THE SHIFT WORKER'S GUIDE - SLEEP NEWS
SCIENTISTS ARE DESIGNING A SLEEP CAP TO MEASURE METABOLIC WASTE DISPOSAL DURING SLEEP
Engineers at Rice University’s NeuroEngineering Initiative in partnership with the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB) and physicians at Houston Methodist Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine will develop a “sleeping cap” to analyze the cleansing flow of fluid that drains the brain of common metabolic waste during sleep.
The $2.8 million award issued through the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium is for the first year of what the research team anticipates will be a multi-year grant from the U.S. Army. The primary goal is to noninvasively measure and modulate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid as it circulates through the brain and clears waste.
Ultimately, the team aims to develop a lightweight, portable skullcap that can analyze and stimulate proper flow to treat sleep disorders in real-time.
How sleep deprivation affects soldiers is of great interest to the military, Behnaam Aazhang, director of the NeuroEngineering Initiative and the J.S. Abercrombie Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice, said in a statement.
“They want to understand the glymphatic system and what happens when soldiers lack sleep,” Aazhang said. “If a measurement says the flow is not sufficient, that’s a red flag.”
The glymphatic system pumps cerebrospinal fluid into the brain during sleep, flushing misfolded proteins and other biochemical waste, a process first described only within the past decade.
The current gold standard to view fluid flow in the brain is magnetic resonance imaging, Paul Cherukuri, executive director of the IBB, said in a statement.
“Since an MRI can’t be easily transported, the Department of Defense asked if we can design a small, portable cap that can measure and modulate the brain health of warfighters during sleep to enhance their performance,” he said. “Developing this prototype will require us to start with off-the-shelf devices and learn from them in parallel with building our own sensor technology and algorithms at Rice.
Rice engineers will develop the technology to be evaluated at Houston Methodist and Baylor through work with healthy volunteers and patients. They expect to use several techniques, including ultrasound stimulation and electromagnetic signaling, to measure interstitial fluid as it flows out of the brain to the lymphatic system for disposal.
The final device will combine and analyze multiple streams of data through machine-learning software to be developed at Rice. The merged data will eventually allow clinicians to get a real-time picture of how well the brain is clearing itself.
To start, Houston Methodist and Baylor clinicians will gather data from participants through sleep questionnaires, activity and sleep-tracking devices and commercially available headsets that monitor cerebrospinal fluid flow and compare them with MRI results.
“While humans spend almost one-third of their lives sleeping, a unifying theory about the role of sleep and its impact on human survival and function has not been identified yet,” said Fidaa Shaib, an associate professor of medicine at Baylor in the section of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. “Technologies that facilitate clearing wastes and preventing their deposition in the brain are relevant to patients with sleep disorders, especially those at risk for such neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer’s.”
Photo ID 46301575 © Ian Allenden | Dreamstime.com
3 PROVEN BENEFITS OF NAPPING
But not all siestas are created equal. Dr. Drerup explains how a daytime doze might help you — and how to design the perfect nap.
Are naps healthy?
Naps have a lot going for them, Dr. Drerup says. For some people with sleep disorders, daytime naps might even be a scheduled part of your treatment plan.
But healthy sleepers, too, can benefit from a midday snooze. What can a catnap do for you?
If you’re nodding off at your desk after a late night, a short nap can take the edge off your sleepiness. But you don’t have to be sleep-deprived to benefit from a quick lie-down. Various studies have found that naps can increase alertness, speed up reaction time and improve logical reasoning abilities.
Boost your memory
Trying to learn a new skill? A nap might be just what you need. Researchers have found that people who learn new tasks remember them better after a short nap.
One study found that people who took an hour-long nap remembered new information better than people who took a break or crammed before the test. And of the three groups, the nappers remembered the info best a week later.
Help you face frustration
A nap can help ease stress and may even turn a sour mood around. Research has shown that after a midday nap, people are less impulsive and can deal better with frustration.
How to build a better nap
Naps can be a real treat. But some siestas are more helpful than others. Here’s how to design a nap that works.
How long should I nap?
You don’t need a marathon nap session to reap the rewards. In fact, shorter naps tend to be the sweetest.
