Daylight Savings

Spring ahead, fall  back. Twice a year we change the clocks to either gain or lose an hour of beloved sleep. We wind the clocks back in the fall and gain that much needed extra hour of shut eye. In the spring, we lose an hour and are all of a sudden sent into a tailspin of rushed obligations and sleep deprivation. Understandably, it is easier to get accustomed to that extra hour in the fall – or so we think. Any time change can throw the body off balance, and changing the clock in the fall makes our days shorter and the nights longer with people getting up an hour earlier than they are used to.

It takes about a week to adjust to the shift during daylight savings time for both the fall and spring. Meanwhile, here are some tips you can start in advance to make the transition a bit easier.

  • Start adjusting ahead of schedule
    • Adjust your sleep schedule by 10-15 minutes for a few days before the end of Daylight Savings Time.
  • Exercise
    • Although it is easy to give in the snooze button, waking up to exercise is a good way to kickstart the day. Exercising, particularly in the morning, releases serotonin in the brain, which helps the body adapt to the time change.
  • Wake up at the same time
    • Keeping a regular sleep schedule helps regulates the body. After a while, your body will get used to the rhythm of going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
    • This one should be simple. Alcohol and caffeine can interfere with sleep. If you already have trouble falling asleep, avoiding these two items can aid in sleep.
  • Resist the nap
    • It is best to avoid taking a nap during Daylight Savings Time, because it may make falling asleep for the night more difficult. If you really can’t avoid a nap, it is recommended to take a power nap that is no longer than 20 minutes.
  • Avoid late night snacking
    • Eating too late at night can cause indigestion, which may lead to insomnia as your stomach works over time to digest. It is best to finish dinner a few hours before bedtime.
  • Relax
    • If all else fails, it is important to remember to relax. Stressing and worrying about not being able to fall asleep can actually keep you up longer. Don’t worry, eventually sleep will come. If it doesn’t, it may be important to consult a doctor because you may be suffering from a more serious sleeping condition.

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.

Sleep Talking

Somniloquy: to sleep talk, or not to sleep talk? That is the question. Simply put, somniloquy is a sleep disorder that involves unconscious talking during sleep, or sleep talking. Though mysterious, and sometimes off putting, sleep talking is actually a pretty common occurrence. Roughly 67% of adults have reported talking in their sleep at least once in the past three months.

Generally, sleep talking is nothing to worry about. It ranges from mumbling gibberish, to full coherent sentences. Sleep talking can be completely random or brought on by someone else talking to them while they are asleep. The voice may even sound a bit different from the person’s waking voice.  The content can vary from completely random, or relating to past or present experience. Understanding these words may be difficult and perhaps not even necessary, because it happens outside of conscious awareness. So anything you say in the middle of the night can’t be held against you. Although, not harmful, sleep talking can be embarrassing for the person, or annoying to other bed inhabitants.

Some things that cause these nocturnal outbursts to become more frequent include insufficient sleep, alcohol or drug use, illness, stress, anxiety, and depression. So if you have done any of these recently, don’t be surprised if some sleep talking ensues.

However, be mindful. Sometimes sleep talking is a sign of another sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, night terrors, or sleepwalking. So if you are consistently waking up tired, or feel sad often, it is important to consult with your doctor about your sleep talking.

See this fun video by Adam Rosenberg of himself sleep talking

Myth Busting Napping

If you’re like me, you rediscovered your love for naps in college when your schedule was a bit haphazard and you had a small chunk of time in the middle of the day. As an adult though, taking naps can be frowned upon and feel a little juvenile. Below we debunk some classic myths when it comes to napping and how it can actually be beneficial.

No Time to Cat Nap

If you have time to grab a coffee, a snack, and surf Facebook, you have time for a nap. Taking a 20 minute “power nap” helps to boost alertness.

Perfect Nap is 20 minutes

While 20 minutes is a power nap, there is also the 40 minute nap, the “replacement nap,” as well as the prophylactic nap, which means get into bed and sleep as long as you can. This is usually reserved for people who do shift work or those who are chronically sleep deprived. While this might seem like a great idea, we would like to mention that one person of the Tanda team took this kind of nap (by accident), slept until 8 p.m. and missed dinner with her family.

Usually the most beneficial nap is the power nap because it allows you to get enough sleep without getting the dreaded “sleep hangover” (this occurs when you take a nap longer than 20 minutes).

