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Do you have difficulty sleeping?
Posted by Tori on 7/19/2010 to Hampshire Products Blog
It's been estimated that as many as 40% of Americans will suffer some kind of sleep disturbance. If this sounds like you there may be an easy solution.
First, you need to understand how sleep works. We sleep in 90 minute cycles. Imagine each cycle as a "V". The top of the "V" is the point at which you first fall asleep. It then takes 45 minutes to float down into the deepest part of your sleep cycle. If you're awakened from this deep stage of sleep you feel disturbed and may even be disoriented. But as soon as you reach this deep level of sleep, you start on your way right back up to the top of the other side of the "V" toward lighter sleep.
The top of the sleep cycle is the shallowest period of sleep. During this time you dream and can easily be awakened. Once you have finished this 90 minute sleep cycle, unless something wakes you up, you immediately start another "V" cycle, down into a deep, deep sleep and then up toward the shallow end where the dream occur.
So how can we use this information to our advantage? Before we begin, answer these questions and then solve a simple match problem:
- Do you wake up alert or groggy?
- On average, how many hours of sleep do you get per night?
- Do you use a snooze alarm?
- Take the number or hours you sleep and divide it by 1.5.

Now, let's look at your answers in reverse order.
- Take the number of hours you sleep during an average night and divide by 1.5 (90 minutes or 1 & 1/2 hours). If you sleep 6 hours a night, that comes to 4 ninety minute cycles. If you sleep 7 1/2 hours a night that's 5 ninety minute cycles. If you have a fraction of a cycle left over after you divide your sleep hours by 1.5 that means instead of waking up at the end of a sleep cycle which is what your body is primed for, you're waking up somewhere in the middle of the cycle and it throws off your natural rhythm.
Here's an example: Assume you go to bed at 11:00 and set your alarm for 5:30. That's 6 1/2 hours of sleep or 4 cycles and a fraction left over. When your alarm goes off, you're just descending toward the deepest part of your sleep cycle and will likely wake up groggy rather then refreshed and invigorated.
- Do you use a snooze alarm? If you do, then your alarm is probably set to go off somewhere in the middle of a ninety minute cycle rather than at the end. So you keep hitting the snooze button until you reach the point in your cycle where your body is ready to wake up. By planning your sleep time in multiples of ninety minutes and then setting your alarm accordingly, you'll make your snooze button obsolete.
- On average, how many hours of sleep do you get per night? There are no wrong answers here, but the ideal answer is in multiples of ninety minutes. That means that an individual should plan for 4 1/2 hours (3 ninety minute cycles), 6 hours (4 ninety minute cycles), 7 1/2 hours (5 ninety minute cycles) or 9 hours (6 ninety minute cycles) or sleep each night. Health experts have determined that 7 1/2 hours per night is the amount of sleep most associated with good health.
- Do you wake up alert or groggy? Again, if you plan your sleep in complete ninety minute cycles, you'll wake up ready to go. If you set your clock to wake you up at some point in the middle of a cycle it will be harder to get up and get moving.
If You Can't Fall Asleep
So what do you do if you can't fall asleep or wake up and can't get back to sleep? The pharmaceutical industry has come up with a variety of OTC (over the counter) and prescription medicines designed to help you fall asleep and sleep through the night. But they're not without some serious side effects of their own. The most common remedy are combination of pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil & Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) and the antihistamine diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Although these seem to work well enough to help you fall asleep quickly there are common complaints of waking early and feeling groggy and run down the next day. And the side effects related to the prescription sleep aids are even more bizarre.
I Needed Help But Prescription Drugs Scare Me
News reports began cropping up about a few years ago regarding some of the strangest side effects associated with the use of a class of prescription sleep drugs called sedative/hypnotics. The reported side effects have even spawned the new buzz-phrase "Ambien Zombies" after the popular sleep drug most associated with the behavior. Going beyond mere sleep walking, nocturnal activities include eating, sexual activity and driving, all without any memory of doing so. The FDA finally got the message about those side effects and is now mandating Ambien and 12 other drugs include warnings on their labels about complex behaviors like the previously listed ones along with potentially fatal allergic reactions and severe head swelling. The drugs are: Ambien; Butisol sodium; Carbrital; Dalmane; Doral; Halcion; Lunesta; Placidyl; Prosom; Restoril; Rozerem; Seconal; Sonata. (Maybe these drugs should be more appropriately named, Zombien, Halucion, Looniestuff, Restoroam, etc.)
If you are taking these drugs, the FDA warns against combining them with alcohol and other medications used to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia. They also recommend that you only use these drugs when you can devote at least eight full hours to sleep. But why would you want to take a potentially dangerous prescription when safer and more effective alternatives are available?
A Drug-Free Solution
Drugs are not for me. In the 1st place I've tried several over-the-counter sleep aids containing antihistamines or mild hypnotics (like Benadryl). Sometimes they helped me fall asleep but they never seemed to help me stay asleep. And I’d get up in the morning feeling like I had a head full of cotton. And as we just found out, prescription sleep medicines carry a lot of warnings.
