After a sleepless night, you likely feel sluggish the next morning, and a small new study suggests why: Your brain cells feel sluggish, too. And when those brain cells are tired, you may be more likely to be forgetful and get distracted more easily, the research found.
Our current reality is that life could be overwhelming. There’s so much to do: work, take care of our families, deal with other pressing needs and of course, engage on social media. In the midst of this ever-active hub of events, it is very easy to lose focus of what’s important. Like sleep!
Depression is a debilitating illness no matter what way you look at it, but from a perspective of sleep, it also has a number of detrimental effects. In fact, sleeping issues may actually stem from an undiagnosed bout of depression, so closely linked can the symptoms be.
The summer sleep slide is real, too. Without the structure of school, kids tend to stay up later—sometimes much later—and not sleep in consistently enough to make up for it.
Rather than spend the summer catching up on sleep, kids can accumulate sleep debt that affects their health, mood, and ability to learn.
Most families try to balance the joy and freedom of long summer nights, with the reality of two little kids’ sizable sleep needs. We visit with friends, we go out for dinner or to play basketball in the evenings, and often bedtime is pushed back.
Here’s how we’re making sure that while our family is enjoying the lenient summer schedule, my kids are also getting the sleep they need.
Preschoolers need 11 - 13 hours of sleep and school age kids need 10.5 - 12 hours. If bedtime is sliding later over the summer, make sure your child is capable of either sleeping in (installing blackout curtains or shades helps enormously), or has the chance to nap.
My older child is able to sleep in to give himself the 11 hours of sleep he needs nightly. My preschooler has a built-in nap time so she always has the opportunity to sleep during the day if she needs it.
Even if bedtimes are later over the summer, it still helps to keep them consistent. In our house, what was a 7:30 p.m. bedtime during the school year is often 8:30 p.m. in the summer. Consistent timing is powerful, because the internal clock (which affects health, mood, and cognition) works best with regularity. I
n fact, in a study of over 11,000 young kids researchers found that a regular bedtime—whether early or late—was linked to better math, reading, and spatial skills. Kids whose bedtimes moved around were more likely to have mood and behavior issues. Shifting bedtimes around is like giving a child a mini case of jet lag. An 8:30 p.m. bedtime every night is better than alternating between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
It takes time to truly shift a person’s sleep schedule and kids may need a week or two to fully adjust back to their school times. You can start putting your child to bed 15 minutes earlier each night for a week to get to the optimal bedtime for school, and if you really want to harness the power of the internal clock, keep her on that bedtime for a week before school starts (and throughout the school year).
A good bedtime for a preschooler or school age child—especially considering early school start times—is 7:30 p.m.
While you’re making the shift, if your child has a hard time falling asleep at an earlier bedtime, wake her up in the morning 15 minutes earlier. This will affect the time she’s drowsy at night and help her shift to the earlier schedule.
Now she’s got her internal clock on her side and a full tank of sleep. She’s ready to get a jump on the new school year.
Traveling has never been easier for business or pleasure. With apps for white noise and electronic devices to help pass the time on a plane, you can pack your way to a better international or domestic flight. By following these packing tips and recognizing the signs of travel fatigue, you will be on your way to a more relaxing vacation.
Noise. Restricted legroom. People climbing all over you. There’s also that noise coming from small children playing games (loudly) on their smartphone. Some of them even scream.
This article is from the Anchorage Daily News coverage of the 2018 Iditarod during Fur Rondy, which is going on now through March 3rd in downtown Anchorage.
As Canadian musher Bradley Farquhar and his 11 sled dogs traveled into the village here early Saturday, he started to hallucinate.
Topics: sleep deprivation
Adding to a growing body of research associating sleep quality with the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, a new study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has homed in on the specific sleep phase that, when disrupted, can be linked to early stages of cognitive decline.
A new study is further elucidating the relationship between sleep and Alzheimer's. The hypothesis behind the research is that decreased slow-wave sleep may correlate with increases in a brain protein called tau, which alongside amyloid-beta has been found to be significantly linked to the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease.
The researchers examined the sleep patterns of 119 subjects over the age of 60, the majority of whom were cognitively healthy with no signs of dementia or Alzheimer's. For a week the subjects' sleep patterns were monitored using sensors and portable EEG monitors. Tau and amyloid levels were also tracked in all subjects using either PET scans or spinal fluid sampling.
The results revealed that those subjects suffering from lower levels of slow-wave sleep displayed higher volumes of tau protein in the brain. Slow-wave sleep is the deepest phase of non-rapid eye movement sleep and this stage of a person's sleep cycle has been strongly linked to memory consolidation, with many researchers also suggesting slow-wave sleep is vital for maintaining general brain health.
"The key is that it wasn't the total amount of sleep that was linked to tau, it was the slow-wave sleep, which reflects quality of sleep," explains Brendan Lucey, first author on the new study. "The people with increased tau pathology were actually sleeping more at night and napping more in the day, but they weren't getting as good quality sleep."
Huge questions still remain unanswered though, particularly when trying to discern whether bad sleep is ultimately a cause, or consequence, of conditions such as Alzheimer's.
The study does clearly note a significant limitation in the conclusion is an inability to establish whether sleep changes precede, or follow, any pathological changes in the brain.
Age-related neurodegenerative diseases are inarguably more complicated than simply being the effect of years of bad sleep, however, the researchers do suggest sleep disruptions may be an effective early warning tool to help doctors spot patients in the earliest, pre-clinical stages of cognitive decline.
"What's interesting is that we saw this inverse relationship between decreased slow-wave sleep and more tau protein in people who were either cognitively normal or very mildly impaired, meaning that reduced slow-wave activity may be a marker for the transition between normal and impaired," says Lacey.
"Measuring how people sleep may be a noninvasive way to screen for Alzheimer's disease before or just as people begin to develop problems with memory and thinking."
Sleep Apnea is linked to so many health problems, with researchers saying apnea may be the cause of many. It is so important to get diagnosis and correct treatment of sleep apnea early on. Call Alaska Sleep Clinic for your free sleep assessment with one of our board-certified sleep specialists.
The new study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.