So what’s the magic number? “For most people, a power nap of 15 to 30 minutes is the best strategy,” Dr. Drerup says. “That’s long enough to feel refreshed, but not so long that you’ll move into deeper stages of sleep or take away your sleep drive for the next night.”
Long naps can cause two problems, Dr. Drerup says:
Sleep inertia. Have you ever woken up from a nap feeling groggy and dim-witted? Blame a phenomenon called sleep inertia. When we slumber, we cycle through different phases of sleep. Later stages of sleep are deeper — and harder to wake from.
Insomnia. If you sleep too much during the day, it can make it harder to sleep at night. Then you wake up tired and tempted to take another long nap the next day. “It becomes a vicious cycle,” Dr. Drerup says.
When should I take a nap?
You don’t need a daily nap to reap the benefits, Dr. Drerup says. But on days you can fit it in, a short power nap might give you a welcome boost.
“It’s common to feel sluggish in the midafternoon, thanks to the natural pattern of our circadian rhythms,” Dr. Drerup says. “If you can’t focus or be productive, that might be a good time to squeeze in a quick power nap.”
Sleeping too close to bedtime, though, can screw up your nighttime slumber. “If you are awake during traditional hours, try to avoid napping past 2 or 3 in the afternoon,” she says.
But there are exceptions to that rule. “If you do shift work, an evening nap before your shift starts can really help with alertness,” she says. “Similarly, a nap before a long drive can help you stay alert during the trip.”
Do you have to nap?
While some people feel refreshed after a power nap, you don’t need to nap to be healthy, Dr. Drerup says. “People experience the benefits of napping very differently.”
Some people are naturally better at conking out during daylight hours. Often, catnaps become more helpful as we age. “As we get older, our sleep becomes lighter, and we wake up more at night,” Dr. Drerup explains. “For many older adults, napping can help them function better.”
But don’t sweat it if you have trouble falling asleep during the day. “Don’t worry if you can’t nap. Some people just can’t sleep well during the day, and there’s no harm in that,” she says.
On the other hand, if you can’t make it through a day without climbing into bed, it could be a sign of a problem. “Relying on long, frequent naps might signal an underlying sleep disorder or another medical issue,” she says. “Mention it to your doctor to rule out any problems.”
If you’re healthy and sleep OK at night, but find yourself dragging? There’s a nap for that.
Original : The Cleveland Clinic - Health
PHILIPS CPAP AND VENTILATOR RECALL
Philips has issued a recall for their CPAP & ventilators due to the possibility of inhaling PE-PUR Foam (sound abatement foam) and or off gassing.
IF YOU ARE AFFECTED BY THIS RECALL YOU MUST REGISTER WITH PHILIPS YOURSELF, THIS IS NOT THRU YOUR PROVIDER.
FDA SAFETY COMMUNICATION ABOUT PHILIPS RECALL
TO FIND OUT IF YOUR DEVICE IS AFFECTED, TO REGISTER YOUR DEVICE OR ASK QUESTIONS — US & CANADA
INFORMATION RE CPAP FILTERS - ARE THEY A SOLUTION (NOT REALLY BUT READ FOR YOURSELF)
LINK TO CANADIAN CLASS ACTION
LINK TO UNITED STATES CLASS ACTION
DOGS & THEIR PROMISING ROLE IN SLEEP DISORDERS THERAPY
In patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), nightmares, narcolepsy, parasomnias, and other sleep disorders, service animals may add a valuable, and currently underappreciated, treatment option.
(from the researchers)
“As sleep specialists, we spend our patient contact time on issues related not only to adherence to the treatments we prescribe, but also on trying to understand the motivations and behavioral choices our patients make that affect their sleep. Part of this clinical endeavor is to further understand how we can use patient decision-making preferences to help guide and direct treatment, which at times can present a major challenge. In Western cultures, an increasingly prevalent patient choice is the practice of co-sleeping with pets.
Please FOLLOW THIS LINK to read specifically about OSA, nightmares, narcolepsy, parasomnias, PTSD, and SAs or ESAs.
