On an airing of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah stated that according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) up to 70 million Americans say they don’t get enough sleep. Best Life Coach Bob Greene says if you are not getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night you are putting your health at risk. That is why sleep is an important element of his nutrition and diet plan and new book called 20 Years Younger.
Oprah gave 20 of her “Ultimate Viewers” a 60 day challenge to test Bob’s program and see if they can look and feel 20 years younger by revamping four areas of their lives: exercise, nutrition, skin care, and sleep.
Prominent sleep expert Dr. Ronald L. Kotler, Pennsylvania Hospital Sleep Disorders Center, found some sleep conditions that needed attention among some of the challengers.
The Sleep Pillar:
Dr. Ronald Kotler said that it is known that if you don’t get enough sleep it can actually shorten your life. It can contribute to problems like diabetes and obesity.
He explained that while you are sleeping the brain makes a chemical called leptin. Leptin is involved in suppressing your appetite. If you are not sleeping enough, you are not making enough leptin.
Therefore, you are going to be hungry all day. If you’re hungry all day, you’re going to eat all day. Then you are going to put on pounds. As you gain weight, fat is deposited in various parts of your body and also deposited in the back of your throat.
That can be a potentially life threatening problem as you put yourself at risk for sleep apnea. It becomes a vicious cycle.
It was discovered that two of the lady challengers snored. One of these admitted to having put on about 40 to 50 pounds.
Concerned that there may be underlying health issues, Dr. Kotler keeps the two ladies overnight for a sleep study. Their brain waves, oxygen levels and heart rates are monitored throughout the night.
Dr. Kotler told one of the ladies, Kathleen, that in fact she had sleep apnea. He showed her monitor charts where she had intervals that she stopped breathing for about 25 seconds. He explained that could put a strain on her heart, and in turn can increase her chance for heart attack or stroke. He fitted Kathleen with a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), a device that blows air through her nose to ensure she doesn’t stop with breathing.
After the 60 days challenge, Kathleen tells Oprah that she calls the CPAP machine “the magic machine”. She wakes up in the morning refreshed. She doesn’t take big long naps during the day anymore. Her husband sleeps better because she is not snoring all night. In response to Oprah’s question about the machine not being very sexy, Kathleen says that you get your groove on first and then mask up!
For the other lady named Linda, the diagnosis is a little better. She was the one who had put on the 40 to 50 pounds. The doctor says the good news is she doesn’t have sleep apnea. She has snore related arousals. The monitor charts show she has periods of very big snores. That going on throughout the night is disrupting Linda’s sleep. Losing weight, the doctor advises, is Linda’s best chance of getting rid of this condition.
After the 60 days, Linda tells Oprah that she sleeps better now that she has lost 20 pounds! She wakes up with some energy. She feels great!
Dr. Kotler tells Oprah that he has a theory on why so many people have trouble sleeping. He says one of the biggest problems dates back to the invention of the light bulb and the technology that followed, televisions, computers, and the bright lights that they emit. They keep us awake because light is an important clue to stay awake. Sleep needs darkness.
Oprah wants to know how big a difference a mattress makes.
Dr. Kotler says a mattress can make a big difference. As we get older we can’t sleep as well because we spend less of our time in deep refreshing sleep, we develop medical problems that makes us more vulnerable with aches and pains. So really with an adult, a mattress is a vital and important investment.
Bob Greene says he has a mattress that he swears by. That two years ago he bought a Tempur-Pedic. It changed the way he slept and he hasn’t bought another type of bed since.
So guess what? You guessed right! Oprah gave all 20 participants of the 20 Year Younger Challenge their own Tempur-Pedic mattress of choice for free! Bob says it will give you the best night of sleep you ever had.
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