Napping ‘Till You Can’t Nap No More

Speaking of a sleep hangover, many people fear that they will sleep longer than intended. While technology in bed is frowned upon for nighttime sleeping, here it is your best friend. Use an alarm clock so you won’t over-nap.

Don’t Nap Too Close to Bed

This is actually true. Research shows that the ideal nap time is between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Here our circadian rhythm is at low energy levels and makes it easier to nap.

Bizarre Dreams, Party of 1

Napping puts you in a state between wakefulness and sleep or a “hypnagogic reverie.” In this state, you will have more lucid dreams and have you saying, “what a weird dream.”

All the Tabs in My Brain Won’t Close…and Where is that Music Playing From?

Ever felt like your brain was the Internet and you have 20 tabs open? (Raises hand). You aren’t alone and many people think they can’t nap because of this…but this isn’t true. The trick is consistency; take a nap at the same time every day for the same amount of time. Eventually, your brain will shut down and the music will magically stop playing.

Only Lazy People Nap

If lazy people weren’t actually so lazy and were reading this blog, they would be offended. Fortunately they aren’t but it doesn’t matter because to nap is to be human. History is littered with famous (and influential) people who espoused the benefits of napping. Don’t believe us? Take a nap and read this blog again, let us know how you feel.

Tired After Eating? There’s a Nap for That

Have you ever experienced that after lunch sleepy feeling? If so, don’t worry, it is completely normal as it is natural for people to want to sleep about 7 hours after waking up. Also, this is just your body’s natural reaction to digestion; the body requires and utilizes energy to digest. Another reason is due to the amount of insulin produced after certain meals, such as sugary foods, that can trigger sleep hormones. Overeating is another factor–eating too much can make the body feel uncomfortable, so listen to your body, and stop eating once you’re full.

How to avoid the dreaded after lunch tiredness:

Don’t Skip Breakfast

  • Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. Aside from providing nutrients and giving your body a kick start, it also reduces tiredness later in the day. If you’ve had a good breakfast, it will be easier to ignore those break room donuts.

Eat Smaller Meals throughout the Day

  • Smaller meals take less time to digest. Therefore, the body will use less energy to digest and more to tackle the day ahead.

Drink Water

  • Water is the answer to everything! Water keeps the body hydrated, and dehydration can make the body feel sluggish and fatigued.

Go Outside

  • Exercise keeps you alert and the sunlight increases happiness. During lunch, it can be beneficial to get outside and go for a short walk. Exercise keeps the blood circulating and minimizes the risk of an after lunch food coma.

Take a Nap

  • Although naps sometimes represent laziness, it wouldn’t hurt to take a 20-minute power nap. It is scientifically proven that power naps help boost brain activity as well as productivity.

 

 

Allergy Relief for Better Sleep

It’s that time of year where the smallest change in the weather can cause you to have those dreaded seasonal allergies. With reports of longer pollen seasons, allergy sufferers are having a hard time getting to sleep, especially in the spring, whereas in the fall there is ragweed and mold, and in the winter, those pesty dust mites.

What is a person suffering from these allergies to do in order to get some sleep? We have some solutions for you.

Go Hazmat on Your Room

No we don’t mean go about it like it is a radiation hot spot but deep cleaning your bedroom, where allergens like to hide out, is a great place to start.

  • Vacuum all the carpets & upholstery, a HEPA vacuum cleaner will help to do the trick
  • A HEPA air purifier will help to remove dust particles floating around your room
  • Those stuffed animals you had since you were a kid, they need to be washed just like your sheets
  • Speaking of sheets, your curtains and bedding need to be washed in 130°+ in order to kill dust mites

Give Your Bud a Bath—a lot

Those cute little pets you have can be walking allergen collectors, especially their fur, from when they are on their walks, playing outside, or just lazing about in the grass. Giving your pets frequent baths helps to reduce how much allergen collects in their fur. Another useful tip, have your pet sleep outside of the bedroom—as hard as this might be, it might help make sleeping easier during your seasonal allergies.

Say No to Sleep Meds

While they might help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep, unless specifically prescribed or told to take by a doctor, can lead to a sleep that isn’t all that great. So instead of reaching for that over-the-counter sleep aid, try our other tips instead.

Have any other tips for allergen sufferers out there? Let us know in the comments below.