Summary: In several populations with sleep disorders, SAs (service animals) may add a valuable, and currently underappreciated, treatment option. With some subpopulations, such as veterans, the significant overlap and high prevalence of sleep disorders such as OSA, REM sleep behavior disorder, and nightmares with comorbid PTSD could benefit substantially from such programs. Unfortunately, as there is no central registry for SAs, it is unknown exactly how many have been trained for specific disorders or how many requests for specialized training, such as for sleep disorders, have been made. This should be a top priority. However, it is essential that informed and motivated sleep specialists provide some input to these programs to facilitate the target goals.
The greatest risk or cost of SAs and ESAs (emotional support animals) is nearly always noted by the handler to be the financial cost of caring for the animal. In most cases, the handler considers the dog to be not just a worker, but a pet as well. For many, as the dog is not just a medical tool, these costs are assumed as they are for pets. Accessibility is less frequently cited as problematic as businesses in the United States are increasingly adherent to laws regarding SAs.
One of the greatest benefits of SAs, particularly for medically complicated patients, is that they offer a nonpharmacological solution to treating a sleep disorder in a way that may augment or even replace other (currently standard care) treatments. With regard to comorbid PTSD, the dog also offers a skill that is nonreplicable pharmacologically, eg, the dog can cue the patient consistently 24 hours a day based on scent and/or subtle behavioral cues prior to the manifestation of distressing symptoms, as has been demonstrated with epileptic seizures, as well as with cataplexy.13 Though the value of these service animals may be difficult to prove in a controlled experimental study, subjective reports not only appear to be highly promising, but patients seem to report long-lasting benefit through many years of their dog therapy.
BETTER SLEEP = BETTER SEX = BETTER SLEEP
One in 3 American adults do not get enough sleep. Sexual issues are also common, with as many as 45 percent of women and 31 percent of men having a concern about their sex life. While these might seem like distinct concerns, they are actually highly related.
How are sleep and sex related? I’ll state the obvious: We most commonly sleep and have sex in the same location – the bedroom. Less obvious but more important is that lack of sleep and lack of sex share some common underlying causes, including stress. Especially important, lack of sleep can lead to sexual problems and a lack of sex can lead to sleep problems. Conversely, a good night’s sleep can lead to a greater interest in sex, and orgasmic sex can result in a better night’s sleep.
Laurie Mintz, Professor of Psychology, University of Florida sex educator and researcher tells us this:
The effect of sleep on sex among women
The reason she wrote a book for women who are too tired for sex is because women are disproportionately affected by both sleep problems and by low sexual desire, and the relationship between the two is indisputable. Women are more likely than men to have sleep problems, and the most common sexual complaint that women bring to sex therapists and physicians is low desire. Strikingly, being too tired for sex is the top reason that women give for their loss of desire.
Conversely, getting a good night’s sleep can increase desire. A recent study found that the longer women slept, the more interested in sex they were the next day. Just one extra hour of sleep led to a 14 percent increase in the chances of having a sexual encounter the following day. Also, in this same study, more sleep was related to better genital arousal.
While this study was conducted with college women, those in other life stages have even more interrelated sleep and sex problems. Menopause involves a complicated interaction of biological and psychological issues that are associated with both sleep and sex problems. Importantly, a recent study found that among menopausal women, sleep problems were directly linked to sexual problems. In fact, sleep issues were the only menopausal symptom for which such a direct link was found.
Interrelated sleep and sexual issues are also prevalent among mothers. Mothers of new babies are the least likely to get a good night’s sleep, mostly because they are caring for their baby during the night. However, ongoing sleep and sexual issues for mothers are often caused by having too much to do and the associated stress. Women, who are married with school-age children and working full time, are the most likely to report insomnia. Still, part-time working moms and moms who don’t work outside the home report problems with sleep as well.
While fathers also struggle with stress, there is evidence that stress and the resulting sleepless nights dampen women’s sexual desire more than they do men’s. Some of this is due to hormones. Both insufficient sleep and stress result in the release of cortisol, and cortisol decreases testosterone. Testosterone plays a major role in the sex drive of women and men. Men have significantly more testosterone than women. So, thinking of testosterone as a tank of gas, the cortisol released by stress and lack of sleep might take a woman’s tank to empty, yet only decrease a man’s tank to half full.
