“Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally made by your brain in response to darkness,” says sleep specialist Marri Horvat, MD. “When someone takes melatonin, they are either trying to increase the amount of this hormone overall or increase the amount they have in their body at a certain time to help them fall asleep.”
While there are some possible setbacks to taking melatonin (depending on how your body reacts), it isn’t addictive. Turns out, even if you depend on melatonin to make you fall asleep, it won’t cause your body to become dependent on it.
“As we age, we have a natural decrease in the amount of melatonin we produce, so supplementation can often be helpful,” Dr. Horvat explains.
Did you know that not getting enough zzz’s can actually make you hungrier? According to sleep scientist Matt Walker, the relationship between what you eat and your sleep is a two-way street. Here’s why understanding it can help you improve your overall health.
Sleep — we spend one-third of our lives doing it, but what exactly do we get out of it? And how can we do it better? In this TED series, sleep scientist Matt Walker uncovers the facts and secrets behind our nightly slumber. (Made possible with the support of Oura) Check out more episodes on TED.com: https://go.ted.com/sleepingwithscience
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder with daytime drowsiness, sudden episodes of falling asleep, sometimes sudden loss of muscle control, and occasionally hallucinations.
If this sounds like the bad, overbearing, uncontrolled brother of REM sleep, that is because it is. The features of REM sleep are there; sleepiness, muscle paralysis(cataplexy) and Hallucinations(dreams). This combination of symptoms can often disrupt jobs, and can be dangerous, leading to accidents.
The cause of narcolepsy is unknown, but there is an association with decreased blood levels of the neurochemical hypocretin. The disease starts in youth, and sometimes occurs and families. The patients are often overweight, and can have sleep apnea in addition.
The Diagnosis is usually made in specialist sleep centers, which find an unusually rapid entrance into sleep, beginning in the REM stage. Normally REM sleep occurs later in the 90-minute sleep cycle.
There are a lot of different stimulants and some sleep-restoring and paralysis-reducing medications used to treat narcolepsy. This and other information may be found on the accompanying Mayo clinic article.
Timing is important in everything we do, and of course is important to health and how our bodies function. It is a vast subject, and the only thing I can do here is to give you some ideas that might be helpful.
Your body will perform best for you if you have a daily routine; waking up at the same time every morning, and going to bed at the same time every evening keeps your circadian rhythm from getting confused. Of course, getting a good nights sleep is excessively important to your health. If you have trouble going to sleep at night or staying asleep, you can get all kinds of information over the Internet on “sleep hygiene”.
If you are an international traveler, jet lag is very important because the circadian rhythm is disrupted when you change time zones. The Internet is a rich source of information on how you might or rapidly get back into your routines. Timing of bright light and melatonin are involved.
Your metabolism also has a routine, and drugs work by targeting certain receptors, which cycle, depending on when their function is needed. “ Chronopharmacology” is a slowly developing science that will someday-if doctors, perhaps with electronic help, can ever get enough time to properly take care of the patients- be very important. As an example, certain cancer therapies vary significantly in their effects, depending upon the time of day they are given.
When I was a practicing Allergist, I took care of many Asthma patients. In the 60s and 70s there were few drugs to treat asthma, which is predominantly a nighttime disease. Giving medications, such as Theophylline, at the right time was therefore very important.
Finally, if you have any choice, you might arrange for your surgery during the first half of the day. Surgeons make less errors in the morning, when their minds are well rested.
Mayo Clinic Division of Preventive Cardiology will be preparing a series of recordings focusing on Cardiovascular Disease states. This is the Sleep Series and this particular one focuses on what is adequate sleep and does it benefit Cardiovascular Health.
Satchin Panda is a professor in Salk’s Regulatory Biology Laboratory. He explores the genes, molecules and cells that keep the whole body on the same biological clock, also known as a circadian rhythm. On this episode of Where Cures Begin, Panda talks about what a biological clock is, how living in sync with your clock can improve your health, and how growing up in India informed his research.
Diabetologia (Sept 8, 2020) – Insomnia with objective short sleep duration has been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in observational studies [27, 28]. The present MR study found strong and suggestive evidence of a causal association of insomnia and short sleep duration, respectively, with increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
The present study verified several previously reported risk factors and identified novel potential risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Prevention strategies for type 2 diabetes should be considered from multiple perspectives on obesity, mental health, sleep quality, education level, birthweight and smoking.
This was a laborious and apparently objective study.
The discovery of insomnia as a unique risk factor is no surprise, and reinforces the restorative IMPORTANCE of SLEEP.
I was surprised to see docosohexanoic and Eicosapentanoic acids in the risk column and LDL in the good column. However they were studying type 2 diabetes, and not vascular health. I will continue to take my fish oil, and enjoy my HDL, which is in the good column.
Want to not only fall asleep quickly but also stay asleep longer? Sleep scientist Matt Walker explains how your room temperature, lighting and other easy-to-fix factors can set the stage for a better night’s rest.
Sleeping with Science, a TED series, uncovers the facts and secrets behind our nightly slumber. (Made possible with the support of Beautyrest)