Our Sleep Phases Depend On Our Body Clock

Sleep PhasesYou must know very well that sometimes, regardless of our being an owl or a lark, it can be easy to wake up early in the morning and start our working day in a good shape. But sometimes, even if you are used to waking up with the sunrise and flying out of your bed with a smile, you are literally unable to open your eyes and begin your day full of energy. It is quite a common issue in our times, and there are plenty of causes of that: chronic stresses, our common lack of physical activities and improper nutrition, getting out of bed too early in the working days and staying in bed too late in the weekends, as well as other sleep imbalances and disorders which most of us are having now. A great deal of modern people admit that they have serious problem with waking up early in the morning, and most of those are convinced that improper sleep or feeling too sleepy in the morning affects their productivity and efficiency to a great extent.

In particular, according to the latest statistics, about 15 per cent of today’s teenagers reported feeling too sleepy in the morning, so they come to school not properly awake. The issue became a point of interest of a scientific team at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, and the experts decided to look closer at the phenomena they called ‘delayed sleep phase disorder’, defined by the authors of the study as a condition when a person can not fall asleep at night and can not wake up in the morning at a conventional time. After collecting some information and analyzing sleep patterns of some people in Australia, the scientists came to the conclusion that such thing as our own body clock can be responsible for the problem. According to Professor Leon Lack, one of the study leaders and the author of the report, those people who have delayed body clock which run longer than 24 hours are most likely to suffer from such problem.

‘Most people have a 24-hour body clock, it’s a natural rhythm that influences sleepiness and core body temperature but for people with delayed sleep phase disorder it takes longer to complete the cycle so they tend to go to bed later and wake up later.’ Professor Lack underlined that in those people whose body clock works normal are usually informed about the time to get up by the amount of sunlight or daylight coming to their bedroom. However, since we are using blinds or heavy curtains, the body does not receive these simple natural signals on time. That is how body clock imbalances start, leading to various sleep disorders and decreased sleep quality. That is, in turn, linked not only to decreased productivity and a lack of success, but also to poorer health, lower life quality, and more stresses. Unfortunately, the problem is sometimes much more serious that it may seem, and it affects overwhelming majority of people around the world.

At that, as the expert is convinced, such constant disruptions in circadian rhythms and other factors turn the mentioned sleep disorder into a chronic problem which can sometimes be very hard to get rid of. The only possible treatment proposed by Professor Lack and his scientific team is a special therapy involving exposing people to a bright light in the beginning of the day. This can be an effective approach to informing the body clock about the necessity to work faster and restoring the natural original circadian rhythms of people. However, further studies and experiments are necessary to prove the effectiveness of the proposed therapy. Professor Lack underlines that it is essential to keep in mind that this serious condition affects many people’s life and should be never overlooked. ‘It causes young people to be late for school and when they do get to school they’re inattentive until their body clock finally wakes up. Adults can also have trouble holding down jobs because they’re always running late for work so it does have a detrimental effect on lives,’ he stated.

Japanese Researchers Know How To Read Dreams

PregnancyAll of us see dreams, some if us do almost every night, and some less frequently. Dreams are an integrated part of our brain-work, and actually not seeing dreams is considered by scientists to be not a good sign. We know that our dreams should mean something, they carry some important messages and possibly can even predict our future and play a role of warning signs for some events to happen soon. That is why many people are looking for an answer to the questions who to read dreams and how to understand what dreams mean in our life. There is plenty of theories and approaches to reading dreams, and traditionally, every nation has own idea as to what one of another dream can mean for the person who’ve seen it. Besides, there are some scientific technologies being developed in order to better understand the phenomena of seeing dreams and learn how to read dreams we see at night.

Time to time, there are pretty interesting findings can be found in scientific magazines and other academic sources related to the issue of reading dreams. This way, recently the group of Japanese scientists reported that they have discovered a new approach to understanding what a person seeing in his sleep. They came up with a new idea about how to “read” dreams that other people see at night. According to the report about the study published recently in the journal Science, the experts from the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories located in Kyoto, Japan, managed to use the results of MRI scans to get a key to the secrets of the dreams we see. The new technology has already got a name of “the world’s first decoding” and it works quite effectively in order to provide the humanity with the answer to the questions how to read dreams, which was a point of interest of the humanity since very old times and which made plenty of scientists in many countries of the world work on for many centuries.

For the study, the scientists from Kyoto worked with a number of participants invited for the research on analyzing their sleep and dreams. During the experiments, the Japanese researchers used the scans of magnetic resonance imaging in order to find out what exact part of human brain is responsible for dreaming and shows some activities during the sleep phase when we see dreams. Then, the participants were woken up and asked in details about what exactly they were seeing in their dreams. It was repeated for about 200 nights to every each of the participant, and the results of the MRI scans were compared to the information about actual dreams received after interviewing the participants. By the end of the experiment the scientists managed to read the dreams with about 60 per cent of precision. In other words, by using MRI scans of the participants they could predict what they were seeing in their dreams with the 60 per cent accuracy.

