Sleep and I are very, very good friends. I have been very good at falling asleep and very good at staying asleep for my entire life...until recently.
I am not a morning person. When I don’t get enough shut-eye, I get extremely grouchy and ridiculously emotional. Ask anyone who knows me.
The first time I knew that I needed more sleep than others was when I was a freshman at NYU.
My roommate did not (and still does not!) need sleep. She can go and go and go and go and go. Me on the other hand - not so much. I crash.
My pre-college life, like many of you, was spent on a typical high school athlete schedule: early morning breakfast, morning ballet class, academics thrown in there, lunch, afternoon and evening dance classes and then sleep.
“Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep every night.” - National Sleep Foundation
As an 18-year-old NYU student, life changed drastically. All of a sudden it was a mix of dance classes and university classes and social life with much less sleep.
Fast forward 10 years and life is absolutely insane! While working multiple jobs, growing PointePeople, planning a wedding, and keeping up with our little puppy @bahlooladoo - I find myself having trouble shutting off at night.
When I read about Som Sleep on the GOOP blog a few weeks ago, I knew that I had to check it out not only for myself but for the PointePeople community. Quality sleep is huge for dancers but I was skeptical that I would be able to endorse a product like this.
What is Som Sleep?
Som Sleep is a berry-flavored supplement. Drink one can 30 minutes before bed. Best of all, you can rest easy knowing it’s low calorie, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and drug-free. Most importantly to me is that it’s non-habit forming.
Great. So, what’s in it?
Magnesium is the second most abundant element inside human cells and the fourth most abundant positively charged ion in the human body. Magnesium can be found naturally in food like almonds, spinach, avocados, and tofu. A great way to make sure you’re getting enough magnesium is to include more leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains into your diet.
- Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is a vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. You can find it in fruit (other than citrus), poultry, and fish. A deficiency of Vitamin B6 can cause sleep disturbances. B6 can improve one’s awakening cortisol levels.
Theanine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) found in green tea.
...or Gamma-aminobutyric acid. It is a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages through the brain and the nervous system, and is involved in regulating communication between brain cells. The role of GABA is to inhibit or reduce the activity of the neurons or nerve cells.
Melatonin is a hormone that’s made by the pineal gland in the brain and it controls your sleep-wake cycles. Typically, melatonin levels start to rise in the mid-to-late evening, after the sun has set. They stay elevated for most of the night while you’re in the dark. Then, they drop in the early morning as the sun rises.
Ballet dancers are competitive athletes who undergo extreme physical and mental stress and work according to an irregular schedule, with long days of training, rehearsal, and performance.
Given their need for sleep, we checked in with a few of our friends around the world to find out how much sleep they need on any given night.