Posts for tag: sleep
In 2018, tracking our sleep was the leading trend in the realm of sleep hygiene. With the use of various technologies and applications, we were able to monitor different aspects of our sleep cycle, including length and depth. It is through this awareness that we have been able to make changes to our sleep environment and habits to optimize our sleep. We are no longer focused on solely sleeping longer though; we want to obtain a more a consistent and rejuvenating sleep so that we can perform at the highest potential in our everyday lives.
Understanding the circadian rhythm is key to optimizing our sleep and will be a leading wellness trend in 2019. Two main hormones fuel our circadian rhythm, cortisol, and melatonin. Cortisol peaks during the daylight hours, while melatonin releases in the evening. When our hormones are out of whack, finding a deep and restful sleep becomes a real challenge.
Ellen Vora, a holistic psychiatrist, explains that “the human body functions best when it is in sync with the sun and the moon.” One of the best things that you can do for your body and your circadian rhythm is to go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day. Keeping to the rise and fall schedule like the sun and the moon will help regulate your hormones and your ability to find the rest your physical and emotional body needs.
“Each morning when you wake up at the same time, you get sunlight through your eyes, which helps reset your circadian rhythm. This reset impacts every organ system and every disease state. In addition, your brain then knows when to fall asleep and when to wake up, and this allows your sleep cycle to become more efficient, and increase deep sleep,” exclaims Michael Breus, Ph.D., a board-certified sleep specialist.
For most of us, every other aspect of our daily lives adheres to a timed schedule. It is time we start subscribing to a better sleep schedule and treating ourselves to the rest we need and deserve. The earlier you can go to sleep the better, but the most important thing is that you pick a time that works for you and stick to it. We all know how amazing it feels to wake up after a truly restful night of sleep. Imagine if you could wake up feeling that way every morning?
The good news is you can! It’s all about resetting your internal clock and doing so is all about consistency.
Tips for winding down before bed:
- Practice a guided meditation
- Listen to a recording of soothing nature sounds
- Enjoy a hot caffeine-free tea
- Make your bed an electronics-free zone
- Create your to-do list for tomorrow before you get into bed
- Put your phone on “do not disturb” or silent
- Read a light-hearted book
- Try aromatherapy
If there is one thing that you are going to make a personal priority from this moment on it should be sleep. Not only is it important to get enough sleep every night, it is equally as important to get quality sleep every night. Sleep science, technology, and aids trended high on the charts in 2018.
This is a trend that is likely to hold its ground as more and more of us are realizing the immense value sufficient sleep has to our health, wellness, and quite honestly, all components of our lives. Are you getting enough sleep?
Regular sleep deprivation has been linked to
Weight gain and obesity
Type 2 diabetes
Lapses in neurological functions, such as concentration and coordination
High blood pressure
Regular sleep sufficiency has been linked to
Sharper mind and memory
More positive mood
Regulated metabolism and appetite
Improved quality of life
Less inflammation in the body
Lower stress levels
Too much sleep can be detrimental to your health, mood, and wellness, as well. The sweet spot is right around eight hour of sleep each and every night. If you are not regularly getting eight hours of sleep or are regularly sleeping significantly more than eight hour a night, it might time to look at your sleep environment and sleep habits.
The most common things that are keeping us up at night are screens and an over-active future-thinking mind. Here are some helpful tips to create the most ideal and dreamy sleep environment and simple ways to improve the quality of your sleep.
Tip 1: Keep screens out of the bedroom. This means when you enter the bedroom, your phone, tablet, or laptop does not. Treat your bedroom as a technology-free sleep sanctuary.
Tip 2: Make a to-do list before you get into bed so that you aren’t making that list in your head while you are in bed.
Tip 3: Invest in the perfect mattress and bed accessories (pillows, sheets, blankets, etc.) We are living in the golden age of choices! Whatever your mattress preference and budget is, that mattress is out there. There are even digital and “smart” beds where you can customize, set, and adjust everything from firmness to temperature.
Investing is a sleep-inspiring bed is one of the best investments that you can make for yourself.
Tip 4: Try aromatherapy. Scents like lavender, chamomile, and eucalyptus all help promote rest and relaxation.
Tip 5: Turn on a noise machine. Sometimes a little white noise or subtle sounds of waves or rain can help you drift into dreamland.
Tip 6: Enjoy a cup of caffeine-free tea like chamomile or sleepy time tea.
Tip 7: Instead of watching television before bed, try reading.
Tip 8: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
Tip 9: Exercise. Regular exercise helps promote better and deeper sleep.
Tip 10: Practice gentle or restorative yoga in the evening.
If you want to be the best and healthiest you, you must allow your body and mind to rest soundly every night. Supplements like melatonin and CBD have also been proven to help you obtain optimal sleep, if you need a little extra help.
Now, make yourself a cup of tea, grab a good book, and tuck yourself into a comfy bed!
Last week, we examined the risks associated with insufficient quality sleep. Shockingly, a lot of us are sleep deprived for one reason or another. Why is this? Why are so many of us getting into bed, but not finding the peaceful release from our daily lives and those important hours to properly recharge? Unfortunately, this is not a question that has a simple answer. However, with a little inward reflection and an analysis of our daily routines, general health, and emotional state, we can figure out the culprit(s). It’s time to take control of our sleep; it is highly valuable and even more imperative to our health and overall wellbeing.
Why can’t we sleep? There are so many different distractions/sleep faux pas, mental/emotional, health/medication, and sleep disorder related reasons why we can’t drift away to that magical and rejuvenating place in the back of our minds at night.
- Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for sleep, not an addition of your office or living room space. Our devices (phones, tablets, computers, alarm clocks, etc.) emit light that can affect our sleep. Also, unless your devices are silenced, it is likely that one will make some sort of notification noise at some point that can disrupt your sleep. You should stop using electronic devices at least thirty minutes prior to going to sleep. Break the technology addiction!
- Our eating and drinking habits play a big role in our sleep quality. If you eat too much, especially heavy food, too close to going to bed, you can expect to have trouble sleeping. On the flip side, if you restrict yourself from eating enough during the day and or at dinnertime, your body will continue to send signals that it needs food even when you are trying to go to sleep. Alcohol and caffeine can greatly affect your sleep quality, as well.
- There is such a thing as “too quiet.” White noise is very helpful when shutting down for the night. This noise can come from the barely audible sound of your fan spinning, the air conditioner running, or maybe even a noise machine that produces peaceful ocean sounds or a gentle rainstorm.
- While naps are truly wonderful, be careful when and for how long you nap. If you nap too late in the day, or take too long of nap, you might find yourself unable to shut down at your normal bedtime. This cycle can mess up your biological clock. Try to avoid late in the afternoon naps and ones that are longer than 90 minutes (if you are so lucky enough to score 90 minutes of mid-day sleep time!) A 10-30 minute nap is perfect for a mid-day break and rejuvenation, and is unlikely to affect your sleep later at night.
- Your mental and emotional state plays a major role in your sleep quality and quantity. Depression, anxiety, chronic stress, grief, and worry can greatly affect your sleep. It is important to address your issues and work toward resolving the things that are bothering you. Sometimes, this is more complicated than simply addressing the issues, however, you have to start somewhere and the process will be different for each individual. We are complex human beings, which is awesome, but sometimes that complexity can be a bit too much to handle alone. An overactive mind (making lists, constantly thinking about the future, weighing out what if’s, etc.) is a common culprit to sleep deprivation. *In the next article, we will discuss some helpful tips to getting better sleep and dealing with the assortment of sleep inhibitors.
- Certain medications have a history for affecting sleep. Over the counter cold, flu, and pain relievers sometimes contain caffeine. Also, some beta-blockers and antidepressants have a side effect related to trouble sleeping.
- Medical conditions, such as asthma, acid reflux, heartburn, musculoskeletal disorders, and diabetes, among other conditions can greatly impact our quality of sleep.
- Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea (which we will go into great detail about later), contribute to our sleep problems.
These are just a few common reasons why some of us can’t obtain the sleep that we need. Once you know your problem, it is easier to seek a solution. Next week, we share some helpful tips for shutting down at night and getting the rest your body and mind deserves.
Proven Way #11: Sleep at least 7-8 hours every night, and obtain sufficient rest throughout the day.
Human beings are the only animals that consciously deprive themselves of adequate sleep. Unfortunately, our priorities have become rather skewed. We tend to put things like our careers, families, social events, and mindless technological activities before sleep. There is a direct link between quality sleep acquisition and mental and physical health.
The majority of adults require around eight hours of sleep a night; there are a very small percentage of people who can fully function on less. You might think you can, but extensive research has proven that sleep deprivation, whether minor, major, periodical, or constant has detrimental long term and short-term effects. If we want to be able to perform to our greatest abilities in our careers, provide for our families, have meaningful and fulfilling relationships, and live a life rich in joy, it is imperative to sleep between seven and eight hours a night on a regular basis.
“All the joy biochemicals are manufactured by the body when you are sleeping. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will not have enough to produce happiness.”
Not only are we jeopardizing of happiness when we opt to sacrifice sleep, but we are putting our health at risk too. Author Thomas Dekker articulates this point simply and accurately: “Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”
Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a variety of physical and mental aliments. Insufficient rest can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and weight gain. You might also experience an impairment of alertness, concentration, problem solving skills, and memory. Our immune systems are also compromised when we do not allow our bodies to recover during the night.
If we want to be healthy and happy, we need to sleep. Make sleep a priority. Sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise. Take the time to take care of yourself because the rewards will be life long.
Thanks for sharing a smile with us this week!
A good night's sleep...have you been getting them lately? While everyone knows that sleep is important, did you know that we all spend about one-third of our lives asleep? And did you know that when deprived of sleep, the negative impact is detrimental on both an individual as well as at the societal level? These important facts are just some of the reasons why there has been an increased interest in studying sleep, sleep loss and sleep disorders.
If you have issues with sleep, you might have a sleep disorder — an epidemic problem that impacts approximately 50 to 70 million people in the US alone. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (“a” – without; “pnea” – breath) (OSA) is a medical condition that occurs when your tongue collapses against the back of your throat causing a significant reduction in your intake of air or even total temporary blockage. If left untreated, OSA can lead to an irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and other forms of heart disease plus strokes and even impotence.
Please note that while your responses to the questions below do not equate to a diagnosis, sharing them with our office can be extremely beneficial in helping us properly evaluate and treat issues related to poor sleeping habits.
- Do you weigh 15 pounds or more than the normal weight range for your height, sex and age?
- If you are male, is your neck measurement 17 inches or more? Or if you are female, is it 16 inches or more?
- Do sleep partners routinely tell you that you are a loud snorer and/or that during your sleep you choke, gasp for air or briefly stop breathing?
- Do you often wake up still feeling tired after 8 or more hours of sleep?
- Do you often find yourself falling asleep at work or home during periods when you should be awake?
- Do you suffer from irritability, depression, loss of memory, poor judgment and/or concentration?
The first and most important step in treating sleep apnea is to obtain a proper diagnosis. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about sleep apnea. We can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of sleeping disorder along with a physician trained in this area. And rest assured that we have many treatment options we can use to help you get a great night's sleep. To learn more about sleep apnea, continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “If You Snore, You Must Read More!”