After that, the researchers decided to continue experiments and very soon their accuracy rates improved to 70 per cent, in the cases when the dreams that the participants were seeing were focused on 15 specific items, including men, books, or words they said. Yukiyasu Kamitani, the leader of the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories study group and one of the senior researchers at the laboratories said: “We have concluded that we successfully decoded some kinds of dreams with a distinctively high success rate.” The scientists are convinced that their study and their findings should be considered only the first step on the way to findings out a successful and 100 per cent accurate technique of reading human dreams. Such kind of technologies can be extensively used in the future for studying the specific of human brain and learning new abilities of human brain which still remain unknown for us in modern times.


Tranquil Moments, Sleep Sound Machine

Sleep Sound MachineFrom our own life experiences, we know that electronic devices mostly affect our sleep and are actually not compatible with a good sleep. When we are thinking about sleep and electronic devices, most of us imagine alarm clocks and various similar things, which cause nothing else but only negative emotions for us. Or, we can think about some noisy electronic devices that we have in our houses, or our neighbors have, which also very often interfere our sleep and cause sleep disorders. However, not many of us know that there are actually some gadgets called sleep sound machines, designed specially to help us fall asleep easier and support our sleep. A new sleep support device known also as “Tranquil Moments sleep sound machine” is one of such amazing things which can help everyone who needs a good night sleep but can not fall asleep, or suffers from any kind of sleep disturbance.

This amazing sound machine sleep device was developed by a group of experts led by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson of the Center for Neuroacoustic Research, Brookstone, and now it is available in many online shops like Amazon for the people around the world. Tranquil Moments sleep sound machine was a result of long term experiments and lab studies which helped scientists create a really miraculous sound machine sleep technology. According to Dr. Thompson, by using this unique machine everyone can relax and fall asleep much faster compared to those people who do not use the device. In contrast to some known noise machines that used to help kids and babies fall asleep and combat their fear of darkness, Tranquil Moments has 16 relaxing melodies which can help calm down and fall asleep. The only requirement is: the music should be on all night long, or not less than for 30 minutes before going to sleep. It is possible to use specially designed headphones, so those who are sleeping next to you will not be disturbed.

The secret of Tranquil Moments sleep sound machine is easy: its sounds influence our alpha-, beta- and theta-brain waves, making it easier for us to calm down and fall asleep. The mentioned types of brain waves interact with each other and play a role during all phases of sleep. Tranquil Moments sleep sound machine has clinically proven effects and can be used by virtually every person as an excellent natural aid to promote relaxation and sleep. There were no side effects or any kind of unwanted negative reactions of the body registered in any person after using this innovative device. Most of the participants who have already tested the device reported about very high effectiveness of this new sound machine sleep technology, and sound quality was named as the second most important advantage. Such factors as too high price for Tranquil Moments sleep sound machine and too much of unwanted light were mentioned the most commonly among the disadvantages of the device.

Dr. Jeffrey Thompson underlined that the new sleep technology he introduced a few years ago has proven positive effects not only for sleep quality, but also has shown to demonstrate very high effectiveness for stress relieve and management. All the participants of testing experiments reported that the idea of Tranquil Moments creators to use the sounds of nature instead of electronic sounds and other sounds that are commonly used in similar devices was very successful and effective. The device allows setting 30-, 60-, and 90-minute sleep times and allows user select the most pleasant sounds like Dolphins, Lullaby, Heartbeat, White Noise, and others. Tranquil Moments sleep sound machine is an excellent and unique innovative technology recommended to everyone who has spare 200 dollars and willing to spend it for improving own sleep quality and reducing the health risks linked to sleep problems.

Are There Safe Sleeping Pills?

safe sleeping pillsWe all know a lot from our own experience how destructive and harmful the effects of sleeping disorders can be. Having no proper and restful sleep at night is linked to increased tiresome, increased sensitivity to stresses, inability to preform and focus, inability to make decisions and look for effective solutions for our daily problems, inability to be fully active and 100 per cent effective in our daily tasks. In addition to that, sleep problems and disorders are linked to increased risk of many serious diseases including cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, mental and psychological disorders, and so on. A chronic lack of proper sleep can have serious effects, that is why we’re trying to do everything possible in order to prevent it and use effective techniques and approaches to support our sleep.

Thus, using sleeping pills is a choice of many modern people who are in desperate need of a fast solution for sleep disorders. A sleeping pill can be a good treatment for providing us some good sleep for some period of time. However, it is not recommended to use sleeping pills for long since it also linked with certain risks and harmful effects, similar to the ones of having improper sleep every night. Are there safe sleeping pills, some of us may wonder? A group of the scientists at the University of California, San Diego, tried to find an answer to this question and conducted a study on 33,000 people analyzing the effects of common sleeping pills like zolpidem, zaleplon and zopiclone. The first findings of the study have shown too low effectiveness of these drugs, along with their being very highly addictive. It is estimated that in our times, over 1.5 million of British citizens suffer from high addiction to sleeping pills making this a quite big and serious problem, both on personal and social levels.

