Sleep, Glorious Sleep

“Sleep that soothes away all our worries. Sleep that puts each day to rest. Sleep that relieves the weary laborer and heals hurt minds. Sleep, the main course in life’s feast, and the most nourishing.”

William Shakespeare, Macbeth

 

Thoughts race. Sleep eludes. Again. 

 

Even in normal times, approximately 30% to 35% of the population experiences acute, or short-term, insomnia. Even before the pandemic, the National Health Institution found that sleep deficiency was a common public health problem. While sleep deprivation means that you did not get enough sleep, sleep deficiency means you have experienced one or more:

 

  • Did not get enough sleep
  • Sleep at the wrong time of day (out of sync with your body’s clock)
  • Don’t sleep well or get all of the different types of sleep that you need: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep (which has three different stages)
  • Have a sleep disorder, such as insomnia
Trying to sleep

Sleep is essential for survival. Amnesty International lists sleep deprivation as a form of torture. Social distancing and isolation, school closures, quarantines, working-from-home with the family at home, conflicting media reports, job losses and other challenges created by the pandemic are causing sleep deficiency for people who previously had no sleeping problems. 


Sleep deprivation is known to negatively impact blood pressure, heart rate, cognition, and more. In fact, research has found that the shorter the sleep one has, the shorter one’s life will be. Sleep offers wide-ranging benefits for physical and mental health.

Why Consistent Quality Sleep Is Important During a Pandemic

Cellular Repair

Sleep strengthens your immune system.

Sleep is one of your body’s defenses against infectious disease. During sleep, your body produces proteins that fight inflammation and infection.

Researchers have found that, while a lack of sleep can increase the odds of getting sick, consistent sleep helps your body to fight off disease and supports your overall health. Between seven to nine hours of sleep every night is recommended for optimal health.

 

 

Lack of sleep impairs your cognitive ability.

 

Research shows that sleep deprivation leads to poorer short-term memory, attention, and processing speed. During a time when complex information needs to be understood, mental acuity is imperative. Mental agility is required to address the challenges of working and attending school remotely. Good sleep helps to keep us mentally sharp.

 

Brain Power
Exhausted Man

Sleep improves your mood and mental health


Daily quality of sleep directly impacts your mood. Someone who is sleep deprived is more likely to be sad, irritable, frustrated, stressed out, fatigued, and/or similar emotions. Research at the University of California Berkeley found that without adequate sleep, parts of the brain that are related to anxiety tend to become more agitated.

 

 

Improving Sleep Through Sleep Hygiene

What is sleep hygiene? According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep hygiene is a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness. While there is not a single, best practice sleep hygiene for everyone, there are a number of daily habits that have proven to help most. Experiment with the following to find what helps you drift off each night. 

Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake up at consistent times, even during vacations or on weekends.

Get out in the daylight: Daylight affects your circadian rhythm.Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle.

Be active during the day: Exercise can help reduce stress which can improve your odds of having a good night’s rest. Avoid strenuous exercise close to bedtime. Stretching, yoga or an evening walk around the neighborhood are good activities to do closer to bedtime. 

Avoid caffeine, too much food, and alcohol near bedtime: While alcohol can help you fall asleep, it can disturb your sleep cycles.

Take a nap: A short nap in the middle of the afternoon can improve your mood and cognition. Avoid napping in the evening so as to not interfere with your night’s sleep.

Create an evening routine: Design a ritual which works for you. It could include turning off devices an hour before bed, a warm bath, mediation, journaling, yoga, even washing your face and brushing your teeth. A routine creates an association in your mind that now is the time for sleep. 

Turn your bedroom into a sleep haven: Address the issues of light, sound, temperature, even your mattress, which could be disturbing your sleep. A small change such as blackout curtains or a white sound machine could make a marked improvement.

Find ways to still your mind and relax. Find what helps you to still your mind and relax such as soothing music, mediation, and deep breathing.

In addition to sleep hygiene, there are supplements which can help your body copy with the additional stress you are experiencing, possible adrenal fatigue, or which can help you relax naturally. Call our office at Calmglow to schedule an appointment to discuss what could help you now.

To your health.

Dianne Hinton NP, PA, IFM-C

Sleep Hygiene
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HOW TO REACH PEAK PERFORMANCE? TAKE A NAP

 

Midday rolls around and fatigue starts to stalk you. Is grabbing a cup of coffee or soda or candy bar the best way to counter the after-lunch energy drip? How do many athletes, NASA astronauts, commercial airline pilots, and Google employees cure the midday energy low and return to peak performance? By taking a nap! 

