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Into the Arms of Morpheus - How to Sleep Better (Part 1)

In Greek mythology, Morpheus was the god of dreams

The Greeks believed that he shaped and formed their dreams.

Because he could appear to mere mortals in any shape or form (hence - morph, meaning form, or shape) he functioned as a messenger of the gods, communicating divine messages to sleeping mortals. Or brain-washing them, if you prefer...

Although he could take a human form, Morpheus’s true shape was rather more nightmarish - a winged demon. He was the son of Hypnos, the rather nattily named God of sleep and his mama was Pasithea, the Goddess of relaxation and rest. He had a few brothers, collectively known as the Oneiroi (dreams), but we won't bother with them or his parents much.

Morpheus seems to have outlasted his parents and brethren as an expression to embody peaceful sleep and rest.

(Which is unlikely where the Greeks and their gods were concerned, but let us refrain from picking nits.)

How can we get back to being pals with Morpheus?

Maybe by switching off a bit more and a bit sooner...

Screens are a sleep-killer

Screens are a disaster for sleep. The blue light they emit suppress your body’s release of melatonin.

Never mind Glamis having murdered sleep. Nothing in Macbeth is a patch on the damage blue light does to sleepy time and your body-clock.

What's Melatonin?

If you've seen packets of it at the chemist, you'll know that some people use melatonin as a sleep aid. Our bodies make it naturally but suppressing it - not such good move.

Melanin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep, so we want to encourage it not suppress it. This means things like reading a proper paper book, rather than a machiney e-one at night prior to sleeping.

In fact, research from Harvard Medical School has found that people who read traditional paper books fall asleep faster and feel more alert the next morning than those who go to bed with an e-reader.

Plus how on earth do you turn over a corner of an ebook?

Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and author of iGen, a book examining the relationship between adolescents and technology recommends not using devices at night.

She says social media and other smartphone activities tend to keep you thinking about what you've read in a way that is not conducive to switching off and sleeping. She says:

“It’s too easy to keep thinking about your friend’s text, the frustrating work email, or the comments on your Facebook post.”

In other words, if you're worrying about the news you've read or wondering if you bought the wrong thing, your brain will keep buzzing.

“None of this is conducive to settling down for sleep at night,” Twenge says.

There you are! That's Harvard and a Professor of Psychology telling you. Not just lil' ol' me.

There seems to be a fashion in which way to lie babies.

I always put mine facing up. Not like this.

So turn off all screens good few hours before bed, and that means the news, too. The news is rarely good, always sensational and not exactly designed to help you rest and recuperate.

To sleep like the proverbial baby - a nice quiet one, not a yelling, colicking sort, switch off early and often.

Have a radiant day and a restful night!

PS What to do instead of screen time? A warm bath while sipping an herbal infusion. I'll tell you which ones are good tomorrow.

Posted by The Organic Beautician

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