Sleep problems abound in our society. Among teenagers, there are many threats to a good night’s sleep and risks created that can spill over into the community at large. According to information from the Minnesota Sleep Society, sleep helps to govern the way we think, react and behave. Proper sleep, meaning 9-10 hours per night for adolescents, with sufficient opportunities for deep sleep and dream sleep, cleanses the brain. According to Dr. Matthew Walker, in his 2017 volume Why We Sleep, deep sleep periods reflect an internal pruning process in our neural networks that clarifies our ability to think clearly
My prior blog discussed the insidious but solvable problem of chronic sleep loss. Now we look at how to establish a rapport with our sleep nature. First, we need to examine our attitude about sleep. Are we guided by prevailing Western cultural signals that sleep is down, unproductive time? Do we fret over losing our advantage or position? Our material, consumptive society bombards us with messages to excel in school, establish a profession, find that perfect employment, toil longer hours, or seek new horizons or challenges. Constant performance pressure and dodging threats activate the fight, flight or freeze responses and
Sleep debt is common today, affecting millions of US adults at some point in their lives. You cannot re-finance or pay off this debt except by making sleep a priority in your life. Many Americans try to compress their sleep time as much as possible, thinking you can streamline the sleep process and squeeze more quality wake time into the 24-hour day. Doesn’t work that way. 7-9 hours of sleep on average for adults is recommended, based on a consensus of sleep professionals.