Improving Sleep - Program Summary

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.