Tips For Getting A Good Night’s Sleep
Getting enough sleep is good for your health. Here are a few tips to improve your sleep:
Set a schedule go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
Exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day but no later than a few hours before going to bed.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine late in the day and alcoholic drinks before bed.
Relax before bed try a warm bath, reading, or another relaxing routine.
Create a room for sleep avoid bright lights and loud sounds, keep the room at a comfortable temperature, and dont watch TV or have a computer in your bedroom.
Dont lie in bed awake. If you cant get to sleep, do something else, like reading or listening to music, until you feel tired.
See a doctor if you have a problem sleeping or if you feel unusually tired during the day. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively.
The Extraordinary Importance Of Sleep
In the inaugural issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine , a feature article traced early milestones in the developing field of sleep medicine, which slowly emerged from the older field of sleep research during the 1970s and 1980s. Sleep medicine, the article noted, was closely linked with and made possible by the discovery of electrical activity in the brain. The examination of electroencephalogram patterns that occur during sleep led to the classification of stages of sleep, which in turn created an important foundation for probing human sleep, discerning abnormalities, and discovering significant relationships between sleep and health. By 2005, scientists and clinicians had not only identified and clearly defined a large number of sleep disorders but had discovered that many of them were highly prevalent.
The pace of research and discovery has only accelerated since 2005, and the number of peer-reviewed sleep journals has more than tripled. Today, researchers are more deeply probing the cellular and subcellular effects of disrupted sleep, as well as the effects of sleep deprivation on metabolism, hormone regulation, and gene expression. Newer studies are strengthening known and suspected relationships between inadequate sleep and a wide range of disorders, including hypertension, obesity and type-2 diabetes, impaired immune functioning, cardiovascular disease and arrhythmias,, mood disorders, neurodegeneration and dementia, , and even loneliness.
Short Sleep Hinders Brain Function The Next Day And For Many Days After That
To try to better understand how long it takes to recover from a bout of sleep deprivation, Dr. Ochab and his team recruited 19 study participants, ages 20 to 22, to take part in a three-week study.
The participants wore wrist sensors that recorded their rest and activity cycles throughout the duration of the 21-day experiment. They also visited the lab for daily electroencephalogram monitoring, a test that measures brain activity. Each day, participants completed a survey about mood and energy levels, and took an hour-long Stroop test, an evidence-based test that measures how quickly the brain processes information.
For the first four days, the study participants stuck to their regular routines. After that, researchers asked participants to cut back on their sleep by 30 percent for 10 days.
The researchers monitored participants sleep and wake cycles via the actigraphs to make sure they were sleeping the correct amount and werent napping during the day. After 10 days of sleep deprivation, the participants were allowed to sleep as much as they wanted for the following week .
The researchers found changes in behavior not just during the period of sleep deprivation, but during the recovery phase, too.
At baseline, the study participants scored an average of 97 percent on the Stroop test. As the test went on, their response times slowed by 4 percent.
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The Secret To A Good Nights Sleep
Some people are night owls, others are early birds, says Kolzet. Most people are in the middle. Theres growing research that supports that your mom was right about getting to bed early. The good news is you can change your bodys natural circadian rhythm with lightboxes, sunlight, or melatonin. Young people are more flexible in altering their biological clock, she says.
There are plenty of ways to get a good nights sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is probably the most important. Another trick is to use the bed only for sleep and sex. An important component of treatment is sleep compression, Kolzet says, which means limiting the time you spend in bed.
How Quality Sleep Protects Your Brain
Having trouble thinking creatively? Not able to focus on tasks that need to get done? Poor sleep could potentially be to blame. It turns out sleep deprivation can do a number on your brainand not just in the short term.
Heres what you need to know about sleep and the brain, from the proven ways sleep enhances brain function to whats really going on in your noggin while you snooze.
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Sleep Makes It Easier To Concentrate
As children get older, they start to go to school. They need to be sat in classrooms for hours at a time, depending on the country and school, where they have to concentrate on the letters, numbers, and other subjects they are learning.
Theres no denying that some children have attention deficit disorder , but there are some children who are misdiagnosed. We dont quite know how many are misdiagnosed with the problem, but we know that it is common. This is because thelack of sleep and ADHD tend to have some of the same side effects and symptoms.
Lack of sleep means that children find it harder to concentrate. They may fall asleep in class, or they are hyperactive and struggle to just sit still in one place. Giddiness is a symptom of tiredness that a lot of parents of young children notice before children get into the stage of grumpiness and just crashing out wherever they sit.
The body tries to find that last bout of energy. Of course, its given off in the wrong way. The brain doesnt have enough energy to focus on the things that children are taught, and this affects their learning.
