Tagged: Your Guide to Better Sleep

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

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,

Is NAD the Fountain of Youthful Circadian Rhythms Supplement You’ve Been Searching for? 0

Is NAD the Fountain of Youthful Circadian Rhythms Supplement You’ve Been Searching for?

If you’re actively seeking natural therapies to slow aging, you’ve probably heard of NAD. NAD-boosting supplements have attracted a bunch of attention for their promise in reducing cellular aging, protecting against age-related chronic disease, and perhaps extending lifespan.

There’s a lot to unpack about NAD, including how it may benefit sleep by the powerful influence it has over circadian rhythms. Because NAD plays such a critical role in so many fundamental physiological processes, there are also questions about the full impact of increasing NAD levels on health and disease risk. Let’s take a closer look. 

What is NAD?

NAD—short for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide–is a molecule that performs an array of important helper functions in the body. NAD is a coenzyme, which helps enzymes function effectively. NAD plays a critical role in several cellular functions, including:

  • Repairing DNA
  • Helping cells produce energy from food
  • Protecting cells from stress
  • Facilitating gene communication

NAD plays an important role in maintaining healthy metabolic function, and protects the brain from damaging oxidative stress. Critically for sleep, NAD contributes to the regulation of circadian rhythms and

How To Go Back To Sleep When You Wake Up At Night 0

How To Go Back To Sleep When You Wake Up At Night

How to go back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night was one of the most requested topics from last week’s survey, so I thought I’d address the subject ASAP.

Waking up in the middle of the night is a common and frustrating problem that affects every person at some point in their lives. You may not know this, but the most prevalent form of insomnia is called sleep maintenance insomnia, and it can cause multiple nighttime awakenings, so having a strategy for this situation can be helpful before it gets to be a full-blown sleep disorder. 

Many sleep disruptions can be caused by either internal (e.g., biological) or external (environmental) factors. Whatever the case may be, lying awake at night will leave you exhausted the next day, so here are my tips to help you get back to sleep. 

Internal Factors:

Don’t Go to the Bathroom, Unless You Need to!

When someone wakes up in the middle of the night and has to go to the bathroom, they often think, “Well, since I’m up, I

Can being optimistic improve your sleep? 0

Can being optimistic improve your sleep?

Can being optimisistic improve your sleep?

Are you a glass-half-full type, the sort of person who tends to feel everything works out in the end? Do you find yourself worrying a lot about the future, and the unknowns that lie around the corner?

Optimism is a measure of how positively we regard our daily challenges and how hopefully we look to the future. We have more control over our levels of optimism than many of us think—far from being fixed and static, optimism is a changeable, improvable trait. And it turns out, cultivating some additional optimism may offer another way to improve the quality and the quantity of your sleep.

 Optimism linked to better sleep

A new study by researchers at University of Illinois found people who are optimistic are better sleepers. They discovered strong links between optimism and both higher quality sleep and longer sleep amounts, in a study that included young and middle-aged adults. This is some really interesting research, for a number of reasons. The relationship between optimism and sleep hasn’t received a whole lot of attention in scientific study. In this

How Does Reading Before Bed Affect My Sleep? 0

How Does Reading Before Bed Affect My Sleep?

I’m frequently asked about reading before bed and it’s a very interesting topic. Before I talk about that though, I wanted to say thank you.

I’m grateful to everyone who has taken my three question sleep survey about the content you’d like to see in these newsletters. If you haven’t had a chance yet, do me a favor and take it here and help me create the content you’d like to read.

Speaking of reading.

I am always excited to talk about the importance of an effective nighttime ritual and how it helps to prepare the body for sleep. This ritual can be composed of any number of small tasks like brushing your teeth, taking a bath or meditating. If you don’t have a ritual, my Power Down Hour makes a great guide. Just divide the last hour before bedtime into three 20-minute sections. The first 20-minute section should be spent taking care of any business than cannot wait until morning. The second should focus on hygiene: brush your teeth, wash your face, maybe a hot bath. During the final

How To Get Quality Sleep On An Airplane 0

How To Get Quality Sleep On An Airplane

Here’s How to Get Quality Sleep on an Airplane

It’s no easy task to doze off during a flight. We can find ourselves surrounded by crying children, loud adults, the hustle and bustle of the service cart, small-bladdered seatmates, unexpected turbulence and static-filled announcements from the cockpit. If we manage to sleep well or at all on a plane, it feels like we’ve won some sort of contest.  As you know, I travel quite often, so I am no stranger to the sleep-related pitfalls of air travel.  

This subject was in the news lately. There was an article in Bustle which had some excellent tips for sleeping during a flight. I’ve written about this subject before, so I decided to create a comprehensive list of tips for seizing some sky-high shut-eye. 

Dress Comfortably

Choose comfortable clothes over stylish ones. Loose clothing is generally better than tight, but everyone will have their own preferences. Natural fabrics are a plus but wool might be scratchy. It’s smart to dress in layers. If it’s too cold, you have insulation. If it’s too warm,