45 minutes via circular breathing in 1997). A side-effect of learning this technique is the strengthening of the muscles in the mouth and back of the throat, the section of the upper airway that often collapses for people with obstructive sleep apnea. Read More
By Jerrold Kram, MD, FCCP
Medical Director, California Center For Sleep Disorders
Centuries ago there was a belief that going to sleep was like dying and waking up was coming back to life. It was not until the 1800’s that scientists began to realize that in fact there was brain activity during sleep and not until the 1950’s the fact that there were different stages of sleep during the night was discovered.
We now understand that in fact humans experience 3 different states of existence, wakefulness, Non-REM sleep and REM sleep. Non-REM sleep has 3 different stages and occurs for about 75% of the night, the remainder REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep is the state where most dreaming takes place. Yet despite our ability to measure these stages of sleep we actually do not know why we need to sleep and the exact purpose of each stage of sleep. We all know we can’t function without sleep but what exactly takes place during that 1/3 or our lives remains unknown.Read More