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The importance of getting a good night’s sleep

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1 The importance of getting a good night’s sleep
Sleepless in Durham The importance of getting a good night’s sleep

2 About Sleep… Sleep is regulated by our biological rhythms that are generally governed by the circadian rhythms of the earth, moon, and sun. It is important for our bodies to be inline with these circadian rhythms, to be awake in the day and asleep when it is dark. Light and melatonin, a neurochemical in our bodies, are key factors in our sleep-awake cycle. When the sun sets and lights go low, melatonin is usually released. When the sun rises and light reappears, the production of melatonin is suppressed. Too much time under bright lights or in front of computer monitor at night delays the release of melatonin causing disruption to the sleep-awake cycle. Many individuals also alter their own biological clocks by not going to sleep when it is dark, not waking at a regular time, and not sleeping the length of time needed.

3 About Sleep… A typical night’s sleep happens in roughly 90-minute cycles. If we get the number of hours recommend we will have cycles, per night. There are four stages of sleep in Non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement): Stage 1 Transitional - This is the time between wakefulness and sleep. This stage usually lasts minutes. Stage 2 This stage brings you to a slightly deeper sleep and lasts minutes. 50% of our sleep time is spent in this phase. Stages 3 & 4 During these stages, brain activity slows down and sleep becomes deeper. The slow-wave sleep of stages 2, 3 and 4 is the restorative, most biologically necessary sleep stage, in which a great deal of body and cell repair and recovery happens. It also plays an important role in memory retention. Breathing, heart rate and temperature all go down as your body relaxes. After stage 4 is completed, your body cycles back through stages 3, 2 and then go into REM sleep or deep sleep. In REM sleep, your eyes dart back and forth and your pulse, breathing and temperature all go up. At the same time, your large muscle groups can’t move. Brain wave patterns are similar to those in wakefulness, yet it is in this stage that you are the most difficult to wake. The first REM cycle lasts about minutes, and with each cycle, REM sleep increases in duration.

4 Why Sleep is Important Getting enough sleep…
helps your body and mind rest and repair provides the energy necessary to manage stress decreases risk of depression improves mood increases ability to make rational decisions increases motivation, memory and concentration increases creativity, spontaneity and productivity helps prevent injuries and accidents helps prevent stomach upsets and/or headaches decreases fatigue increases life-span positively impacts motor skills and athletic performance boosts the immune system helps maintain weight/hunger cues

5 Sleep & Women Women are more prone to complain of sleep problems during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause when their hormones are at their lowest level.

6 Sleep & Women Women experience significantly more nightmares than men and have more emotional dreams. This has been contributed to changes in body temperature during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause and the tendency for women to take unresolved concerns in their life to bed with them at night. Source: University of the West of England, 2008

7 Sleep & Diabetes In a recent study, sleep deprivation (restricted sleep to 4 hours/night for 6 nights) caused individuals to be in a pre-diabetic state. Source: The Science of Sleep, 60 Minutes, 2008

8 for a mouse to die from not getting enough sleep!
Sleep Trivia! Yikes! It only takes 5 days for a mouse to die from not getting enough sleep!

9 Sleep & Weight DID YOU KNOW:
The less people sleep the more they tend to weigh? Leptin is a hormone that affects our feelings of fullness and satisfaction after a meal. Ghrelin is the hormone that stimulates our appetites. When we suffer from sleep deprivation, our body’s levels of leptin fall while ghrelin levels increase. This means that you end up feeling hungrier without really feeling satisfied by what you eat, causing you to eat more and, consequently, gain weight. Source: 60 Minutes, The Science of Sleep, 2008 Bottomline: If you are sleeping too little you may be eating more than you realize!

