The twice-a-year shift between Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time has serious effects on our health, safety and performance, at least for several days after the shift. But there’s also a benefit. As we prepare to “fall back” this Saturday night (or “spring forward” in March), let’s look at the effects and why we even have this time change in the first place. Here’s what I found. [Read more…] about Daylight Saving – What Gives?
By Wayne Caswell
As reported in this NBC Nightly News episode, more and more companies are realizing how sleep affects their bottom line, and they’re starting to pay employees to sleep better.
I’m thrilled at the heightened awareness and the new sleep incentives, because sleep is important to our health, safety, and performance. Research has confirmed that good sleep improves many of the attributes associated with peek productivity at work, as well as in school and sports. These include: alertness, attention, behavior, concentration, creativity, decision-making, emotions, energy, focus, goal-setting, judgment, and more. But I have two concerns with the effectiveness of these financial incentives. First is measurement accuracy, and next is how to actually affect real change beyond just the incentive. [Read more…] about Companies start to Pay Employees to Sleep
NEUROTRANSMITTERS are the brain chemicals that relay signals between nerve cells, telling your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest. They can also affect sleep, mood, weight, and concentration. And when they get out of balance, bad things can happen. That can be caused by stress, poor diet, alcohol, caffeine, drugs, neurotoxins, and genetic predisposition.
There are two kinds of neurotransmitters – INHIBITORY and EXCITATORY. Excitatory neurotransmitters stimulate the brain. Inhibitory neurotransmitters calm the brain and help create balance. [Read more…] about 5 Reasons to consider neurotransmitter testing
By Wayne Caswell, Intelligent Sleep and founder of Modern Health Talk
This last Sunday, I watched “Sleepless in America,” a 2-hour documentary on the National Geographic channel, and I captured some of its powerful statistics and blended them with my own, forming the basis of today’s article. But first, here’s the 3-min trailer. Additional short video segments are included below, along with a related infographic, and if the full length video gets posted, I’ll include it too.
Sleepless in America – Full Version (1:28:15 min)
How much sleep do we Need?
By Wayne Caswell, a cofounder of Intelligent Sleep
Summer vacation is about to end, and the new school year is upon us, so I urge everyone with children or grandchildren to read and share this article. As I modeled in The Economic Value of Sleep, that can be worth millions of dollars in lifelong earnings and healthcare savings. It can also be a lifesaver, literally.
The research is in, and studies show that sleep duration and quality has a profound impact on health, safety and performance; but well over half of adults don’t sleep well enough, and a third sleep less than 6 hours/night when 7-9 is recommended. It’s much worse with adolescents since 70-90% don’t get enough sleep. The problem is now so bad that the CDC called insufficient sleep “a public health epidemic.”
UPDATE: The CDC just issued a press release saying, “Most US middle and high schools start the school day too early,” and suggested that later start times are important if students are to get enough sleep.
Russell Foster, Ph.D., is a circadian neuroscientist at the University of Oxford in Cambridge who studies sleep and its role in our lives, examining how our perception of light influences our sleep-wake rhythms.
In this 21-min TED Talk (below) Foster asks, “What do we know about sleep?” and examines how our perception of light influences our sleep-wake rhythms. [Read more…] about Why we Sleep
Sleep deprivation has become a terrifying problem in our on-the-go society, where working more and sleeping less can be seen as a badge of honor. But even nodding off momentarily can have disastrous results, as we saw in graphic news reports of the December Bronx Metro-North train derailment. [Read more…] about The Need and Positive Effects of Restorative Sleep
What NOT to eat/drink before bed
It should be obvious, but you should avoid caffeinated drinks and foods — coffee, tea, many soft drinks and chocolate — several hours before bed. Caffeine is a natural chemical that activates the central nervous system, which means that it revs up nerves and thought processes. For people who are sensitive to caffeine, that excitation is not pleasant, making them feel jittery and slightly ill. If you have a caffeinated drink too close to bedtime, chances are it will keep you awake. Of course, what “too close” means is totally individual. Sensitive people should stop drinking caffeine at least eight hours before bedtime (that means by 3 p.m. if you hit the sack at 11 p.m.). You can play with your particular timing, just don’t experiment on a night when you absolutely must get a good night’s sleep. [Read more…] about Eating Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep