BBC News – Beauty sleep concept is not a myth, says study

Love the fact that we have to prove that sleep makes us look and feel good! Whatever else? Bags under the eyes, poor focus, squinting because the eyes hurt… Not good signs coming from the sleep deprived, not to mention the ill effects on the health. A rested person = someone who will be less irritable, who has less worries… and who potentially manages his/her time better?

However, these are not all things I do well, btw!

Sleep Trivia: Mammals’ sleep habits

In an effort to wake one’s sleepy spirits, I like to write about sleep and the need to improve our daily hygiene and knowledge about sleep.

Bottle Nose Dolphin...

Did you know that marine mammals stay awake for over a month?  Meanwhile, here is a fun article about the dolphin’s sleeping habits:  Dolphins keep an Eye Out while sleeping

What are your sleeping habits?

Here are a few sleep tips that I like to promulgate, following on my Sleep Research and ongoing interest on the topic.

Before going to bed:

  • enjoy a light dinner (try the German approach of a big breakfast, a medium lunch and a light dinner)
  • don’t drink alcohol
  • no screens (no television, iphone or computer…)
  • don’t do sports (they wake the cardiac system which takes a while to settle back down)
  • create some relaxing ceremonies (rituals before hitting the sack)

Otherwise, sleep scientists generally say it’s useful to go to bed earlier than later at night (the best hours of sleep and recovery are the first hours of sleep).  Another interesting phenomenon is that our internal biological clock is based on 24.9 hours (on average) rather than the moon guided 24 hours, which means that we would generally find it easier to go sleep one hour later than one hour earlier each night in the absence of external stimuli.  Nonetheless, it is better to go bed at the same time to instil a good habit in the body… Chances are that we will wake with outside stimulus (daylight, etc.) or by our internal clock (especially if we have a habit of waking up at a certain hour).  If you like this topic, you can read more on “why do we sleep?” here.

Why do we get sleepy?

Sleep MysteriesOne of my favourite topics and an underdiscussed area in current life is sleep.

Overdiscussed in day-to-day life and clearly missing in solutions: being tired. Especially on Friday’s, like today, you hear the inevitable sounds of relief of the upcoming weekend of repos and expressions such as “TGIF” (thank goodness it’s Friday).

If we all know we need sleep, one of the absolute craziest things about modern science is that we [top notch scientists included] still don’t know WHY we need to sleep. We also struggle to know how much sleep we actually NEED. We know when we are tired and are ready to sleep, but the amount we need is a mystery. And, even when we are sometimes exhausted, sleep may be elusive. The health considerations are inexact and subject to many unproven hypotheses. In my experience, performance (at work or in sports) during a day is not necessarily linked to the amount of sleep you have had the night before (although you would think it would be absolutely systematic).

In an ongoing effort to bring the topic to the fore, here is a link to a great article, detailing Why We Get Sleepy? And herewith some good tips from LiveScience on how to improve your sleep.

Please do share among your friends and come back to me with your thoughts!