Kindness Helps You Live Longer

World Kindness Day, celebrated annually on November 13, was first introduced as a day of observation by the World Kindness Movement. World Kindness Day came into being when several humanitarian groups came together at a Tokyo-based convention in 1997 and made a Declaration of Kindness. Diverse institutions and associations joined from countries around the world, including Australia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States and many more.

What started as World Kindness Day turned into World Kindness Week, where everyone is encouraged to make a similar declaration of kindness and charity. World Kindness Week begins on November 7th and runs through the 13th. The week is celebrated by donating books, food, or clothes to local communities and pledging to empathize with other people. World Kindness Week aims to create a society where everyone can live a dignified life.

In 2019, the organization was registered as an official NGO under Swiss law. This means that it is a nonprofit organization that operates independently of any government. Now recognized and celebrated almost everywhere in the world, participants unite to perform acts of kindness. The single unifying purpose of this week is to focus on positivity and how it impacts us daily.

This week of kindness is observed with activities like dance mobs, concerts, distributing kindness-themed cards and performing random acts of kindness. At the moment, World Kindness Week is an unofficial celebration; however, enthusiasts hope that the World Kindness Movement will soon achieve official recognition status by the United Nations. Should the group be successful in their efforts, World Kindness Day would join the ranks of recognized days of observance such as International Day of Peace, Human Rights Day, and World Health Day.

Here are some discoveries about kindness:

  1. Kindness is teachable: We are psychologically wired to help someone in need.
  2. It’s contagious: Witnessing an act of kindness improves our mood, making us more likely to pay it forward.
  3. Serotonin source: Like a natural antidepressant, kindness stimulates the production of serotonin.
  4. Kindness makes you live longer: There is a 44% less chance of an early death if you are kind! (This is the theme for World Kindness Week this year.)
  5. Kindness has anti-aging effects: Perpetually kind people have 23% less stress hormone and age slower than the average population.
  6. Oxytocin source: Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, sometimes called the “love hormone.” Oxytocin helps lower blood pressure and may improve overall heart health. Oxytocin also helps increase our self-esteem, creates an optimistic outlook and can help ease anxiety or shyness.

As we approach the season of gratitude, giving and celebration, Nikken is happy to provide gift ideas of Active Wellness, balance, mindfulness and beauty. We call it the 2022 Something for Everyone Gift Guide. Items in the Gift Guide are available through the end of 2022: https://issuu.com/nikkeninternationalinc/docs/holiday_gift_guide_2022

Source: https://nationaltoday.com/world-kindness-week/

Prepare for Winter: Boost Your Immune System

As autumn turns into winter, daylight grows shorter and temperatures go lower. In terms of darkness and lightness, we move from the warmth of the light into the coolness of the dark—in fact, winter consists of the most dark months of the year.

We think of warm weather as a time of lots of activity, vacations, and being outdoors. On the other hand, winter is associated with being indoors, dodging viruses and getting “cozy”—being snug as a bug in a rug, so to speak. This actually is not just a perception but true to life.

When we transition into winter, we are dealing with temperature changes and an overall shift in the atmosphere. This shift allows colds, flus and any number of viruses to emerge. It’s important to bolster our immune systems all year round, but especially during these transitional months when we are most susceptible to catching germs that abound in the colder climates.

We generally think of boosting immunity with a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables that are chockful of vitamins and antioxidants. Moving from autumn to winter is a great time to incorporate immune-enhancing minerals, such as iron, zinc and selenium. Iron can be found in red meat, fortified cereals, kale, broccoli, quinoa, and pulses. Zinc and selenium are found in protein-rich beef, turkey, chicken, shrimp, lobster and fish—if you are a vegetarian, you can get your fill in a handful of Brazil nuts! 

Beta glucans are natural sugars that help the immune system to recognize and destroy germs but our bodies don’t produce any of this particular type of soluble fiber, but we can eat things that contain them. Kenzen® Immunity contains mushroom blends that are rich in beta glucans, but we can also incorporate oats, barley, rice, wheat, seaweed and nutritional yeast into our daily diets. Those familiar with Kenzen® Immunity may take a couple of extra capsules when moving from season to season.

A healthy diet does wonders for an Active Wellness lifestyle, but it’s as important to get enough quality sleep. As daylight hours shorten, we are also susceptible to feeling less energetic during the longer “dark” hour.

