Category Archives: Sleep News (RSS)

How To Monitor And Improve Your Sleep Patterns Using Smart Device0

Sleep, just like regular exercise and a healthy diet, is important to the overall health of an individual. One needs to get quality sleep regularly to improve memory and attention span, as well as maintain a healthy weight. Getting the quality sleep that the body needs also reduces stress and allows you to live a healthier, happier life. But the big question is, how to know if you’re getting good quality sleep?

Getting the Best Sleep Ever0

Quality sleep is vital for well-being.

Early Bedtime May Help Children Maintain Healthy Weight0

Going to bed early and following a consistent bedtime routine may help reduce children’s risk of becoming overweight or obese, according to a new study published in Acta Paediatrica.

In the study of 1,258 Indigenous Australian children with an average age of 6 years, children who consistently went to bed late experienced greater weight gain over several years than those who went to bed early.

The findings highlight the importance of looking beyond sleep duration and highlighting the benefits of early bedtimes for children.

“While we know it can be hard to get children to bed early, and at consistent times both on weekdays and at weekends, it might help parents or carers to know that establishing consistent and early bedtimes may reduce the risk that their child will be overweight or obese,” says lead author Yaqoot Fatima, PhD, of the Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Queensland, and the James Cook University, in a release.

When Should I Put My Baby to Bed?0

It sounds like a simple question, but like all things baby-related, it’s not such a simple answer. The optimal bedtime for your baby can depend on a lot of factors which can vary from day to day.

In today’s video, I’ll give you some tips to help you figure out what those factors are and how they can help you determine the right time to say goodnight to your little one.

Rather read than watch? Click here.

– Hi, I’m Dana. Welcome to this week’s video.

A question I get asked a lot is, “What time should I put my baby to bed?” That sounds like an easy question, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t really have an easy answer, so I’m gonna give you some guidelines today on when should your baby be going to bed.

Now, I like early bedtimes. I mean, I’m a huge fan of it, right? Because it means that my child is going to bed before she’s overtired, and I’m getting some sort of evening to myself. I mean, that is a necessity, in my opinion. Everybody needs time for themselves. So having my kids in bed by seven made a lot of sense to me and it was something I honestly enjoyed.

Most of the time I see babies going to bed too late, and children and toddlers and all children are usually going to bed too late. It’s very shocking sometimes to tell clients that seven o’clock is a great place for your baby to get going to bed. Eight o’clock I can live with as well as long as the daytime naps are supporting that.

And that’s really the bottom line here, is you have to look at what’s happening in the day. The better a baby sleeps during the day, the better she’s gonna sleep at night. Don’t let anyone tell you different, right?

If a baby becomes overtired, it is really the worst thing that could happen if you’re trying to encourage sleep. I mean, think about when you feel overtired. It’s a feeling of unrest really. You feel a bit jittery, your mind is kind of racing all over the place, and it’s very difficult to calm yourself down enough to let sleep come. And for babies, just amplify that by about 10. And they get wired and manic and jittery and hyper. All of those things show up.

And it can be a bit deceiving, because it looks like they’re in a pretty good mood and a look of parents think, oh, well, look at her. She’s just being a delight and racing around and really happy, or else really sad and waffling back and forth between those two all over the place.

That’s overtiredness, okay. So you wanna really keep a close eye on how much time awake is your child having? Now, there’s a great guide in The Sleep Sense Program that breaks it down by age range how much sleep a child needs, how much time awake a child can handle given their age. But let’s say for the sake of our discussion I’m talking about an eight month old. An eight month old, most eight month olds need about three hours of time awake, sometimes 3 1/2.

So if the last nap ends at three o’clock, right, then you know your baby’s gonna need to be in bed by about 6:30 in order to have a proper amount of fatigue and not too much. So, I guess the answer is somewhere between 6:30 and eight. But the most important thing to look at is daytime sleep and when the last nap ends. You don’t want too much time to go by between that last nap and bedtime, or you will run into a problem with overtiredness.

Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.

If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!

The post When Should I Put My Baby to Bed? appeared first on The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman.

Sleep Won’t Cure the Coronavirus But It Can Help Our Bodies Fight It0

By Cassandra Pattinson, The University of Queensland; Kalina Rossa, The University of Queensland, and Simon Smith, The University of Queensland

Getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult at the best of times. But it can be even harder when you’re anxious or have something on your mind—a global pandemic, for example.

Right now though, getting a good night’s sleep could be more important than ever.

Sleep is essential for maintaining our health and mood. Sleep can also boost our immune function and help us deal with stress.




Read more:
Can’t sleep and feeling anxious about coronavirus? You’re not alone


How Much Do We Need?

Social distancing has many of us spending more time at home. This may mean more sleep for some people – suddenly you’ve got time to sleep in and even have a nap in the afternoon.

For others, falling out of your usual routine may mean less sleep. Instead of going to bed when you normally would, you might be staying up late watching Netflix, scrolling social media or glued to coronavirus news.

For adults, achieving between seven and nine hours of sleep per night is the goal. If you know you’re a person who needs more or less, finding that perfect amount of sleep for you and aiming to achieve that consistently is key.

Sleep and our circadian system (or internal body clock) are essential for regulating our mood, hunger, recovery from illness or injury, and our cognitive and physical functioning.

Shifting our bed or wake times from day-to-day may affect all of these functions. For example, higher variability in night-to-night sleep duration has been linked to increased depression and anxiety symptoms.

Long-term consequences of sleep problems can include obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Sleep and Immune Function

Declines in the quality and/or quantity of sleep can affect our immunity, leaving us more susceptible to illnesses including viruses.

During sleep, the immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Certain cytokines are important for fighting infections and inflammation, and help us respond to stress. But when we don’t get enough sleep or our sleep is disrupted, our bodies produce fewer of these important cytokines.




Read more:
Coronavirus: Social distancing may be a rare chance to get our sleep patterns closer to what nature intended


In one study, participants were exposed to the common cold (rhinovirus). Those who slept less than seven hours per night were almost three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept eight hours per night or more.

Another study indicated that a single night of no sleep may delay our immune response, slowing our body’s ability to recover.

While we don’t have any research yet on the relationship between sleep and the coronavirus, we could expect to see a similar pattern.

Sleep and Stress: a Vicious Cycle

You’ve probably heard the phrase “to lose sleep over” something. We have this saying because stress can negatively affect sleep quality and quantity.

Lack of sleep also causes a biological stress response, boosting levels of stress hormones such as cortisol in our bodies the next day.

Cortisol levels typically peak in the morning and evenings. Following a poor night’s sleep, you might feel more stressed, have trouble focusing, be more emotional, and potentially have trouble falling asleep the next night.

Prolonged sleep loss can make us more vulnerable to experiencing stress and less resilient at managing daily stressors.




Read more:
Why our brain needs sleep, and what happens if we don’t get enough of it


Think of sleep as your “shield” against stress. A lack of sleep can damage the shield. When you don’t get enough sleep the shield cracks and you are more susceptible to stress. But when you get enough sleep the shield is restored.

Sleep acts as a ‘shield’ against stress. You want to keep your shield at full strength. Credit: Alicia C. Allan, Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland.

It’s important to stop this cycle by learning to manage stress and prioritizing sleep.

Tips for Healthy Sleep

To allow yourself the opportunity to get enough sleep, plan to go to bed about eight to nine hours before your usual wake-up time.

This may not be possible every night. But trying to stick to a consistent wake-up time, no matter how long you slept the night before, will help improve your sleep quality and quantity on subsequent nights.