Why Sleep Is So Important And What It Does For The Brain
The annual event World Sleep Day is set to happen Friday, marking the end to Sleep Awareness Week, and it hopes to emphasize the importance of sleep to your personal health.
The day was created by sleep medicine professionals and researchers who wanted to create an event around the importance of healthy sleep, according to the events website.
Activities and events are planned worldwide, as they are each year for the Friday before the vernal equinox, marking the first day of spring. But at the core of World Sleep Day is the importance of sleep for the body and, equally as important, for the brain.
Its easy to forget just how important sleep is to the brain and body. Missing out on a good nights sleep can leave you feeling groggy, but you might not realize why you feel that way, or what your brain is missing out on by skipping those extra hours of shut-eye.
While a person sleeps, three essential processes go on in the brain that are necessary for it to perform at its best and remain healthy, Michael Merzenich, professor, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Posit Science, told Newsweek.
The first thing that happens is that the brain basically is in a period of rejuvenation, just like the body. You can think of it as restoring its resources, and, of course, the body is also contributing to that, Merzenich said.
One important aspect to be aware of, he continued, is that good sleep isnt just about how long you sleep.
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How Much Sleep Do We Really Need At Different Life Stages
As we grow, our sleep demands change. Heres what The National Sleep Foundation recommends by age.
- Newborns: 14 to 17 hours
- Infants: 12 to 15 hours
- Toddlers: 11 to 14 hours
- Preschoolers: 10 to 13 hours
- School-age children: 9 to 11 hours
- Teenagers: 9 to 11 hours
- Adults: 7 to 9 hours
- The 65+ group: 7 to 8 hours.
Sleep Helps You Make Sense Of New Information
Believe it or not, your brain can actually process complex information when youre sleeping.
Experts have long known that your brain maintains some level of awareness even when your brain is fully engaged in the sleep process. For instance, sleeping people are more likely to respond to their own names or startling sounds like a fire alarm or alarm clock than to other random noises.
But according to mind-blowing research recently published in the journal Current Biology, thats just the beginning. Researchers asked study participants laying in a dark room to group spoken words into certain categories by pressing a left or right button. Once participants had gotten used to the task so it became automatic, researchers told the participants that they should continue categorizing the words, but that it was okay to fall asleep.
After participants had nodded off, the researchers introduced new words that fell into the same categories as the words that participants heard when they were awake. The crazy thing? Brain monitoring devices showed that even while the participants were snoozing, their brains were using the information they had learned to go through the functions to categorize the words as left or right.
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Slower Cognitive Processing Scores Could Equate To Significant Real
That number might not sound large, but its a significant change statistically speaking, Ochab says. And it could have meaningful real-world consequences, such as if youre in a high stakes job like one that requires you to operate heavy machinery, perform surgery, or direct air traffic, he explains. Any drop in performance might be significant in your real life.
The actigraphs also revealed that chronic sleep deprivation had lasting effects. At baseline, study participants sat still or took on physical activity for prolonged periods . But during the sleep deprivation phase of the study, their wrist sensors indicated participants were moving every 5 to 10 minutes. During the recovery phase, participants rest and activity patterns were closer to what they were at the start of the study, but still more disrupted on average.
Clearly sleep deprivation caused participants to be agitated, Ochab. The actigraph results dont record what activity was being done, but the patterns suggest that when sleep deprived, the study participants were less able to sit still to work for long periods of time or do an activity without stopping to rest every 5 to 10 minutes.
And finally, on the basis of EEG monitoring, electrical activity in study participants patterns of brain activity was also still disrupted after seven days of recovering from a lack of sleep.
Why Sleep Is Important
Were taught from an early age that sleep is important. Our parents and teachers try to tell us when were young. Your doctor harps on it at your yearly visit. And we rarely listen because whos got time for 8 hours of sleep every night?
FROM THE EXPERTS
Sleep is important for brain health in general. If you dont get enough sleep, you can see negative effects on attention and emotional regulation.
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We Live In A Society Where Sleep Deprivation Is Like A National Sport Sleep Deprivation Is The Cause Of Many Of Our Behavior And Mental Health Issues Your Brain Has A Specific Schedule And When We Break The Schedule Our Internal Repairing Doesnt Happen Or It Is Incomplete Our Brain Performance Affects Our Overall Body
We live in a society where sleep deprivation is like a national sport.
Sleep deprivation is the cause of many of our behavior and mental health issues. Your brain has a specific schedule and when we break the schedule our internal repairing doesnt happen or it is incomplete.
