Category: sleep and insomnia

Sleep, Anxiety, And The End Of Daylight Savings Time 0

Sleep, Anxiety, And The End Of Daylight Savings Time

Sleep, anxiety and daylight savings. With the beginning and end of daylight savings time (DST) comes sleep anxiety for some. As you likely know (or do now and are scrambling but just realized you have an “extra hour”), daylight savings time ended early this morning, November 3 in the United States, it’s time to fall back.

A lot of people who have sleep issues tend to stress out about the time change because it can be so disruptive. Falling back isn’t as hard as springing forward, but even a slight change may be enough to throw your whole routine off balance. Although I am fortunate enough to live in sunny southern California, winters in other parts of the world can be dark, cold and dreary which can also increase anxiety and depression.

I’ve written about the effects of daylight savings time before, and there are a few simple ways that you can lessen the effects of the time change.

  • Stick to your sleep schedule that’s best for your chronotype.
  • Eliminate blue light at night by putting your screens
Sleep. Self Control, And Weight Gain 0

Sleep. Self Control, And Weight Gain

Intuitively, you can probably guess that sleep affects self-control, but the ways in which that happens and leads to weight gain may be surprising. I think you’ll find this interesting as we approach the indulgent holidays beginning with Halloween.

Halloween is just around the corner and that means the kids will likely be gorging themselves on candy until Thanksgiving (or their parents will be stealing it from them!). As parents, we will do our best to try and rein in their urge to quickly devour every last peanut butter cup and fun-sized candy bar because we don’t want them bouncing off the walls until 3 a.m. or, worse yet, getting sick!  As most parents know, children don’t have a well-developed sense of self-control, when it comes to candy! 

New research suggests that children aren’t the only ones with poor self-control when it comes to sweets. A trio of recent studies have been released that show that adults tend to make poor food choices when they’re sleep deprived.

The link between sleep deprivation and weight gain is a well-known phenomenon. First

The Latest on the Sleep-Weight Connection and How Sleep Affects Gut Health 0

The Latest on the Sleep-Weight Connection and How Sleep Affects Gut Health

I know a lot of you are interested in the connection between sleep and weight. Me too! (In fact, I wrote a best-selling book about it.) I’m also deeply interested in the relationship between sleep and gut health. As we’re learning, the gut microbiome—the collection of trillions of microorganisms in our intestines—has a powerful influence over sleep, as well as other fundamental aspects of physiology, including digestion, mood, cognition, immunity, and hormone production. In turn, sleep can affect the health of the gut microbiome, and all those physiological processes it touches.

Science is continually uncovering new facets of the sleep-weight connection. And the emerging science on the role of the microbiome in sleep and health is deepening our understanding of just how important gut health is to how we sleep, think, and feel.

A couple of recent scientific discoveries on these topics are worth digging into for a closer look. They both involve what is probably the single most important sleep habit you can adopt: a consistent sleep-wake routine.

Your Weight Loss

Can the consistency of your sleep routine

9 Tips For Sleeping Smarter And Better Tonight 0

9 Tips For Sleeping Smarter And Better Tonight

People sometimes look at me funny when I say the goal is to sleep smarter and better, not harder; let me explain.

In terms of day-to-day maintenance, proper sleep can help protect you from illnesses, poor judgment and even car accidents. However, good sleep habits also work to defend you from serious long-term illnesses like heart disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

There’s plenty of new evidence on just how important a good night’s sleep is to maintaining a healthy brain. This week alone, two new studies were released that demonstrated how important sleep is for mental functioning. What’s cool about these studies is that one shows how a lack of sleep affects us in the short term while the other illustrates that long-term sleep problems may lead to serious health consequences. 

Sleep Helps Our Cells Function Smoothly on a Daily Basis

My number one rule for getting better sleep is to discover your optimal sleep schedule and stick to it. That means going to bed and waking up at the same time every single day, hopefully, based on your chronotype (if

What Is A Lucid Dream And How They Happen 0

What Is A Lucid Dream And How They Happen

I have been a lucid dreamer all my life. 

At first, I had no idea what it was or what was happening. I probably just thought is was a regular dream state, but obviously there was much more to it!

For anyone who does not know, lucid dreaming is the ability to recognize when you’re dreaming and then having the power to take control of that dream. It’s like waking up in a movie that you’re writing, directing, designing the sets for, and starring in, all at the same time. During lucid dreams, most people are able to perform wild feats of strength, travel instantly to distant planets, fly through the sky or be romantic with their favorite supermodel. Interestingly, why lucid dreams occur and why some people are able to control them is a bit of a mystery. 

