Category: sleep and insomnia

What is ASMR—and Can it Help Sleep 0

What is ASMR—and Can it Help Sleep

Are you familiar with ASMR? You might have heard of this sensory phenomenon, which has become wildly popular in the past several years. I have a number of patients who are using ASMR videos and audio to help them sleep better—and more patients who are interested in this cultural phenomenon.

Given the growing interest in ASMR, I thought I’d bring that discussion here, for a first look at ASMR: what it is, and whether it may have benefits for sleep.

What is ASMR?

ASMR—which stands for autonomous sensory meridian response—is sometimes referred to as a condition, and other times as a phenomenon or an experience. ASMR is a relatively newly identified phenomenon, that has been given its name (a non-clinical term) within just the past decade. People with ASMR experience feelings of intensely pleasurable and relaxing tingling, concentrated in the head and neck, in response to specific sounds or images. Audio and visual stimuli are the most common triggers of an ASMR response, but some people experience this relaxing tingling in response to touch or to smell, as

How To Pick A Pillow And How Naps Help Blood Pressure 0

How To Pick A Pillow And How Naps Help Blood Pressure

This week was a ton of fun. I was honored to be asked to be on The Today Show for the first two days of Sleep Awareness Week. It was amazing! The premise of day one was sleep gadgets. I picked some sleep items for the show staff to use for several days and then they’d report back their experience. The Anchors were fantastic and followed my advice. The show was fantastic, you can watch it here.

Here is a great Instagram post from Carson Daly using Guava Leaf Tea with Raw Honey AND his Blue Light Blocking Glasses:

The second show was all about dreams, you can watch that one here.

Two fascinating articles I read on the plane flight home were:

Napping May Be As Good As Blood Pressure Medication For Lowering Your Blood Pressure

An article on Medical News Today reported that a research group from the Asklepieion General Hospital in Voula, Greece conducted a study and found that taking a nap at midday can effectively help people lower their blood pressure levels.

“Midday …

What Do Sexual Dreams Mean? 0

What Do Sexual Dreams Mean?

How is the day AFTER the time change treating you?

I hope you got my tips and adapting well. If not check out this Daylight Savings blog post for more details.

I was at the National Sleep Foundations Inaugural Sleep Show, in Houston Texas this week, it was fantastic! We had thousands of consumers at the show, and dozens of vendors showing the latest in sleep-related technology. Here are two products I thought were particularly innovative and a little weird.

SNOO: This is a smart bassinet which allows a new parent to zip up their newborn into a safe starting sleep position – on their back, swaddled. Then when you turn it on, it will gently rock the child in a motion that is similar to what the child would experience inside the womb. Next Womb sounds surround the child. Dr. Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby On The Block, has collected some data on the effectiveness of the device. It turns out that kids sleeping in the SNOO fall asleep faster and seem to stay asleep …

Does PEMF Reduce Pain And Help You Sleep And Does Exercise Help With Jet Lag? 0

Does PEMF Reduce Pain And Help You Sleep And Does Exercise Help With Jet Lag?

Something pretty exciting happened to me this week, I was named the Best Sleep Doctor in California by Reader’s Digest. If you are like me and grew up reading Reader’s Digest, that’s pretty cool. Thanks for indulging me for a second.

What a week it has been!

I started out flying to NYC on Monday to be on Rachel Ray for her Monday show (she tapes 2 shows a day, so I will get everyone the airdate when it comes up.

Rachael and I talked about sleep issues in your 30’s, lack of a consistent sleep schedule and use of electronic devices at night- Rachel wore my Blue-Light Blocking Glasses (check out which other celebs are wearing them and if you use discount code sleepdr5 – case sensitive, you can enjoy them for 50% off).  We discussed that in your 40’s the challenges are awakening in the middle of the night (we highlighted the benefits of guava leaf tea and your 50’s, Menopause and what foods are phytoestrogens. It was a GREAT segment.

Dr. Michael Breus On Rachel Ray

Next, I took the train down …

Are You a Lucid Dreamer? 0

Are You a Lucid Dreamer?

I’m fascinated by dreams. I know I’m not alone in this. As a sleep expert, I’m constantly being asked about dreams. People want to know what their dreams mean (I’m often as stumped as everyone else about the strangeness of dreams). People want to know what purpose dreams serve (scientists who study dreams are still searching for an answer to that very big question).

I’m especially fascinated by a particular type of dream: lucid dreams.  In lucid dreams, the dreamer is aware of the fact that he or she is dreaming. During lucid dreams, dreamers often can even manipulate or control their dream as it’s happening.

Dreams have preoccupied humans for as long as we’ve been dreaming. And we’ve always been interested in how to control our dreams, to use them for creativity and insight. Thinkers and discoverers from Aristotle to Edison to Einstein have tried to harness the power of dreams to take advantage of this free-flowing, no-boundaries form of consciousness. That interest continues today, as we explore new ways to intentionally cultivate lucid dreams.

Let’s take a look

Cryotheraphy And Sleep And Does Sleeping On Your Back Increase Alzheimer’s Risk? 0

Cryotheraphy And Sleep And Does Sleeping On Your Back Increase Alzheimer’s Risk?

It was hard to get a great cryotherapy image that I could use but I think the one above gives you the idea of what I’m about to talk about, cold and sleep!

It was a crazy week for me. I was in Toronto, lecturing for a company that is interested in the relationship between Cannabis and Sleep (if you want to know more about that one check out my post on the subject. I was home for a night and then went to San Francisco to meet up with CALM, the meditation app company that is taking the world by storm! And while on the plane there were a few new articles I read that YOU might find interesting…

Can Sleeping on your back lead to Alzheimer’s? One research group say YES.

A recent study published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease looked at two groups of people: those with neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer’s) and those without. What they discovered was that in people who slept in the supine position (on back head face up), for more than 2 …

Sleeping Better When Living With Cancer 0

Sleeping Better When Living With Cancer

Poor and insufficient sleep may contribute to cancer risk. Sleep-related physiology can help to treat cancer more effectively. But what happens to sleep when you’re living with cancer? What are the sleep risks people with cancer face? And how can protecting daily sleep affect treatment and recovery? That’s what I’ll talk about in this last installment of my sleep and cancer series. You can catch up on previous installments, here, here and here.) How cancer interferes with sleep Both the presence of cancer and its treatment can often lead to major sleep problems, including in people without a history of sleep troubles. People with cancer often struggle to get enough sleep, and to maintain a normal sleep routine. They cope with excessive, sometimes debilitating fatigue. They’re at greater risk for developing symptoms of sleep disorders, including insomnia, hypersomnia, restless leg syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea. The physical pain and emotional distress that accompanies cancer can also be deeply disruptive to sleep. And medications themselves—whether those that target cancer or the secondary conditions that can develop in people undergoing
The Relationship Between Water And Sleep Is A Two Way Street – How To Avoid Dehydration 0

The Relationship Between Water And Sleep Is A Two Way Street – How To Avoid Dehydration

If you didn’t see my earlier post about Sleep Doctor PM and want a better way to go to sleep and go back to sleep if you wake up, have a look.

The relationship between water and sleep is a two-way street

You have heard me write and speak about the importance of hydration to sleep from time to time. For example the New Year’s Eve, when on an airplane, or in making your supplements more effective, but these articles have all been about how certain situations can leave us dehydrated and its effects on sleep. Now there is new research looking at how sleep deprivation itself can make use more dehydrated.

But let’s start out with a more basic fact: While sleeping, just based on the humidity in our breath, we lose about 1 liter of water each night! So, we wake up dehydrated.

Sleep Doc Tip #1: When you wake up each day, drink 12-16 oz of water first thing in the am (room temp). This helps to replace your water loss immediately.

Sleep Doc

5 Vitamin Deficiencies that Can Affect Your Sleep 0

5 Vitamin Deficiencies that Can Affect Your Sleep

We know that diet and sleep are deeply connected. But the truth is, we don’t know nearly enough yet about how individual nutrients impact our sleep. Here, I look at 5 vitamins that appear to play a role in how much sleep we get and how restful and high-quality that sleep is. As you’ll see, several of these vitamins may affect our risk of sleep disorders, including insomnia and sleep apnea. And at least two of them appear to play a role in regulating our circadian rhythms, the 24-hour bio rhythms that control our sleep-wake cycles.

I’m a big believer in leveraging a healthy diet to improve sleep. Often, diet alone doesn’t give us all the nutrients we need. Supplements can play an important role in filling those gaps. (I wrote recently about 10 of the most effective supplements for sleep.)

But before you run out and add the vitamins below to your supplement list, I encourage you to do two things. Look for ways to improve your vitamin intake through your diet. And talk to your doctor. Getting the

Will Chocolate Keep Me Awake Or Affect My Sleep On Valentine’s Day? 0

Will Chocolate Keep Me Awake Or Affect My Sleep On Valentine’s Day?

This week I was not traveling because I have some big news to share with you next week.

Not traveling means I got a chance to catch up on a few journal articles and podcasts (both listening and being a guest) and sometime during the week, I realized it’s almost Valentine’s Day!

What is one of the first things we think about when we think of Valentine’s day?

In my house, it’s Chocolate of course!

Amazingly, 58 million pounds of chocolate will be purchased during the week of Valentine’s day, if you do the math a Hershey’s Kiss is roughly 4.5g. If there are 454 grams in a pound (or about 100 “kisses”), this would equal 5.8 billion kisses, that’s almost enough to give every person on the planet a Hershey’s Kiss!

That my friend is a lot of love and chocolate.

The big question everyone asks is, “will a belly full of chocolate have an effect on my sleep?”

The ANSWER: Probably NOT. Information supplied by the Hershey company shows that caffeine content differs depending upon the type …