During the Sleep Deprivation seminar, Dr. Teodor Postolache introduced us to many eye opening topics. 🙂 During the seminar Dr. Postolache said that 40 million Americans manifest sleep disorders. He also said that over 100,000 motor vehicle accidents can be attributed to sleep disorders. It was very interesting to know that sleep can be measured. An EEG can diagnose the sleep state and rapid eye movement (REM) can be monitored to see what stage of REM state you are in such as REM (with dreams, later at night) sleep or Non REM sleep (without dreams, earlier at night, deeper sleep).
Dr. Postolache said that if we sacrifice the Non REM sleep that is earlier at night, then we are sacrificing deeper sleep. This can occur if we go to bed late.
Dr. Postolache also explained our states 1.Wake a. Sleep latency-after you wake, not fully awake, 10-20 minutes after waking up, our abilities are not at our best; b. Alert-most alert time especially in the evening around 6 pm; c. Sleepy – this is when we are sleeping; and then there is 2. Sleep: a. Non REM and b. REM.
Dr. Postolache went on to talk about our sleep appetite, how the brain has chemicals that dominate at one time or another, they dictate whether we need sleep or are awake. He also explained the circadian and other cycles.
In the explanation of melatonin secretion, which is a hormone of exposure to dark, we were told that a shining light decreases melatonin levels. The light must shine through our eyes to actually affect us, not through the eyelids.
Sleep disturbances can affect us negatively: depression, seasonal depression, response time, memory, insulin resistance, weight gain, increased cardiovascular risk factors and much more.
The good news is that 10-20 minute naps every afternoon help decrease the effects of sleep deprivation. The nap should not be longer than this.
Make sure you have good sleep hygiene: know that the bed is for two things, keep noise low, no TV in the bedroom, take short naps, no caffeine in the PM. Keep the skin warm especially hands and feet, have the air cool, don’t drink hot liquids, drink cools liquids if you must, get rid of negative thinking such as “I won’t be able to sleep,” learn deep relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and focus points. When you go to the bathroom at night keep the lights low. The light can affect melatonin.
Dr. Postolache also shared with us the conclusion of an Allure magazine article that he was interviewed for that Sleep deprivation makes us tired, sleepy, stupid, fat, and ugly.
This seminar was great. I learned a lot. My afternoon nap usually is a little longer than 20 minutes. I am going to work on trying to shorten that nap. 🙂
I am so happy to have the opportunity to go to these seminars on the UMBC, UMCP, and UM Medical campus. The seminars most importantly strengthen the student sense of community, but they also teach us things in the meantime. I wish that I had this opportunity in my undergrad life.