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Studio Australia Blog

Sleep Hygiene

How healthy are your sleep habits?

How did you sleep last night?

Monday morning this week, and everyone I spoke to in the studio slept poorly.

So what is SLEEP HYGIENE?

Basically it’s a practice developed in the ’70’s by a group of clinicians to assess people suffering with insomnia. These days it’s a term that describes good sleep habits.

Why do we need good SLEEP HYGIENE?

  • To function at our best during waking hours we need to have sufficient sleep.
  • It is recommended that adults need to sleep 7 to 8 hours per night.
  • Insufficient sleep has been linked to chronic diseases and illness such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression.
  • Sleep enables our bodies to repair both physically and psychologically.
    Sleep well and you live longer!

What happens when we don’t get enough sleep?

The body uses the time when we are asleep to repair itself.

We have different forms of sleep and these repair us:

  • physically – organ cleansing, wear and tear of muscles etc or
  • psychologically – working through anxiety, laying down memories etc.

Both of these states are associated with different brain wave patterns:

  • physical repair is associated with slow brain wave patterns whereas
  • psychological repair is associated with active dream states

As adults we average a cycle of all types of sleep patterns very 90 minutes.  So if we sleep 8 hours we have 5 opportunities to repair our bodies.

The thing is, each of these 90 minute cycles are programmed by our bodies to serve a unique function while we are asleep.  We a start the cycle with the majority of repair being physical when we first fall asleep and as the night wears on our bodies shift the repairs to psychological repair.  This is why we are more likely to remember our dreams in the morning when awakening as this is the time when most of the brain is dedicated to the cycle of dreaming.

So if we don’t get enough sleep not enough psychological or physical repair can take place and this leads to difficulty in thinking, poor memory, fatigue and pain.

One point I didn’t find on most of the lists was using computers and tablets in bed.  This is a big NO NO.  Apparently using a table 2 hours before bedtime can drop your melatonin levels by 22%.

I have been doing this for the past 6 months and last week, after some research, and a good telling off from a friend, I realised that my poor sleeping patterns were probably in most part due to this habit.

Let’s see if it works.  I’ve stopped taking the computer to bed and using it in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep to occupy my time.  Nat’s happy!  Right now I’m still in SLEEP HYGIENE training!

My motivation, my health.

References:

Sleep Foundation
CDC Sleep and Chronic Disease
CCI Health Sleep Hygiene
Wikipedia Sleep Hygiene
Michigan Medicine – Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center
Webmd – Sleep Disorders

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