Think about your environment. If you’re spending a lot of time at home, keep your bed as a space for sex and sleep only. You can also enhance your sleep environment by:

  • keeping your lights dim in the evening, especially in the hour before sleep time
  • minimizing noise (you might try using earplugs or white noise if your bedroom gets a lot of noise from outside)
  • optimizing the temperature in your room by using a fan, or setting a timer on your air conditioning to ensure you’re comfortable.

Create a routine before bedtime to mentally relax and prepare for sleep. This could include:

  • setting an alarm one hour before bed to signal it’s time to start getting ready
  • taking a warm shower or bath
  • turning off screens or putting phones on airplane mode an hour before bed
  • winding down with a book, stretching exercises, or gentle music.



Read more:
Explainer: how much sleep do we need?


Some other good ways to reduce stress and improve sleep include:

  • exercising daily. To maximize the benefits for sleep, exercise in the morning in natural light
  • incorporating relaxation into your daily life
  • limiting caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes, particularly in the hours before bed.

Some nights will be better than others. But to boost your immunity and maintain your sanity during this unprecedented time, make sleep a priority.The Conversation

Cassandra Pattinson, Research Fellow, The University of Queensland; Kalina Rossa, Research Fellow, The University of Queensland, and Simon Smith, Professor, The University of Queensland

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Nobody likes Cranky Chris: 5 tips to help you sleep during the coronavirus crisis0

It’s 3:41 am and you’re lying in bed, wide awake, worrying about how you’ll manage to survive the next working day without any sleep. Sound familiar?

Corona Virus Worries Keeping You Up?0

Coronavirus has entered our psyches and that’s not good for our sleep.

Can’t Sleep? Here are 5 Surprising Sources of Insomnia0

Having a hard time falling asleep?

If so, you’re not the only one. Research indicates one in four Americans suffer from acute, or short-term, insomnia each year. This common sleep disorder includes symptoms like daytime fatigue, having a difficult time concentrating, and frequently waking up during the night. But insomnia is notorious for its best-known symptom: sufferers often have an incredibly hard time falling asleep at night.

Insomnia has been on my mind lately considering the emotional stress many people are dealing with as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Stress is often a catalyst for insomnia, and the weight of the stay-at-home orders, coupled with fears a loved one could potentially be affected by COVID-19 or an outcome of it, can be incredibly taxing.

I won’t be surprised at all if data later indicates cases of acute insomnia increased during this time period.

There are a number of ways insomnia can negatively impact your health, but the one thing I keep coming back to lately is how important quality sleep is — especially during a pandemic.

You might remember this stat from earlier this year: people who get 6 hours of sleep or less each night are 4.2 times more likely to catch a cold than those who get 7 hours or more.

In other words: not sleeping isn’t doing your immune system any favors.

I know it sounds like I keep beating the same drum but sleep is vital right now and I can’t say it enough.

That’s why this week I wanted to run through 5 surprising sources of insomnia you might not know about. Watch out for these pitfalls, and you should give yourself a better chance of avoiding a bout of insomnia.

Bed Confusion

This might be a new one for you.

Bed confusion is when your body fails to associate your bed with going to sleep. This typically stems from doing too many activities in your bed that are not directly related to sleep. Whether it’s reading, doing a crossword puzzle, having a late night snack, or surfing your favorite social media app, you’re better off not doing it in bed.

We are creatures of habit and we also learn cues. Remember Pavlov’s dogs? After some conditioning around cues, when he rang a bell they salivated.

We are not different. When we lay in bed, watch TV, scroll social media, and eat (often mindlessly, especially now), our brain and body start to respond to bed as a place to be activated, not a place to rest.

As a general rule, you want to reserve your bed for two primary reasons: getting sleep, and, sex. Do that, and you’ll help your body avoid bed confusion and creating behavioral anchors that don’t help you sleep.

Back Pain

Anyone who has dealt with back pain before knows it’s the worst. One small turn in the wrong direction can suddenly have your body feeling like it’s been stuffed into a trash compactor.

