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National Sleep Week Videos

Day 1 - Monday, March 13

Subject: Why do sleep experts oppose daylight savings time?

Sleep and Circadian Systems

The suprachiasmatic nucleus of the brain is the body’s “master clock”. However, all of the cells of our body signal time. Our daily habits are zeitgebers “time givers”. Light, meals, exercise, social life signal alertness. Our time spent alert and awake generate adenosine that creates the sleep pressure that puts us to sleep at night (process S). When process S is not competing with process C (dictated by light), the body knows it is physiologic night – time to sleep.

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Day 2 - Tuesday, March 14

Subject: How sleep works: have you mastered your Process S & C, and use of zeitgebers?

Getting Better Sleep

Zeitgebers are environmental cues that affect your circadian rhythm (process C). Meals and exercise are examples of zeitgebers, but the most powerful zeitgeber is light and dark. Light suppresses melatonin secretion and if you get too much light in the night, this can prevent you from falling asleep. Try to avoid room lights and electronic lights a few hours before bedtime. Use blue-spectrum light blocking glasses if you need to.

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Managing Sleepless Nights

Establish the bed as a discriminative stimulus for sleep and extinguish any conditioned response of stress in the bedroom by restricting the bed for sleep and intimacy only. Limit the amount of time spent awake in bed, ensure that the bedroom environment is tightly coupled with sleep, and make sure to get in and out of bed at the same time each day.

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Day 3 - Wednesday, March 15

Subject: Can you differentiate emotional exhaustion from sleep deprivation? Are you hungry, sleepy, or stressed?

Sleep and Weight Management

Sleep deprivation causes an increase in ghrelin (“hunger hormone”) and a decrease in leptin (“satiety hormone”). Getting enough sleep is crucial for managing a healthy ghrelin/leptin balance that affects weight and metabolism.

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Day 4 - Thursday, March 16

Subject: Does sleep deprivation put you at increased your risk for inflammation and infections, and reduce your response to vaccines?

Sleep and Immunity

Sleep deprivation leads to increases in IL1 and TNF and other cytokines that affect the immune response to pathogens. Make sure to get adequate sleep to help ward off infections. There is also evidence to suggest adequate sleep may boost your response to vaccines.

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Day 5 - Friday, March 17

Subject: How does sleep effect performance? How do we manage sleep with aging?

Sleep and Performance

Dr. Zinchuk explains that sleep deprivation adversely affects your attention, response times, memory, critical thinking, decision-making, ability to read emotions, and can result in incorrect conclusions and errors.

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Sleep and Aging

As we age, are melatonin starts rising at an earlier hour in the night, thus we may tend to go to sleep earlier than when we were younger. We still require the same number of hours of sleep (7-9 hours on average), so we may also rise earlier. Our sleep is more likely to be disturbed by medical conditions, medications, or substance use.

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