“Finish each day before you begin the next, and erect a solid wall of sleep between the two. This you cannot do without temperance.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
These are wise words, from the premiere American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Too many Americans suffer from sleep disorders; over worked, under paid, stressed by family problems and fearful of the future, many lie awake at night, worrying about what new problems tommorrow might bring, trying deperately to use that precious eight hours at night, to come up with the solutions to these ongoing, everyday problems, rather than getting the sleep they desperately need.
A sleep disorder is defined as a health condition that affects how much, and how well, you sleep. Insufficient sleep is a serious problem, that poses a threat not only to a person’s health and safety, but may also cost them financially, through poor job performance, and contribute to the deterioration of personal relationships.
Many who suffer from sleep disorders seek out help from their doctor, only to be given a prescription for sleep medication; while prescription sleep medication is helpful short term, these drugs are often addictive, and there are serious risks and side effects if taken too often. These medications are often benzodiazepines or barbiturates, and are classified as “sedative hypnotics”.
There are two forms of sleep; REM sleep and non-REM sleep. REM is the abbreviation for “rapid eye movement” and is associated with the hypnotic Theta brainwave frequency, and with our dreams. Non-REM sleep consists of four stages from light sleep, to deep sleep, in the Delta brainwave frequencies. It is a little known fact, and one which most medical doctors are unaware of, that sound can be used to “entrain” the brain; this means, that by using certain sound frequencies and tones, the brain can be lulled into the Theta and Delta brainwave frequencies associated with sleep. This method of addressing sleep disorders is non-addictive, and has no physical side effects. Along with practicing good “sleep hygeine”, which means, no caffeine or alcohol at least a few hours before bedtime, getting appropriate exercise every day, turning off the TV and computer at least an hour before bedtime, and having a light snack before bedtime, a brainwave entrainment sleep CD or MP3, played during the night, can ease your mind, and cause you to drift into the beneficial REM and non-REM sleep you desperately need.