30 May Sleep to survive! . . . . and prosper
Can massage really help your sleep patterns? And how important is sleep anyway?
As we strive to offer clients ‘pure relaxation‘ we note that many find massage therapy helpful in achieving a truly deep level of peace and tranquility, allowing them to switch off from their daily worries, and focus more on the most important priority – their personal wellbeing!
A key finding from modern sleep research is that we need seven to eight hours a night! In his 2017 best seller “Why We Sleep”, English-born scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, Matthew Walker focuses his research on the impact of sleep on human health and disease. Previously, he was a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
According to Walker, the silent sleep loss epidemic is the greatest public health challenge we face in the twenty-first century in developed nations.
He argues that we all need at least seven and preferably eight hours sleep a night, as sleep is vital for many functions of the brain and body, including memory, problem solving, attention, immune function, growth, and the effective and efficient functioning of most of our organs. Lack of sleep leads to dementia, raised blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, road traffic and other injuries, and proneness to infection—in other words to all the commonest causes of morbidity and mortality. Yet many people in the developed world are not getting seven to eight hours sleep a night, and crucially he shows that you cannot catch up on lost sleep—sleeping late on the weekend will not undo the damage done by sleep loss during the week.
Walker’s sculpture metaphor clearly explains how REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and NREM (non-REM) sleep are essential for memory: NREM, which dominates the beginning of sleep, moves the great clumps of clay (the day’s learnings) into memory, then REM sleep, which dominates later, refines and shapes the clay to create memories.
The book even manages to cast light on the particular importance of dreams not just the REM sleep during which they occur. Resourceful experiments have shown that dreams have therapeutic, problem solving, and creative functions.
An entertaining quote from the book:
“Last night, you became flagrantly psychotic. It will happen again tonight. Before you reject this diagnosis, allow me to offer five justifying reasons. First, when you were dreaming last night, you started to see things that were not there— you were hallucinating. Second, you believed things that could not possibly be true— you were delusional. Third, you became confused about time, place, and person— you were disoriented. Fourth, you had extreme swings in your emotions— something psychiatrists call being affectively labile. Fifth (and how delightful!), you woke up this morning and forgot most, if not all, of this bizarre dream experience— you were suffering from amnesia. If you were to experience any of these symptoms while awake, you’d be seeking immediate psychological treatment.”
The team at Classic Siam wish you a pleasant night’s sleep after your massage, fahn wahn (sweet dreams) and lots of healthy energy and creativity as a result!