Getting restful sleep goes a long way towards keeping mentally and physically well. Sufficient sleep will help keep us focused, less stressed and more confident. When we cannot get rejuvenating rest when sleeping, it not only affects our moods (tired and cranky) but also our overall ability to relax and feel well (tense muscles and achy body). The winter season is when it’s critical for us to recharge our batteries every night, so that we don’t face fatigue and stress during our working hours. Sleep goes hand-in-hand with boosting immunity: Research reveals that sleep deprivation prevents our immune systems from building up its forces, leading to less protection against bugs.1

There are still a few days left in October, so you can take advantage of our Autumn Kenko Makura Sleep Pack Special, perfect for getting ready for winter! Get any Makura Sleep Pack, and receive the pillow for free! In other words, when you purchase a Twin Size Makura Sleep Pack, you receive the one pillow for free—you only pay the price of the Kenko Naturest® Fit and Kenko Dream or Dream Light Comforter of your choice. When you purchase a Full, Queen or King Makura Sleep Pack, you receive two pillows for free. Don’t pass up these savings!

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5768894/

Self-Care is Self-Empowerment

As the old saying goes, “Prevention is worth a pound of cure.” A big part of prevention in the area of Wellness involves taking good care of oneself. Mothers and fathers too often are so busy taking care of their families that they don’t pay enough attention to their own health. The truth is, we can take care of others only if we are in good enough health ourselves.

According to the World Health Organization, self-care not only helps to promote better health, but it can also help people cope better when illness hits. Specific forms of self-care have also been linked to different health and wellness benefits. For example, exercise, having a sense of purpose in life and consistently getting restful sleep are all connected to living a longer life. On a daily level, a wholesome self-care routine is believed to help reduce anxiety and stress, improve energy levels and social interactions, and boost resilience and happiness.

What makes for an effective self-care plan? Since each of us is different, with varying priorities, body types and mental dispositions, an effective self-care plan needs to be customized. Consider what in life is overwhelming to you. At Nikken, we use the 5 Pillars of Wellness as a way to achieve balance. These 5 Pillars serve as a gauge to assess what we need to work on most in our lives. Is it physical (Body), mental (Mind), Family, Finances or social standing (Society)? Which of these areas stress us out and require the most attention? That’s how to devise a self-care strategy.

•          Make a list of the different parts of your life. This can be work, school, family members, non-family relationships, community events you’re involved with, and so on.

•          Evaluate what stresses you out. Then think about what you can do to ease the stressors. Sometimes easing stress requires setting boundaries and saying “no” without feeling guilty. In other words, we need to recognize when our plates are full and when they’re overflowing. Prioritize.

•          Think about the things that make you happy. Consider the activities that produce a relaxing effect. It can be as simple as a daily walk, a swim, a self-massage, grounding and meditating, talking to a friend or favorite relative, playing with a baby or your dog, listening to the birds—so many small and simple things that we sometimes forget to appreciate.

•          Taking care of yourself is just like everything else we learn to do: practice makes perfect. If we haven’t been practicing self-care for a long time, we’re not going to have a great plan we can work with right away. Take small steps, but do take a step. Take a deep breath and tell yourself: “It is ok.” Exhale and get on with it.

•          Every single day, take time to do something for yourself. It doesn’t matter whether it’s making your favorite cup of tea or going in a room and having a good scream. You know yourself best and whatever works for you is what’s best for you! Do not judge yourself!

•          Realize that your self-care strategy can change from day to day, definitely from year to year. Go with the flow. Assess and reassess your personal needs and adjust your plan to fulfill the changes in your life.

The International Self-Care Foundation includes health literacy as a pillar of self-care, meaning that any steps you take toward better understanding health information you need to make appropriate decisions about your health and well-being counts as self-care, too.1   Good self-care can help decrease the number of visits to a health practitioner but it also requires that we know when we need to get checked out by a doctor or hospital.

We can certainly make it a point to be knowledgeable in the six basic areas of Wellness and self-care: Health, Fitness, Nutrition, Appearance, Sleep and Mindfulness. At Nikken, we practice Active Wellness through the 5 Pillars of Wellness and our products reflect our commitment to self-care. Our magnetic, support, energy, PiMag® Water and HEPA air purifier products address Health & Fitness, we have organic Kenzen® Nutrition, True Elements® marine organic skin care addresses Appearance, Kenko Sleep Technology provides solutions for Sleep and Humans Being More training to emphasize Mindfulness.