Nearly half of the population has had a lucid dream at least once in their lifetime, and a fifth of the population report having about two lucid dreams per month! However, those that take the time to master lucid dreaming, like

5 Things to Know—and DO—If You Aren’t Sure Your Chronotype is Right 0

5 Things to Know—and DO—If You Aren’t Sure Your Chronotype is Right

Have you identified your chronotype yet? It’s an incredibly important piece of information about your individual preferences for sleep, as well as nearly every aspect of health and performance. Knowing your circadian bio type gives you a guide to the best times to do just about everything, from when to go to be and wake up, work out, ask for a raise or interview for a promotion, have a heart-to-heart with your kids or a serious discussion with your partner. And yes, whether you’re a Lion, a Bear, Wolf, or a Dolphin, knowing your chronotype points to the best times for sex and intimacy too! 

People see a lot of themselves in their chronotype. That’s because our daily circadian bio rhythms fundamentally influence how we think and feel, our energy and capacity to take on and accomplish all we need and want to do in our days. We live better and more productively when we do so in alignment with our bodies biologically driven preferences. That’s what knowing your chronotype can help you do. 

It’s easy to learn your chronotype

New Sleep Apps Put Better Sleep On Your Phone 0

New Sleep Apps Put Better Sleep On Your Phone

Sleep therapy may soon be as close as your keyboard. Sleep apps for sleep therapy are becoming more common and effective and your employer may even pay for it. 

That’s the latest plan from pharmacy giant CVS Health anyway. They’re encouraging businesses to cover the cost of Sleepio, an app designed to treat insomnia without medication, for their employees. The therapy app plays like a video game where the player is on a quest to improve their sleep and features an animated sleep expert with a Scottish accent who offers weekly therapy sessions and guidance. It’s an attempt at storytelling and making this a fun process.

It sounds somewhat silly at first blush, but the science behind it is solid. Apps like Sleepio and SHUTi are based on cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) and tested like a pharmaceutical with clinical trials for effectiveness. However, be aware there are many apps out there that make claims and are not based on science.  

While these apps can’t replace actual therapy, they do provide methods similar to those used by therapists. Users

10 Things Your Boss Doesn’t Know About Sleep 0

10 Things Your Boss Doesn’t Know About Sleep

You hear me say it all the time: sleep directly affects performance. The quality and amount of sleep you get on a regular basis affects your cognitive sharpness, your emotional balance, your stamina and motivation, your relationships and your perceptions of people, situations, and experiences. 

In the workplace, sleep remains an overlooked factor—and an under-utilized tool. Here are 10 things most employers probably don’t know about sleep, how it impacts their employees and their organizations. 

Working within your chronotype productivity zones drives individual performance

If given a moment to think about it, just about everyone would say they know morning people and night people. We all have a broad and instinctive sense that different chronotypes exist, and play a role in daily functioning. But most people—including most bosses and organizational leaders—don’t truly understand just how powerfully our individual chronotypes influence how well we do things, depending on the timing of when we do them. 

From fielding the emails in our inboxes, to learning new information for an upcoming project, chronotypes point to the optimal times to take on different parts

5 things that sleep will do for you tonight 0

5 things that sleep will do for you tonight

IMG_00431. Help us remember things – during sleep there are new connections between neurons formed which creates new pathways for us to learn new information. 2. Help us be healthier – many studies have been conducted about sleep and weight regulation. 3. Help us forget things – what we don’t need is filtered out. 4. […]

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Catching Up On Sleep On Weekends May Promote Weight Gain In Teens 0

Catching Up On Sleep On Weekends May Promote Weight Gain In Teens

Teenagers really do have a lot going on in their lives and now they have one more thing to worry about, sleep and weight gain when they try catching up on sleep. They’re already facing down adulthood, attempting to discover their place in society all while dealing with hormones and high school. So it’s easy to see why sleep may not be their highest priority. I’ve got two teenagers of my own, and let me tell you, it’s rough!

To complicate matters further, teens are biologically driven to stay up late and sleep in longer. We might view our teenager’s refusal to get out of bed as an act of rebellion (and it could be depending on the kid!) but it’s just as likely biology. It’s actually not heir fault!

The irony is, of course, that sleep is so vitally important at that stage of life. Generally, teens require about nine hours of sleep a night. If they can’t get it, they may suffer from lower test scores, anxiety, depression and can be more likely to engage in bad behaviors,