Sleep is important. It’s a message that’s ringing so loud and clear now that I don’t even bother with the declaration when working with patients who have insomnia. Sleep is in the news more than ever, a welcome progression from the mid 1980s when I first began taping wires to patients being tested in a sleep lab. And the medical community is also more in tuned-in about sleep than ever before.
Despite the memo, sleep deprivation (not enough time allotted for sleep) remains a public health concern. An epidemic actually, if you ask the Centers for Disease Control. And I’m only talking about people without sleep disorders (e.g., insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, etc.). Reasons for people not getting adequate sleep are numerous and sometimes complicated. Consider someone recently put in charge of caring for an elderly parent around the clock versus someone who plays computer games late into the night. In either scenario, sleep is insufficient.
Brandon Peters, M.D, a sleep specialist at the Stanford Sleep Center, recently wrote an article summarizing the adverse effects of sleep deprivation. His article highlights the wide range of problems, from health to safety issues. He also stresses the psychological effects of reduced sleep including depression, anxiety, and even temporary psychosis with hallucinations seen sometimes with extreme acute sleep deprivation!
My posts are usually about insomnia, which is different than sleep deprivation. People with insomnia try to sleep enough. The information Dr. Peters discusses presents a challenge to this group because heightened emphasis on the importance of sleep can cause more anxiety about sleep, which in turn worsens insomnia. But challenges are meant to be overcome, and sleep is no exception. When it comes to overcoming chronic insomnia, research on Intensive Sleep Retraining (ISR) uncovered a rapid, effective way to reduce insomnia and increase confidence in sleep. SleepQ will add convenience and affordability to the benefits of ISR.
Dr. Peters’ article IS the memo, and I encourage EVERYONE to read it. Then join our SleepQ Kickstarter campaign this month!!