1 https://www.everydayhealth.com/self-care/

Healthy Routines Create Active Wellness

Routines help us. They provide a sense of familiarity and comfort. So, when we want to live a healthy lifestyle of Active Wellness, the easiest way is to create a comfortable routine that we can stick to.

Look at children and dogs, for example. They thrive on routine. Same time to get up, to go to school (or go for a walk if it’s the dog), to have meals, to go to bed. Switching it up can feel disruptive to them, so ideally, their routines are healthy to begin with!There are five main goals to keep in mind as we create our healthy routines:

Grownups are not so different: when we establish a healthy routine, the body and mind get into a nice rhythm. The trick is to make your healthy routine do-able. You can change your routine, bit by bit if you want to make further improvements, but the basic parts of a healthy regimen revolve around eating and drinking right, getting enough sleep, exercising consistently, breathing fresh air and being conscious of our thoughts. That really means we need to pay attention to our mental state as well as our physical condition. There are five main goals to keep in mind as we create our healthy routines:

  1. Better Immunity: A robust immune system not only helps us function at a high level, but it also helps us prevent illness and recover more quickly if we do contract something. A nutrient-dense diet, plenty of restful sleep, exercise and a clear mind all help to boost immunity.
  2. Improve Mood: Happiness. It’s what we all want and it begins with a good mood. It improves our confidence levels and even helps our social lives. A good mood works hand-in-hand with a positive can-do attitude. Foods high in antioxidants and minerals have been shown to help fight depression and exercise is known to get our feel-good endorphins in motion. Drinking water throughout the day also keeps us happy: no one is in a good mood when they’re feeling thirsty.
  3. Boost Energy: Everyone wants to feel energetic and with our modern hectic lifestyles, we can all use more! The busier we are, the more prone we might be to skipping meals or eating not-so-healthy fast foods. The best ways to boost energy levels are to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and stay on a sleep schedule. Fad diets are not helpful over the long run to keep energy at high levels.
  4. Prevent Sickness: Regardless of our genetic makeup, it’s best to prevent sickness rather than deal with it. Knowing your family history can be helpful, as some issues are hereditary. For example, some people may have high cholesterol because both their parents do. Regardless of genetics, staying with the basics of eating lots of vegetables/fruit, breathing fresh air, staying active daily and getting enough rest can be a great formula for maintaining flexible joints, a healthy heart and weight, balanced blood sugar levels and clear thinking.
  5. Longevity: Living a long life has been a goal of people around the world. But living long without good health is not so desirable. Once again, the key is to stay healthy with a proper diet and healthy routine. In other words, create healthy habits, stay with them year after year, and that will up your chances of living to a pleasant old age.

So much of an Active Wellness lifestyle depends on what we grow up with, so it’s up to us to educate our youngsters. Not only can we practice what we preach, but we can role model it. What might be an area we have to improve in our own lifestyles, can be something the next generations start out with: breathing fresh air, eating an abundance of vegetables and fruit, exercising daily, drinking water rather than sugary, caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, sleeping on a healthy schedule and thinking positive thoughts.

At Nikken, we provide solutions: Kenzen organic nutrition, PiMag® filtered alkaline water, KenkoAir Purifier®, Kenko Sleep System, KenkoGround® and so many magnetic massage and support products. They’re all part of a Wellness Home!

Managing and Overcoming Stress

At some point, anxiety and stress affect everyone. They can manifest in a variety of ways in different people, and the intensity one experiences may fluctuate, but the bright side is that there are ways to manage our reactions to stress and pursue Active Wellness.

People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) don’t know how to stop the worry cycle and feel it is beyond their control.1 They often realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants, but they can’t help how they feel. Anxiety disorders may relate to low tolerance of uncertainty and the unknown. Many people with GAD try to plan or control situations. At times, anxiety can cause people to struggle with physical symptoms such as stomachaches and headaches.

