Despite five decades of modern neuroscience, we have only a very limited knowledge of the role of sleep and barely know anything about the role of dreams. Common experience tells us to agree with Shakespeare's simple conclusion that sleep "knits up the raveled sleeve of care."
With our busy lives, it can be tempting to shrug off -- or ignore altogether -- difficulties with sleep. Trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep throughout the night, waking feeling tired and unrefreshed: These are commonly experienced disruptions to sleep for millions of adults.
If our preferences for sleep and wake times are strongly influenced by genetics and biology, what are we to do when faced with inclinations that don't match up with the demands and responsibilities of our lives?
Poor sleep, and sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, diminish both sleep quantity and sleep quality, and can interfere with the body's ability to rejuvenate cells and bolster immune function. This can result in a less attractive, less youthful appearance.
The relationship of circadian dysfunction to cancer risk is a critically important area of research. With millions of Americans working shifts -- and a wider array of jobs requiring non-traditional schedules -- this is an issue that needs rigorous study and attention.
In recent years studies have begun to link chronic partial sleep deprivation to serious physical health consequences. Regularly catching only a few hours of sleep can hinder metabolism and alters hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging.
Sleep is a function of the parasympathetic nervous system, the system devoted to rest and digestion. Not surprisingly, sleep onset (the natural oncoming of sleep) and yoga are both associated with an increase in parasympathetic activity.
A lack of adequate sleep has become an integral part of our modern world, but not without consequences. Sleep is the last thing we get to at the end of a busy day, and it is the first to be sacrificed when a lack of time demands it. What is the harm of not getting quite enough sleep?
Far too often, we see sleep as an enemy, robbing us of time that could be spent getting things done. Truth is, getting a decent night's sleep not only makes you more productive -- for women, it can be a step toward a longer, healthier life.
The challenge of maintaining a healthy weight is a daily endeavor, made up of many small choices that over time have a powerful cumulative effect. A routine of sufficient nightly sleep can aid in this, helping your body and mind work at their best every day for weight control and overall health.
Sleep appears to be a master key for our ability to exert self-control. If you find yourself caving to temptation more often that you want, check your sleep habits and consider making sleep a higher priority.
At last week's Corporate Sleep Health Summit, some of the country's top sleep researchers and corporate leaders came together to discuss the latest research on the damaging impacts of sleep deprivation on American workers and corporate bottom-line objectives.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI) is a very effective non-pharmocological treatment for insomnia. Using CBTI, we worked with John to help decrease the sleep anxiety that had developed over the past few months.
My promise to my patients and their families -- and to my family and to myself -- is to spend more time prescribing and living life, to honor the power of food, activity, rest and mindfulness to promote healing and prevent illness. I am fully and authentically committed to walking this walk.
Medical research is big business in this country. But historically very little of this money has gone to insomnia research. For decades, those with insomnia were regarded as "silent sufferers," often going undiagnosed, even when seeking help.
When I was a child, I hated to go to bed. The fear of missing out (FOMO) was so excruciatingly overwhelming that I would stay awake until my eyes hurt. I would love to say that I grew up and got over this, but truth be told, it just got worse.
Why do we seem so incapable of accomplishing a goal that we set for ourselves and truly desire? Part of the answer has to do with timing. Winter is not an ideal season to successfully execute big changes.