Are you dragging after lunch at work? Many people hit a bit of a wall with energy in the afternoon hours. The human circadian rhythm (which governs sleep and wakefulness drives) actually has two energy peaks and two dips a day. All of our bodies are wired to have a bit of a drop in … Continue reading Afternoon Energy Dips: To Fight or to Lean in?
I recently gave a talk to a group of seniors at the Memory Cafe chapter where my dad and stepmom are members. In speaking to that group (and in working with several of my coaching patients), I realized the need for more information specifically on how sleep changes as we age. I hope this entry … Continue reading Sleep for Seniors
"Only a minority (usually less than 20%) of a population at risk is prepared to take action at any given time. Thus, action-oriented advice mis-serves individuals in the early stages." -Prochaska and DeClementi Whether you're looking to quit smoking, eat better, or make some other lifestyle change, it is important to note that it's not … Continue reading Stages of Change for Health and Wellness
There's a movement called sober curious which is for people who maybe aren't clinically alcoholics, but would like to break out of just the default of a glass or two of wine after work. Before that, there was dry January. And of course, there are 12 step programs and those who have maybe always abstained … Continue reading Mocktails! Tonics for Liver Health and More
Immune molecules can induce sleep in dogs and humans! Before coronavirus took over our world, infectious diseases had been on a decades-long decline in terms of cause of death and impact in the public health sphere. Indeed, present pandemic aside, the leading cause of death for the past 100 years or so have generally been … Continue reading Sleep, the Immune System, and Chronic Inflammation
As a sleep coach, I have been increasingly building insights from Chinese Medicine into my practice. Before we delve too much into sleep, it is important to note that in Chinese Medicine, there are 5 elements which correspond to many things, including personality. You can take a quiz here which should give you a fairly … Continue reading Sleep from a Chinese Medicine Perspective
Scientist have known for years that poor sleep can link to obesity and metabolic disorders such as diabetes. And conversely, hormones can play a role in causing poor sleep even in normal weight patients, particularly in pregnant and menopausal women. This blog will explore the complex relationships between sleep and various hormones, and their role … Continue reading Hormones Link Sleep, Metabolism, and Sexual Health
The prevalence of anxiety in the US population was high (around 20%) before COVID. It has spiraled since then (current estimates are around 35%), with no signs of abating anytime soon. And if all that weren't enough, as I write this, Minneapolis is literally on fire (part of a broader national emergency needing urgent attention … Continue reading Anxiety and Insomnia While the World Burns
In Chinese Medical theory, there are peak times for activities of the various organs. This concept is useful because when we are out of balance with disease or other issues, sometimes we can find clues based on the time of the symptoms. The above graphic shows us not only when each organ (as conceived in … Continue reading The Chinese Organ Clock
Sleep and mental health are closely related. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) which categorizes mental disorders contains countless references to sleep as a symptom. Various mental disorders can involve both insomnia and hypersomnia (a tendency to sleep too much). There are also references to nightmares and disturbed dreams. On the other side, long-term sleep … Continue reading Sleep and Mental Health
It's common knowledge that sleep is important for health and wellness, but why? We've known for decades that REM sleep helps the brain with learning and memorization of things. We've also known that REM's lesser-known sibling Non-REM (insanely creative, I know) is crucial for helping the body regulate itself and restoring tissue. But in recent … Continue reading Brain Cleansing – How Good Sleep Can Reduce the Risk of Dementia
When I was in sleep research over a decade ago, I remember reading some experimental protocols suggesting that one could help people get to sleep by cooling their brain. At first glance, it sounded crazy. But then I thought a bit more about it. We already know that the body uses temperature as a cue … Continue reading Chill Your Brain for Insomnia… Literally!
If you are having trouble sleeping, sometimes improving your environment to make it more welcoming for sleep can be an important first step. In this blog, we’ll review some best practices, as well as some favorite products to help improve your sleep. The Basics: As a first step, you can inventory your bedroom for the … Continue reading Sleep Hygiene Roundup
The pineal gland is small but mighty and the title of "master gland" is well deserved. This gland is capable of receiving environmental stimuli and converting it to action potential (Most, 2020). It literally can transform the light/dark into a totally different form of energy. Wisneski and Anderson explain that the pineal gland is the "root … Continue reading The Pineal Gland- Located at the Intersection of Science and Spirituality
Everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time. Chronic insomnia is something which happens more regularly and interferes with daytime functioning in some way or another (the technical definition is having 3 nights or more per week of poor sleep for at least a month or more). Insomnia is more frequent in women, particularly those … Continue reading Insomnia Approaches