Did you wake up feeling rested this morning? What about any day this week? You are not alone. Twenty-four percent of women and sixteen percent of men reported waking up and not feeling well-rested out of seven consecutive days (National Sleep Foundation).

It is rare that individuals report sleeping well. At a certain point in my life, I remember thinking I would just need to get used to waking up tired in the morning. When I reached my mid-forties, I averaged two to three hours of sleep at a time. And more times than not, after I work up in the middle of the night, my busy-mind chatter would keep me from returning to sleep. I was one of those people who said: “Nope, I don’t sleep well!”

I was fortunate. I discovered a solution to my sleep challenges before I had any physical manifestations. What I thought natural due to the aging process was anything but.

Why do we need restorative sleep? Experts tell us that it improves our health, our immune system and enhances productivity.

What I have since learned is that not getting enough restorative sleep can lead to a wide range of health challenges. Yes, it’s commonly known that we should aim for seven to nine hours a sleep nightly. But, quality of sleep is also an important piece. The National Sleep Foundation tells us that forty-five percent of Americans report experiencing insufficient sleep. That’s a lot of people!

Women, interestingly enough, seem to report more issues with insomnia than their male counterparts. Men tend to have more issues with sleep apnea and snoring.

How do we solve the problem?

If you are one of those people that just don’t give yourself enough time to sleep, then that really is an easy fix. There are sleep apps available from your mobile to help you monitor sleep. You can set an alarm to remind you it’s time to go to bed too.

If you are one of those people who gives yourself enough time, but you simply are not sleeping soundly, there are ways to improve.

I found my answer after attending The Monroe Institute. While taking my first program there, I slept well. I started asking questions. At night, while we slept, they would pipe in a combination of pink noise and binaural beats that helped us more readily reach a delta brainwave state when it was time to do so.

It was about that time in my life, when I was waking up very two to three hours.

I purchased one of the CDs (it’s also comes in a downloadable MP3 file) and started playing it as night. I had been told that it might take up to three months before I noticed a difference. Yep, “they” were right.

I continued my practice of playing the frequencies at night and over time (it did take years), I slowly transitioned from sleeping five hours straight to up to seven hours straight. I typically now, do not become aware for six to seven hours,and then if I do, I find it easy to return to sleep. I have gone as long as eight hours without becoming aware while sleeping.

What does this mean?

Well, I wake up feeling rested. I tend to be one of those people that requires nine hours. So, if I get less than nine hours, then I might not be as completely refreshed as I would like. I don’t need to take a nap unless I have had a reason not to be able to get the full eight to nine hours. I also don’t get colds or other upper respiratory infections and (so far so good), I always get good reports from doctors.

I think consistently getting a good’s night sleep is one of the reasons.

Allyn Evans