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1/23/10 7:04 P

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Sleep Age Wheel


Its not your imagination your sleep really does change as you grow older! The Zeo Sleep Wheel helps you see how your ZQ and sleep phases compare with thousands of your peers.

Age Rising, ZQ Down? Youre Not Alone!
The Zeo Sleep Wheel, which represents the sleep patterns of thousands of people, shows how people of different ages sleep differently. Turn the wheel toward advancing age, and you can see that the average ZQ tends to go down. When you turn the wheel over, you can see how other sleep information changes over time.

The ZQ Side of the Sleep Wheel
The front of the Sleep Wheel shows the average ZQ among people of a certain age group, as well as that age groups ZQ range. As you may know, ZQ is an objective measure of a single night of sleep, summarizing how you slept by combining information about your Total Z (total sleep time), Restorative sleep (Deep and REM), and Disrupted sleep (Time in Wake and Times Woken). Read more about ZQ here.

Sleep Details on the Back
The details on the back of the Sleep Wheel offer clues about how ZQ dips as age increases. As the age range rises on the Sleep Wheel, youll see that Total Z tends to diminish, as do times in Deep and REM sleep. Time in Wake (after having fallen asleep) is likely to increase with age. These changes lead to a drop in ZQ.

7 to 9 hours, No Matter Your Age
Next to the Total Z window on the back of the Sleep Wheel, you can see a very important message: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that all adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, regardless of age. Youll notice that the numbers on the Sleep Wheel are not always the same as what the NIH recommends, because it shows how much people actually tend to get, as opposed to what they need.

As you might know from personal experience, we dont always do whats best for ourselves. This fact is evident on the Sleep Wheel, which shows that many of us often dont sleep as many hours as we should for optimal sleep health.

Wide Variations in Sleep Numbers
Looking again at the back of the wheel, you will see from the windows below the average numbers that there is a wide variation in each of these sleep times. Lets look, for example, at the back of the Sleep Wheel for people in their 50s. You can see that Total Z averages 6.5 hours per night. The Total Z range, shown below, goes from about 5.5 to 7.5 hours each night. These differences are natural, and if your Total Z moves above or below the averages, youre certainly not alone.

At Home Versus in a Lab
The numbers on the Zeo Sleep Wheel were collected by dozens of researchers, who examined thousands of sleep studies from around the world. The healthy volunteers who participated in these studies had to sleep in a laboratory setting with many sensors attached to their bodies. These volunteers slept as best they could but, as you can imagine, they might not have slept as soundly as they would have if theyd been in their own bedrooms. So, while these data shine a light on changes in sleep as we age, they do not necessarily represent the amount of sleep or sleep phases that you can get in the comfort of your own home. At the end of the day, scientists know little about how people actually sleep in their natural habitat. Using Zeo, you can measure your sleep in your own home.
Related Articles
Body & Sleep Sleep Phases Dreams Napping References
Ohayon MM, Carskadon MA, Guilleminault C, Vitiello MV.Meta-analysis of quantitative sleep parameters from childhood to old age in healthy individuals: developing normative sleep values across the human lifespan.Journal Sleep 2004; 27:125573.Carrier J, Land S, Buysse DJ, Kupfer DJ, Monk TH. The effects of age and gender on sleep EEG power spectral density in the middle years of life (ages 20-60 years old).Psychophysiology 2001;38:232-242.Michael V. Vitiello, PhD; Sleep in Normal Aging (pdf) Sleep Med Clin 1 (2006) 171176National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, "A Good Night's Sleep"Timothy H. Monk, PhD, DSc.Aging Human Circadian Rhythms: Conventional Wisdom May Not Always Be Right.Journal of Biological Rhythms 2005; 20:366-374

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Napping

Napping Dos and Donts

Napping can put you in a better mood and make you more productive, but they're not for everyone. Avoid naps if you have difficulty falling or staying asleep at night. If you do nap, timing your daytime snooze is critical, so pick the right time of day and the right length of nap.

