Tag tiredness

Class time or sleep time for students? – South Bend Tribune: Local

 

Photo Credit: Mokra from Brazil

Photo Credit: Mokra from Brazil

Jessica Payne, director of the Sleep Stress and Memory Lab at the University of Notre Dame and a chair for the nonprofit organization “Start School Later,” said the vast majority of teenagers are incapable of going to bed early. It’s not just that they choose to be up late using electronic devices, she said, their brains are wired for sleep in a way that’s different from the brains of adults and children.

And that starts with melatonin, which signals to the body that it’s time to sleep. In teens, melatonin isn’t released until around 11 p.m.

“The problem is,” Payne said, “we have them in a school schedule that’s counter to the ways their brains work. They’re not getting the sleep they need.”

Kyla Wahlstrom, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, is a former school administrator and expert on the effects of later high school start times on teen health and academic performance.

Last week, Wahlstrom, who was involved in a CDC-funded study on the topic last year, said by phone that years ago she was skeptical of the positive findings of the long-term effects of later school starts for older students.

But when Minneapolis schools made the change in the late ’90s an increase in graduation rates by 3 percentage points for five consecutive years confirmed what other research was showing.

“There’s really no downside,” she said, “whether it’s social and emotional well-being and health (of teens), academic performance, academic indicators, such as tardiness, attendance and so on.”

To read more, click Class time or sleep time for students? – South Bend Tribune: Local.

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Hay Fever May Hinder Driving Ability | WebMD

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Hay fever may hinder driving ability.

…When the people had allergy symptoms and didn’t take an allergy medicine, their scores on the driving test were much worse than when they didn’t have allergy symptoms. However, their scores improved considerably (although not completely back to normal) if they took an allergy medicine.

During the memory test, driving scores were even worse for people with untreated hay fever. Their scores were similar to people who have been drinking close to the legal alcohol limit in the UK.

To read more, please click on the link at the top of the page.

Stay Awake, Drive Safe.

Allergies, fatigue take Aksel Lund Svindal out of Sochi Olympics | OlympicTalk

Allergies, fatigue take Aksel Lund Svindal out of Sochi Olympics | OlympicTalk.

Norwegian Alpine skiing star Aksel Lund Svindal has pulled out from the remainder of the Sochi Olympics due to allergies and fatigue according to Team Norway coach Havard Tjorhom.

Tjorhom told the Associated Press that Svindal, a three-time medalist at Vancouver four years ago, had reached “the point of no return” and so, he will not race in the men’s giant slalom on Wednesday.

To read more, please click on the link above.

Does a bad night’s sleep make you overeat? (Science Alert)

Does a bad night’s sleep make you likely to overeat? (Science Alert).

Some studies, for instance, indicate that short sleep duration increases levels of the gut hormone, ghrelin, which makes us feel hungry and often leads to increased eating.

Poor sleep might also increase the reward value of eating by making certain foods seem more attractive and increasing our motivation to obtain them. This idea is supported by recent research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which measures activity in specific regions of the brain by detecting changes in blood flow.

The study found that, in people with limited sleep, the brain regions associated with reward “lit up” more in response to pictures of tasty food, suggesting that sleepy people found these foods more appealing.

At the same time, lack of sleep might also impair our ability to make decisions and exert self-control over food intake.

In another recent brain imaging study, 23 healthy people had a night of normal sleep and a night of total sleep deprivation followed by fMRI scans.

After sleep deprivation, there was greater activity in the amygdala region of the brain (which is important for reward behaviour) in response to pictures of food. Sleep-deprived participants also reported a greater desire specifically for high-calorie foods compared to low-calorie foods.

At the same time, the scans showed other regions of the brain believed to be important for “higher-level” brain function and self-control were less active after sleep deprivation. This means sleepy people may be less able to control what and how much they eat.

Please click on the link above to read more.

For shift workers, changing body’s natural sleep-wake rhythm can be difficult

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For shift workers, changing body’s natural sleep-wake rhythm can be difficult – chicagotribune.com.

“As you start shift work, make sure you’re well-rested. Get seven to eight hours of sleep for least two nights before you begin a new schedule. Take a nap before your shift to ward off sleepiness the first night.

To get the sleep you need, stay consistent. Go to bed and get up at the same time on your days off as you do on days when you work. This will allow your body to adapt to the new schedule. Changing your sleep schedule when you don’t work makes it much more difficult for your body to adjust, making it less likely you’ll get the sleep you need over time.

When you go to work, surround yourself with plenty of bright light. If you drink caffeine, do it early in your shift. As your work day goes on, decrease the caffeine. By the end of your shift, avoid it completely. If the sun starts to rise during your commute home, wear dark sunglasses to dim the external light. As soon as you arrive home, go to bed. If you delay, it will be more difficult to get to sleep.

Set up your bedroom environment to help you sleep. Keep it dark, covering the windows with room-darkening shades or curtains to block out any external light. Wearing a sleep mask over your eyes also may be useful. Adjust the temperature in your room so it’s cool and comfortable.

Your surroundings should be quiet. If other family members are home when you sleep, ask them to respect your need to rest. If possible, sleep in a room located away from family areas that can get noisy. Unplug or turn off phones and other electronic devices so you are not disturbed.

Leading a healthy, active lifestyle can promote healthy sleep. Eat a well-balanced diet. Keep alcohol to a minimum. Although alcohol can make it easier to fall asleep faster, it makes it harder to stay asleep for the seven to eight hours of sleep most adults need. Exercise regularly.”

– Joseph Kaplan, M.D, Director, Mayo Sleep Center, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla.

To read more, click on the above link.

Are You Awake? I Don’t Think So!

Photo Credit: Alex Bramwell

Photo Credit: Alex Bramwell

Several years ago, a patient surprised me, and the staff, “Doc, this is the first time I came to your clinic. I wasn’t here last week.” He, in fact, was seen at the clinic the prior week (he had filled out all the necessary paperwork, and had a progress note to prove his visit) and was sent to the sleep center for a sleep study! But, he was so sleep-deprived that he was living in a truncated level of wakefulness that he did not remember to coming to the clinic at all. For people like this, a quote shared by another patient comes true, “It feels like when I went to bed I was 18, and when I woke up I was 81!”

If you take care of your sleep, only then you can reach the highest wakefulness, a state full of lasting energy, enthusiasm, vigor, and vitality. At that highest level of wakefulness, you can squeeze out one magical moment after another from this greatest gift called life. If not, then your whole life will feel like a fleeting moment.

Here is how you can get started.

  1. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet.
  2. Reserve your bedroom for sleep and sex only. Keep work-related items out of the bedroom.
  3. Always maintain a consistent time to rise, even when circumstances prevent you from going to bed at your normal time. And, yes, that includes weekends.
  4. Avoid consuming alcohol three hours before bedtime.
  5. Avoid eating a heavy meal before bedtime because the process of digestion will interfere with falling asleep and may reduce the amount of deep sleep.
  6. Sweat for sound sleep.  
  7. Stay away from caffeine, certainly after one o’clock.
  8. Do not nap after two o’clock, and do not nap for longer than twenty minutes.
  9. Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. Listen to the music. Read a nice book. Take a warm shower because the cooling off promotes sleep. 
  10. Pray on the pillow.

If you follow these tips consistently and religiously, only then you can be at the highest level of wakefulness and only then you can proclaim, “I am awake.”

So, Are you awake yet?