The Natural Sleep Aid
#1 Supplement Brand*
By Rita Colorito
SET ASIDE YOUR notion of siestas—those
long midday naps—as the lazy person’s excuse
to slumber. Numerous recent studies show
that shut-eye lasting up to 90 minutes not
only helps build and boost brain power, it also
might prevent serious disease.
Contrary to the notion that naps are
needed only if you haven’t slept well the night
before, a 90-minute nap—even for those
who’ve had a good night’s sleep—clears the
brain’s short-term memory storage, which
becomes cluttered and sluggish after being
awake for several hours, and makes room for
new information, according to new research
from the University of California, Berkeley.
Previous UC Berkeley sleep research found
naps of 60 to 90 minutes that include rapid
eye movement, or REM, sleep help increase
receptiveness to positive emotions, beneficial
for mental health. Taking regular midday
naps also reduced the risk of death from heart
disease in men, according to a joint study by
Harvard University and the University of
Athens in Greece.
“The cardinal rule of sleep is that you
have to get enough of it,” says Dr. John Wilson,
a neurologist and co-director of the Sleep Lab
at Loyola University’s Gottlieb Memorial
Hospital in Maywood, Illinois. Lunchtime
naps make sense not only for sleep-deprived
individuals, he says, but for anyone who
wants to function at optimal mental capacity.
“Most people think of sleep as something
that is passive, like recharging your battery. But
it isn’t. It’s actually much more active than that,”
says Wilson. “Your brainwaves have more
structure when you are asleep than when you
are awake. It’s kind of like defragmenting your
hard drive, only it’s much more important.”
Siestas can be a beneficial addition to
anyone’s sleep repertoire, says Dr. Sara
Mednick, sleep researcher and assistant pro-
fessor of psychiatry at UC San Diego. She
breaks down siestas into two sleep categories.
Freelance journalist Rita Colorito writes
frequently on health and wellness.
Helps you relax
Signals to your
body that it’s
time to sleep.†
Your best sleep
*Based on POS sales in Food, Drug, Mass and Club.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
JUNE 2011 ;e Costco Connection 67