Overview
Its natural to experience a sleepy dip in the afternoon, but not everyone would benefit from a nap. If you are considering that afternoon siesta, make sure it doesnt interfere with your nighttime sleep. If youre napping to catch up on sleep, keep in mind that it may be help, but a nap is not a substitute for a good night of sleep.

Keep in mind that dozing off in the evening as you watch TV could disrupt your sleep just as much as an actual nap. The real difficulty with dozing off is that its often difficult to determine exactly how much sleep you really got. It could be that you dozed off for 15 minutes while watching TV but think that you only slipped in and out of sleep for a total of a couple of minutes. Those 15 minutes could be enough to make falling or staying asleep that night difficult.

Tips for napping
1. Timing is everything. If you nap too late in the day, you may not be able to fall asleep at your regular bedtime. The ideal naptime for many people falls between 2 and 4 p.m. Experiment to find yours.

2. Keep it short. You may have to rely on an alarm clock to make sure you wake up after 10-20 minutes of sleep (or 20-30 minutes in bed, if it takes you about 10 minutes to fall asleep).

3. Keep it long. You may have to rely on an alarm clock to make sure you wake up after about 90 minutes of sleep. Remember that a longer nap could make it more difficult to fall or stay asleep at night, but something slightly shorter could leave you waking up out of Deep sleep, and suffering from sleep inertia.

4. Get comfortable. When you take a nap, remove your shoes and recline on a couch, chair or bed. Turn off or dim the lights, or use an eye mask to block light. Then, cover up with a blanket to stay warm.

5. Make it a habit. The experts advise that napping should follow a regular schedule just like nighttime sleep. If you plan to nap, take it at the same time each day. Otherwise you can throw off your internal clock (circadian rhythm).




Timing
If naps are something for you, consider that timing plays an important part of a good nap. There are two key parts to timing your nap. First, finding the right time of day for your nap can help you get the best benefits. Second, finding the right length of nap can help avoid the negative effects of a phenomenon called sleep inertia.

The best time of day to take a nap is in the middle of the afternoon. This is when the body is usually the most tired (except at bedtime, of course). A nap at this time also has the advantage of producing a minimum effect on the bodys natural clock (the circadian rhythm), so that its less likely to disrupt your nights sleep.




Length
How long should your nap be? There are two varieties of recommended naps: short and long. A short nap of 10-20 minutes (the power nap) can help improve mood, alertness and performance. A NASA study of military pilots and astronauts found that napping improved performance by 34% and alertness by 100%. A long nap of about 90 minutes can have many of the same benefits, and can really help you catch up on sleep if you need to. Its the nap that falls between short and long that should be avoided. Thats because a nap of 25-85 minutes increases the chances of waking up out of Deep sleep. Waking up out of Deep sleep produces a phenomenon called sleep inertia, or sleep drunkenness, when you are slow to respond and feel very groggy. The effects of sleep inertia can take hours to wear off after waking up out of Deep sleep. No matter which length of nap you choose, remember to set your alarm to take into account some time to fall asleep plus either 15 or 90 minutes of sleep.


Interesting fact about the timing of naps:
A nap in the afternoon or evening (recommended or not) will consist mostly of Light and Deep sleep. A nap in the morning (before or around 11 a.m., for someone who gets up at or before 7 a.m.) will consist mostly of Light and REM sleep.





Related Articles
Body & Sleep Sleep Phases Dreams Sleep Age Wheel References
"The Short Story on Napping" -www.sleepfoundation.orgThe Sleep Doctors Guide to Napping, The Insomnia Blog; www.theinsomniablog.com.Healthy Habits of Good Sleep at www.sleepeducation.com

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What Are Dreams?
Everyone Dreams, but Why?

Everyone does it even if we dont remember doing it. Yet no one is sure why we do it. It is dream. Different types of dreams occur during different phases of sleep, with the most vivid, story-like dreams accompanying REM sleep. Non-REM dreams are less intense and more thought-like.