Our brain performance affects our overall body functionality. If we dont sleep the hours our body needs, we are not able to fully refill, restore, and repair everything that has been damaged throughout our waking hours. Im sure you are aware of this, but it is worth reiterating. During our sleep the brain stores information, gets rid of toxic waste, nerve cells communicate and reorganize, which supports healthy brain function, and the body repairs cells, restores energy, and releases molecules like hormones and proteins. Our body requires us to be in a horizontal position, prepared to sleep for a length of 7-8 hours during nighttime. Anything outside of these parameters is a potential problem on the horizon.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where sleep deprivation is like a national sport. Our work schedules arent designed to support our health and well-being. Our circadian rhythms are completely thrown off. Sleep deprivation is the cause of many of our behavior and mental health issues. Your brain has a specific schedule and when we break the schedule our internal repairing doesnt happen or it is incomplete.
Bedtime should always be 9:50 pm
Sleep time should be 10:00 pm
Sleep Helps Your Brain Cement Memories
Imagine if every single time you did or experienced something new throughout the day, you had to stop what you were doing to file the experience away in your short- or long-term memory file so you could recall it later when you needed it. Chances are, youd be spending so much time archiving your life that youd never actually get anything done.
Thanks to the power of sleep, you dont have to do that. Thats because snooze time is prime time for your brain to get busy processing memories. As you sleep, your brain works to solidify memories that you formed throughout the day. It also links these new memories to older ones, helping you make connections between different pieces of information to come up with new ideas.
Remember the stages of sleep we talked about earlier? Stages 1-4, the ones where you arent experiencing REM, are key for learning and the memory formation that comes with it. In fact, if you skimp out on non-REM sleep, your ability to learn new information plummets by as much as 40%, say experts at the National Institutes of Health. Thats because sleep deprivation interferes with your hippocampus, the part of your brain thats responsible for processing memories.
When youre sleeping, your brain decides what stuff from the day is worth keepingand whats worth forgetting about so you can free up space for taking in new information tomorrow.
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Why Good Sleep Hygiene Is Important During The Covid
A sleep specialist explains why sleep is crucial for people with neurologic conditions, especially during the current outbreak.
Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. It allows our bodies and brains to rest and keeps us functioning during the day. It also can reduce anxiety and increase energy, which are important benefits during this stressful and uncertain time. Adults between the ages of 16 and 65 need seven to nine hours a night. People over age 65 need seven to eight.
Not getting enough sleep or sleeping poorly is associated with headaches and irritability, depression, and other mood disorders. For people with neurologic conditions, poor sleep can make symptoms feel more pronounced or less manageable. Various factors can interfere with sleep, including medical conditions such as asthma, which can be worse at night pain psychiatric problems like depression and anxiety certain medications such as stimulants and antidepressants and poor sleep habits.
The factor you can control is your sleep habits, which specialists call sleep hygiene. To improve these habits, which will make managing your neurologic conditionand the COVID outbreakeasier, follow these recommendations.
Establish a regular bedtime. Your brain likes routine, especially if you have a neurologic condition. Pick a reasonable time to go to bed at night and wake up in the morning and stick to it. This will help train your brain to associate these times with sleeping and waking.
What Are The Long
The longer-term effects of sleep deprivation are more difficult to study in humans for ethical reasons, but chronic sleep disturbances have been linked to brain disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and Alzheimers. We dont know if sleep disturbances are a cause or symptom of these disorders.
Overall, the evidence suggests having healthy sleep patterns is key to having a healthy and well-functioning brain.
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How Much Sleep Do You Need For Brain Health
The amount of sleep you need for brain health depends greatly on your age. As you get older, your body and brain require less sleep to recover and develop. For example, a child between the ages of 0 to 5 needs between 10 to 14 hours of sleep each day, including naps.10 However, adults typically need 7 hours or more for optimal sleep.11
While the total number of sleeping hours is important, the amount of time spent in the deep sleep stages is also essential. Having at least two hours of sleep in the deep sleep stages promotes optimal brain health. How can you make that happen? Ill tell you.
Important Factors For Establishing A Healthy Sleep Pattern During The First Years Of Life
Positive sleep practices are essential for establishing a healthy sleep pattern during the first years of life. Thus, it is recommended that parents start promoting good sleep hygiene by establishing a safe and comfortable sleep environment, a regular bedtime routine, and an appropriate sleep onset association starting from infancy, and throughout childhood .
Regular and Consistent Bedtime Routine
Having a regular and consistent bedtime routine is one of the critical steps to achieve good sleep hygiene and yield health benefits to young children. It provides them a sense of predictability and security and helps with activity transitions. Bedtime routines deliver external clues to children that sleep is coming and assist them in preparing for sleep mentally by being both predicable and calming. A bedtime routine should involve the same 34 calming and relaxing activities every night in the same order, e.g., warm bath, reading stories, singing lullabies, and listening to soft music. A pictorial representation of the bedtime activities is recommended for children at a younger age or developmentally delayed.
Safe and Comfortable Sleep Environment
Appropriate Sleep Onset Associations
Avoiding Media Exposure
Regular Daily Schedule of Activities with Appropriate Stimulations
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