The Teen Sleep Epidemic: Biology and School Start Times

  “It’s too expensive to start the school day later.” “Extracurriculars will suffer if we start school later.” “We shouldn’t coddle teens by pushing school start times.” These are just some of the arguments against later school start times for teens. Although the public has become increasingly aware of the sleep deprivation epidemic among teens in the US, the cost and logistic difficulties associated with addressing the problem have stymied attempts at reform. But what…

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5 Reasons to Add Sleeping More to Your Holiday Wish List

“I planned out our whole day!” Will Ferrell’s character prefaces his list of holiday activities in Elf. Even if your holiday season to-do list isn’t quite as festive as Buddy the Elf’s, you likely know the feeling of having a lot to do around this time of year. One item that rarely makes the to-do list is getting enough sleep. As your holiday season gets busier and busier, here are a few reminders for why…

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Getting your Zzz’s as a baby: How you learn to sleep depends on your culture

The topic of how to get babies to sleep can be a touchy and stressful subject for many parents. There’s been a lot of popular articles written on the topic, and these articles have been published in unsurprising places like Parents Magazine and HuffPost Parents, as well as some less expected places like The Washington Post and Forbes. Articles like these are often filled with information about the pros and cons of every imaginable sleep arrangement…

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What is Sleep Health?

We all know what poor sleep looks like (see: zombie apocalypse), but do we have a good understanding of what healthy sleep is? Most psychological and medical research on sleep has been focused on sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea, but healthy sleep is not necessarily the absence of these disorders. Since 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) has defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely…

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Happy Monday Morning!

Mondays. The hardest part about Mondays is waking up in the morning. Kudos to those to feel otherwise. Getting back to the rhythm of our early weekday start is typically more difficult for people who are naturally night owls. Each of us has a unique circadian rhythm and are characterized as early, intermediate or late chronotypes. Late chronotypes that are forced to wake up earlier than their body would incline to suffers from what researchers…

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Are afternoon naps key to enhancing learning?

Maybe cats and kindergartners are on to something: Recent research out of the University of California, Berkeley suggests that taking an afternoon nap might lead to increases in learning ability throughout the day! Research out of the the Sleep & Memory Lab led by Matt Walker up at UCB shows that, in general, our learning abilities decrease over the course of a day. So, when people are asked to memorize a list of words at…

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It’s drug time – Circadian rhythms and addiction

From: all-about-addiction.com Like most living creatures, humans have internal biological clocks known as circadian rhythms. These internal cycles synchronize our bodies with the Earth’s 24-hour day/night cycle and prepare us for predictable daily events (1). Circadian rhythms regulate a number of bodily functions including temperature, hormone secretion, bowel movements, and sleep (2). Well, recent research suggests that drugs may alter our circadian rhythms, possibly influencing our decisions to take drugs. Our biological clocks are set…

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