10 Food That Affect How You Sleep
Avoid spicy, overly sweet or fatty foods before bed. Spicy foods may cause gastrointestinal reflux or heartburn. Overly sweet and fatty foods may cause indigestion and/or bloating. Alcohol and Stimulant Drugs, including tobacco products. Sugar , foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. These raise blood sugar levels. High protein foods (hour or two prior to bed) Can inhibit sleep by blocking the synthesis of serotonin, making us feel more alert. Caffeine in all forms (coffee, teas, cola, chocolate).

11 Caffeine can have a negative impact
Sleep & Caffeine Caffeine can have a negative impact on your sleep cycle. Caffeine takes about 6 hours to leave the body Caffeine speads up heart rate, blood pressure and brain waves making it difficult to relax AND sleep. In order to evenly block the uptake of adenosine (neurotransmitter that helps trigger sleep), consume low, steady doses of caffeine. The equivalent of a quarter of a cup of coffee (2 ounces or 30 mg. of caffeine) per hour is optimal. Source: 2004 Airforce Study as sited by The Center for Health Promotion and Wellness at MIT Medical. Source: The Center for Health Promotion and Wellness at MIT Medical Bottomline: Try to minimize the amount of caffeine you consume and don’t have caffeine after lunch.

12 Insomnia Most common sleep complaint among Americans.
It can be with acute, lasting one or several nights, or chronic, lasting several months to years. When insomnia persists for longer than a month it is considered chronic. About 30-40% of adults say they have some symptoms of insomnia in a given year. About 10-15% having chronic. More often people experience chronic-intermittent insomnia, difficulty sleeping for a few nights, followed by a few nights of adequate sleep before cycle begins again.

13 Insomnia Insomnia higher prevalence among older people and women
Insomnia is a disorder, but may also be symptoms of some other disease or condition. Stress-induced Jet lag, shift work or other schedule changes Disease/condition Pain, digestive problems, sleep disorders Depression, anxiety Medications used Sleep disorders/sleep apnea

14 Insomnia Symptoms Difficulty falling asleep Waking up frequently
Difficulty returning to sleep Waking up to early Unrefreshing sleep Daytime sleepiness Difficulty concentrating irritability

15 Binge Sleeping and Naps
You can’t make up for not getting enough sleep during the week by “binge sleeping” on weekends. This only pushes your biological clock further off schedule. Power Napping Napping can be good or bad, depending on you body’s natural sleep wake cycle. Follow these guidelines to good power napping: Try not to take a nap until at least 8 hours after you wake up from a night’s sleep Try to sleep for around minutes so that you don’t enter REM, deep sleep. If you have time to take a longer nap, try sleeping for 90 minutes. This allows your body to fall into your natural sleep/wake cycle. Even if you don’t fall asleep, finding minutes in the course of your day to lie down, be motionless and close your eyes has numerous benefits.

16 Dreaming Dreaming is connected to bursts of electrical activity that go through the brain stem every 90-minutes during REM (deep) sleep. Over a lifetime, an average person spends more than 6 years dreaming! Clocking more than 136,000 in all!

17 Dreaming Theories why we dream
Meaningless by product of REM sleep Mechanism whereby the brain incorporates memories, solves problems, intuition, reminders and deals with emotions. Essential for emotional health. Carl Jung ( ) believed that dreams are a gift from the unconscious mind  He believed that keeping a record of dreams, imagery, symbolism and fantasies helps individuals to tap into the unconscious mind to learn more about ourselves and discover ways to cope with our current realities.

18 Dream Journal Upon waking, record your dreams. Write or draw the first images and words that come to mind. Don’t try to interpret, just write. After you have recorded your dream, circle symbols and/or words that are important to you. Spend time thinking about what these might represent. What insights or inspirations do they provide? Ask each symbol, “who are you and why are you in my dream?” Write down the first response that comes to mind, even if it doesn’t make sense. Keep working with the symbol until its importance is clear.

19 Bedtime Ritual bedtime ritual.
One of the best things you can do to get a better night’s sleep is to create a bedtime ritual. At least 1 hour before you plan to go to bed, start preparing your body and mind: Finish doing work Turn off your computer Turn off your TV Stop answering your phone Take a warm shower or do anything that relaxes your body and mind!

