NJU: Reinventing Sleep

If you missed yesterday’s NJU course on Reinventing Sleep Habits, below are some take-away points.  Email Marissa (mbeck@nextjump.com) or Jason (jfreedman@nextjump.com) with questions, feedback and if you’d like to receive the ppt deck.

Some take away points:

Using electronics within an hour of bed-time: The 2011 Sleep in America poll found that fully 95 percent of Americans use a communications device in the hour before going to bed. That’s a critical hour, too, since you’d normally be winding down before going to bed.

Circadian rhythms: circadian rhythms are regulated by the “suprachiasmatic nucleus” in the hypothalamus, just above the optic chiasm (where the hole in your pupil leads to).  This structure is extremely sensitive to light, which is why going to sleep in a dark environment helps.

5 sleep stages: People whose sleep is frequently interrupted or cut short may not get enough of both non-REM sleep and REM sleep.

  • Stage 1: light sleep, easily awakened, muscle activity, eye movements slow down. (alpha waves)
  • Stage 2: Eye movements stop, slower brain waves. (theta waves)
  • Stage 3: Deep sleep, difficult to awaken, brain waves slow down more with the occasional rapid wave. (delta waves)
  • Stage 4: Deepest sleep, difficult to awaken, extremely slow brain waves. (delta waves)
  • Stage 5: Occurs at the 90 min marker after you fall asleep – eyes move rapidly with eyelids closed, breathing is more rapid irregular and shallow.  Blood pressure and HR increase.  Dreams occur but arm and leg muscles are temporarily paralyzed. (slower alpha waves than in stage 1).

We want 8 hours of sleep per night.

Ghrelin and Leptin are hormones that are regulated with adequate sleep. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when you are hungry.  Leptin lets you know when you are full.  People that are sleep-deprived tend to be “leptin-resistent,” meaning that they cannot tell when they are full.  Problem: overweight or obese risk.

Immunity: During sleep your body creates more cytokines (cellular hormones that help your body fight off infection)

Avoid caffeine and energy drinks: unregulated herbs and caffeine can keep you alert.

Sleep hygiene. Make the sleeping environment comfortable (bedding, pillows, dark or no light, book, no TV, no iPad, no texting, reading lamp: blue-light, natural light alarm, humidifier or fan for noise, white noise, ear-plugs and eye-mask)

Consult a doctor for meds. If you are unable to sleep, given the proper sleep hygiene rituals, cosult your physician for an Rx.

Cool Apps and Gadgets to help out:

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