When anxiety levels are mild to moderate, people with GAD can function socially, lead full lives and work effectively at their jobs. Many with GAD may avoid certain situations because they are worried about having an anxiety attack under those specific circumstances. This can be a social situation, travel, giving a presentation/speech, etc. When anxiety is intense, some people can have difficulty performing the simplest daily activities.

Here are some practical tips for preventing or dealing with stress and staying in Active Wellness:

  • Take breaks throughout the day. Do stretches, listen to music, meditate, give yourself a massage—these are all ways to relax and help clear anxious thoughts from your mind.
  • Eat well-balanced meals. If your body is in a satisfied state, your mind has a better chance of staying calm. Do not skip meals, and do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
  • Alcohol and caffeine can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks, so minimize their consumption.
  • Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest. On the other hand, lack of sleep can cause stress!
  • Exercise is a known stress buster, so incorporate it into your daily routine. When you make time for it consistently, exercise becomes a daily treat to look forward to. 
  • Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly. This procedure can even shorten the duration of an anxiety attack.
  • Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, aim for completion. And, congratulate yourself!
  • Put your stress into perspective: Is it really as bad as you think? Accept the reality that you cannot control everything. What you can learn to control is how you react.
  • A good laugh goes a long way. So, don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Make a concerted effort to think positively. Negativity is a habit that can be broken with effort.
  • Focus on the present. Doing so can help manage thoughts and feelings. Thinking about unpleasant past experiences and fearing what might happen are all triggers for anxiety.
  • Stress itself does not cause anxiety but adds to it. You may need to confront your fears, learn new facts about your symptoms, learn tolerance for some experiences, or change how you think, feel, and behave. It takes time, but with practice, you can break the pattern of anxiety.

Health awareness takes on many forms, and managing stress is just one part of Active Wellness. We can do it!

1 https://adaa.org/tips

See You Next Year, Summer! Hello, Autumn!

What happens to our sleep patterns when we move from the summer months into autumn? In Europe and North America, this transition has already started as we approach the end of September.

During the summer, sunlight continues into the evening hours and the feeling of night feels delayed. That’s why it may be so difficult to get children to sleep at their regular bedtimes during the summer months! As daylight hours shorten, it may become easier to get the small ones to sleep but actually harder for adults to get their needed rest. The reason for this is our exposure to vitamin D decreases in the autumn months.

Our bodies actually manufacture vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is important in the production of melatonin, which helps us regulate our circadian rhythms and promotes restful sleep. During the autumn months, there are fewer sunlit hours so our bodies may produce less melatonin. One way to overcome this possible shortage is to make sure to spend time outside, even as the weather cools down. In other words, make sure to get sun exposure!

Depending on personal preferences, some people may find it difficult to exercise when summer heat is at its highest. Autumn may well be the perfect outdoor climate for those who stayed in air-conditioned rooms all summer long! Getting a good dose of outdoor exercise—even in cloudy weather—helps obtain the sun exposure (you can get sunburned even when it’s cloudy!) and the sleep benefits that come along with a well worked-out body. And, exercise is known to decrease anxiety and stress, all of which help promote a good night’s sleep.

One proviso about exercise is not to work out too close to your bedtime. When you exercise, your body is revved up. If you do that right before you go to bed, it might take longer to fall asleep, because your body will need to calm down. In order to get the most sleep-boosting benefits, aim to workout at least three to six hours before you plan to go to sleep.1

When we transition into autumn, just as some people will find it harder to get restful sleep, there are others who might actually find it hard to stay awake until it’s their actual bedtime. This is again related to light exposure. Falling asleep too early can also disrupt the natural circadian rhythm and lead to an exhausting day; therefore, staying in brightly lit rooms up to two hours before bedtime is recommended. This helps to keep the brain alert until it’s the correct time to start winding down.2

Depending on your sleep habits—whether you sleep with the window open or use centralized air conditioning or heating—moving from summer into autumn may be the ideal time to change your bedding. You may opt for flannel sheets instead of lighter cotton and you may choose a warmer comforter for autumn. It all has to do with temperature control, and you are the best judge of what helps you sleep best.

Our immune systems are more fragile during seasonal transitions, especially since we are exposed to colds and flu at this time of year. We need good restful sleep to keep the immune system functioning optimally. So, if you can’t get the best sleep at night, try for a “power nap” during the day. Even 20 minutes can be helpful for staying in a state of Active Wellness.