20 Healthy Sleep Tips Maintain a regular sleep and wake time schedule including weekends. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as taking a warm shower, reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or light stretching. Try to create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. Make your bed with soft sheets, comfortable pillows and if possible, a mattress topper. Use your bed only for sleep and sex. This way your body comes to recognize your bed as a place for relaxation.

21 Healthy Sleep Tips Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime. Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime. Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) within 6-8 hours of going to bed. Avoid nicotine (e.g. cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime it can lead to poor sleep. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. Although alcohol may help you fall asleep, it often disrupts sleep causing frequent nighttime awakenings and decreases restful sleep. Refrain from watching TV before going to bed. The lights and content on the TV can stimulate your brain and prevent you from falling asleep.

22 Eating for Sleep Foods rich in B vitamins have a sedative effect.
Eating foods rich in calcium and magnesium may help you sleep. These minerals are calming and may also help prevent leg cramps. Good calcium sources include dairy products (warm milk and honey), calcium fortified orange juice, almond, figs, peas, beans and dark leafy green vegetables. Good magnesium sources include whole grain products, nuts and seeds, peanut butter, bananas, avocados, chocolate and beans. Foods rich in B vitamins have a sedative effect. Best food sources include whole grains, wheat germ, walnuts, peanuts, bananas and sunflower seeds. Foods high in tryptophan may help you sleep. Foods high in tryptophan (which is then converted to serotonin) include turkey, dates, figs, milk, tuna and whole grains. Eat a high protein snack prior before bedtime- whole grain cereals/breads and other complex carbohydrates. These will help maintain blood sugar levels and can help promote sleep by increasing the level of serotonin within the brain.

23 Ergonomic Sleeping Positions
Do not sleep on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach will increase the normal curves in the neck and the low back which may cause additional nerve compression and stress to the guiding joints or facets of the vertebrae. Side Sleeping- Sleep on your side with the knees slightly bent and one pillow beneath the knees ( or between the knees). Pull your pillow down into the shoulder to support the neck. Back sleeping- For sleep on your back, place two pillows under the knees to reduce stress to the lower back, neck, and mid back. In order to support the neck, the pillow must accept the weight of the back of the head.

24 Sleep Concerns? See a health care provider if …
Lack of sleep is seriously interfering with work or relationships with family and friends. You rely on sleeping pills to make you sleep or amphetamines and energy drinks to keep you alert during the day. You are having a difficult time coping with depression, anxiety or chronic pain. You have had a recent change in medication that is effecting your sleep patterns. You snore heavily or stop breathing for intervals during the night - you may have sleep apnea (blocked or partly blocked airway). You are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.

25 Can’t Sleep, Can’t Stay a Sleep
If you can’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing. It is important to get out of bed so that your body doesn’t begin to think of your bed as a stressful place. If your mind is racing with thoughts or things you have to do the next day, record these in a notebook. Doing this will help you concentrate more on going to sleep and less on what you need to do the next day. Lay on your back, close your eyes and visualize yourself in a relaxing and peaceful place.

26 Still Can’t Sleep, Can’t Stay a Sleep
Good Sleep Hygiene Relaxation Deep Breathing/Meditation/Guided Imagery Stretching/Yoga Self-Massage Exercise Behavioral Therapy Stimulus Control-creating environment that promotes sleep Cognitive-learn to develop positive thoughts and beliefs about sleep Sleep Restriction-program that limits time in bed (get to sleep/stay asleep)

27 Medication – hypnotics-sleep promoting
Cause of insomnia has been evaluated. Sleep problems are causing difficulties with daily activities. Appropriate sleep promoting behaviors have been addressed. Hypnotics: highest benefits and lowest risk. Side effects: morning sedation, memory problems, headaches, sleepwalking and a night or two of poor sleep after stopping medication.

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