Monday, January 10, 2011

Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite

"Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite, and if they do, then take your shoe and knock them ‘til they’re black and blue! "

This over a century old nursery rhyme has quite a debated origin; some people would like us to believe that it refers to the old rope-frame beds that you had to tighten before crawling into if you wished to have a good night sleep. However, etymologists claim that the expression “sleep tight” has only been around since 1866 and therefore its origin is too modern to be linked to this specific kind of bed. They believe it to mean something more on the lines of sleep soundly or sleep well as they have defined it in the Oxford dictionary.  The bedbug side of this story is a more sarcastic take on a frequently occurring phenomenon at that time. Bedbugs are very similar to fleas and ticks as they are tiny flat shaped blood suckers that generally don’t come alone; not a great thing to have in one’s bed. In a time when cleanliness wasn’t so thorough, they lived a great life feeding of the blood of the unsuspecting sleepers. Thankfully for most us this is not our main concern when we peel back the covers to climb into our Spring Fresh smelling sheets.

Sleep is a mysterious thing, generally associated with a happy feeling of warmth, snugness, and no more responsibilities. Although for most, sleep seems to come instantaneously, it’s actually a process that takes all day to build up to the culminating point of peaceful unconsciousness. The basic principal is quite simple; it all starts with our inner or circadian clock acting in accordance with the levels of adenosine in our body to send out a message of sleepiness to our brain. Adenosine is a by-product of cellular activity; it is created as our cells produce the energy we need to get through the day. When the quantity of adenosine reaches a certain point, you start feeling sleepy; if this coincides with your circadian clock, you know its time for bed. Generally speaking, once you have finally decided to listen to your screaming body and call it a night, you don’t fall asleep immediately. If this isn’t the case and the minute your head touches the pillow you are instantly transported into dreamland, you should either review your sleeping habits or thank your genetic lucky star or your parents. For the rest of us, the period before we fall asleep, is called “relaxed wakefulness”. This state generally lasts for less than ten minutes, if you’re up tossing and turning all night, you haven’t even gotten to this stage. At times like these, when sleep will not come, it is suggested to get up and do something, read a book, knit, watch television, drink some tisane, anything, then try again. By remaining in bed, you increase your stress level because you know you should be sleeping which stimulates the production of adrenaline which counteracts the effects of adenosine and stops you from getting your well deserved rest.

Sleep is defined in medical dictionaries as a “periodic state of rest during which consciousness of the world is interrupted” and is generally characterized by decreased movement, a relaxed posture, reduced sensitivity to touch and sound, reduced metabolic rate, and complex brain activity. There are five stages to a good nights sleep and generally you go through multiple cycles during one night. The first stage is drowsiness or relaxed wakefulness; if sitting, this is where the head bobbing action comes into play. Then, you enter light sleep where eye movements stop, heart rate, and body temperature decreases. The next two stages are periods of deep sleep; these are the most vital stages as they allow your body to recover from the days activities. Lack of deep sleep causes the strongest effects of sleep deprivation. If awakened during this stage, a person will feel disorientated and groggy for several minutes making getting out of bed a challenge but conversations hilarious. The last stage generally happens at about seventy to ninety minutes into your sleep cycle, this is your dream or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. It holds its name because of the intensive jerky eye movement that occurs during this time probably linked to dreams. In an average nights sleep, you should experience three to five REM episodes; they are shorter at the beginning of the night and gradually increase whilst deep sleep decreases. As morning approaches, your cycle is mostly stage 1, 2 and REM; this is why you shouldn’t go to bed too late, after a certain time, you don’t get as much revitalizing deep sleep. 

Sleep is important for multiple reasons: it helps you organize memories, ensures a good mood for the following day, neuron repair occurs allowing for optimal performance when awake, it boosts your immune system, and is vital for mental and physical development as growth hormones are released during sleep.

