PhyllisAmaral

Suggested price:   9¢ to 12¢ per word
Location:  Syracuse, NY
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Biography

I've been writing all my life in one form or another, most recently writing newsletters for my gym. I'm a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, health and life coach, and I recently became certified in the Jack Canfield Success Principles. I work a lot with seniors and educate various groups on health and fitness, including cognitive and neurological challenges.

I enjoy researching and giving talks on a wide variety of health subjects; I've also written for an online magazine and had a health blog long before everyone on the planet had one. :)

My passion is helping others live their best lives, so I am always learning, growing and sharing my knowledge so that I can be more effective.

I also love to eat and try new, healthy recipes; also juicing and yes, I even enjoy working out!

EDUCATION:  Associate in Applied Science BLOG:  None provided
CERTIFICATIONS:  Jack Canfield's Success Principles, Health and Life Coach, Personal Trainer, Senior and Human Movement Specialist, Group Fitness Instructor, Parkinson's Master Trainer and Yoga and Tai Chi Instructor CURRICULUM VITAE:  None provided

Niches

  • Medical (1)
  • Food & Drink
  • General
  • Health & Fitness
  • Outdoors
  • Pets & Animals
  • Women

Writing Sample

Is Sleep a Waste of Time?

Sleep – Is it wasted time or a brilliant plan for resetting and healing the mind and body?

Until recently sleep has remained largely a mystery – why we sleep, what happens during sleep, and the devastating consequences that come from not consistently getting a good night’s sleep. 

How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? 

Current research says most of us need 8-9 hours every night; more if our body is fighting off an infection or disease. A good night’s sleep is fundamental to: 

  • gut health
  • the immune and reproductive systems
  • fending off Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
  • keeping cancer from taking hold
  • weight loss
  • our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions
  • regulating appetite
  • resetting emotions 

Most of the healing process takes place while we sleep because other than maintaining basic functions needed for survival, the body and brain are focused on detoxifying and repairing. For many seniors, problems with health may be due to problems with sleeping. For example, inflammation in the intestines has been shown to cause insomnia. Deep sleep (NREM, or non-rapid eye movement) is critical for learning and memory. Natural deep sleep solidifies memory connections within the brain. Unfortunately, as we age, there is a 70% loss of deep sleep when compared with younger individuals, due to the parts of our brain that degenerate earliest and most severely as we age. 

What Happens When We Don’t Get Enough Sleep? 

According to the CDC, a third of US adults report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep, and that insufficient sleep is associated with an increase in the risk of heart attack, coronary heart disease, stroke, asthma, COPD, diabetes, and depression. Car accidents can result from driving while impaired from lack of sleep, very similar to alcohol impairment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that in 2015 drowsy driving was responsible for an estimated 33,000 injury crashes and 736 fatal crashes. 

Furthermore, when you’re not getting enough sleep your hunger signals are thrown off and you crave high-fat and/or high-sugar foods, leading to weight gain

What Can You Do to Improve Your Sleep? 

Exercise 

Studies show that by the end of a 4-month period of increased physical activity, older adult insomniacs were sleeping almost one hour more each night, on average. 

Watch What You Eat 

Food and diet are also related. In general, reducing caloric intake makes it harder to fall asleep normally and decreases the amount of deep NREM sleep at night. In a 2016 study of healthy adults, a 4-day diet high in sugar and other carbs but low in fiber resulted in less deep REM sleep and more awakenings at night. 

Establish a Routine 

Perhaps the most important thing is to establish a routine; go to bed and get up at the same time, even on weekends. 

The key is to find what works for you and be consistent! 

Do’s and Don’ts When it Comes to Sleep 

Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to sleep. 

DON’T: Exercise within 3 hours of going to bed

DON’T: Eat with 2 hours of going to bed

DON’T: Ingest caffeine after 12 pm

DON’T: Use electronic devices within 30 minutes of going to bed

 

DO:        Take a warm, candlelit bubble bath

DO:        Make a list of tomorrow’s to-do tasks

DO:        Read something relaxing

DO:        Some gentle yoga stretches

DO:        Journal about the day that’s ending

DO:        Keep all electronic devices away from your bed

DO:        Make sure the room is completely dark

DO:        Breathe deeply and count your blessings

Sweet dreams!