Overview
The tune for the classic Yesterday came to Paul McCartney in a dream. Mary Shelleys famous novel Frankenstein was inspired by a dream. Abraham Lincoln dreamed of his own death only days before his assassination. There is a long list of famous dreams that have sparked a creative discovery or accurately predicted an event. Perhaps youve even had one yourself.

Of course, not every dream holds such power. Still, many believe dreams can provide clues to our deepest thoughts and feelings. Throughout history, people have debated why we dream and the significance of dreams to our waking lives. The debate continues today as scientists learn more about brain activity during sleep.

Why Dream?
Every one of us dreams, even if we dont remember our dreams. No one is sure why we dream but there are theories. Michael Breus, Ph.D., explains in his Insomnia Blog: Some scientists believe we dream to fix experiences in long-term memory, that is, we dream about things worth remembering. Others reckon we dream about things worth forgetting to eliminate overlapping memories that would otherwise clog up our brains.

Its possible that dreaming allows you the opportunity to practice things you may or may not ever have to do, like running away or fighting off a predator, according to Tom Scammel, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, as quoted in WedMD. Other scientists argue that dreams are just chaotic images resulting from the brains attempt to make meaning out of random chemical signals.

The Science
In order to discover clues to explain why we dream, researchers study what happens when we dream. During REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, our brains are more active and conditions are right for narrative dreams that may rival a feature film for action and complex plots! The only difference you are the star! (REM sleep can last approximately 90 minutes and often occurs three or four times a night.)

People who are awakened from REM sleep often report vivid, even bizarre, dreams. If you have not been getting enough sleep, your need for REM sleep builds and when you finally catch up on your sleep, you may have more REM sleep accompanied by more intense dreams.

During REM sleep, your arm and leg muscles are temporarily paralyzed, preventing you from acting out your dreams and harming yourself or your sleep partner!

We also dream during non-REM sleep phases but to a lesser extent. Dr. Breus describes non-REM dreams as repetitive and thought-like, with little imagery obsessively returning to a suspicion you left your mobile phone somewhere, for example.

Hypnagogia is the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep. Hypnagogic dreams occur as you are falling asleep. Perhaps youve experienced the sensation of tripping or falling as youre drifting off to sleep, causing your body to suddenly twitch. Thats a hypnagogic dream.

Lucid dreaming is being aware that you are dreaming. People try to take lucid dreaming one step further by actively guiding or controlling their dreams.

Remembering Your Dreams
If youre curious about your own dreams and want to do a better job remembering them, try keeping a dream journal at your bedside. (If you have a Zeo, try recording your dreams in your Journal at myZeo.com.) Record your dreams immediately upon awakening before the memory fades. You might be surprised at how busy your brain is while you sleep.
Related Articles
Body & Sleep Sleep Phases Napping Sleep Age Wheel References
The Benefits of Sleep; http://www.healthysleep.med.harvard.eduNat
ural Patterns of Sleep; http://www.healthysleep.med.harvard.eduWeb
MD; http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20081120/g
ot-a-complex-taskSleep Education; http://www.sleepeducation.comThe Insomnia Blog; www.theinsomniablog.com

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Sleep Phases


Why REM is More Than a Rock Band

Each night the body goes through several different phases: Light sleep, Deep sleep, REM sleep, and Wakefulness. These sleep phases go through 3-6 cycles each night. The transitions between each of the phases are gradual and not always easy to remember or detect.

What are Sleep Phases?
During the night, the mind and body go through many changes that involve going through a very predictable and regular pattern of sleep phases. The different phases of sleep are Light sleep, Deep sleep and REM sleep. These sleep phases are often interrupted during the night by wakefulness that is, Disrupted sleep. Light sleep accounts for about half of the night and bridges the gap between the other sleep phases. Deep and REM sleep are the two (very different) components of Restorative sleep, the times during the night when the body undergoes the most mental and physical restoration.

