|Lack of sleep has life-altering consequences.|
People need at least 8 hours of quality sleep each night. But last year, as a nation, we racked up a sleep debt of 105 billion hours. That means the average American needs to sleep 24 hours a day, for two weeks to break even.
|These 5 Principles of Healthy Sleep can improve your wellness
1. Wake up at the same time every day.
2. Make it a priority to sleep 8 hours every night.
3. Have a quiet, dark and peaceful sleep environment.
4. No caffeine or alcohol after dinner.
5. Sleep on a comfortable, posture correcting mattress.
Here is a guideline for nightly hours of sleep for different age groups to maintain good health:
1 week --------- 16.5 hours
1 year -------- 13.75 hours
10 years ------- 9.75 hours
20+ years --------- 8 hours
Our need for sleep is not reduced in later years.
Better sleep makes better students
The studies linking scholastic performance and sleep are numerous. Students with better sleep get better grades. Sleep affects memory, attitude, concentration, creativity, health (attendance), and on and on...Did you know that medical students who snore regularly have a 2x higher failure rate on final exams? There is no question that improving sleep is one of the most effective strategies for improving grades.
Below is a discussion on how to shift bedtimes for all ages. Remember that one must add at least 20 minutes to the above desired sleep duration to allow for sleep latency (the time it takes to actually fall to sleep.)
Get a head start on school sleep schedules
In the case of teenage sleepers, it can be an uphill battle to achieve optimum sleep. Social pressures, games, TV, internet, and stress all tend to reduce sleeping hours. The most challenging force, however, may be Mother Nature herself. The teenage endocrine system runs on a different cycle than adults. Human Growth Hormone floods out 24 hours a day. Melatonin is produced at times that create daytime sleepiness and night owl behavior.
The usual daytime activities are scheduled by adults for adult patterns. Children just have to adapt. So, the childhood complaints about your idea of a good sleep schedule can stem from strong biological forces. Habit and consistency of schedule are the keys to success. Sleeping late on weekends and then early to rise on Monday morning will be a continuing painful experience. Our biological clocks slide later much faster than they can move earlier, so a weekend of sleeping in 'til noon can take all week to correct. Just the discomfort of getting up earlier on Monday morning must contribute at least some to truancy and lower grades. A regular schedule makes everything easier.
Adjusting sleep times by Adjusting the Circadian Clock
Our internal body clocks regulate and influence all biological and physiological events. The main clock in the SCN runs a little longer than 24 hours so that it can be reset each day by daylight and other time keeping factors. The time setting shortens the time cycle to 24 hours and if not reset our clocks drift later each day. This is why it is important to stay on a regular sleeping schedule, especially the time we arise.
To move the timing of our biological clocks to an earlier wake up time, we must make the shift slowly over a period of days. It can take a week or more to fully shift an hour.
To move a teenaged subject with a pattern of midnight or later for bedtime, to a 9:00PM bedtime (for 9 hours in bed and a 6:00AM wake up time) it might take several weeks for the adjustment.
During some part of those weeks, the subject might not experience the best sleep or feel any better during the day. There will be adjustments to the endocrine system, and hormones might actually make it difficult to sleep on the new schedule. Teenage pattern melatonin levels tend to promote a sleep in / go to bed late lifestyle. Also. REM and Delta Sleep rebound will make the early days in the process most difficult and could contribute to groggy or unrested mornings. Get past the first several days and life will get better.
Sleeping in sync with your Circadian Clock is healthy
Sleep is a highly orchestrated event. All of the benefits of good sleep derive from functions occurring at the proper time. Each system has its time to produce, if it doesn't play during its part of the symphony, it sits out for a night. Hormone production occurs in the first third of the night in deep sleep only if it is in sync with your circadian clock. Immune system recharge and the production of antibodes is also during deep sleep if in sync with your biological clock. If you are sleeping out of sync, then hormones that get us going for the day's activities kick in at the wrong time. Do you wake up and can't get back to sleep? Optimum sleep occurs on schedule. That schedule must be staged by a regular routine. Arise at the same time every day, seven days a week.
Many people like to nap. Naps can be good and naps can be bad. Here are benefits and drawbacks of naps and some important rules to follow for successful napping.
Naps during the afternoon can restore alertness and improve performance and learning. Naps during night shifts can have similar benefits to daytime naps and can even reduce musculoskeletal pain. Longer naps can interfere with nighttime sleep, affecting the ability to fall asleep and remain asleep. Frequent long duration naps are associated with higher morbidity and mortality, including: more daytime sleepiness, more pain and fatigue, increased body mass index and waist circumference, higher risk of falls in the elderly, and higher risk of developing diabetes.
Here are some guidelines for successful daytime napping:
10 minute naps produce immediate results lasting about two hours
20 minute naps produce about the same results but with a 30 minute delay
naps longer than 30 minutes can cause loss of alertness and productivity and create sleep inertia as well as interfere with nighttime sleep
for both motor and perceptual learning a 60 to 90 minute nap four hours after the study / training can yield the benefits equal to eight hours of sleep
remember that long frequent naps interfere with nighttime sleep and the resulting poor sleep leads to pressure to nap more
Even with spectacular improvements in healthcare during the past century, disease continues to persist. In many ways the causes behind this fact are linked to sleep. Sleep is one of the most important factors in good health and longevity. With Americans sleeping about two hours less on average than they did in 1900, one of the reasons for increased disease is apparent.
