Counting Sheep Doesn’t Actually Work, and Other Misconceptions About Sleep

A trick I’ve used to fall asleep is to pick a category, bands, birds, animals, sea creatures, flowers which is fairly broad and try to go through the alphabet thinking of an example from each one. I find that the reason that this works is that frequently worry and anxiety can keep us awake so giving the brain something to do is helpful.

The reason to avoid waking a sleep walker is that they have no idea where they are. They are in a different world.

How I Restored My Sleeping Habits by Spending a Weekend Without Clocks

I’ve tried nearly every trick imaginable to get more restful sleep. For a long time, nothing worked: not a regular bedtime, herbal supplements, turning computers off before bed, or even a weekend away from work.

Source: How I Restored My Sleeping Habits by Spending a Weekend Without Clocks

Try ear plugs and a sleeping mask on the weekends. With no outside stimulus, you sleep until you body is ready to get up.  Or go camping…

How Melatonin Helps You Sleep

If you’re having trouble sleeping, melatonin is a popular and easy remedy. It’s effective for many people, doesn’t have any serious safety issues, and is available as pills or gummies for pennies a dose. It’s also misunderstood, though: melatonin is not a traditional sleeping pill.

Source: How Melatonin Helps You Sleep

If you’re able to get to sleep, but have trouble staying there?  Melatonin is unlikely to help.

Also worth mentioning that, thanks to the regulatory structure around ‘supplements’ – much of the melatonin you buy contains either no melatonin or way, way too much. In fact, even the smallest Over The Counter (OTC) doses are wildly higher than the doses used in clinical tests, so it might actually be kind of good that the odds are good there are no active ingredients in OTC melatonin.

Companies Plan to Make You Pay For Sleep

In their dreams! 🙂

High tech companies have disrupted the way we get our food, transit, and friends—and now they want to disrupt the way we sleep. To help them along, branding group K-Hole has released a report designed for corporations who want to cash in on the public’s new obsession with getting rest. K-Hole is a gang of coolhunters, just like something out of a William Gibson or Jim Munroe novel, who are paid to spot trends. A couple of years ago, they got famous for popularizing the idea of “normcore,” a clean-cut hipster style that emphasized simplicity and unobtrusiveness.

Source: Companies plan to make you pay for sleep

When I first read this, I checked the date to make sure it wasn’t April 1st.

Top 10 Myths and Misconceptions About Sleep

You’d think the human race would have sleep down to a science by now, but many of us are still sleeping poorly. Part of the problem is we have outdated information and beliefs about this all-important health need. Let’s set the facts straight. Here are 10 things you might have been told about sleep but aren’t completely true.

Source: Top 10 Myths and Misconceptions About Sleep

on’t even try to sleep hungry. Yeah, it’s dark and we shouldn’t be eating, but a rumbling tummy is worse. A simple, small midnight snack is not going to destroy your diet nearly as much as starvation the following morning. Carbs + dairy is always a good bet.

Why We Sleep So Poorly In Unfamiliar Places

Many of us have trouble sleeping in an unfamiliar place, like a hotel, or a friend’s house for the first time. When we finally do get to sleep, it’s often fidgety and disturbed. New research shows that one hemisphere of our brain stays more active during the first night of sleep—and it does so to keep us ready for trouble.

It’s a phenomenon scientists refer to as the “first-night-effect.” A neuroimaging study by Brown University researchers reveals that, under these “first night” conditions, one hemisphere of the brain stays alert. “This half-asleep, half-awake state may work as a way to monitor unfamiliar surroundings,” study co-author Masako Tamaki told Gizmodo. The paper has just been published in Current Biology.

Source: Why We Sleep So Poorly In Unfamiliar Places

Of all the half-brained concepts out there…

How to Get Better Sleep (and Need Less Every Night)

Many of us struggle to get enough sleep every night, but is the sleep we get any good? While it’s important to get enough sleep, better sleep is a greater ally than more hours of sleep. We sat down with a sleep expert and a stack of studies to help you get a better night’s sleep and need less in the process. Here’s how.

Source: How to Get Better Sleep (and Need Less Every Night)

A big part for me is dealing with stress.  Sometimes work comes home with you, or things were generally crappy.  You have to figure out what works for you to get past it.

Getting Six Hours of Sleep Can Be Just as Bad as Not Sleeping at All

Not getting enough sleep is detrimental to both your health and productivity. Yawn. We’ve heard it all before. But results from one study impress just how bad a cumulative lack of sleep can be on performance. Subjects in a lab-based sleep study who were allowed to get only six hours of sleep a night for two weeks straight functioned as poorly as those who were forced to stay awake for two days straight. The kicker is the people who slept six hours per night thought they were doing just fine.

Source: Why Six Hours Of Sleep Is As Bad As None At All

The sample size is way too low to take the news seriously, but for a follow-up study? I’d be curious to know how people do when they routinely get 4-6 hours of sleep during the week, but then catch up by sleeping 8-10 on the weekend.

It seems that since the people sleeping 6 hours per night didn’t show really ill effect until 10 days in, that being able to “reset” once or twice per week might make a real difference.  I know I’ve had times where I’m suddenly aware that I’m quite tired, go for a nap to find I’ve been out for hours.

This Video Explains How Stress Breaks Down Your Brain

If you think there’s a possibility of Alzheimer’s for you, please make sure you make plans with regard to health, etc. before things get bad and you can’t make those decisions anymore. Things easily become a big mess in those situations.