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

Benefits of Buying a Mattress Online

How do you know when it’s time for a new mattress?  The average mattress can last about 10 years and surprisingly most people aren’t exactly sure how old their mattress even is.  I mean have you ever heard someone say “I’ve got the 2007 ultra-soft model” when referring to their mattress?

We all know the stories about what a hassle it is to buy a mattress in retail store so many choose to forgo the mattress shopping experience and just live with an old mattress. Old mattresses become uncomfortable, and can actually be one of the reasons you are losing sleep at night. If we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping in bed, shouldn’t our mattress be supportive and new?  Luckily, the buying process has become much easier in the digital age allowing you to forgo the uncomfortable retail experience altogether.  Here is a list of benefits to buying online in addition to avoiding the pushy store salesman:

Save Money
Buying a mattress online means that there is no sales commission. There is no stress in the decision making process and the price you see is the price you pay. You are virtually cutting out the middleman and the markup to get the best price possible.  There are also many coupons floating around online to guarantee a great deal on an already great product.

All of the Product Details Are Readily Available
You can easily do your homework and learn about a mattress from an online website, you can email customer support to ask additional questions about their products and you can read reviews from independent experts when gathering information.

Shopping from Home
Most mattress stores carry a number of different brands. This means you are bombarded with all different shapes, sizes, firmness, and price points. This can be overwhelming if you don’t already have something in mind, and to top it off a salesperson is standing over you as you lay awkwardly on a mattress in a store to test it and then is rushing you to make a decision. Shopping online eliminates this awkwardness. All the comparisons can be done online, at your own pace and without anyone looming over you. Plus most come with a 100-night trial so you can enjoy 100 nights on your mattress in your own home.

Ease of Setup
Furniture is tiring to move. We’ve all been there. Luckily, about a week after purchasing a mattress, it arrives on your doorstep, compressed in a box that fits comfortably through any doorway. Once you are ready, you can just pull the mattress out of the box, cut the plastic off, and watch it unfold on the bed ready for tonight’s slumber.

Writing all of this made me tired. Time to relax on my mattress I bought online!

Catch Some Zzz’s on New Year’s Eve

It’s that wonderful time of year where the ball drops in Times Square, people cheer, and everyone welcomes a brand new year. The excitement of New Year’s Eve is coupled with staying up until midnight but leading up to and the next day can be hard on a person. Avoid the sleep deprivation and exhaustion that is accompanied on the first of every year and start it off right with these helpful tips from SleepBetter.org.

Nap on the Last Day of the Year

If you’re going to party it up until midnight, take a nap on December 31 around or even after 2 or 3 p.m. (not usually recommended but in this case, warranted). Remember not to over nap though!

Go to Bed When It Is All Said & Done

Celebrating New Year’s means you saw the ball drop, the fireworks exploded, some people kissed, some drank, and it is now January 1 of a new year. You don’t have to stay up past 12:01 a.m. to have enjoyed the night and if you’d like to be awake for the start of the new year, go to bed. You might miss some of the party but you’ll minimize the impact of this holiday on your sleep.

Why Are You Still Sleeping, It’s a Brand New Day!?

It doesn’t matter that you decided to go to bed at 3 a.m., don’t wake up at noon. Try and we really do mean try to get up within an hour of your normal waking time. Otherwise you’ll really mess up your sleep schedule.

Ended the Year in a Nap, Start a New Year with One

So you’ll probably most definitely be very tired on January 1 so take a nap before 2 or 3 p.m. for 20-30 minutes and no more. (See last sentence of previous tip for reason why).

If You Really Need It…

Grab a cup of Joe (or tea) to help you get through the day. But don’t drink any after 2 or 3 p.m. (I trust you know why by now).

Sleep

If you are tired enough to go to sleep, go to bed an hour early. This is quite helpful for people who have work on January 2.