The study of sleep is a young science. The important modern beginning of the science of sleep began in the 1950s and the basic understanding that there are different stages or types of sleep was learned in the 1960s. During that period there were very few people involved in sleep research. Today there are thousands of sleep scientists and healthcare professionals focused on sleep research. There is much yet to learn about why we sleep, the mechanisms of sleep, our internal biological timekeepers, and the impact sleep has on our lives.
We have been making sleep products for over forty years. We have always been keenly interested in making our products perform the best and provide the best sleep possible. Our products have improved as our knowledge of sleep increases. Working with Nebraska Wesleyan University and pioneers in the field of sleep we founded a sleep research group, American Sleep Research Institute, that in 1988 built the world’s first stand-alone sleep research facility to study what healthy sleep is, good sleep bio-mechanics, and how to achieve it. The research that followed yielded some surprising and important conclusions. We have not only learned that quality sleep is very important to good health, but how long and how well we sleep can predict how long we might live.
The healthiest and longest lived people sleep about eight hours a night on average. A shorter life span is associated with less than seven and more than nine hours per night average sleep. Less than seven hours is apparently not enough to receive the full health benefits of sleep and sleeping more than nine or ten hours can indicate a sleep disorder that robs the benefit of quality sleep.
Among the reasons for shorter than average lifespans is that lack of sleep is linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and many other serious diseases. For example: studies have shown that night shift workers have higher cancer rates. Shift workers struggle with sleeping in synch with their internal bodyclock because the world around them is on a different schedule. Night shift workers also have higher traffic accident rates. So, it is not only disease that works into the statistics of shorter lifespan.
How are disease and sleep linked? One reason is that our immune systems recharge during sleep. Lack of sleep lowers our defenses against disease. The first half of a night’s sleep is the most important in physical healing and prevention of illness. The internal timekeepers that we all have orchestrate repair and rebuilding so that it occurs only during certain phases of sleep. If we do not sleep during those important phases the risk of disease increases.
Another reason for the link between sleep and longevity is the immediate effect lack of sleep has on human performance. Missing sleep leads to poor decision making and can affect everything we do: rushing when we should be methodical, forgetting important procedures, loss of attention (such as when driving), not having the energy to exercise, poorer reaction time, higher stress levels, elevated blood pressure, and inability to adapt to change. These things lead to accidents in the short term, and poor health in the long term. It is only necessary to look at our own or other people’s behavior after a single night of poor sleep. Irritable - Fatigued – Scattered - Sound familiar?
Poor sleep can also contribute to obesity. Even a few nights of short sleep reduces our ability to utilize insulin by forty percent. This creates increased stress on our hormone system. There is good news though, quality sleep is an easy and important part of a weight loss program. When sleep is missed, we become hungry for fats and sugars and the body increases fat storage. Poor sleep leads to caffeine and donuts. Good sleep at the right time of night regulates hormone production to increase muscle mass and reduce fat storage. It is easier to maintain a healthy diet if food cravings are in order and quality sleep will do that. Remember to include a sleep plan in any diet.
For athletes sleep is critical in repairing muscle and learning coordinated movement after training and exercise. For everyone, sleep is a critical part of the healing process after injury. Pain can interfere with sleep and delays this rebuilding and healing process.
So how do we achieve quality sleep? It is important to have good sleep habits. From our years of sleep research, the following principles have been shown to be the most important for healthy adults starting a program of sleep improvement.
iSleep Five Principles of Healthy Sleep
1. Wake up at the same time every day.
2. Make it a priority to sleep eight hours every night.
3. Have a quiet, dark, and peaceful sleep environment.
4. No caffeine or alcohol after dinner.
5. Sleep on a comfortable, posture correcting mattress.
Your Doctor can also advise you about techniques to improve your sleep. Even if you are sleeping the recommended eight hours per night already, you might not be achieving the full benefit of deep, restful, sleep. It is one of the challenges to a good night’s sleep that we are not aware of and cannot completely asses the true quality of our sleep because we are not conscious at the time. Is usually only after symptoms of poor sleep become so extreme that we seek help. This can be too late.
Best time for peak performance
|Sleep quality improvement in chiropractic patients: a pilot study.
American Sleep Research Institute, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA March 1, 2010
STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional descriptive study of self-reported quality of sleep in individuals. OBJECTIVES: To assess and describe subjective quality of sleep in subjects, with and without chiropractic treatments. SETTING: Private Practice. METHODS: A total of 80 Chiropractors, patients, and non-patients were sent and responded to a questionnaire containing queries about chiropractic care, pain intensities, pain timing, mood, and sleep quality and completed the Epworth Sleepiness Scale survey to assess quality of sleep. RESULTS: The 80 questionnaires that were returned were analyzed. Respondents were divided into two groups: (1) those who reported receiving chiropractic care, and (2) those who reported to not have had chiropractic care for at least six months. Group(1) Patients of chiropractors reported fewer sleep problems, better quality of sleep and had superior scores on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale compared with Group(2). CONCLUSIONS: Improved subjective sleep quality was associated with chiropractic care. It is possible that the benefit of chiropractic treatments serves as a modulator of sleep factors. SPONSORSHIP: This study was made possible by grants from iSleep.