The effect of sleep on sex among men
Although lack of sleep and stress seems to affect women’s sexual functioning more than men’s, men still suffer from interrelated problems in these areas. One study found that, among young healthy men, a lack of sleep resulted in decreased levels of testosterone, the hormone responsible for much of our sex drive. Another study found that among men, sleep apnea contributed to erectile dysfunction and an overall decrease in sexual functioning. Clearly, among men, lack of sleep results in diminished sexual functioning.
She could not locate a study to prove this, as it stands to reason that the reverse is also true. That is, it seems logical that, as was found in the previously mentioned study among women, for men a better night’s sleep would also result in better sexual functioning.
The effect of sex on sleep
While sleep (and stress) have an effect on sex, the reverse is also true. That is, sex affects sleep (and stress). According to sex expert Ian Kerner, too little sex can cause sleeplessness and irritability. Conversely, there is some evidence that the stress hormone cortisol decreases after orgasm. There’s also evidence that oxytocin, the “love hormone” that is released after orgasm, results not only in increased feelings of connection with a partner, but in better sleep.
Additionally, experts claim that sex might have gender-specific effects on sleep. Among women, orgasm increases estrogen, which leads to deeper sleep. Among men, the hormone prolactin that is secreted after orgasm results in sleepiness.
Translating science into more sleep and more sex
It is now clear that a hidden cause of sex problems is sleeplessness and that a hidden cause of sleeplessness is sex problems. This knowledge can lead to obvious, yet often overlooked, cures for both problems. Indeed, experts have suggested that sleep hygiene can help alleviate sexual problems and that sex can help those suffering from sleep problems.
Perhaps, then, it is no surprise that both sleep hygiene suggestions and suggestions for enhanced sexual functioning have some overlap. For example, experts suggest sticking to a schedule, both for sleep and for sexual encounters. They also recommend decreasing smartphone usage, both before bed and when spending time with a partner. The bottom line of these suggestions is to make one’s bedroom an exclusive haven for the joys of both sleep and sex.
Laurie Mintz, Professor of Psychology, University of Florida.
Her latest book, “Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters – and How to Get It,” is aimed at empowering women to reach orgasm. More pertinent to the connection between sleep and sex, her first book, “A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex,” was written to help the countless women who say they are too exhausted to be interested in sex.
SMELLING YOUR PARTNER'S SHIRT COULD IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP
Many shift worker’s are partnered with shift worker’s so this might be already working for you. Or if they're gone all night maybe ditch the teddy bear and reach for yesterday's work shirt.
Research from the University of British Columbia suggests that just having the “smell” of a partner in bed with you can help you sleep better.
“Our findings provide new evidence that merely sleeping with a partner’s scent improves sleep efficiency. Our participants had an average sleep efficiency improvement of more than two per cent,” said Marlise Hofer, the study’s lead author and a graduate student in the UBC department of psychology. “We saw an effect similar in size to what has been reported from taking oral melatonin supplements – often used as a sleep aid.”
They analyzed date from 155 participants who were given 2 identical t-shirts to use instead of pillow cases. One had the scent as it had been worn by a partner for 24 hours (no deodorant or smoking or exercising or eating smelly food) - the other did not. The shirts were then frozen to preserve the scent.
The study participants were given both but didn’t know which was which and after each of the 2 nights in the study time frame, completed a survey about how well they thought they had slept. Quality of sleep was also measured with a wearable sleep monitoring device. Participants reported better sleep when they even just thought they’d slept with their partner’s tees, but the sleep monitors also supported that sleep did improve when they were exposed to their partner’s scents.
“One of the most surprising findings is how a romantic partner’s scent can improve sleep quality even outside of our conscious awareness,” said Frances Chen, the study’s senior author and associate professor in the UBC department of psychology. “The sleep watch data showed that participants experienced less tossing and turning when exposed to their partners’ scent, even if they weren’t aware of whose scent they were smelling.”
The researchers say the physical presence of a long-term romantic partner is associated with positive health outcomes such as a sense of safety, calm and relaxation, which in turn leads to better sleep. By signalling recent physical proximity, the mere scent of a partner may have similar benefits.
The Shift Worker's Guide
WHY IS MY HAPPY PLACE NOT SO HAPPY ANYMORE?
“It was surprising,” said Sin. “We have an intuitive sense of this, but it hasn’t really been studied before. I was expecting more action in terms of negative emotions after disrupted sleep — more anger, sadness or frustration — but I saw that most of the action was in our positive emotions.”
