From Daylight Savings Time to headphones and podcasts, there’s a lot going on in the world of sleep this week
It shouldn’t come as a shock that the pandemic continues to dominate the world of sleep research. While vaccines are beginning to roll out, many of us are still living semi-locked down lives. The bad news is that a full year into dealing with COVID has left many of us anxious, depressed and struggling to get a good night’s sleep. The good news is that there’s a lot of research being done on the effects the pandemic has on our sleep – and what we can do about it.
- If you’re struggling with mental health, Pri-Med (a medical education company) has compiled a list of mental health tools for patients with anxiety and depression.
- If you’re looking for meditation training to help ease anxiety, Mindful Heart offers free online zoom classes guided by skilled instructors.
If you’re struggling with sleep, we’ve scoured the internet for research articles and expert sleep advice to help you find the answers you’re looking for to improve your sleep.
Revenge bedtime procrastination is a real sleep disorder
What is revenge bedtime procrastination? It’s a refusal to shut your eyes when you know you should, an actual psychological phenomenon called “revenge bedtime procrastination.” The term “bedtime procrastination” first surfaced in a 2014 study from the Netherlands. With the addition of “revenge,” the term started appearing on the internet in China in 2016. It was finally introduced to English speakers last summer by writer Daphne K. Lee, who defined it on Twitter as “a phenomenon in which people who don’t have much control over their daytime life refuse to sleep early in order to regain some sense of freedom during late night hours.”
The “revenge” element of the phrase is what sets it apart from any other instance of failing to go to bed at an intended time. It’s a deliberate choice—”a failing to go to bed at an intended time in order to claim some much needed ‘me time.’ Read more: health.com
Pandemic-stressed teens and insomnia
This year has been catastrophic for our mental health and sleep health. From children to adults, everyone is calling out COVID-19 as a major source of stress that contributes to their inability to sleep. With so much uncertainty and constant change, everyone’s sleep has been affected at some point. When our sleep suffers, we’re less patient, more anxious and end up creating stress and tension in our home for all family members. Essentially, we are all carrying collective family stress, increased by the pandemic. This shared stress that we pass back and forth to one another makes it difficult for all of us to sleep at night. But it’s teenagers who may not have the tools to cope with these changes, like adults with more experience do.
Telling children — especially teens — what to do and how to improve their sleep is not as effective as showing them. Get outside with them during the day. Have a set routine for yourself and help them create their own. It’s for us parents to create the space and set the tone for what happens before bedtime. Read more: huffpo.com
Daylight Saving Time – expert life hacks to help you cope
Will a 1-hour time shift mess with your sleep & mood? Fight back! It’s a short 60 minutes, but the twice-yearly shift that occurs for daylight savings time is long enough to throw your sleep, body, and mood out of whack. And the impact is not insignificant.
A 2016 study found that the overall rate for strokes jumps 8% for days afterward. The risk of heart attacks leap by 10% and cognitive abilities drop. The blame lies squarely on our disrupted circadian rhythms, which can rob you of an average of 40 minutes of sleep. So how can you survive Daylight Saving Time? Read more: restonic.com
Can headphones and a sleepy podcast solve your sleeping challenges?
Listening to someone’s voice narrating an audiobook or talking on a podcast can be an effective sleep aid, experts say. “Some people, when they’re alone in bed at night, they’re kind of alone with their thoughts, and they have circulating thoughts a lot. … They’re thinking about this or that,” said Rafael Pelayo, a clinical professor at Stanford University’s School of Medicine in the sleep medicine division. “They’ll listen to a podcast, or listen to music or something, or turn the TV on to block out their thoughts.”
The podcast market has adapted to capitalize on this effect, and sleep- or relaxation-focused programs have steadily racked up millions of downloads. Last year, Drew Ackerman’s popular narrative sleep podcast, “Sleep With Me,” had more than 42 million downloads, Ackerman wrote in an email to The Washington Post. Likewise, “Nothing Much Happens,” another popular bedtime-story podcast for adults, had almost 19 million total downloads in the past year, marking a 52 percent increase in growth over the previous year, according to analytics data from the Curiouscast podcast network/Corus Entertainment, home of the show. Read more: washingtonpost.com
What should we eat to get a good night’s sleep?
Is there a correlation between insomnia symptoms and a Mediterranean-style diet? One study suggested that a diet that includes whole, fresh foods and plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains was associated with adequate sleep duration and fewer insomnia symptoms:
- Lack of sleep may make us eat more and make less healthy food choices.
- The Mediterranean diet may not only be healthy for the heart and brain, but also for sleep.
- Certain key foods that are part of the Mediterranean diet are rich in melatonin, serotonin, and vitamin D, and these foods may enhance sleep. Read more: harvardhealth.com
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- 7 habits of highly effective nappers
- The ultimate DIY guide to better sleep
- Starting your day sleep deprived? 17 ultimate sleep hacks