Today in the Kitchen: Deep sleep, sweet dreams

Green Valley News
Arizona

September 28, 2009

Sleep is essential for our health, and lack of it may be keeping many people from experiencing true vitality. It affects our physical, mental and emotional states, and thus our energy level, performance, focus, and ability to make good decisions.

Sleep allows the body to recharge its immune system, and thus helps prevent disease. It enhances hormone production, and helps rebuild tissue, blood, bones and muscle.

Studies show that proper sleep even influences fat storage, so the right amount is essential for weight loss. In order to function at our personal best, we need to get the proper amount of sleep.

So why is it so hard to get enough of it? Many of us have grown accustomed to being exhausted. We are a culture of walking zombies and tired people.

Studies indicate that over 70 million people suffer from sporadic to chronic sleep problems, including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, inability to fall asleep naturally, and difficulty staying asleep or falling back to sleep once awakened.

The U.S. Surgeon General reports that sleep disorders are costing American citizens more than $16 billion annually in health care costs and treatments.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.