While many of us are plagued with occasional bouts of insomnia from time to time, others unfortunately find insomnia a part of their regular nighttime ritual. For these individuals, a glass of warm milk isn’t enough to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. That’s when cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia can step in and help, as the Mayo Clinic points out.
An increasing amount of sleep research is being conducted on a daily basis, and some of it is quite intriguing. To that end, we’re starting a new series on the PlushBeds Blog on “sleep studies”. You can expect to see posts on new sleep studies periodically as fascinating new sleep research comes out.
Seals Sleep With Half of Their Brain
A new sleep study published online in the Journal of Neuroscience has identified chemicals in a seal’s brain that enable them to sleep with half of their brain at a time. In other words, seals have the ability to be awake and asleep simultaneously! How amazing is that?
Sleep is essential for people from all social and economic groups. Every living creature needs sleep in order to function. Unfortunately, many disorders and conditions limit or impair your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Although there are a plethora of sleep disorders, these are a few of the heavy hitters.
There’s been a host of discussion about various factors that impact a person’s quality of sleep, including the amount of light in the room, foods eaten,bedroom colors, mattress firmness, and type of mattress. Let’s add another one to the list: your bedroom’s air temperature. The connection between sleep, body temperature, and air temperature has been debated by more than one expert in the field.
Medical Disclaimer: No claims are made for cures of any type within the following blog post. Check with your physician before following any regimen for insomnia or any other medical issues you may be facing.
Everyone has a night or two of having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. However, when it becomes a persistent case of insomnia, it can impact your quality of life, as it takes a toll on your mood, energy, and ability to get through your day. Adequate sleep is a primary part of a healthy lifestyle, and chronic insufficient sleep can lead to compromised health. That’s exactly why it’s important to look into cures for insomnia before the condition goes on too long.
As far as most people are concerned, the sleeping cap is a historical item rather than something that’s relevant to people in need of a few hours’ worth of sleep in the modern era. In some ways, they’re correct. Most people do not need them in today’s world filled with modern conveniences such as central heating and air conditioning. That doesn’t mean, however, that they aren’t at all useful today. Many retailers still sell them today.
The History of the Sleeping Cap
While it’s not exactly known when or, specifically, where the sleeping cap (often referred to as a nightcap, sleep hat, or sleep bonnet) originated, at one time, sleeping caps were worn because fires died down and homes were incredibly cold during the late hours of night or wee hours of morning. Since the thought was a large chunk of a body’s heat escapes through the head, it made perfect sense to keep the head covered in an effort to retain body heat so you can remain warm throughout the night.
The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health report, Effects of Drugs on Sleep, states that: “Chronic use or abuse of certain drugs may lead to the development of substance-related sleep disorders. Primary sleep disorders, such as apnea, periodic movement disorders, and parasomnias, may be exacerbated by various drugs.”
According to a Harvard Report on how External Factors Influence Sleep, the impact of prescription medications on sleep varies from one type to the next. For instance, beta blockers, which are commonly used to reduce blood pressure, cause decreased slow-wave sleep and in important REM sleep, while increasing sleepiness during the daytime hours. Alpha blockers, also used to reduce blood pressure and to treat some prostate conditions, also lead to decreases in REM sleep as well as boosts to daytime sleepiness. Some antidepressants, known as SSRIs, are believed to actually promote insomnia. The long-term impact of other antidepressant drugs on sleep are, as of yet, unknown.
Insomnia can be a real dream killer, and it’s a problem that plagues far more people than you realize. According to the National Institute of Health: “A general consensus has developed from population-based studies that approximately 30% of a variety of adult samples drawn from different countries report one or more of the symptoms of insomnia: difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, waking up too early, and in some cases, nonrestorative or poor quality of sleep.”
What this means is that insomnia is a condition that crosses all borders of race, religion, location, health, and wealth. It impacts people across the board and around the world.
Everyone needs a good night’s sleep each and every night. Unfortunately, for a large segment of the population that is a rare commodity. While there are some who would argue that the time spent sleeping is time you cannot enjoy some of the more entertaining aspects of life, sleep actually improves the quality of your life and may even help improve your life expectancy. If you’re having trouble sleeping, keeping a sleep diary can help you manage your sleep a little better now and in the future.
Benefits of Adequate Sleep
There are many benefits that you get from a proper amount of sleep that most people don’t really understand until after they’ve gone through a fairly significant period of sleep deprivation at least once. As you age, the side effects of a sleepless night become much more pronounced and harder to overcome. These benefits include: improved mood and temperament, a brain that’s more receptive to learning, improved immunity, better alertness, increased balance, and more energy.
Sleep, aside from food and water, is one of the most important things the body needs in order to repair itself, recover from injuries, and prepare to face the day. People who have difficulty sleeping or are unable to get an adequate amount of sleep will often find their communication ability, critical thinking, and even mobility are impaired—especially those who suffer from long-term sleep deprivation.
Are you getting enough sleep? Do you wake up feeling well-rested most mornings, or do you find yourself hitting the snooze button a few too many times once morning rolls around?
What if You’re Too Tired to Sleep?
Believe it or not, some people feel so tired and yet are unable to fall asleep. Any parent who has gone through the terrible two’s knows what it’s like to have a little one fighting sleep. The child is sleepy, it’s past nap time or bed time, and the child is struggling, fighting, wailing, and crying—anything to keep from going to sleep.
When you’re overly tired, sleep can be incredibly elusive leaving you feeling as frustrated as an overstimulated child fighting sleep. Your body is screaming for sleep, but your mind simply won’t shut off and let it happen.