The amount of sleep needed depends on the person and many factors come into play: your genetics, the amount of exercise, daily activities, age, and sleep quality. It is not true that we all need eight hours of sleep a night; some need more and some need less. Generally speaking, if you wake up feeling fresh as a daisy, you’re getting enough sleep; if you’re having a hard time getting up in the morning, experiencing mood-swings, loss of appetite, and difficulties falling asleep, you are more than likely suffering from sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation is quite a serious condition, the effects can be felt both physically and mentally. Symptoms include chronic difficulty to wake up in the morning, falling asleep at random times during the day, and a general decrease in your performances and decisions. Long term sleep deprivation, of even just a few hours a night, can lead to sleep debt. Similarly to the credit card debt on your account, holding on to a sleep debt can have serious long-term effects on your immune system and your metabolism which may lead to obesity and hyperactivity. Make up for your debt by including one hour of extra sleep per night and scheduling in some days where you don’t set an alarm clock and you let your body sleep as long as it needs. 

Sleep is not a luxury, it is as important as exercise and healthy eating habits for our health. So put on your favorite pajamas and grab your faithful teddy, the world will keep on turning even when you are sleeping. Tomorrow is an other day in which you can express your full potential only if you get a good nights sleep. 

Good night, sleep tight; don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Take Care!


  1. Hi~ I am dropping by from the lady blogger society. I never heard that bed bug quote & LOVE it! I am wishing all the best for you & would love it if you stopped by my blog & followed me too :)

  2. Hey There. I found your weblog the usage of msn.
    That is a very well written article. I'll make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of your helpful info. Thanks for the post. I'll definitely comeback.

    Review my page
    Also see my webpage > egyption statues

  3. Youг aгtіcle offers verifіеd necessaгy tο us.

    It’s really eԁucational anԁ you're simply naturally extremely educated in this area. You have popped my personal sight to be able to varying views on this particular subject matter together with intriquing, notable and solid written content.
    Look at my weblog ; Valium Online

  4. always i used to read smaller articles which as well clear their motive, and
    that is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading here.

    my blog post: Jackpot 6000

  5. Hi there, You've done an excellent job. I'll certainly digg
    іt and peгsоnally rеcommend tο
    my frіends. ӏ'm sure they will be benefited from this web site.

    Look into my web site ... nummerupplysningen

  6. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm not writing
    all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say excellent blog!

    Feel free to surf to my web page ... jackpot 6000 Jackpot 6000

  7. Good іnformаtion. Lucky me I fοund
    yоur site by accident (stumbleupon). I've bookmarked it for later!

    Feel free to visit my blog; Nose job

  8. After looking at a handful of the articles on your blog, I really like your way of writing
    a blog. I added it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon.
    Take a look at my web site too and tell me
    what you think.

    Check out my blog: cheap email Marketing

  9. Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren't loading correctly. I'm not
    sure why but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

    My blog;

  10. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest
    but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back in the future. All the best

    Also visit my web page; click the following webpage

  11. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so
    much, However I am experiencing troubles with your RSS.

    I don't know the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting the same RSS problems? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    my web blog: click the up coming internet site ()

  12. Nice post... gotta love all these idiots trying to make a buck with thier spam comments.

  13. I say this:

    Good night, sleep tight, if the bedbugs bite, grab a Big Mac, then put them inside it and bite them back!

  14. I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.

    I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren't
    already ;) Cheers!

    Here is my web-site: Arthur Falcone

  15. Hey, this is so nice share and was very interesting to read. We recently suspected symptoms of bedbugs in our home but without wasting any time we tried heat treatment method. I had heard this method from a friend and I must say that it actually worked!

  16. With bistroMD you can trust that you will not only receive gourmet entrees, but that every meal and each in bistroMD's weight loss program will be balanced to bistroMD's specific nutritional platform thatis promoting an healthy diet.

    STEP 1 - Select one of the diet plans for 5 to 7 days of entrees.
    STEP 2 - Review your menu in advance and pick the meals you want for each day and week.
    STEP 3 - Order your diet plan.
    STEP 4 - Your meals are sent to your doorstep.

    GET STARTED NOW - delivered to your doorstep.

  17. If you need your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (even if they're dating somebody else now) you gotta watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Text Your Ex Back?


You might also like

Related Posts with Thumbnails