That lingering and often searing pain that accompanies back injuries can make it incredibly difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep — one of insomnia’s trademarks.

Two quick tips to avoid having back pain derail your sleep: for those not suffering from back pain currently, remember to stretch. Stretching each morning for five minutes, especially as you get older, can loosen up your back muscles. This will give you a head start on making sure your back doesn’t keep you up later at night. And for those who do suffer from back pain, try placing a small pillow behind your knees when you go to sleep. This should help alleviate some of the pressure on your spine.

And now that I mention it, your pillow plays an important role in curbing back pain, too. You should change your main pillow every 12-18 months, so if you’re looking for a new one, I recommend the pillow I sleep on, Everpillow.

Menopause

To all female readers, please keep in mind: you are especially susceptible to insomnia when going through menopause.

This has to do with menopause being driven by a drop in hormone production, including estrogen and progesterone.

Estrogen is known for being a hormone that regulates women’s reproductive function and menstrual cycle, but it also contributes to better sleep; higher estrogen levels are connected less sleep arousals during the night, as well as an easier time falling asleep.

Progesterone, on the other hand, helps prepare women for pregnancy. It also regulates mood, protects against anxiety, and contributes to a sense of calm. I often refer to progesterone as the “feel good” hormone; it’s been linked to increased production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes better sleep.

Overall, hormones perform a delicate balancing act to help regulate mood, energy levels, libido and sleep — among other functions. Understandably, when there’s a decline in hormone production, it can throw off sleep patterns.

Maybe the most disturbing part of menopause for many women is hot flashes and bedtime and sleep is when they are often noticed most. It’s even worse when your bed partner is as hot as a heater too! One of the most useful sleeping accessories for hot flashes and hot sleepers is the Chilipad, I can’t tell you how many of my patients and friends swear by them.

(For more information, read my blog post on how menopause affects sleep.)

Your Diet

What you eat also impacts how you sleep.

Researchers from Columbia University earlier this year found diets high in refined carbohydrates have been linked to a higher risk of developing insomnia. That means soda, sugary foods, white rice and white bread are all foods you should eat in moderation.

But what is the temptation when we are bored and stressed? Refined carbohydrates and sugar!

How do these interfere with quality sleep? The reason refined carbs can be a problem, the study indicates, is that the body releases insulin when blood sugar increases rapidly; when blood sugar drops, hormones like adrenaline are released, which may make it harder to fall asleep.

On the opposite end, diets that include a large amount of fruits and vegetables did not increase a person’s risk of insomnia. While containing sugar, the fiber in fruit helps better moderate blood sugar spikes than refined carbs.

Napping

Let’s be clear from the get-go: naps aren’t bad for you. In fact, a well-timed nap comes with a number of health benefits, including giving you an energy boost, helping elevate your mood, and improving your physical performance.

But the old phrase “everything in moderation” certainly applies here. You don’t want your nap interfering with falling asleep at night, but that can often be the case.

To make sure that doesn’t happen, you want to watch out for two things. First, keep your naps to the early afternoon, if possible. Anything after 4:00 p.m. threatens to make it harder for you to fall asleep at a “normal” hour. And second, stay away from taking long naps. Anything past 90 minutes, when REM sleep starts to take place, is too much time. You run the risk of not feeling like you need to go to sleep at night, even though your body isn’t completely rested.

Instead, 20-30 minute “power naps” are a great alternative. (Read my blog post on napping from January to learn more about the power of napping).

Spend some time focused on eliminating or treating these sources of insomnia and you’ll find yourself sleeping better and feeling more rested in the morning.

The post Can’t Sleep? Here are 5 Surprising Sources of Insomnia appeared first on Your Guide to Better Sleep.

What You Should Know About African Sleeping Sickness0

5 Tips to Manage Sleep Deprivation for Students0

Staying up late to read for the exam yet you have an early morning class means that you will have only a few hours of sleep.