12 Days of Sleep Tips

December 13 marks the countdown of 12 days of sleep tips

  1. Stick to a schedule. Around the holidays it is difficult to remain on a sleep schedule. However a sleep schedule regulates the body to know when it is time to fall asleep and when it is time to wake up.
  2. Make 8 hours of sleep a priority. Don’t skip on the 8 hour rule. You can’t make up missed hours of sleep, and you’ll lose productivity throughout the day.
  3. Exercise daily. Exercise is important for overall health, but also sleep. Exercising in the morning or daytime can actually make it easier to fall asleep come nighttime.
  4. Eliminate light. The body keeps itself awake when exposed to light, especially natural night and blue light emitted from screens. This light can make it difficult to fall asleep. Cut down light exposure about an hour before bed.
  5. Keep the room cool. Internal body temperature regulates the body. Before falling asleep, the body temperature drops slightly which helps aid in falling asleep. Sleep expert, Dr. R recommends between 62 and 70.
  6. Reserve the bedroom for sleep only. Many people bring their work or laptops into the bedroom. This is a big no. The brain needs to learn that the bedroom is for sleep only, otherwise you can be kept up with racing thoughts of unanswered emails.
  7. Get all your worries out into the open and on paper. Writing everything down that is bothering you can help put the mind at ease. Then it doesn’t look as threatening in the morning.
  8. Reduce napping. Power napping can be helpful, but be sure to limit it to 20 minutes; otherwise it can make it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime.
  9. Chamomile tea. Chamomile comes with many known benefits. One being that it naturally induces sleep. So on the night’s when you’re awake tossing and turning, reach for that cup of tea.
  10. Meditate/breathing exercises. It’s easy to stress and stress does not induce sleep. It’s important to try meditation or breathing exercises to relax and drift to sleep.
  11. Hide your clock. Consistently counting the minutes that you’re not asleep only adds more stress and anxiety. Staring at the clock actually keeps you awake longer.
  12. Don’t overbook. Overbooking for the holidays is a big no no. Overbooking creates stress and unreal expectations which can often put sleep on the back burner. Make sleep a priority this season!

One more tip for good luck.

Give back. Around the holidays it is super important to give back. After all, it is the season of giving!

Thriving in a 9 to 5 World as a Night Owl

If you tend to function best at night, you might find it rough to navigate the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. world designed for so-called “morning people.” The most caffeinated beverage and delicious breakfast pastries cannot alleviate that groggy, disorienting feeling that night owls feel in the morning. Instead of crawling your way back to bed, try these tips in the workplace to help you thrive.

Change Your Sleep Schedule

  • A gradual shift in your sleep pattern will make you feel more energetic during the day. As a night owl, you are used to going to bed late so start going bed earlier in smaller increments. Eventually you’ll get to an earlier bedtime.

Take Breaks

  • Staying late and waking up early usually leads to sleep loss and can cause procrastination in the workplace. Instead of trying to plow through your day, break your workload into smaller, more manageable tasks and take breaks in between each task.

Talk to a Doctor

  • If coping mechanisms and other tips aren’t helping and your night-owl habits are interfering with your lifestyle, talk to a doctor to make sure you don’t have a sleep disorder. Most people don’t recognize when they have a sleep disorder, so seeing a doctor could help answer some questions.

How Do You Sleep In Bed—Stomach, Side or Back?

Sleep.org ranked which way is the best to sleep from best to worst. How do you stack up?

  1. Back

Only 8% of people sleep on their back and it is still the best for you. According to research, sleeping on your back allows your body to remain in the neutral position with your head, neck, and spine in rest. No extra pressure means less pain. Downside of this position, it can cause your tongue to block the breathing tube, which can make snoring more severe and problematic for sleep apnea sufferers.

  1. Side

15% of adults sleep on their side where the spine is elongated and helps to diminish back and neck pain. With the airways open, you are also less likely to snore and it is a great choice for people with sleep apnea. One wrinkle, it can lead to them because half of your face is pushed into a pillow.

  1. Stomach

7% of adults sleep this way and the only thing this is good for is snoring and that’s about it. Sleeping this way causes back and neck pain, putting pressure on muscles and joints, leading to numbness, tingling, and a host of other issue. Their suggestion if you can only sleep this way, sleep with your forehead propped up on the pillow (instead of with your head turned to one side) to allow room to breathe.

 

Curious to know what it means if you sleep like a starfish or you and your partner nuzzle in bed? Learn about it here for singles and here for couples.