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  • Vitamins and their Role in Sleep

    Scientists researching the impact of nutrition on our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep have uncovered a great deal of information about the role that various vitamins play in our lives. As it turns out, Vitamin B plays a number of key roles, including the regulation of the body’s ability to regulate its use of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps our bodies produce serotonin, the feel good chemical that makes us fall asleep. Other important vitamin  contributions include: Continue reading

  • What Studying the Blind Teaches Sleep Scientists

    In our round-the-clock society filled with stress and responsibility, adequate sleep has become an increasingly rare and valuable commodity. The demands of work, family responsibilities, overstimulation from caffeine, alcohol and the ever-present blue light glow of our tablets and cell phones make getting the rest we need even more difficult, and may be damaging our body’s ability to recognize when exactly we are supposed to be awake and when we are supposed to be asleep. This rhythm, known to sleep scientists as the circadian rhythm, is our body’s clock. Back before the industrial revolution, when we largely survived by farming and without electric light, the body clock was largely set by the rising and setting of the sun. But our modern world has wreaked havoc on this evolutionary system, and as a result our ability to get the rest we need has suffered, as has our health. Lack of adequate sleep has been definitively linked to an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, cancer and depression, as well as problems with productivity and safety, so now we need to find a way back to a good night’s sleep. Continue reading

  • Sleep Deprivation Mistakes

    We all know the feeling of not having enough sleep. For some of us this is a chronic problem that may require the help of a physician, but for most of us it is the result of spending the night with a crying baby, the noise from the party next door or pulling an all-nighter in preparation for a big presentation or test the next day. Whatever the reason that you didn’t get the sleep that you needed, once you’re sleep deprived you are automatically operating at a disadvantage. You’re not thinking clearly, you’re tired, and you’re likely in a mad-at-the-world kind of mood. Continue reading

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