Though the need for sleep has been a constant throughout human history, how we feel about it has gone through dramatic changes over the years. We're now in the process of renewing our estranged relationship, especially as science, in the last two decades or so, has validated much of the ancient wisdom about the importance of sleep. Now that we have the means to get, relative to most of human history, the most unprecedentedly blissful sleep ever, we should allow ourselves to enjoy it. We live in a time in which we're plugged in and hyperconnected, often from the moment we wake up until the instant we drift off. Let's savor and safeguard sleep, not just for its performance benefits but for the special way it allows us to connect with ourselves. During the daytime technology allows us to travel across distance and space, but during the nighttime our dreams allow us to travel across time, spanning and connecting different parts of ourselves, allowing our senses of intuition and wisdom to flourish.
Sleep and pain exist in a complicated relationship to one another. Pain can interfere with sleep, making it harder to fall asleep and to stay asleep. Poor quality and insufficient sleep contribute to pain in several ways, decreasing tolerance for pain, increasing its intensity and discomfort, and in some cases raising the risk for the development of chronic-pain conditions.
The National Sleep Foundation has released its annual Sleep in America Poll. This year, the poll examines sleep in the modern American family. What are the challenges facing families in their pursuit of high-quality, plentiful sleep? What are the strategies that parents are using to help their children sleep, and how well are those strategies working?
Many parents and school officials will likely have their own schedules and routines affected by any changes. But even small delays in favor of students can have significant effects on the quantity and quality of their nightly rest, their physical and emotional health, and their performance at school during the day.
Bad dreams and nightmares are among the most startling and emotionally potent of remembered dreams. Even a partially remembered disturbing dream can linger in our waking minds. But what do we know about this phenomenon of disturbed dreaming? And what's the difference between a bad dream and a nightmare?
We all want our kids to learn healthy eating habits, to be active and to grow and live comfortably at a healthy weight. Yet for too many children, excess weight is a very real health concern. Too much junk food and too little physical activity are frequently-cited culprits in the problem. But what about sleep?
We still have much to learn about how both sleep disorders and depression influence on another. But recent scientific discoveries may have brought us to a turning point, where attention to sleep and treatment for sleep problems will begin to be regarded as part of the core treatment for depressive disorders.