“This is a major public health issue,” said Sin. “The solution is not as easy as saying get more sleep. To change your habits and patterns, we also have to think about how we set up our environments, like having routines that promote sleep in the workplace.”
Brain imaging shows that sleep deprivation affects the way we process emotions.
“You still notice negative things in your environment, which is very important for survival, but you are less likely to pick up on positive cues and positive information,” she said. Positive emotions are related to our survival in that when we feel positive we are more likely to engage in play, form or maintain relationships and build intellectual or work resources.”
I DON'T USUALLY… BUT WHEN I DO I'M ALMOST ALWAYS WORKING NIGHTS
After a rough night's sleep, your ability to recognize whether those around you are happy or sad could suffer, according to a study led by a University of Arizona psychologist.
The research, published in the journal Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, found that study participants had a harder time identifying facial expressions of happiness or sadness when they were sleep deprived versus well-rested.
The sleepy participants' ability to interpret facial expressions of other emotions -- anger, fear, surprise and disgust -- was not impaired, however. That's likely because we're wired to recognize those more primitive emotions in order to survive acute dangers, said lead researcher William D.S. Killgore, a UA professor of psychiatry, psychology and medical imaging.
While emotions such as fear and anger could indicate a threat, social emotions such as happiness and sadness are less necessary for us to recognize for immediate survival. When we're tired, it seems we're more likely to dedicate our resources to recognizing those emotions that could impact our short-term safety and well-being, Killgore said.
"If someone is going to hurt you, even when you're sleep deprived you should still be able to pick up on that," Killgore said. "Reading whether somebody is sad or not is really not that important in that acute danger situation, so if anything is going to start to degrade with lack of sleep it might be the ability to recognize those social emotions."
The data used in the study was part of a larger research effort on sleep deprivation's effects on social, emotional and moral judgment. Killgore began the project while working as a research psychologist for the U.S. Army.
The current study is based on data from 54 participants, who were shown photographs of the same male face expressing varying degrees of fear, happiness, sadness, anger, surprise and disgust. Participants were asked to indicate which of those six emotions they thought was being expressed the most by each face.
In order to assess participants' ability to interpret more subtle emotional expressions, the images presented were composite photos of commonly confused facial expressions morphed together by a computer program. For example, a face might show 70 percent sadness and 30 percent disgust or vice versa. Participants saw a total of 180 blended facial expressions at each testing session.
Participants' baseline responses to the images were compared to their responses after they were deprived of sleep for one night.
Researchers found that blatant facial expressions -- such as an obvious grin or frown (90 percent happy or 90 percent sad) -- were easily identifiable regardless of how much sleep a participant got. Sleep deprived participants had a harder time, however, correctly identifying more subtle expressions of happiness and sadness, although their performance on the other emotions was unchanged.
When participants were tested again after one night of recovery sleep, their performance on happiness and sadness improved, returning to its baseline level.
While the difference in performance was not overwhelming, it's enough that it could have a significant impact in critical social interactions, Killgore said.
"As a society, we don't get the full seven to eight hours of sleep that people probably need to be getting. The average American is getting a little less than six hours of sleep on average, and it could affect how you're reading people in everyday interactions," Killgore said. "You may be responding inappropriately to somebody that you just don't read correctly, especially those social emotions that make us human. Or you may not be as empathic. Your spouse or significant other may need something from you and you're less able to read that. It's possible that this could lead to problems in your relationships or problems at work. To me, that is one of the biggest problems -- how this affects our relationships."
Killgore's research builds on existing work on the effects of sleep deprivation on the brain's ventromedial prefrontal cortex -- an area that helps people make judgments and decisions using their emotions.
A prior study, published by Harvard's Seung-Schik Yoo and colleagues, showed that when people are sleep deprived, a disconnect occurs between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala -- one of the key emotionally responsive areas of the brain.
"So, in simplistic terms, the part of the brain that controls your emotions and the part that sees faces and responds to the emotional content basically start to lose their ability to communicate," Killgore said. "We wanted to test that out and see if it plays out in terms of how people read facial expressions -- and, in fact, it looks like it does."
