If you, or anyone within earshot, does this at night, there may exist a case of sleep apnea. This is a condition in which an intermittent cessation of breathing temporarily starves the heart and brain of oxygen.
This is one of the points made by Christy Goff of Pacific Science Centers.
In case of the above, a night in the sleep lab would be a well-advised move. If such is the diagnosis, a number of treatments is available.
Other facts about sleep included in her talk:
- Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep.
- Cortisol and epinephrine are active in the waking process
- Melatonin, building during waking hours, causes crepuscular drowsiness.
- Serotonin acts to help a happy awakening.
- There are 3-4 sleep cycles per night. Deep sleep comes first, followed by REM sleep. It is during REM that we dream.
- Naps should be limited to about 20 minutes, lest a hormonal imbalance occur.
- As we age. deep sleep time decreases. By age 85, 20% of the night is spent awake.
- Insomnia risks include stress, anxiety, PTSD, and depression.A relation exists between obesity and sleep. Those who sleep less tend to gain weight. The appetite increases in such cases, entailing the hormones Ghelin (appetite enhancer) and Leptin (satiety indicator).
To enhance sleep:
- Finish water intake an hour before retiring.
- Exercise early in the day.
- Get on a schedule for sleep, to balance hormones.
- Restrict time in bed.
- Arise at the same time each day regardless of energy level.
- Do not get into bed until sleepy.
- Don’t stay in bed if not sleepy.
- Read. Do not use TV or phone.
- Turn off electrical devices 30-60 minutes before wishing to go to sleep.
- Do not use caffeine at the end of the day. It blocks the hormone, Adenosine, which causes drowsiness.
- Keep it cave like–cool and dark. 65 degrees is the ideal temperature.
See a sleep specialist when–
- There is snoring
- There is a use of sleeping pills
- It is difficult to fall asleep.
- Tossing and turning occur.
- Interruption in breathing occurs
- There is frequent or early awakening.
- Irritability or inability to concentrate during the day occur.
- Tiredness or depressing happen on awakening.
- There is a desire to take frequent naps.