No matter what season we are in, Kenko Sleep Technology is the Nikken way to help you sleep like a baby. We just added the Kenko Naturest® Makura to our line of sleep products and rave reviews are coming in. Try this layered ergonomic pillow with three types of sleep technology—pair it with a Kenko Naturest® Fit and add a Kenko Dream or Dream Light Comforter for sweet dreams. And don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day to get 30% off the KenkoAir Purifier®, HEPA filtration to help you breathe fresh air all day and all night long!

1 https://blog.fitbit.com/transition-sleep-routine/

2 https://www.wellandgood.com/change-in-seasons-affects-sleep/

To Sleep Well You Need to Breathe Well

To ensure good sleep, we tend to think about the comfort of our mattresses and pillows, room temperature and keeping the environment dark. According to sleep specialist and neuroscientist Dr. Chelsie Rohrscheib, breathing properly is essential for staying healthy and getting proper sleep.1

She says, “Poor air quality can increase your risk of developing allergies and certain diseases such as asthma, or respiratory infections such as colds, the flu, bronchitis, COVID-19 and pneumonia. People with proper breathing experience deeper, more refreshing sleep, are able to fall asleep faster, and are less likely to experience nighttime awakenings. If air quality is low, and breathing is poor, you may wake up several times per night. This can keep you from entering the deepest, most refreshing stages of sleep, leaving you feeling tired the next day.” 2

Scientists have noted that our brains function better when it receives an abundance of oxygen. The brain does not shut down when we are sleeping but continues to process information, so it still requires lots of breathable air even when the body is resting. Since the brain uses about 25% of total oxygen intake, supplying it with enough good air is crucial for health, not only during sleep but all day long.

One of the easiest ways to improve air quality is to allow fresh air to circulate through the bedroom. This increases oxygen levels in your blood, which then increases the overall quality of sleep. That’s why many sleep experts recommend keeping the windows open to let in outside air to boost ventilation.

Just as fresh air boosts the brain’s performance, stagnant air has an adverse effect. The brain will wake us up to force us to take deeper breaths to clear out carbon dioxide and get the oxygen it needs. The fresher and cleaner the air, the deeper the sleep because the brain does not need to work hard to get the oxygen it needs. Proper hydration and nutrition can also help improve oxygen levels.

On the other hand, people with allergies should be careful with open windows during spring and summer months, when plant pollen is at its highest level. There’s also the risk that outside air quality could be worse than inside your home—if you live in an area with high pollen counts or busy traffic.

With global conditions in today’s environment, using an air purifier is a good idea, no matter where you live, no matter which season of the year.

The entire month of September, we are celebrating sleep technology with the launch of the Kenko Naturest® Makura and the Makura Sleep Packs. To make September even better, we’re taking 30% off the KenkoAir Purifier® from September 20 through September 30. You’ll see the effects of ozone-free HEPA filtration combined with the revolutionary Kenko Naturest® Makura and Fit. It’s an Active Wellness combination that will help you sleep well all year long.

1, 2 https://www.sleep.com/sleep-health/fresh-air-benefits

Are You in Tune with Your Circadian Rhythm?

We’re reminded that humans are part of Nature when we discover the many similarities between all living things. One interesting commonality has to do with our circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things, including animals, plants, and microbes. One example of a light-related circadian rhythm is sleeping at night and being awake during the day.1

The study of circadian rhythms is called Chronobiology, from the Greek “chronos” meaning time, and “biology” which pertains to the study of science and life. The body follows an internal timekeeping system known as the circadian clock, and this clock is what regulates the natural circadian rhythm.

What makes up the circadian rhythm? Our daily cycles of sleeping and waking, hunger and digestion, hormonal changes and other bodily processes all pertain to the circadian rhythm. Circadian comes from Latin, “circo diem,” which literally translates to “about a day.” Most circadian rhythms automatically reset every in 24 hours, the timeframe for “circo diem.”

Circadian rhythms are not only affected by light and dark, but also by interactions with people, meal times, and hormonal fluctuations. For example, when the sun rises in the morning, the body produces cortisol, a hormone that makes us feel refreshed and alert. After waking, a healthy person will become increasingly tired throughout the day until the sun goes down, when feelings of tiredness are at their highest. As the sun begins to set, the pineal gland will release melatonin, a hormone that reduces wakefulness and alertness.

