All About Sleep

Halfway through January and I’m getting so many complaints of poor sleep.
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💡Why do we sleep?
Research is ongoing but from what we do know — restoration of body and mind. This includes musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine, immune and cognitive/memory functions. There may be a link with poor sleep and dementia.
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💡Phases of sleep:
NonREM and REM sleep: stage 1 nonREM—> stage 2 nonREM —> stage 3 nonREM (“deep”) —> stage 2 nonREM—> REM.
REM largely occurs the two cycles before waking, which is why you wake up thinking “I had the strangest dream...”
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💡How much sleep is recommended?
Per National Sleep Foundation guidelines, adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. You know you got enough when you don’t experience daytime sleepiness.
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💡Factors that can affect impact sleep quality (incomplete list):
Sleep apnea, heart failure, asthma or emphysema, restless legs syndrome, shift work disorder, depression, anxiety, stress, caffeine, alcohol, drugs (especially cocaine and amphetamines).
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💡Factors that can improve sleep quality:
Well-balanced diet low fat diet with whole grains and exercise.
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💡Can’t you just order me something for sleep?
Sleep aids like Benadryl, Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, cannabis, barbiturates and benzodiazepines all interfere with REM sleep.
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Sleep hygiene and sleep habits are your best chance of getting good sleep naturally.
💤 Set regular bedtimes and wake times to train your brain and body to get ready for sleep and when to wake up
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💤 No lights or screens of any kind should be on at bedtime. TVs, smartphones, tablets, iPads all off. Get a sound machine if you must require background noise for sleep
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💤 Start a “bedtime routine” 30-60 minutes before your scheduled bedtime. Ideally something without a screen! Reading, journaling, drinking a cup of tea, meditation, stretching — anything to trigger your mind and body to start winding down
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💤 Sleep in comfortable clothes with a bedroom temperature of ~60-67 degrees 
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💤 If you haven’t fallen asleep in 15-20 minutes after going to bed, get out of bed and do something (nonscreen) until you feel sleepy again. You are training your brain and body to associate your bed with sleeping
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💤 You spend 1/3 of your life in bed, so a good mattress and good pillows are highly suggested 
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💤 Avoid caffeine, alcohol and eating late in the evening. Exercise earlier in the day is best but exercise in the evening is still better than no exercise at all 
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💤 Avoid long naps. If you must nap, 15-minute power naps are effective than long naps.
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💤 Make sleep hygiene and sleep a consistent habit! 
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Happy sleeping 😴 💤 🛏 

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