Impact of Sleep Deprivation

 

Most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep for optimal health and yet many adults report sleeping less than seven hours. The cost of sleep deprivation is high: increased risk of 10 chronic health conditions (such as cancer, stroke, and diabetes), increased accidents and impaired mental acuity. Researchers have found that lack of sleep affects our mitochondria, the cellular source of energy production. In addition to a decreased ability to focus and concentrate, weakened immune system, weight gain, reduced sex drive, and poor balance being linked to insufficient sleep, Fortune magazine reported that lack of sleep costs the United States approximately $411 billion in lost productivity. 

Sleep Deprivation Causing tired drivers

 

Sleep is important to the health of our minds, bodies, and economy!

Circadian Rhythm and The Midday Low

Then is the answer to avoiding the midday energy drop to make sure you sleep at least 7 hours?

Regularly sleeping 7 hours will reduce the impact of the midday energy dip, it won’t eliminate it. Your circadian rhythm also causes a midday dip.

 

What is a circadian rhythm?

Circadian Rhythm Image

 

According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. They respond primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. Sleeping at night and being awake during the day is an example of a light-related circadian rhythm. For most adults, the biggest dip in energy caused by our circadian rhythm happens in the middle of the night (somewhere between 2:00 am and 4:00 am when they’re usually fast asleep) and just after lunchtime (around 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, when they tend to crave a post-lunch nap). Studies have found that naps benefit those who have had a full night sleep and those who are sleep deprived. 

Optimal Nap Amount 

 

Blake Stilwell reported that NASA’s research found that pilots who slept in the cockpit for 26 minutes while the co-pilot manned the plane showed cognitive improvements of up to 54% and job-performance improvements by 34%, compared to pilots who didn’t nap. 

 

Does a nap that is short or longer than 26 minutes have any benefits?

 

Yes!

Sleep Mask

 

 

Naps of 10 – 20 minutes reduce sleepiness, improve cognitive performance, increase alertness, attention, and energy levels; improves mood; improves motor performance; reduces stress levels.

 

Naps of 20 – 30 minutes enhance creativity and sharpen memory.

 

Naps of 30 – 60 minutes sharpen decision-making skills, including memorization and recall, and improve memory preservation.

 

Naps of 60 – 90 minutes are rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is critical for problem-solving, helps make new connections in the brain, enhances creativity, reduces negative reactivity, and promotes happiness.

Power Nap at Work

No one thinks twice of someone having a power lunch, taking a bathroom break, grabbing a cup of coffee at work. But would a company support the idea of employees taking a power nap at lunch? 

 

The following forward-thinking companies provide EnergyPods so that their employees can take power naps: Google, Huffington Post, NASA, the law firm White & Case, and Mercedes-Benz Financial Service.

 

Energy Pods

 

Even if your employer does not provide EnergyPods, schedule time in your calendar to recharge your batteries by putting your feet up and closing your eyes or resting in your car (weather permitting). If sleep is elusive during your scheduled power nap, stilling your mind and having a meditative blank mind can give you a mental break. 

 

Creating a napping habit will improve your health in many ways.

 

To your health.

 

Dianne Hinton NP, PA, IFM-C

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What our
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Always get clarity and understanding…

Dianne has always help me understand the complicated issues of hypothyroidism, understanding the symptoms and long term effects. She has helped with my dietary needs and overall well being. Highly recommend if you are still feeling the symptoms even if your on traditional medications.

—- MC

The best part of talking with new patients…

I have worked with Dianne Hinton at Calmglow for 4 years. I receive calls from new patients every day. I think the best part of talking with new patients is that I give them the knowledge and hope in knowing that I–like all of Dianne’s staff–was her patient before her employee. I think that says a lot about Dianne as a practitioner. She is very compassionate and caring towards each individual patient.

— Cindy Toste

Diane Hinton saved my life!

After over a year of traditional doctors misdiagnosing and mistreating my illness, Diane immediately got it right. She identified the root cause of my illness, and I went from being chronically ill to healed and healthy in less than a year. Diane listens to and cares for her patients like no one I’ve ever known. I highly recommend her for diagnosing the true health issues, rather than just treating your symptoms.

— Sarah Hayes

My husband and I just love Calmglow …

Just what is Functional Medicine?  Simply put…. I call it getting to the “cause” of a health issue. Rashes, High Pressure, Arthritis, Obesity, Insomnia, and Fatigue are a few of the issues she’s helped us with.  But what I really like best is; she doesn’t say “here, take this pill” and it’ll “treat the symptoms”.  She treats the “cause” of those symptoms so they truly go away without requiring “pills”.  Our bodies are healing, and the we feel we’re the healthiest we’ve been in a long time! What we’ve discovered about the manner in which our bodies “had been” functioning previously, from the in depth tests she recommends, was pretty astounding. We’ve learned so much since starting to see her as our practitioner, I would never choose to go back to an Allopathic doctor!