There are variations on when people feel tired and when they feel alert throughout the day. Two examples are “early risers,” who go to bed and wake up early, and “night owls” who go to bed relatively late and then sleep in. Our sleep rhythm may evolve and change with age—older people tend to go to sleep and wake up earlier in the day than younger people, while babies will sleep in multiple phases throughout the day and night.

A master clock in the brain coordinates all the biological clocks in a living thing, keeping the clocks in sync. In vertebrate animals, including humans, the master clock is a group of about 20,000 nerve cells (called neurons) located in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus where it receives direct input from the eyes. In the grand scheme of Nature, researchers have identified similarities in the master clocks of people, fruit flies, mice, plants, fungi and other organisms!

When our circadian rhythm goes out of whack, it can cause insomnia, weight gain, mood changes, anxiety, shortened attention spans, daytime sleepiness and lethargy. The good news is that we can help keep our circadian rhythm functioning smoothly.

  • Wake up every day at the same time: Keeping a regular sleep schedule will help reset your circadian rhythm. Even if unable to fall asleep at the desired time, make sure to set an alarm and wake up at the set time anyway. This will keep you on track.
  • Bright light therapy: Exposure to bright artificial lights can re-orient circadian rhythms. Different light therapy devices are available, including lightboxes, desk lamps and sunrise simulators. Before using one of these devices, it’s best to speak with a credentialed sleep medicine physician about the light exposure level and times of the day that are best suited to the particular timing of your personal circadian rhythm.2
  • Different meal times: Circadian rhythms regulate when we feel hungry and how we digest food—some studies have found that eating sooner or delaying meals can alter how your circadian rhythm adjusts those processes.
  • Exercise: Proper exercise can improve sleep quality and duration, while a healthy sleep-wake cycle ensures more strength and endurance when you work out. However, exercise is also stimulating if you work out too close to bedtime. If you find you don’t get enough sleep at night and want to reorient your circadian rhythm, try incorporating regular exercise into your routine. But as with all things related to the circadian rhythm, timing is important so do not exercise within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Keep your electronic devices off or out of sight. Light from electronic devices at night can confuse our biological clocks.

Check out the latest contribution that Nikken has made to the world of Active Wellness and sleep technology with the Kenko Naturest® Makura and Kenko Naturest® Makura Sleep Packs. When you purchase a twin, full, queen or king Makura Sleep Pack, you get 10% off automatically.

1 https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/fact-sheets/Pages/Circadian-Rhythms.

2  https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm/can-you-change-your-circadian-rhythm

A Revolutionary Revelation in Sleep Technology

Everyone needs restful sleep. There’s no debating that it’s an integral part of Active Wellness. In fact, TED talks, white papers, sleep test centers, hypnotists, pharmaceutical companies, therapists and parents have all put in their two cents’ worth on how to achieve that often elusive state we all desire: blissful sleep.

Nikken has been a pioneer in sleep technology for decades. With the introduction of the Kenko Naturest® Fit, a mattress topper made to fit on twin, full, queen and king sized beds, Nikken took sleep technology to a higher level. Portable and life-transforming, according to many who bring their Kenko Naturest® Fit with them whenever they travel, the Fit is designed to promote complete relaxation to improve all-night sleep.

Now that people committed to getting a good night’s sleep have the Kenko Naturest® Fit to put their weary bodies on every night, Nikken has introduced a partner product to the Fit. It’s called the Kenko Naturest® Makura and it truly is a revolutionary revelation. Makura is Japanese for pillow, and this exclusive-to-Nikken pillow is not only revolutionary in sleep technology but it also has a lot to reveal.

Here’s how it works and there’s nothing to even compare it with. It’s got 3 layers that are each removable, so you can customize your Makura to your personal preference. No matter how you choose to configure your Makura, it’ll be properly contoured for your neck to provide ergonomic support and help you stay aligned with your spine.

• The first is the outer foam layer and it has Rubberthane natural latex nodules, magnets and tourmaline. If you choose to sleep on this side, you have a firm pillow that provides a massaging sensation.

• The second or middle layer is like a thin traditional pillow. Think of it as padding.

