- Why my dog means that I can’t sleep
- When a lost hour can damage your health
- The nutrient that gives you a wonderful night’s rest
Have you got a dog?
I have. She’s a spaniel who is VERY set in her ways.
We usually get up as a family at 6.30am, which is when she begins yelping for her breakfast and early morning wee-poo-bark-at-the-next-door-cat.
She’s like an alarm clock, really.
But even more reliable. You can’t forget to set it and there’s no snooze button.
It’s all fine – usually.
Until the clocks change.
Dogs can’t tell the time and don’t care anyway. They only obey their inner body clock…. and that doesn’t go back an hour suddenly just because stupid human society says so.
It meant that after the clocks went back we got woken by a manic spaniel at 5.30am – and on a Sunday, too.
My wife and I had stayed up late watching a film, so we felt utterly groggy all day.
And I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the longer it takes to recover from a bad night’s sleep… grumpiness, lack of concentration and generally sour mood!
Anyway, for the Sampson family the slow process must now begins where Missy (the dog) adapts to our new hours.
Basically, we can expect an hour lopped off our sleep for at least another month.
I’m not moaning – I’m telling you this for your sake (honest!).
Because if you have trouble sleeping, or keep getting woken up, whether it’s by pets, scaffolders, rumbling buses or the other noises of modern life, then this does have a significant knock-on effect for your long term health.
When a lost hour can damage your health
Many studies show that suddenly cutting back on sleep can interfere with blood sugar levels, increase inflammation and lower immunity.
For instance, back in 2013, Dr Michael Mosley illustrated this with an experiment at the University of Surrey’s Sleep Research Centre for the BBC show Trust Me I’m a Doctor.
They split volunteers into two groups – one getting 6 and a half hours sleep, then the other seven and a half hours.
After 7 days, the groups switched.
As you might expect, there were issues with mental agility in the group who had less sleep. They struggled to concentrate and stay focussed.
All very obvious.
But the blood tests showed something much more surprising and serious for people who don’t get enough sleep.
A lack of sleep activated over 500 genes associated with inflammation, immune response and response to stress… and also genes linked to diabetes and cancer.
But that extra hour of sleep had the reverse effect and switched off those genes.
In other words, losing even an hour can raise inflammation levels, increasing pain. It can weaken your body’s defences and make it more susceptible to long term health problems.
Well, certainly avoid reaching for the sleeping tablets without them being an absolute last resort – and on professional medical advice. They don’t solve the core problem and can lead you into dependency.
Instead, if you have an inability to fall asleep, poor quality sleep or regular waking in the night… then try this…
The nutrient that gives you a wonderful night’s rest
Magnesium has been linked to better sleep if you take a top up every day.
In fact, enthusiasts of magnesium (my insomniac publisher being one of them) claim that your sleep is so deep and restful that that you wake up totally groggy and don’t want to get out of bed.
However, this ‘Magnesium hangover’ is brief and, as soon as you’re up and about, you should feel fresh as a daisy – or at least fresher than usual!
The People’s Doctor recommend you seek out high quality natural form magnesium like OceanPure (click here for the details) which comes from cold water extracted from the salty waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
It’s a chemical-free supplement containing only natural forms of Magnesium including oxide, hydroxide, sulphate, carbonate and chloride. The more natural it is, the easier it is for your body to absorb and use it.
They also offer a 60-day trial period, so you can put it to the test and get your money back if your sleep doesn’t improve.
That’s not the only benefit of magnesium of course – it can help easy muscle pains, cramps, fatigue, anxiety, high blood pressure, nausea and even hair loss.
Why better sleep is good for your waistline
There’s a final benefit to getting better sleep…
According to a study at the University of Leeds in July this year, adults with poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight or obese, with poorer metabolic health.
The scientists reckoned people who got only 6 hours of sleep had waists 3cms on average bigger than those with 9 hours of sleep.
The study’s leader, Dr Hardie said: “Because we found that adults who reported sleeping less than their peers were more likely to be overweight or obese, our findings highlight the importance of getting enough sleep. How much sleep we need differs between people, but the current consensus is that seven to nine hours is best for most adults.”
This last point is important – how much sleep we need and HOW we sleep does differ, and it’s not necessarily that we all need seven to eight hours – or get it in one big chunk.
So before you panic about your own poor sleeping pattern, thinking that it’s “abnormal”, you might be interested in these two previous issues of The People’s Doctor:
Prepare for some controversial views in the above two issues, but it’s good to hear alternative opinions, food for thought anyway.
That’s it from me.
Until next time, stay healthy.
PS: For a better rest at night, try increasing your magnesium levels for the next 60 days and see what happens. It’s on a trial basis so you can get your money back if it doesn’t work for you. Click here for more.