1 2 3 4 5 POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 95 Facts You Might Not Know About Sleep and Mental Health If you’ve ever felt drowsy or “zoned out”, then you probably already understand the importance of a good night’s sleep on your mind and body.What you may not know, though, is that sleep isn’t just important for helping us get through the day without falling asleep, it’s essential for our mental health too. Clinical research shows that treating sleep disorders may help with mental health problems. Research findings are suggesting that a good night's sleep is helpful for mental and emotional recovery, while chronic sleep disruption might cause negative thinking and emotional vulnerability. Did you know? People who are even moderately sleep-deprived can perform as poorly as or worse than those who are too drunk to drive legally. Facts About Sleep Our bodies cycle between 2 major categories of sleep every 90 minutes -- REM Sleep and Non-REM Sleep 1. Non-REM Sleep -- this is when our body temperature drops, muscles relax, and heart rate and breathing slow. Adults spent half or more of their night in light sleep which is an important part of the circadian cycle and sleep architecture. The deepest stage of deep sleep produces physiological changes that help boost immune system functioning. Deep sleep is crucial for physical renewal, hormonal regulation, and growth.Without deep sleep, you’re more likely to get sick, feel depressed, and gain weight. 2. REM (rapid eye movement) Sleep, is the period when we dream. Body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing increase to levels measured when we are awake. REM sleep enhances learning and memory, and contributes to emotional health. Sleeping 8 hours per night doesn't make you feel rested , unless you get enough deep and REM sleep….. 3. More than 70 types of sleep disorders exist. Here are a few examples: o Hypersomnia -- when someone sleeps too much or falls asleep in inappropriate places and times. Narcolepsy (sleep attacks) and sleep apnea (disorder of stop breathing when falling asleep or staying asleep) could be an example of it. o Insomnia -- difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep due to number of reasons. o Parasomnia -- behavior problem during sleep, like sleep walking or nightmares. o Circadian sleep disorders -- when time for going to sleep is changed due to biological clock malfunction (ie. awake at night time and sleep in a daytime) How to OptimizeYour Sleep It’s important to understand what’s going on while you sleep. It’s recommended that if you’re having troubles with drowsiness and low-energy, you have a take home sleep study completed. From there, you’ll have an idea if a breathing disorder is causing these symptoms. 5 Tips for a Better Sleep Tonight DON'T EAT OR DRINK LATE The best choice is to eat lightly before bed (if at all) and avoid alcohol or stimulants like caffeine or nicotine within 3 hours of bedtime. EXERCISE 20TO 30 MINUTES DAILY Regular exercise is known to improve overall sleep! Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily, but not within two hours of bedtime. CREATE A SIMILAR BEDTIME AND WAKETIME Keeping a similar sleep schedule can help to ensure you get the suggested eight hours a night.Try setting an alarm for every night and morning. KEEPYOUR BEDROOM AROUND 18°C The ideal temperature for your bedroom is 18°C. A small drop in our core body temperature (as small as 0.2 C) can tell our body it’s time to sleep. CREATE A MIND DUMP BEFORE BED Write down all the things that you need to do, to empty your mind.This will reassure you that you don't need to remember your tasks throughout the night, and will help the quality of your sleep.