POOR SLEEP TRIGGERS VIRAL LONELINESS AND SOCIAL REJECTION
WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT TO KNOW
As shift workers we are chronically sleep deprived, depending on which rotation we're currently doing, it's just the nature of the job.
The findings in this study show that there is a connection between our desire to interact with others – our partners, our families, friends, the neighbors, the gas station attendant, etc – and our ability to actually interact in a positive way, if at all, when we are tired. We want to, but we don't want to. And because we appear tired, others do not want to engage with us… and the circle is complete.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, show a two-way relationship between sleep loss and becoming socially isolated, shedding new light on a global loneliness epidemic.
"We humans are a social species. Yet sleep deprivation can turn us into social lepers," says study senior author Matthew Walker, PhD, a UC Berkeley professor of psychology and neuroscience, in a release. "There's no biological or social safety net for sleep deprivation as there is for, say, starvation. That's why our physical and mental health implodes so quickly even after the loss of just one or two hours of sleep."
*Sleep loss blunted activity in brain regions that normally encourage social engagement.
*Sleep deprived individual's brains perceived spatial "incoming human threat" at a distance 18-60% further back than those well-rested
*Healthy observers felt alienated after just a 60 second video clip of a lonely person
*Research showed that the amount of sleep one got accurately predicted how lonely and unsociable they would be the next day.
Often we push ourselves to engage socially, or beat ourselves up because we just "don't want to" go somewhere. And this is not to say that loneliness and depression and isolation are not real things, because they are, and they aren't going to be "cured" with a good stretch of sleep. This is validation though, that there are times when we need to hit pause and get some rest.
LINK TO ARTICLE
WORKPLACE RUDENESS RUINS MY SLEEP AND YOURS
“Rudeness. Sarcastic comments. Demeaning language. Interrupting or talking over someone.” All these things. A new study from Portland State University (PSU) and University of Illinois researchers found workplace incivilities such as these have the potential to not only negatively affect an employee’s sleep but their partner’s as well when those partners work in the same kind of career.
It’s well studied and documented that work place stress affects the sleep of the person exposed to it but this study suggests that if that person is partnered with another from the same field, then that affect is compounded.
Acknowledging this is important but what’s the solution? The research authors suggest that organizations do everything in their power to create an atmosphere of civility and to implement zero-tolerance policies regarding how staff treat and interact with each other… and hopefully stick to them and back up those exposed to this negativity. As to the employees? That’s up to them but they should make a concerted effort to switch that shit off. Easier said than done most times but for their own health and well being they’ve got to try.
WE ALL DO.
The Shift Worker’s Guide
HOW MUSIC CAN HELP YOU SLEEP
Quiet the nervous system
Lower blood pressure
Lower heart rate
Ease muscle tension
Reduce stress and anxiety
Trigger the release of sleep hormones and slow the release of stress hormones
Obviously, the choice of music makes a difference – a rock opera might wake you up instead of lull you into sleep. A series of tunes that bring back memories (that breakup melody for example) are also not the best choice. So what should you use?
Studies out now show a relationship between sleep quantity and quality with overall mood. The more tired we are, the less able we are to modulate mood, we may be more depressed or anxious or susceptible to daily stressors. Music might be able to help with that if listening to it aids us getting to, and staying asleep. Additionally, listening to music can lessen pain – less pain means more sleep, more sleep means more healing and potentially, less pain.
Want to give it a try:
Choose slow beats
No break up tunes!
No words might be best
Make it a habit
Keep your sleep room dark and quiet
Ditch the ear buds – might lower comfort level
Good news is that the expected effects increase as you continue to make music a part of your “go to sleep” routine.
For Day Sleepers it might just help drown out the neighbour’s lawn mover.
There are many products for this from eye mask players to musical iPod pillows – The choice of what’s best for you may be trial and error but we’re sure there’s something out there just right for you.
HOW WEARABLE DEVICES KEEP YOU UP AT NIGHT
An Orthosomniac = someone who is preoccupied with their wearable devices’s sleep data. It’s literally keeping them up at night
Overall, wearable sleep trackers are reported to be not that accurate, making data errors regarding sleep stages (light or deep) but also with regards to the wearer actually being asleep… maybe they’re just scrolling through social media.
