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Alaska Sleep Education Center

How the Summer Solstice Can Score You Better Sleep Year-Round

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jun 21, 2019 7:13:00 AM

For thousands of years, the longest day of the year has been celebrated by people around the world as the summer solstice or Midsummer. This year, the sunny cause for revelry falls on June 21st in the Northern Hemisphere, and is recognized as the unofficial start to our hottest season, even though outdoor temperature gauges around the country have been telling us the heat is already well under way.

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Topics: circadian rhythm, sleep habits, summer

Night Owls to Early Birds

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Jun 19, 2019 11:09:00 AM

Early to bed early to rise or night owl: which camp do you reside in? Each could have potential negative and positive effects on your body depending on your own sleep cycle. Today we will look at the positives and negatives of the night owl along with ways to convert over to an early bird.

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Topics: insomnia, circadian rhythm, delayed sleep phase

Avoiding Sleep Disruptions During the Holidays

Posted by Natalie Dautovich, from Sleep.org on Nov 25, 2018 7:01:00 AM

Despite looking forward to the holiday season, many people emerge from the holidays feeling the effects on their physical and emotional well-being. Often, disrupted sleep is the culprit.

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Topics: holiday, circadian rhythm

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment: Chapter 11 and Conclusion

Posted by Guest blogger: Joe Smith, www.YooHealth.com 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

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment: Chapter 10

Posted by Guest blogger: Joe Smith, www.YooHealth.com 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

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