The Science of Sleep
- Sleep plays vital roles: psychological wellbeing, memory consolidation, emotional regulation, cognitive functions, and physical restoration.
- There are two primary types of sleep: REM (Rapid Eye Movement) – important for mood regulation and memory consolidation, and NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) which has three deepening stages.
- Circadian Rhythm, our internal 24-hour clock, dictates our daily pattern of alertness and drowsiness, affected by environmental light and darkness.
Sleep and Wellbeing
- Sleep affects cognitive processes such as memory, decision-making, and creativity.
- Synaptic pruning during deep sleep trims and strengthens neuronal connections.
- Emotional regulation is influenced by sleep; poor sleep can exacerbate stress and emotional management.
- Sleep also strengthens our immune system by producing infection-fighting antibodies, making lack of it detrimental to physical health.
Sleep Hygiene 101
Sleep Hygiene Tips:
- Proper sleep environment (controlled lighting and temperature).
- Daytime habits (limit caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and consider exercise timing).
- Establishing rituals (consistent sleep timings, and pre-sleep routines).
Tips to Manage Poor Sleep
- The 20-Minute Rule: Leave the bedroom if not asleep within 20 minutes.
- Address Sleep Anxiety: Use mindfulness or professional help.
- Maintain a Sleep Journal: Track sleep patterns and habits.
- Avoid Clock-Watching: Keep time-checking at bay during wakeful nights.
CBT for Insomnia
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a treatment for persistent sleep issues that can be discussed with a therapist or care team.
Studies have shown CBT-I to be very effective.