Too Smart to Sleep?

True or false: Night owls have higher IQ’s then early birds? True. Although early birds do have a strong case for appearing more intelligent, this is because they are generally more put together and can adjust more easily to the 9-5 world. However, if you are someone who has trouble falling asleep, you’re in luck. Being a night owl is actually linked to being more intelligent. Night owls consistently score higher on general intelligence tests.

While early birds are more productive in the morning or early afternoon, night owls gain their second wind as the day goes on. This means that night owls can still have time for socializing or even preparing for the next day after a full work day. Rather than going right to sleep and jumping into the next day without a mental cool down, night owls can unwind and relax before falling asleep.

By the same token, night owls also wake up later than their early counterpart. Although you may be two ships passing in the night, don’t worry because night owls are still getting the required 8 hours of sleep. Also, you’re not alone in the wee hours of the night. Some famous night owls include former president Obama, Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, and Elvis Presley.

However, it wasn’t always this way, if you go back before the 1800s, sleep was much different. Your ancestors slept in a way that we would find strange – they slept twice. First and Second sleep.

We used to sleep in two shorter periods, over a longer range of night. This range was about 12 hours long, and began with a sleep of 3 to 4 hours, wakefulness of 2 to 3 hours, then sleep again until morning.

An English doctor wrote, for example, that the ideal time for studying was between “first sleep” and “second sleep.” Chaucer tells of a character in the Canterbury Tales that goes to bed following her “firste sleep.”

Although history shows that 2 sleeping were common, and science indicates that it is natural, there is no proof that it is better.  Also 2 sleeping needs a lot of darkness that we don’t get with modern technologies, such as iphones and street lights.

The one thing that science does tell us about getting a better night of sleep for both early birds and night owls,  comes down to being at the ideal temperature.

According to the Wall Street Journal

 “The role of temperature has gotten increased attention after a study published last year found sleep may be more tightly regulated by temperature than by light. What’s more, core body temperature, which tends to fluctuate by a few degrees over the course of the day, needs to drop to help initiate sleep.”

And according to Honest Mattress Review

‘Tanda …has the coldest sleep surface in the industry’

So if you want to sleep early, late, or even twice, sleeping cool on a Tanda can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Dr. W. Chris Winter, MD Review

One of the most common questions patients and reporters ask me is, “What is the best mattress for sleeping?” To me, this question is as helpful and meaningful as, “What car is the best for driving?” A mattress, like a car, is a fairly complex and personal decision. Buyers for both should carefully consider what their needs are and whether or not their product checks the right boxes.

For me, the Tanda Complete Cool mattress checks a lot of boxes. And speaking of boxes, the mattress arrived in a box that seemed impossibly small.  I’ve never transported and set up a mattress so easily. Opening up the vacuum-sealed package was like growing my own mattress as it slowly enlarged and assumed its shape.

Aesthetically, the mattress was very sleek and clean looking and had the appearance of being well constructed. As I set it up and threw on some linens (Dri-Tech performance sheets), it was immediately evident that the mattress felt cooler than a standard mattress…much cooler. Having spent some time on memory foam mattresses, cool was unexpected as memory foam mattresses have a tendency to feel quite warm. Tanda’s product combines latex and memory foam properites to create a soft, conforming surface that does not have the marshmallow feel of traditional memory foam.

Most surprising to me was the prolonged feeling of cool I got from the bed. I incorrectly assumed that as the night went on, the cooling effects of the bed would be lost. While this may have had something to do with the bedding I used, I suspect much of the effect came from the mattress. The bed does not transfer movement so cosleepers will be happy. The bed is soft enough for individuals struggling with orthopedic pain to feel supported without the bed causing pressure points for side sleepers.

My thirteen year-old son who always feels hot at night immediately felt more comfortable on this mattress than his traditional box spring. This was evident the first night he tried it out and awoke with his covers still on and in tact.

For the cost, my only concern would be longevity/durability which I have no way of being able to quickly evaluate. Also more information about the sourcing of the materials and hypoallergenic status would be helpful. Otherwise, I am very impressed with the product, so much so that as my daughter moves into her first college apartment, I will absolutely look to acquire her a Tanda bed for her; college is hard and I think sleeping on this mattress will make things that much easier!

Dr. W. Chris Winter, MD

 Dr W Chris Winter MD

2018 Resolution

It’s no secret that the New Year starter pack almost always includes a gym membership, eating healthy, learning something new, and spending more time with family. However, as healthy sleep habits are quickly gaining notoriety, shouldn’t sleep be included in a list of New Year’s resolutions?

Sleep is important for a number of reasons. Along with feeling refreshed and well rested, sleep can actually account for keeping the body healthy and alert. It is said that someone can go three times as long without food as they can without sleep . If you wouldn’t starve yourself, you also shouldn’t neglect your body’s natural need for sleep. Lack of sleep can make reaction times slower as well as impair alertness and concentration. Sleep deprivation can also lead to serious health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. If that wasn’t enough, lack of sleep can also make you crave sweets and actually gain weight.

However, in a busy world of balancing work and home, it is difficult to get those well rested 8 hours. Some tips to a more rested sleep include, removing electronics from the bedroom, taking 30 minutes to relax and unwind before bed, making comfort a priority with Tanda , and hoping in bed a bit earlier than usual so that your body can have the time it needs to repair itself after a tiring day.

So let’s add sleep to our New Year’s resolutions!

Sleepwalking

If you know someone who suffers from somnambulism you know a sleepwalker, which occurs in the deepest stage of sleep during the first few hours of sleep. That’s usually why you can’t snap sleepwalkers out of this state; they are too soundly asleep—having no recollection of events that occurred, even if pain was inflicted on them.

