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Alaska Sleep Education Center

Need a Kickstart Today?  Here is Your Morning Motivation...

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Aug 16, 2019 7:30:00 AM

 

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Topics: exercise, food, motivation, morning

Is It Time for a Sleep Divorce?

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Aug 15, 2019 1:34:00 PM

 

The clock shows 4 a.m. You are ride awake trying to count sheep and count down the hours until the alarm goes off. Nothing is on your mind, but your bedroom feng shui is completely off the rails. But the problem is not the temperature of the room or a thunderstorm keeping you awake: the problem is the person sleeping soundly next to you.

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Topics: sleep schedules, marriage, divorce

Understanding the Link Between Sleeping and Anxiety

Posted by Selena Thomas on Aug 14, 2019 8:00:00 AM

How many times you go to bed, ready to sleep, but then your mind tricks you, and it starts racing just when your head touches the pillow? If your nights are reserved for overthinking and going through to-do lists instead of relaxing, you probably don’t manage to get enough quality sleep.

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Topics: depression, anxiety, sleep schedules

Sleeping Better Despite the Noisy City

Posted by Sally Norton on Aug 13, 2019 12:21:43 PM

Living in a noisy urban area can affect the quality of your sleep a lot. Some people find street noise to be helpful when it comes to falling asleep because it distracts them from their thoughts, therefore, making it easier to fall asleep.

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Topics: eyes, sleep hygiene, noise, ears

How Sleep Helps Teens Cope with Stress

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Aug 12, 2019 10:20:00 AM

With Alaska schools back in session in 9 days, the whirlwind of classes, clubs, athletics, jobs, friends and family can lead to a lot of sleepless nights and stressful days.  

Teenagers are living life at full speed — growing, learning, studying, exploding with hormones, learning to drive, gaining autonomy and coping with daily pressure and stress. It turns out that they need more sleep than adults to stay healthy and safe – and cope with stress.

To learn more about why sleep is so important for teens and how parents can help them get the rest they need, we reached out to Janet K. Kennedy, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, founder of NYC Sleep Doctor and author of The Good Sleeper: The Essential Guide to Sleep for Your Baby (and You).

Why is sleep so important for teens?
Sleep is an essential bodily function for everyone. But for teens especially, it’s the body’s time to repair the damage of the day, regulate hormones, consolidate memory, solidify learning, and restore energy so they can wake up and do it all over again the next day.

What the recommended amount of sleep for teenagers?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teens get 8-10 hours of sleep nightly. Most teens do not get this much sleep.

Are there certain hours that are optimal for a teen’s bedtime and wake time?
Teenagers’ body clocks are skewed later than that of children and adults. Some teens have trouble falling asleep before 11 (or even later), which makes it hard to get enough sleep and get to school on time.

How does lack of sleep add to a teen’s stress level?
Lack of sleep increases levels of adrenaline and cortisol, making us feel wired, edgy and stressed. That physical stress combines with the psychological stress of homework, social stress, over-scheduled extracurricular activities, pressure to perform, and looming responsibilities of adulthood that can feel overwhelming. And stress hormones make it harder to fall asleep, creating a cycle of sleep debt that is hard to break out of.

Are there other consequences for teens for not getting enough sleep?

Not getting enough sleep affects every aspect of a teenager’s life:

Poor memory and concentration leads to poor retention and performance at school.

Response time is impaired and car accidents are more likely.

Hormones triggering poor food choices and metabolic changes cause weight gain.

Irritability contributes to family and/or social conflict and can lead to more serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

Immune function is lowered and risk of colds or flu is increased.

Acne gets worse.

How can parents help set the stage for their teens to get a good night’s rest?

Parents can and should help teens develop good sleep habits:

Screens should be OFF and preferably out of the bedroom at least one hour before bed. This is important because screens keep kids (and us) plugged in to the day’s work and social activity. We have to train ourselves — and our kids — to unplug.

Phones, tablets and computers also emit blue light that suppresses the brain’s release of melatonin, delaying the body’s sleep signal. This is especially important for teenagers because their melatonin release is already on the late side. Delaying it further can cause insomnia and sleep deprivation.

Limit caffeine and eliminate super-caffeinated drinks designed to keep you awake. The body can take hours to metabolize caffeine. And even if someone is able to fall asleep after drinking caffeinated beverages, the stimulant effect interferes with deep sleep and makes sleep less restful.

No napping in the evening. Naps — and especially late naps — derail the body’s sleep clock, making it harder to get the consolidated nighttime sleep that is so important.

Don’t oversleep on weekends. Sleeping much later than normal and taking long naps on weekends makes it harder to get the sleep you need. The body works best when it has a consistent rhythm. A cycle of weekday sleep deprivation and weekend oversleeping keeps the body in a state of stress and fatigue.

As unpleasant as it sounds, it’s best to get up around the same time each day, even on weekends. It’s usually fine to sleep an hour later on weekends, but more than that can lead to Sunday night insomnia, setting up the cycle of sleep deprivation for another week.

 

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Topics: teens, stress

6 scientific ways to fall asleep easier

Posted by Alex Briggs on Aug 11, 2019 10:03:00 PM

Sleeping isn’t always the easiest thing to do. The Center of Disease Control estimates that 35% of Americans do not get enough sleep on a nightly basis, either through lifestyle habits, insomnia, or another sleep disorder. Even worse, a chronic lack of sleep raises a person’s risks for a myriad of health complications.

Falling asleep effectively might require a lifestyle change, but there are science-backed steps you can take to fall asleep quicker and easier. Even better – you won’t even have to take pills to do it.

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Topics: Sleep, insomnia, Sleep Tips, electronics

Family Sleeping: Surviving All the Individual Sleep Needs

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Aug 9, 2019 8:43:37 AM

The hardest part about being a family is that everyone is their own unique person. It is exactly how we were designed, but it doesn’t mean it is easy when everyone's at different life stages affecting their sleep cycles.

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Topics: teens, Family, sleep habits, babies, toddlers

Asleep at the Wheel:  The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Aug 8, 2019 1:44:31 PM

Drowsy driving is the dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue. This usually happens when a driver has not slept enough, but it can also happen due to untreated sleep disorders, medications, drinking alcohol, or shift work. It makes drivers less able to pay attention to the road.

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Topics: drowsy, driving

Furry Dreaming: 5 Benefits to Co-Sleeping with Your Dog

Posted by Guest blogger, Emma Williams on Aug 7, 2019 2:22:00 PM

Pet owners are going reaching extremes to ensure their furry friends are living happy, healthy lives. Sometimes it can appear dogs are living better than people nowadays.

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Topics: sleeping, pets

Getting Good Sleep On a Road Trip

Posted by Sally Norton on Aug 6, 2019 11:32:06 AM

Road trips are fun and exciting. Generally traveling by your car or a train is very interesting, since your road trip can include a lot of stops and make an amazing journey. However, it includes a lot of sleeping in the vehicle, which can be very uncomfortable and tiring.

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Topics: travel, sleep schedules

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