REM, Light and Deep Sleep
A sleep cycle is a period during the night in which you go through each of the sleep phases, and perhaps some wakefulness. A typical sleep cycle involves: going into Light sleep, which deepens and can become Deep sleep, especially earlier in the night, then back into Light sleep which then transitions into REM sleep. It is very common to wake up either as you enter or exit REM sleep while transitioning out of or into Light sleep. This is the most natural time to wake up and can occur during any of the usual 3-6 sleep cycles over the course of a night. Notice that the body does not simply go into a sleep which just gets deeper and deeper over the course of the night until you wake up. Sleep deepens and lightens several times over the course of a night and waking up is often a normal part of this natural process.

The transitions between the different sleep phases are usually very fluid and can occur over the course of several minutes. This is also the case when transitioning into and out of wakefulness. It is very difficult to pinpoint the exact point at which you fell asleep or woke up in large part because falling asleep and waking up do not happen with the flip of a switch. It is common to wake up out of Light sleep without even realizing you were asleep, especially if you are doing something other than trying to fall asleep such as watching TV or driving (drowsy driving is very dangerous and should be avoided). It is also possible to forget that you have woken up during the night. Have you ever had the experience of turning off your alarm in the morning, going back to sleep, and then having no recollection of having woken up to turn off your alarm? This is because short-term memory turns off as you drift into one of the sleep phases.
Related Articles
Body & Sleep Dreams Napping Sleep Age Wheel References
"Natural Patterns of Sleep" - http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu"Insomn
iacs' Perception of Wake Instead of Sleep" - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov"The Visual Scoring of Sleep in Adults" - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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What is Sleep?



What is Sleep and Why Do We Need It?

Sleep is vital for rejuvenating both the body and the mind. Sleep is an active process that goes through several phases each night of becoming unconscious and being able to be aroused from this unconsciousness quickly.

Why Sleep?
Sleep is an overwhelming force that puts the world, and everyone in it, to bed every night. The average human being spends nearly a third of their lifespan asleep, and this has been the case throughout history. In fact, most critters in the animal kingdom exhibit some form of sleep from fruit flies, to fish, to birds, to bears, and beyond. Yet the two simplest questions about this irresistible force, What is it? and Why do we need it?, have only begun to be addressed as insights from sleep science developed over the last century.

What is Sleep?
It is common to hear that sleep is a time when the body and mind shut down. But its not just a time of unconsciousness. According to The Promise of Sleep by William C. Dement, one of the founding fathers of sleep science, sleep is better defined by two things. First, it is a state when the body becomes less responsive to the outside world (you cant see, you cant hear, you cant feel). Second, and most importantly, sleep is immediately reversible for example, if someone shouts your name, you will wake up. This second point distinguishes sleep from death, coma, hibernation, anesthesia, and hypnosis.

This reversible process of sleep, when you respond less to the things around you, is not a time of complete inactivity. Brain waves, eye movements, and muscle activity all change and shift as you sleep and transition through Light sleep, Deep sleep, REM sleep, and wakefulness. Research has shown that during each of these phases, your mind is doing very different things, but it is far from inactive.

Why Do We Need It?
Sleep is a time not just for rest, but of restoration, when the body and mind recalibrate and become ready for a new day. It has been suggested that sleep is a time when memories are formed and filtered, muscles rejuvenate and grow, and the immune system builds up its defenses. The fact that sleep takes up a third of our lives indicates that these, and possibly other, processes are very important to our health and well being.

The benefits of healthy sleep are numerous. People who get enough sleep have been shown to be at lower risk for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes (although getting more or less sleep does not mean you will or will not have these problems). People who do not have sleep complaints tend to perform, look, and feel better. (For those of you who may be worried about your sleep, keep in mind that these things apply mostly to those who purposefully get less sleep than they should be getting). In the end, we need sleep because without it we would be less happy and feel worse. We want to sleep because it just plain feels good.
Related Articles
Sleep Phases Dreams Napping Sleep Age Wheel References
William C. Dement; The Promise of Sleep"Animal's Sleep: Is There a Human Connection?" - www.sleepfoundation.org"Natural Patterns of Sleep" - http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu

Edited by: IAMPREACHER at: 1/23/2010 (18:57)
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