Sleep data can be useful if for example it shows repeated instances of waking (sleep apnea?), tracking overall trends of personal sleep patterns (are you going to bed later or getting up earlier), and or in generalized data in comparison to others in your age bracket.
Problems develop though when the wearer begins to stress over the amount and kind of sleep they allegedly are or are not getting. They tell themselves they are not okay and the more they worry, the less sleep they get.
If you can use one without sleep performance anxiety then carry on, if it’s causing more worry than wellness then taking it off might be the way to go.
If you’re sleep deprived and it’s impacting your physical or mental health then it’s time for an actual sleep test.
The Shift Worker's Guide
WHAT IS SLEEP REACTIVITY?
"The FORD Insomnia Response To Stress Test (FIRST) measures the degree to which stress exposure disrupts sleep (your reactivity), resulting in difficulty falling and staying asleep. Individuals with highly reactive sleep systems experience drastic deterioration of sleep when stressed, whereas those with low sleep reactivity proceed largely unperturbed during stress. Research shows that genetics, familial history of insomnia, female gender and environmental stress influence how the sleep system responds to stress. Sleep reactivity is most pathologically and clinically pertinent when in excess, such that high sleep reactivity predicts risk for future insomnia disorder, with early evidence suggesting high sleep reactivity corresponds to severe insomnia phenotypes (sleep onset insomnia and short sleep insomnia). High sleep reactivity is also linked to risk of shift-work disorder, depression and anxiety. Importantly, stress-related worry and rumination may exploit sensitive sleep systems, thereby augmenting the pathogenicity of sleep reactivity. With the development of cost-effective assessment of sleep reactivity, we can now identify individuals at risk of future insomnia, shift-work disorder and mental illness, thus identifying a target population for preventive intervention. Given that insomniacs with high sleep reactivity tend to present with severe insomnia phenotypes, patient sleep reactivity may inform triaging to different levels of treatment. Future research on sleep reactivity is needed to clarify its neurobiology, characterize its long-term prospective associations with insomnia and shift-work disorder phenotypes, and establish its prognostic value for mental illness and other non-sleep disorders."
Our different careers have different testing specific to the jobs we do. Can a test for the “ability” to sleep while stressed be that far away given that shift work is in itself stressful? Would hiring this way reduce sick time? It's something I'm sure will be looked at some day.
IS A GRUDGE KEEPING YOU UP AT NIGHT?
A study suggests that the act of forgiveness could help you sleep. Forgiving others is said to work better than forgiving yourself… but many times “self” is a good place to start. The results apparently show that people who were more forgiving were more likely to sleep better and for longer, and in turn have better physical health. They were also more satisfied with life.
Our jobs, in general, are stressful but when something goes not exactly right we tend to blame ourselves: what could I or should I have done differently. Our minds won’t settle down, but If we forgive ourselves we’re (allegedly) more able to leave the past in the past and not let it interfere with much needed rest.
It follows then that not forgiving us or them destroys our ability to rest - and as we become more sleep deprived, our ability to then deal with stressors also decreases.
"When we don’t forgive, the researchers explain, we tend to linger on unpleasant thoughts and feelings, such as anger, blame, and regret. This can involve painful rumination—focused attention and repetitive thoughts about our distress. Ultimately, this study suggests, that resentment or bitterness we are harboring could be detracting from our sleep quality and our well-being.
While we know sleep is important for overall health, this study offers a new perspective on forgiveness as a key factor in achieving healthy sleep. In practice, the more we minimize the rumination that we engage in about unresolved issues, the better our sleep (and, in turn, our overall health) may be.
As the researchers state, “If forgiveness of others and self-forgiveness can help people cope with the day’s psychological and emotional burdens in a way that frees one’s mind and promotes a more restful mental state for sleep, then they support the health-related process of sleep in meaningful ways.”“This study doesn’t prove that forgiveness causes better sleep; only that people who tend to be forgiving also tend to sleep better. So while it isn’t guaranteed to completely resolve your sleeping issues, forgiveness could be one constructive practice to try, when you feel ready. Letting go of some of the difficult thoughts and feelings you’re hanging on to may help you not only avoid that stare-down with your clock …but also feel better tomorrow.”
Author: Sophie McMullen