Sleep! Who doesn’t like sleep?

If ever there was a topic I shouldn’t have to talk about, it should be sleep, I mean come on, a person just lays there and well, sleeps!

What could be easier?

And yet….

Many have difficulty sleeping and/or getting the amount of sleep that is necessary for good health, and maintaining synchronization with their circadian rhythm.

I am not an expert on sleep disorders, and if you are having difficulties you might consult with a sleep specialist.

This blog is for those who think that they will sleep when they are dead; and sadly, they soon will be without proper sleep; and for those who with a few lifestyle modifications could be sleeping like Rip Van Winkle!



Why Is Sleep Important?

It is the time that a person’s body repairs itself from the previous day and rejuvenates itself in preparation for the new coming day.

All the cellular wastes are eliminated including those in the cardiovascular system, and those plaques that lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s are cleaned out of the brain.

Lack of proper sleep leads to:

A decline in performance, brain fog, and unclear thinking, and has a negative effect on attention, response time, and decisions.

Studies are showing patients would be wise to postpone any surgical procedure until they know their doctor is getting the appropriate amount of sleep.

No wonder iatrogenesis, where death was caused by doctor error is the number 3 killer of people, third only to heart disease and cancer. (The risks of which can also be greatly reduced by proper sleep!)

As an aside, I get about 8 hours of sleep every night!


Put Those Kids to Bed!

Studies are showing that kids with ADHD show fewer symptoms if they get the correct amount of sleep and natural sunlight during the day.

Again, I would like to invite you to either watch the YouTube videos, or read the books of Matthew Walker, and Satchin Panda.


Alright, so let’s suppose I got your attention, and you understand that sleep is very important.

So, how much sleep does a person need?

Adults need between 7 and 9 hours each and every night, and this really is not negotiable.

Obviously, children and teenagers need more sleep:

Children 5-12 years old should be getting 9-12 hours of sleep each night, while Teens 13-18 years old need 8-10 hours of sleep each night.

Interestingly, because of the settings of their circadian clocks, teenagers tend to stay awake longer into the night and wake later in the morning.

This is often considered “laziness” by most adults when a teenager sleeps in until 10 or 11 a.m., but it is how their teenage circadian clocks are set.

With this in mind, one would wonder how well a teenager would do in Middle School and High School being forced to wake a 6 a.m. to catch a silly bus and be at their first classes by 7 or 7:30 a.m.?

They are still asleep! And probably will be until 10 a.m. or so!

This might explain poor grades in the early morning classes…, oh and by the way, the brain organizes those things learned and stores them in memory during sleep, which the teen is being deprived of.

Matthew Walker’s book Why We Sleep describes many interesting studies that support the above… you should check it out!

In fact, in one town they changed the starting times for high school from 7:20 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. Auto accidents for kids between 16 and 18 dropped 70%!

Alright, that’s enough for now.

Until the next blogs, here’s something to think about…

To get proper, restorative sleep one must understand the importance of three separate, but very interdependent components of circadian rhythms:

  1. Eating
  2. Light
  3. Activity

The plot thickens! Got questions, comment below or send us a message!

Take Care,

Dr. Dave

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