Alaska Sleep Education Center

Joe Smith

www.YooHealth.com

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Sleep Deprivation: Chapter 11

Posted by Joe Smith on Oct 22, 2018 8:35:00 AM

Chapter 11

Prevention

 

Really, the best way to prevent sleep deprivation is to practice good sleep hygiene, something we have talked about a few times before. Here are the basic steps you can take in order to attain a good standard of sleep hygiene and end up with a good rest:

  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day
  • Shut off devices and do soothing things an hour before bed
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark and cool
  • Avoid caffeine at least five hours before bed, same with alcohol
  • Don’t eat for at least three hours before bed
  • Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to boost mental and physical tiredness

It’s actually very quick and simple, making it easy for anyone to follow. Of course, it can be hard to get into the swing of things, so take some time to really work on a routine and getting your sleep hygiene just right.

The issue is, sleep deprivation is often linked to serious accidents, as well as poor job and school performance – lowering a person’s quality of life substantially. It disrupts the brain’s ability to balance emotions and the ability to think, lowering your natural defenses, and increasing your chances of developing chronic medical conditions.

Of course, the occasional poor night of sleep won’t cause you much harm, but it will if it becomes a persistent problem. After all, there is no substitute for restorative sleep, and so care should be taking to prevent ongoing sleep deprivation regardless of age.


To Conclude

Hopefully, this has helped you to better understand the world of sleep deprivation, how it is caused, and the ways in which it can be treated. It is amazing how negatively you can be impacted by a lack of sleep, and the number of health conditions that can be caused by consistently missing out should be enough to make sure you get started on paying back your sleep debt. After all, it is your health and well-being on the line.

If you live in Alaska and have chronic sleep deprivation, call us today and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic's blog.

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Topics: sleep deprivation, circadian rhythm, sleep hygiene, medication

Sleep Deprivation: Chapter 10

Posted by Joe Smith on Oct 21, 2018 4:00:00 PM

Chapter 10

Habits to Avoid

If you are sleep deprived, or trying to avoid becoming that way, there are a few bad habits that you really need to avoid, and they are as stated below:

#1 Taking a Nap

There are times where napping can help to give you the boost you need, especially in college or before an essential meeting, but if you don’t need to nap then consider skipping it. This is because it can lower your sleep drive, causing you to go to bed later that night and wake up feeling slow and groggy the next day. If you really do need to nap though, make sure it is between 1pm and 3pm for no more than 25 minutes, as this is the optimal time to ensure that your sleep at night is not disrupted.

#2 Going to Bed Early

It can be really tempting to do this, especially when you are feeling absolutely exhausted. However, doing so can mess up your circadian rhythm over time, and this results in what is known as being both wired and tired – where your brain is not ready to go to sleep so early, but your body is. This makes it difficult to fall asleep and can lead to stress and frustration.

#3 Sleeping In

It can seem tempting, especially on a Sunday morning after a long night in or out. However, just one morning of sleeping in by 30 minutes can completely change your internal clock, prompting your body to wake up later than usual. So, if you spend the weekends sleeping in, there is a reason it is so hard to get up on a Monday morning. Try to get up at the same time every day, even on the weekends, to make your week and easier one.

#4 Caffeine Boosts

You’ll probably remember this from being in college, those late nights spend sucking down caffeine until the early hours of the morning so you could finish that essential paper. However, it is a terrible habit to have if you are facing sleep deprivation. The average time it takes caffeine to leave your body is around 8-10 hours, so it is best not to drink any caffeinated beverages after around 2pm. However, this does also depend on your personal tolerance for the stimulant as everyone is different.

#5 Booze Before Snooze

Yes, it has been dubbed a sedative as well as a great way to fall asleep, and this is true. However, it is also the best way to get an unfulfilled and restless night of sleep too. Alcohol reduces rapid eye movement (REM), which is the most restorative part of sleep and helps us turn short-term memories into long-term ones. As a result, alcohol before bed can affect your memory and cause a restless sleep. Plus, it could even wake you up once the alcohol has been fully metabolized.

#6 Scrolling Through Facebook

Social media before bed is the bane of sleep everywhere, and it can have really negative impacts on the quality. Of course, flicking through Facebook or Twitter could send you down a social media rabbit hole because your sleepy self is fresh out of self-control, but the blue screen is the main culprit. It actually mimics daylight, boosting your brain and making it difficult to fall asleep. The more you engage with the social media in questions, the more amped up your brain becomes, making you more awake and alert, which will ensure falling asleep is much harder. So, say no to that last-minute scroll through Instagram before you go to sleep.

#7 Snacking Before Bed

Food choices and sleep deprivation are never a good mix, and having a midnight snack before bed can leave you feeling really heavy and bloated, so you won’t be able to sleep for a few hours. We were not made to digest food lying down, and hard to digest food can cause restless sleep or an inability to do so, as well as a slower metabolism and weight gain.

It’s best to eat no more than three hours before bed so that your body can start digesting it, but going to bed hungry can keep you awake too. If you need that snack before sleep, try having something light like Greek yogart and bananas. This is a perfect combination of 80% carbs and 20% protein, which is shown to have a calming effect on the body. Cheese and crackers is an option too, but the nightmare superstition is very real for some.

Tomorrow, come back here for Chapter 11: Prevention and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic's blog.

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Topics: sleep deprivation, circadian rhythm, sleep hygiene, medication

Sleep Deprivation: Chapter 9

Posted by Joe Smith on Oct 20, 2018 2:15:00 PM

Chapter 9

Complications of Sleep Deprivation

There are a number of complications and concerns that come with sleep deprivation. For one, it weakens your ability to handle reasoning, as that area of the brain is affected by lack of sleep. This part of the brain is known as the prefrontal cortex, and it is used to control the emotional section (the amygdala). As a result, sleep deprivation leads to emotions being processed in an abnormal manner.

