Select Page

Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery:  Sleep Effects

Host, Counselor Toolbox and Happiness Isn't Brain Surgery with Doc Snipes
President, Recovery and Resilience International

Counseling CEUs can be earned for this podcast at:

~    Learn about sleep
~    The function of sleep
~    Sleep cycles
~    How much is enough
~    How lack of sleep contributes to feelings of depression, anxiety and irritability
~    Learn techniques for sleep hygiene

What is the Function of Sleep
~    Sleep is time to rest and restore
~    Adequate sleep improves memory and learning, increases attention and creativity, and aids in concentration and decision making.
~    Toxins that accumulate in the brain are thought to be cleared out during sleep
~    Healing and repair of cells takes place during sleep
~    Sleep helps to maintain the balance of hormones in the body:
~    Ghrelin and leptin, which regulate feelings of hunger and fullness
~    Insulin, which is responsible for the regulation of glucose in the blood

Functions cont…
~    Sleep deficiency is also linked to a higher risk of
~    Cardiovascular disease
~    Stroke
~    Diabetes
~    Kidney disease
~    Sleep deprivation is correlated to
~    Difficulty concentrating
~    Irritability
~    Fatigue/Loss of energy

Understanding Sleep Cycles
~    Stage 1 NREM sleep is when you drift in and out of light sleep and can easily be awakened.
~    Stage 2 NREM brainwaves slow with intermittent bursts of rapid brain waves, the eyes stop moving, the body temperature drops and the heart rate begins to slow down.
~    This stage usually lasts for approximately 20 minutes
~    Stage 3 NREM sleep, also known as deep sleep or delta sleep, is marked by very slow delta brainwaves. There is no voluntary movement. You are very difficult to wake.
~    This stage usually lasts for approximately 30 minutes
~    The largest percentage of Deep Sleep comes in the early part of the total night's sleep pattern
Understanding Sleep Cycles
~    REM Sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) is characterized by temporary paralysis of the voluntary muscles and fast, irregular breathing, inability to regulate body temperature, faster brain waves resembling the activity of a person that is awake.
~    Most dreams occur during REM sleep

How Much is Enough?
Sleep and Hormones
~    Estrogen usually improves the quality of sleep, reduces time to fall asleep, and increases the amount of REM sleep
~    Too little or too much testosterone may affect overall sleep quality
~    Cortisol is your stress hormone and prevents restful sleep
~    Thyroid hormones which are too high can cause insomnia and too low can cause fatigue and lethargy

Nutrition and Sleep
~    Tryptophan is used to make serotonin
~    Serotonin is used to make melatonin
~    Melatonin functions to help you feel sleepy
~    Caffeine is a stimulant with a 6-hour half life
~    Nicotine is a stimulant with a 2-hour half life
~    Decongestants are stimulants with a 2 hour half life
~    Antihistamines make you drowsy but contribute to poor quality sleep
~    Alcohol blocks REM sleep and can cause sleep apnea
Nutrition cont…
~    Eat a high protein dinner to ensure you have enough tryptophan in the body
~    Make sure you are getting enough
~    Selenium
~    Vitamin D
~    Calcium
~    Vitamin A
~    Magnesium
~    Zinc

Sleep Hygiene
~    Create a wind-down ritual
~    Reduce or eliminate exposure to blue-light 1 hour before bed (TV, Computer, Phone, some light bulbs)
~    Go to bed at roughly the same time every night
~    Eliminate as much light as possible (Sleep mask)
~    Eliminate as much noise as possible (Ear plugs)
~    Do not exercise or take a hot bath within 2 hours of bed.
~    Keep the room cool (72 is ideal)
~    Consider a cooling pillow and mattress topper
~    Avoid anything that might get you upset (Social media)

Sleep Hygiene
~    Reduce or eliminate caffeine at least 6 (preferably 12) hours before bed
~    Drink the majority of fluids during the day
~    Keep an air purifier in the room if you have allergies
~    Keep animals off the bed
~    Make the bedroom a place of relaxation and sleep
~    Keep a red-light and a notepad by your bed to write down anything that pops into your head
~    Weighted blankets help some people get to sleep easier

Sleep Hygiene
~    Keep daytime naps to under 45 minutes
~    Consider diffusing essential oils
~    Lavender
~    Chamomile
~    Patchouli
~    Catnip (Yep…cat nip…just don’t let the cats in the bedroom)
~    Select the right pillow

~    Insufficient quality sleep contributes to
~    Fatigue
~    Difficulty concentrating
~    Reduced reaction time
~    Apathy
~    During deep sleep is when researchers think the brain rests and rebalances.
~    Over time sleep deprivation can cause changes in
~    Neurotransmitter levels
~    Immune functioning
Summary cont…
~    Most people could benefit from auditing their sleep quality
~    Reduce light
~    Reduce noises
~    Reduce bathroom trips
~    Reduce wake-ups because of allergies or being too hot
~    Stop caffeine 6 (preferably 12) hours before bed
~    If you are only willing to change one thing this month to start being happier, more energetic and clearer headed, sleep might be a great place to start.

~    The Relationship Between Testosterone and Sleep Disorders
~    The Effect of Melatonin, Magnesium and Zinc on Insomnia