According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult, age 18-64, requires approximately 7-9 hours of sleep each night for their body to function at its most optimal level.
According to a survey conducted by Gallup, an American research based consulting company, 40% of adults are only getting 6 hours of sleep per night or less.
That is to say, adults are losing an hour or more each night and adding it to their “sleep debt” collection.
Before we discuss what is affecting our sleep habits, it’s important to understand the systems that our body uses to regulate sleep.
- Sleep/Wake Homeostasis – this is a bio-chemically regulated system that drives your body to sleep and to wake at certain times. It is regulated by and closely related to:
- The Circadian Rhythm – a physiological process that cycles every 24 hours and is Regulated mainly by your Hypothalamus and your exposure to light. Your eyes perceive darkness and send a signal to your brain which leads to the release of melatonin, beginning the sleep process.
By understanding these concepts and taking into consideration the lifestyle differences between the adult of today vs. The adult from the 40’s, it becomes a little clearer where these disruptions in sleep are coming from.
Although the factors that affect sleep are subjective and vary from person to person, many people who struggle with sleep issues have experienced one or more of the following:
- Blue light from cell phones, monitors, tablet screens and televisions. People have become addicted to these devices and often sleep with them directly in their bed or in their bedroom. The light emitted from these devices has been proven to falsify the signals to the brain, leading it to believe the eyes are seeing sunlight in the middle of the night.
- Medical conditions, medications, stress, age, pain levels, depression and anxiety. Each of these things can lead to a build up in the body in the adrenals which can cause shifts in hormones and chemical levels, leading to insomnia, interrupted sleep cycles or poor sleep phases.
- Eating habits
- Screen/light exposure. Consider shift workers who spend their nights in facilities and institutions that do not have enough windows or doors to provide adequate sunlight or darkness. Over time this can have a severe effect on the body’s Circadian Rhythm, reducing the melatonin produced by the brain, hindering the sleep/wake homeostasis.
- Alcohol, caffeine and drug use
- Jet lag
With these factors in mind, when we consider the demand from individuals in today’s lifestyles, we see high levels of overcommitment, extreme expectations, the need for constant change and improvement in business and on a personal level, and a perpetual state of “catch-up” that people seem to be in at home, school and work.
As the world becomes so much more advanced and the competition to succeed reaches an all-time high, the demand from people be it students, parents, employees, athletes, children and those who play more than one role spiral out of control.
That is to say, it has become almost impossible to “turn off” and take a break from all life’s tasks such as studying, learning, researching, communicating, working, managing, parenting, engaging, participating, volunteering etc.
It is this concept that can be attributed to the external and internal factors affecting sleep today. For instance, the greater demand for innovation, success and growth and development has lead to higher levels of stress and sometimes even anxiety and depression. In order to combat these feelings, people try and push themselves harder, and insist on remaining connected at all times to avoid falling behind or missing key information. This sometimes leads to substance abuse such as caffeine or even stronger substances to assist the body in staying awake at times when it should, in fact, be sleeping.
These high levels of stress and a lack of rest and relaxation then lead to toxic stress overloads in the body and can cause real health issues such as mental and physical diseases.
It is likely that one or more of these things have affected you, your friends and family or your clients at one point or another. So, what can you, the Spa Professional do to help address and combat these ever growing sleep issues?
Before your client arrives you can set the scene. Lavender Hydrolat spritzed over the couch and into the air will set a relaxing ambiance. Relax and Self Indulge AromaWax Candle will further aromatize the room. Create a sacred space for your client where they feel safe and able to deeply relax.
During the consultation process, while communicating with our clients and observing their body language, we will be able to gauge their stress levels and ascertain their sleep health and whether they are finding time for leisure and relaxation. We can recommend treatments to bring balance and well-being to our clients, encouraging them to take time out for their own relaxation. As an Eve Taylor Therapist, you have an extensive toolkit of products to introduce to your client within your treatments and to retail. You can plan a treatment regime and suggest home-care products to help them bring back balance. Contact us today to book a hands-on, in-depth training on Enhancing Your Spa Rituals through facial, massage and aromatic techniques in order to provide a holistic experience to your client in the form of a full body treatment or simple add-ons to customize your service menu.
Products to Promote Sleep, Wellbeing, and Relaxation