It is also necessary to get enough sleep in order for the brain to learn. A lack of sleep causes difficulty in concentration as well as the ability to create new memories. If we stay awake all night or cut our sleep short by a significant amount, the body will not release the necessary hormones to regulate growth and appetite. Instead, it ends up with a cornucopia of stress chemicals, like cortisol.

In fact, research suggests that a shorter sleep duration can actually cause weight gain in both adults and children, with each hour of reduction in sleep time per day being associated with an increase of 0.35kg in body weight. These changes can then result in an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart attacks, and even strokes.

A lack of sleep can also have a massive impact on a healthy person’s ability to function emotionally and think normally, which can result in the following:

  • A reduced tendency to think positively
  • Poor moods and a decreased willingness to solve issues
  • Greater tendency towards superstition and magical belief
  • Decreased empathy and an increased intolerance for others
  • Poor impulse control
  • Inability to delay gratification

Those who are experiencing a loss of sleep are more likely to have increased feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy. They are also more prone to feel powerless, like a failure, have low self-esteem, poor job performance, conflicts with co-workers, and an overall reduced quality of life. Many of these feelings remain even when stimulants are introduced to boost energy, like caffeine. Those who are sleep deprived are also more likely to score highly on scales for depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

There is also the risk of microsleeps when a person has become really fatigued. After around 16 hours of staying awake, the body will attempt to balance the need for sleep, and if a person does not get enough of it, the brain will find other ways to get the sleep it needs.

Microsleeps are an uncontrollable response that your brain has when you are deprived of sleep, and it renders a person completely unable to process any stimulation around you as well as sensory information for an incredibly brief amount of time.

Your eyes will tend to remain open during a microsleep, but you will be spaced out during it. The attacks come on suddenly, making it potentially dangerous to drive or operate heavy machinery during them. A microsleep will happen regardless of whether or not you try to stay away, and it is because of this that it is almost impossible to stay away for more than 48 hours.

Tomorrow, come back here for Chapter 10: Habits to Avoid and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic's blog.

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Topics: sleep deprivation, circadian rhythm, microsleep

Sleep Deprivation: Chapter 7

Posted by Joe Smith on Oct 18, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Chapter 7

Precautions Regarding Treatment of Sleep Deprivation

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment - Yoo Health

If you are using sleep aids, as prescribed by your doctor, it is important that you know how to use them safely so that you can take any necessary precautions when treating your sleep deprivation.

You must first consult with your doctor about which sleep deprivation medications to use, the correct dosage, and the best treatment plan for you. At this point, a number of factors will be taken into account, including:

  • Your age
  • Other health factors
  • The underlying cause of your insomnia (if applicable)

This information is an essential part of learning how to use your sleep medication properly and responsibly.

You should also make sure that you do not grow to rely on sleep aids forever, and the majority of doctors will agree that they are not supposed to be used permanently.

Instead, it is up to you and your doctor to figure out long you should take the sleep aid for, and other potential treatments (like CBT) that might be able to help you get back into a good sleeping routine.

While there are some over the counter sleep aids that might help you in the short-term, it is important to remember that they are not supposed to be used for prolonged periods of time, or to fix insomnia.

You should also make sure you follow the safety guidelines on all medication you receive, and that you read the packaging carefully so that you understand potential risks and side-effects. You can also talk to your doctor about any precautions you need to take, especially if they are related to your personal health.

Tomorrow, come back here for Chapter 8: Diagnosis of Sleep Deprivation and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic's blog.

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Topics: treatment, sleep deprivation, circadian rhythm, remedies

Sleep Deprivation: Chapter 8

Posted by Joe Smith on Oct 18, 2018 7:20:00 AM

Chapter 8

Diagnosis of Sleep Deprivation

As we have already discussed, sleep specialists state that the most tell-tale sign of sleep deprivation is feeling drowsy during the day. Even if a task is very uninteresting, you should be able to stay alert if you are not sleep deprived. If you fall asleep within five minutes of lying down, you are likely to have very severe sleep deprivation.

Those who have sleep deprivation also tend to suffer from micro-sleep,  a brief period of sleep experienced during waking time. A person is rarely aware that they have experienced micro-sleep and will simply view it as a few lost seconds. If you are driving while fatigued, you may not remember how you got to your destination.  This is an example of micro-sleep.

There are occasions it is a more serious, even life-threatening, sleep disorder like sleep apnea. If this is even a possibility, a sleep specialist may decide to conduct a sleep study to monitor your breathing, heart rate, and other vital signs over the course of the night. It also provides an excellent amount of information to help diagnose and treat your underlying conditions.

For the diagnosis process to begin, your doctor will perform a physical exam, including asking you for symptoms so that they can match them up with the ones we have already discussed. We’ve already mentioned much of the diagnosis process, and here are some of the tests your doctor might order:

Polysomnogram: a sleep study that evaluates oxygen levels, body movements, and brain waves to determine how they disrupt sleep.

Electroencephalogram: a test that assesses electrical activity in the brain and detects any potential problems associated with this activity.

Genetic blood testing: a blood test commonly used to diagnose narcolepsy and other underlying health conditions that might be causing sleep apnea. 

If you believe you or a loved one is suffering through sleep apnea, call Alaska Sleep Clinic today to speak with one of our board-certified sleep specialists for your free sleep evaluation.

Tomorrow, come back here for Chapter 9: Complications of Sleep Deprivation and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic's blog.

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Topics: home sleep test, treatment, sleep deprivation, circadian rhythm, cpap mas, remedies

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