When I was kid, we used to debate which super power was best. Flying and invisibility were the go-to answers and much debate ensued as to which was superior. But the super power of my childhood choosing was the ability to stay awake indefinitely. Maybe the result of FOMO or a strict bed-time, my super power meant I could maintain a normal kid life by day and fight crime by night. This all changed when I got my first job and suddenly fell in love with my bed.
Well I still think this would be a pretty cool super power, but the reality is sleep is crucial to our survival. Not only that but good sleep can help unlock the superhero in us all. Sure, we all know the difference a healthy amount of quality sleep can make, neuroscientist are constantly shedding new light on the connection between sleep and the brain. As it turns out every stage of sleep is critical to the functional learning and memory process. For example, REM sleep provides a novel neural environment in which the synaptic remodeling essential to learning and cognition can occur
So how much sleep is ideal for the average adult? Well, there is no exact number for sleep duration, but eight hours is an ideal target for an adult. If you are not receiving 8 hours of sleep or even 7 hours of sleep a night, do not fret, you are actually in the majority. The center for disease control and prevention recently estimated that 53% of adults sleep get less than 7 hours of sleep a night. This is quickly becoming a public health issue as many Americans feel the symptoms of serious sleep problems on a nightly basis. Symptoms such as: Memory problems; Difficulty staying asleep; Not feeling fully rested after sleeping; Trouble falling asleep and waking up too early.
How Can You Get Better Sleep?
Getting better sleep is truly an individualized journey as we all experience varying relations with our sleep and an array of factors that play into how well we sleep. If you are unsure about your current sleep patterns one good initial step is to start keeping a sleep journal. Not to be confused with a dream journal, but those are cool too. This will give you and possibly your doctor a better base line for future improvement. Here are some additional behavior-based changes you can consider in your quest for the best night sleep:
- Keep regular sleep and wake schedules.
- Make a consistent, relaxing bedtime routine.
- Do not eat 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Do not consume caffeine or alcohol products close to bedtime.
- Turn off all electronics at least one hour before bed.
- Take in regular sunlight during the day along with exercise.
Neurocore for Sleep
One way that people are maximize the benefits that quality sleep has to offer is through neurotherapy. Neurocore, out of Michigan, for example, gives clients a comprehensive assessment to identify sleep issues, and then develop a customized sleep therapy program that uses brain-training to help you form healthier sleeping habits. Neurocore uses qEEG technology combined with heart rate variability monitoring to make this personalized assessment then set’s up a treatment that consists of watching a movie of your choosing and get rewarded when your brain properly focuses on the movie. This increased mental acuity helps one slow down their brain at the end of the day, which seems to be a more and more difficult task for most people.
For more information about Neurocore’s Sleep services check out their website at https://www.neurocorecenters.com/treatment/sleep