So what do you do if you live with a sleepwalker?

Gently guide the person back to bed and if this happens often, make sure the area around the bed is free of any obstacles or anything that can hurt the sleepwalker as they won’t wake up if any pain is inflicted upon them. A good precaution is to lock all the doors and windows before bed and hide the car keys.

If you are able to wake a sleepwalker from this state be careful because they are usually confused and groggy for a good 30 minutes and can lash out both verbally or physically. Children sleepwalk more than adults and if it does occur with adults, it is usually during the later stages of REM sleep and there could be an underlying issue (sleep disorder, side effect of medication, medical condition, etc.).

Sleep talking is also associated with sleepwalking but resist the urge to engage in conversation with a sleep talker. Sometimes it is nonsensical babble and other times it sounds like a normal conversation but most sleep talkers aren’t aware of what they are saying and won’t recall what they did say making you more frustrated.

Keeping a sleepwalking diary with details of when it occurred, how long it happened, and what happened will help you or a professional understand your issues and help create better sleep habits. Don’t have someone to take notes during your sleepwalking episodes? Some have resorted to setting up cameras to watch what they did at night the next day.

If you think you are a sleepwalker, please speak with a professional for tools to help you.

 

Tired Driving

It’s no secret that lack of sleep takes a toll on your health, both mentally and physically. However, driving while tired is often overlooked. It’s the common misconception that you’re not that tired or you’re not that far away from your destination. This couldn’t be more wrong. Over time, individuals who regularly get 6 hours of sleep or less will find their reaction time has slowed to a quarter of a second to almost 4 seconds. Believe it or not, 4 seconds is all it takes to swerve off the road, hit someone, or run a red light. Continue reading Tired Driving

Nightmares

Nightmares are “lengthy, elaborate dreams with imagery that evokes fear, anxiety, or sadness. The dreamer may wake up to avoid the perceived danger. Nightmares can be remembered upon awakening and may lead to difficulties returning to sleep or even cause daytime distress” (Psychology Today). Having a nightmare once in a while is normal but if you are having recurring nightmares that are bringing on anxiety or other symptoms, it can be part of a larger sleep disorder.

They occur during REM sleep and usually happen towards the end of the night and can be a reaction to stress or even a way to work something traumatic out. The issue arises when it impacts your waking life from your all over health to how you function every day. The tendency for nightmares is seen more often in girls than boys beginning in childhood and if they continue into adulthood, can be due to outside factors (or mental disorder).

Children and adolescents tend to experience nightmares more commonly and it becomes infrequent into adulthood. However, about 50% of adults experience nightmares where women have them more often than men. Roughly 1% of adults who have frequent nightmares need professional help as it can lead to avoiding sleep and negative impacts to their everyday life.

Reoccurring nightmares, which do become a disorder, may be referred to as Nightmare Disorder and there are some criteria for a diagnosis. (Once again I implore you to see a doctor if you believe you have a sleep disorder of any kind and do not go all WebMD on yourself).

  • You are oriented and alert the instant you wake up
  • Waking up often with detailed recollection of your nightmare occurring in the latter part of sleep and are usually about security or threats to survival
  • Adverse effects to work, social interaction, and overall well being
  • No known medical condition or use of medications or substances that would cause symptoms

While M. Night Shyamalan might help to create some nightmares, there are other causes. 60% of cases are due to anxiety or stress but they can also occur due to sleep apnea, side effect or withdrawal of drug, excessive alcohol intake or withdrawal, eating right before bed, sleep disorders, and many more.

They can induce a lot of anxiety within a person but there are ways to help treat it. Support from friends and families will help reduce stress and if you have been a part (in any way) of a type of trauma, a mental health professional can help you navigate some issues. Your physical health also has a lot to do with how you sleep so be consistent with what you do as it relates to food, exercise, and sleep habits. If you started a new medication and your nightmares began shortly thereafter, contact your doctor to see if that could be the culprit and what you can do.

Nightmares can be terrifying but understanding what they are, what causes them, and some ways to treat them can go a long way in getting a more restful sleep.

Sleeping with Makeup On

You get home, take a shower, slip into something comfy, eat some dinner, wind down, and head to bed. But wait…you still have makeup on! Many people go to bed with their makeup on, too exhausted from a long day at work or partying with some friends. Going to bed with makeup on once in a while some dermatologists say isn’t the worst but going to bed with a full face of makeup on can lead to both potential short and long-term issues.

Learn what committing this cardinal sin can do to your skin.

Breakouts

  • The most obvious of answers, sleeping with makeup on leads to acne. By wearing makeup to bed, your skin is not getting as much oxygen as it needs and all those irritants in contact with your skin longer than intended can cause many issues. Clogged pores and dead skin cells can lead to both mild and serious bouts of acne.

Aging

  • While makeup can make us feel and look more beautiful, sleeping with your makeup on can cause premature aging in the long run. Pollutants and other toxins get stuck in your makeup, breaking down collagen and other proteins responsible for skin rejuvenation and firmness.

Infection

  • This is especially true when sleeping with mascara on—it dries out the eyelashes, making them to brittle and prone to breaking. In addition, flecks of mascara can get into your eyes at night causing an inflammation that needs to be medically treated with symptoms including itchiness and redness.

So what kind of healthy habits can you partake in?

Wash off your makeup thoroughly and apply a light moisturizer to your face and neck. (Look for ones specifically engineered for face; they are lighter than regular moisturizers). They help to prevent your skin from drying out while you sleep. Replacing pillowcases weekly (at least) can reduce inflammation and dullness.

No matter how exhausted you are, getting those extra 2 minutes of sleep will lead to lifetime of issues. So get some makeup remover wipes and take it off before hitting the bed.