Did last night’s sleep offer you tactics to calm your brain or did it hammer you with side effects of medicine?
Here’s the Skinny
Top up REM‘s deep sleep benefits with 1 or 2 new tactics:
- Remain upbeat and relax in sleepless spaces.
- Listen to music that slows racing brainwaves.
- Retire about the same time nightly whenever possible.
- Create comfy settings to sleep. Remove TV or iPads from bedroom.
- Set aside conflicts by considering possibilities, and you’ll sleep better.
- Eat heavier foods earlier in a day, and sleep offers new dividends.
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, sugar or alcohol before bed.
- Exercise earlier in the day, but avoid rigorous workouts near bedtime.
- Forgive that person who clobbered your efforts -and watch pardon set a new stage for amazing sleep.
- Lower blinds and draw curtains to maintain darkness in sleep area. Darkness ups melatonin levels, to stoke and sustain sleep.
What do you do to ensure you sleep well enough to put you in a good mood at work the next day? Using tools that rock brain waves to sleep?
Slow Brain Waves – Speed up Sleep
Rocket science isn’t needed to show how sleep comes from slower brainwaves. In contrast to an active mind energized by fast moving beta brain waves, sleep’s more like daydream states.
Ok – you’re likely still awake when speakers drone on, yet your waves still register lower on an EEG. This reading measures brain waves by hooking electrodes to several points on your head to show how normal brains shift wave speeds throughout the day. How so?
Move down one level lower to theta waves and your body relaxes, heart rate and respiration lower slightly, and your mind tends to move back and forth between creative energy and deep relaxation. Eventually, the lowest brain waves, called delta, kick in, and for awhile the brain moves back and forth between delta and theta movement.
In the first stage of sleep, EEGs show the brain waves slowing down progressively through a thirty minute period. Your brain at that point shifts into REM or rapid eye movement sleep.
Nathaniel Kleitman, discovered in the 1950s, that is REM sleep a person’s eyes flutter rapidly in all directions. In REM stages of sleep people dream, and when woken in that stage you may feel like a Mack truck hit you – but you will likely remember your dreams. Interestingly brain waves at the deepest sleep speed up again – even though the brain remains dormant to conscious thought.
The key is to sustain brain waves suitable for the moment, based on what you hope to accomplish. Easier said than done for a person prone to stress. For example, alpha waves are generated by the relaxed brain, so that you have vivid memories, aha moments, and you feel at peace with the world.
Chemicals and Electricals Alter Sleep
Serotonin chemicals are released which is characterized by high performance and researchers tell us that when some people begin to move from alpha waves into theta movement, sleep soon follows. Serotonin also increases melatonin – the chemical that aids sleep in a darkened room.
In contrast, the stress hormone cortisol is released in dangerous doses in people who sustain stress in the lives. This can be caused by poor diet, lack of priorities, too little sleep, habits such as meta messages which generate poor relationships, and lack of reflection that helps you grow and progress in daily doses.
Whether sleep is poor because of stress, or it is quiet and relaxed in calm, you’ll enjoy three terrific books, to sustain brainwaves for sleep at night and higher performance in day.
Dr. Daniel Amen’s book, CHANGE YOUR BRAIN CHANGE YOUR LIFE, which suggests wonderful ways to tackle anxiety, diminish anger and break obsessions.
Dr. Anna Wise in, THE HIGH PERFORMANCE MIND, to find practical helps for improved creativity, spirituality, and relationships.
Journalist, Jim Robbins in, A SYMPHONY IN THE BRAIN, explains the science behind activating brain frequencies you may not normally use.
Having just returned from a week’s adventure with my darling grandson, I’m glad to know how to repay sleep debts.
Ever emptied your rest reserves, and need more?
So What’s Your Problem?
In a normal sleep cycle, EEGs show the brain slows down progressively over a thirty minute period. After that point, the brain shifts into a trance-like sleep known as REM, or rapid eye movement state. Without enough deep sleep, or REM, people are prone to workplace disasters caused by sleep deprivation.
Serious accidents – from poor sleep – show how we act slower, and often get it wrong. How so?
The Bhapol explosion on December 2, 1984, for instance, shot poisonous gas that killed over 6000 people. Then, two years later, on April 26th, the Chernobyl explosion exposed millions to radioactivity 100 more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. Sadly, on March 24th, 1989, 12 million gallons of crude oil gushed from Exxon Valdez and wiped out sea life across Prince William Sound.
Sleep problems as well as related accidents are more common than most people realize, and so it’s no surprise that sleep-deprived people also succumb more to sickness. Research shows 51% of the American workforce feels exhausted at work.
Sleep disorders hurt both groups and individuals. Organizations pay more than $100 billion in lost productivity we are told. People pay in personal problems such as depression, anxiety, or human failure.
Does sleep work well for you? If so, you likely benefit from all three 30 minute cycles, as they play out and replay several times throughout a good night’s rest. Think of ideal sleep in 90 minute segments, that replay consistently for about 7 to 8 hours. When it functions well, the process rewires your brain’s dendrite brain cells in unique ways.
Sleep Cycles that Restore Brainpower
In the first 30 minutes you’ll sleep rather lightly, which is why 20 minute power naps work especially well during the day.
In the second 30 minute segment, REM takes over and allows your brain to restore levels of oxygen to the cornea, while you dream. Avoid waking in REM, unless you’re prepared to feel like a Mack truck rammed into you, and then left you groggy for much of the day.
In the third 30 minute phase, your brain shifts backs into lighter sleep, and if awakened in this phase, you’ll like feel frisky and ready to take on a new day.
Successful sleepers learn to increase their sleep benefits in several ways. Simply plan to sleep in 90 minute chunks, for instance, and you’ll avoid waking in any REM phase throughout the sleep cycle. darken the room and your brain releases more melatonin for better sleep. Avoid too much food or drink close to bedtime and be careful what medications you take late at night. Then, enhance your sleep by planning to awaken in the lighter cycle that either precedes or follows REM sleep.
Did you also know that you tend to sleep about the same time each night, and your brain no longer needs an alarm clock when you retire about the same time nightly. That’s because the human brain comes equipped with its own alarm once it learns your patterns.
Luckily, new research shows how sleep debts can be repaid! To ward off negative effects of snooze loss, experts tell us to simply repay any outstanding slumber debts, once life quietens down a bit. If you stay up too late during the week, sleep in a bit more on weekends. If last week saw you moonlighting on a few occasions, crawl under the covers early a few nights this week.
For those who need help with more serious sleep dysfunctions, new research and supports come in frequently at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. For instance, it was discovered quite recently that sleep deprivation can also raise the risk of cardiovascular problems.
At Sleepeducation, you’ll find many more solutions than I could pack into one brief blog. It’s all about brainpowered tactics for sweeter dreams at night, and landing a few peak performances the following day.
What works well for you?