• The third layer is the other outer layer, but this one has smooth Rubberthane sans latex nodules, but still has magnets and tourmaline. If you choose this side, you have a softer cushioned pillow that cradles your head.

Those familiar with Nikken magnetic and tourmaline technology will already know that magnets provide a cocooning effect that helps improve sleep quality. Picture a newborn baby being wrapped tight into a bundle, resembling a cocoon. She feels safe and secure, just like in the womb. Magnetic technology helps grown people feel that way.

Tourmaline is an interesting gem that reacts to heat, pressure and motion. Nature gave it unusual properties—in fact the way tourmaline reacts is to make us feel like we’re actually in a soothing natural environment. Picture a serene lake, a beautiful forest, and the feeling of actually being there. That tranquil feeling naturally helps us sleep better.

Last but not least, natural latex Rubberthane helps regulate body temperatures. The side with nodules provides a self-massage. An interesting fact about the nodules is that they contain minute bits of volcanic ash extracted from the Shirasu volcano in Japan. Baked at more than 1000 degrees, they are believed to impart additional temperature regulating properties to the Rubberthane.

Whether you choose to sleep on one, two or three layers, you’re going to be a happy participant in the latest Nikken revolutionary revelation! It’s Item 13122 in the shopping cart and it’s part of the new Makura Sleep Packs.

Putting the Restful Part Back into Sleep

A third of our lives is spent sleeping and resting, but not everyone actually feels rested after spending time in bed. There are many reasons for not sleeping—maybe tomorrow brings an event that is too exciting! Or, it could be the first day of a new job or at a new school. You could be auditioning for a gig as a musician or actor. There might be a big celebration to attend—an anniversary, a birthday, so many kinds of parties!

Whatever the reason, between 10 and 30% of adults have insomnia at one time or another, but thankfully there are simple steps to take to get a sound night’s sleep. Where and how you sleep can make a difference in how well you sleep.

When you rest in an environment that is comfortable and soothing, it helps you fall asleep. Even though you are sleeping, getting enough rest is part of the Active Wellness lifestyle. Here are a few things to try.

• Keep the room dark and quiet. In other words, whenever you’re able to, keep any stimulation out. Some people fall asleep to the TV or headset every night. If you can sleep through the night that way and get up feeling rested, that’s great, but chances are, the TV and the headset could keep you awake longer.

• Try keeping your electronic devices off and see if it helps you. The cell phone is an especially big disruptor because it can jar you awake when you’re in a nice, sound sleep, and then you can’t fall back asleep. Make sure to turn it off or at least keep it on silent.

• Give yourself the chance to calm down and empty the mind. Breathe in and breathe out, slowly and rhythmically. It may even help to count 1, 2, 3 as you breathe in and 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 as you breathe out, keeping the exhalation slower than the inhalation.

• Have you heard the “counting sheep” method of going to sleep? This is similar to counting your breaths, but parents have been known to tell their children to count sheep when they have a hard time falling asleep. The monotony of visualizing sheep and counting them has a slightly hypnotic effect that may lull you to sleep.

• Ventilation is as important as your breath. If the bedroom is stuffy, open a window. If there’s no window, try a fan. The KenkoAir Purifier® is also a big help, because it cleans the stale air.

• If you feel wired, don’t go to bed. Wait until you feel sleepy! A warm bath or shower may help you unwind.

• Make sure you get some kind of routine exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, but getting the circulation going earlier in the day will help you be tired and ready to catch some zzzzzs.

• In bed but not quite ready to shut your eyes? Pick up a real book with pages, not an e-Book. Reading tires out the eyes and does not have the same effect as an electronic device that lights up—and paper does not give off undesired electromagnetic waves.

• To get your body to calm down and feel more connected to a natural state, try putting a KenkoGround® under your feet or neck—just make sure it’s touching your skin.

• Very importantly, make sure your bedding is comfortable. Nikken has a whole Kenko Sleep Pack, sized for different beds, that can help make your nightly slumber a restful experience to look forward to!

Nikken is launching a revolutionary pillow that takes Sleep Technology to a new level. We’ll explore this innovation next week. Meanwhile, check it out in the shopping cart: Kenko Naturest® Makura pillow, Item 13122. It is in all the Makura Sleep Packs but once you try the new pillow, you’re going to want one or more for every bed in the house!