As further analysis has shown, using sleeping pills was linked with increased risk  for memory impairment and Alzheimer’s risk. It is estimated that those people over 65 who are addicted to sleeping pills have up to 50 per cent higher risk of suffering from dementia like brain disorders. Finally, as it is stated in the report about the study, using sleeping pills is linked to increased cancer risk, and even to increased risk of premature death. The scientists came to the conclusion that most likely there is not such thing as safe sleeping pills, and it is quite risky to put our brain through this extra chemical treatment to induce sleep. The truth is: we know very little about what our brain is and how it works, but it is obvious that treating out brain with such chemicals which are designed to alter its natural condition is linked to plenty of health risks and possible physical damage.

This can be said not only about old and commonly used sleeping pills like the ones based on boosting production of GABA in our brain (a chemical that helps us feel more relaxed and sleepy), but even the latest ones like Suvorexant, which is promised to be one of the safe sleeping pills since it works smaller brain area, but at the same time help us fall asleep 40 per cent faster and allow us sleep 40 per cent longer. Unfortunately, it is going to have plenty of side effects. ‘It blocks a compound called orexin that is involved in sleep, but also controls appetite. Mice given the drug have put on a lot of weight,’ Daniel Kripke, professor of psychiatry emeritus at the University of California, commented. Besides, just like all sleeping pills, this one is going to be highly addictive since it is a property of all Z-drugs. Remember that using sleeping pills is linked to side effects like increased risk of cancer, addictiveness, Alzheimer’s risk, and other negative effects.

10 Common Things That Affect Sleep

Affect SleepNowadays, sleep experts are reporting that people started suffer less from bad sleep or a lack of sleep. According to the information provided by the National Sleep Foundation, every three of four people are satisfied with their current sleep quality and report about having a good sleep at least 4-5 days a week. At that, as much as 42 per cent of people say that they sleep very well every night and do not suffer from any sort of sleep disorders or disturbances. These are the results of a new survey of 1,000 American people of various ages and occupation types. As the findings of the survey have shown, we sleep an average 6 hours and 45 minutes in weekdays, but in the weekends or days off we usually sleep an average 7 hours and 35 minutes.

However, the main objective of the survey was to find out what are the most important things and factors for good sleep, and what are the factors and things that affect sleep. About 90 per cent of the participants have reported that they choose products for their sleep and bedrooms with a great deal of attention, and the primary importance is given to pillows, sheets, linen, mattresses, and curtains. At that, the most of the respondents reported feeling maximum discomfort and sleep problems due to uncomfortable mattress (about 93 per cent of the respondents), uncomfortable pillows (91 per cent), and not fresh sheets (86 per cent). Along with these factors, the respondents mentioned not quiet room,  improper room temperature, not clean and not fresh air in the room, and too light bedroom. Such factors as using relaxation techniques before going to bed and using prescribed sleep pills were mentioned very rarely.

Therefore, according to the findings of this research, the scientists managed to select 10 factors and things that affect sleep the most. Check out the list below:

  • Uncomfortable mattressUncomfortable  mattress (over 90 per cent impact)
  • Uncomfortable pillows (up to 70 per cent impact)
  • Improper bedroom temperature (about 69 per cent impact)
  • A lack of bedroom darkness (57 per cent impact)
  • Uncomfortable and not fresh sheets (almost 53 per cent impact)
  • Partner snoring (up to 41 per cent impact)
  • Allergic reactions (about 37 per cent impact)
  • Kids sharing the bed (28 per cent impact)
  • Pets sharing the bed (about 27 per cent impact)
  • Partner moving at night (up to 27 per cent impact)

Since it became apparent that uncomfortable mattresses play a leading role among the factors that affect sleep, the researchers asked extra questions related to the issue. It turned out that 41 per cent of the respondent had certain problems with mattress causing some discomfort, from very low to the highest one. Almost two of ten respondent reported that they have problems with sleeping due to uncomfortable mattress more than 3 days a week. At that, bout 18 per cent reported about mattresses lacking support the their back or neck, or mattress sagging in the middle. 17 per cent of the participants said that their mattress feels comfortable to one partner but not the other, or about mattress causing uncomfortable temperature for sleeping.

A few per cents of the respondents reported about mattress being too soft, too firm, or not big enough. Consider the mentioned factors that affect sleep and analyze your sleeping environment. Maybe it is a snoring partner or a cuddly pat which makes your sleep too bad. Try to figure out the most effective solution and remember that getting the best rest is very important for everyone’s health and well being. It is also very interesting that when choosing bedroom products, many respondent reported about being concerned about the looks and aesthetic part of the issue. In particular, over 50 per cent of the respondents have reported that they choose bedroom products and items that will look great and attractive to the family members and guests.