Thankfully, research from the labs of M.I.T., Harvard University and NASA has shown that "Mother Nature" has provided several good, natural aids to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Five Ingredients for Sound Sleep
In addition to many lifestyle changes you can make that should help you get a good night’s sleep, my research found that there are four natural herbs, minerals and one all-important natural hormone that really support our natural ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Although many people have never heard of them here are the 5 supplements that I found have been shown over and over again to be the most useful in promoting deep, restful sleep:
 1. Valerian – this medicinal herb and natural sedative seems to have been used as long as recorded history and certainly by healers in ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates described Valerian’s therapeutic uses and the great 2nd century physician Galen prescribed it for insomnia. Long valued for it’s calming effect, 16th century physicians used it to treat nervous trembling, headaches and heart palpitations. It was also used to good effect in England during WWII to relieve the stress of air raids. Studies show that valerian helps the body drift off to sleep. In one study, a 450 mg. test sample of valerian extract helped users cut the time to fall asleep from 16 to 9 minutes. And, apparently, Valerian’s effectiveness increases over time. One study reported that test subjects reported improved sleep between 14 and 28 days of the study.
 2. Magnesium – Believe it or not, insomnia is one of the hallmark symptoms of having a chronic magnesium deficiency. And since American’s intake of magnesium has dropped 50% in the last century, magnesium deficiency is rampant. What does it mean? Well, without enough magnesium your sleep is usually agitated and you wake up over and over again. No wonder researchers have found that magnesium supplements help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer!
 3. Zinc – Zinc deficiency is just as rampant in our society. Yet numerous studies have shown that zinc helps promote the deep sleep cycle which you body need in order to repair and maintain muscles and bones, and support proper body function.
 4. Passionflower – This classic medicinal plant has a long history as a sedative, antispasmodic and mild pain reliever. Interestingly enough it also helps enhance the effectiveness of Valerian. Plus, passionflower seems to help “take the edge off” a particularly stressful day. A number of studies have shown a clear anti-anxiety effect to passionflower in both animals and humans. In fact, it’s even been shown to help people withdrawing from opiates and seems to be as effective as the prescription drug oxazepam in treating generalized anxiety.
 5. Melatonin – Perhaps the most important ingredient of all. This critical hormone is produced by your brains pineal gland to synchronize daily and seasonal rhythms including your internal clock (the sleep wake cycle). Melatonin deficiency may cause sleep disorders, immune deficiency conditions and depression. Supplementing with melatonin has been found to alleviate sleep disorder and boost the immune system.
Together They’re an Unstoppable Formula for Great Sleep!
The scientists at Hampshire Labs have brought these ingredients together in a product called Sleep More PM with ZMA. Not only is it 100% natural, it also contains every one of the top 5 sleep-enhancing ingredients identified in the government research research – Valerian root, magnesium, zinc, Passionflower and Melatonin (the “PM” part of Sleep More). There seems to be a true synergistic effect among the ingredients. They all work together to create an even more powerful sleep remedy. Plus, Sleep More PM with ZMA has an additional secret ingredient I would have never known to add…
Vitamin B-6
Vitamin B-6 is critical because it enable our bodies to absorb and utilize maximum amounts of magnesium and zinc, two of the minerals that we’re chronically short of and two of the most critical minerals for deep, uninterrupted sleep. Yet most sleep formulas I’ve seen don’t even include it!
And even better, this formula contains no drugs and yet it is so effective that the U.S. Government has authorized its immediate release to the public without a prescription. Still, in as little as a few minutes, this clinically proven formula will soothe and calm your entire body, melt away tension and anxiety and relax you with a slumber-inducing effect that you quickly drift off into a night of uninterrupted slumber.
(With no fear of side-effects or possible addiction.)
 I believe you will be amazed at how fast you'll fall asleep. . . How refreshing and satisfying your sleep will be and how alive you'll feel in the morning after you use SleepMorePM with ZMA to get to sleep, reach deeper levels of sleep and wake up refreshed and energized.
Great for Occasional Insomnia Too!
You don't have to have chronic insomnia or a clinical sleep disorder
like sleep apnea or "restless leg syndrome" to benefit from Sleep More PM with ZMA. It's exclusive formula of all-natural herbs, minerals and key hormones were designed give your body what it needs to achieve deep, restful, recuperative sleep quickly and easily.  For more information on SleepMore PM, or to order, click here.


*The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only.  It should not be construed as medical advice and we do not intend this information to be used to diagnose or cure any disease, or to prescribe any form of treatment.  Always consult a physician regarding matters of health, and prior to making any modifications to your diet, exercise, or other lifestyle regimen.

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