January 2010

Petra Riedel-Willems, Sounder Sleep System

Our speaker this month was Petra Riedel-Willems, a teacher who works with adults and children to help them achieve better sleep patterns. Her first question was “how many of you have trouble sleeping.”? Of course, most of us raised our hands. Her program makes people more aware of how they move. She explained that during the day our mornings are more energetic, with a drop in energy in the afternoon. This is telling our bodies that we need to relax in some manner – even a 10 minute nap helps. She used a chart to show us what she meant. Everyone needs to take time to rest and relax, especially before bedtime.

Sleep is very important to all of us – it has many healing qualities.
There are many reasons why we don’t sleep well. Sleep Apnea (you actually stop breathing for up to a minute) which wakes you up every time this occurs. She explained that we should always sleep with our mouths closed to better distribute oxygen and carbon dioxide. She gave us all a sleep strip to put over our mouths, which forces you to breathe through your nose. Other reasons for not sleeping well are getting up quite often to go to the bathroom, snoring, have too much light in the room. Complete darkness is better because light triggers the brain to wake up. Use a small night light if necessary.

Ms. Willems taught us a calming method of holding our right thumb (the thumb has a direct connection with the brain’s motor cortex) with our left hand and breathing deeply in and out. This should be done right before bedtime so we are rested and calm before going to bed. Try not to eat anything after 6 or 7 p.m. Also, no caffeine after that time. The body has to process the food and therefore you will not rest as well. She also suggested that we need to turn over every two hours. We should be able to do this without disturbing our sleep.

She had several books which she recommends. They are:
• The Miracle of MSM by William Regelson, MD
• Alkalize or Die by Theodore A. Baroody.
• Salt Your Way to Health by David Brownstein, M.D. (Natural salt, can be found at Trader Joe’s)
• Take Control of Your Health by Dr. Joseph Mercola

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