Think you’re getting enough sleep? You might want to think again because this test will make you realize how much sleep you’re actually missing.
The new tool, The Lost Sleep Calculator will reveal your sleep loss to show your weekly, monthly, yearly and even lifetime deprivation, as well as what else you could have done in that time.
The tool also reveals how many hours people have been kept awake thinking about various things, such as food, work and sex.
Visitors to the site are asked to input their age and how many hours of sleep they got during the night before.
The team at the interior brand Hillarys.co.uk are behind the Lost Sleep Calculator.
A spokesperson for the site who created the tool said: ‘Many of us get into that competitive tiredness debate, where we feel like we are far more tired than our partner or peers and are far more stressed.
‘It’s commonplace to complain of feeling like a zombie, but are we really as sleep deprived as we think?’
The ‘Lost Sleep Calculator’ Reveals How Sleep Deprived You Are
Can sleeping with pets help you get a better night’s rest? Singular Sleep, a national sleep medicine practice, attempts to uncover the answer.
“There have been some small studies in the past that looked at this issue, but nothing on this scale,” says Joseph Krainin, MD, Singular Sleep’s founder and a board-certified sleep medicine physician, in a release. “Anecdotally, I had noticed that a large percentage of my patients admitted to having pets in the bedroom. Consequently, it became something that I asked about routinely during evaluations.”
According to Krainin, the new survey was inspired by a 2015 Mayo Clinic study. Using social media, Singular Sleep conducted an extensive campaign to recruit participants, and received more than 1,000 survey responses from around the globe. The survey included more questions than the Mayo Clinic study and led to several interesting new findings, including:
- 87.5% of respondents who had pets in the bedroom allowed their pets to sleep in bed with them.
- Almost 60% reported that their pets either had no effect or beneficial effects on their sleep, a significantly higher percentage than the prior study.
- About a quarter of those surveyed (24.1%) reported worse sleep due to pets.
- 16.7% were unsure whether pets affected their sleep.
- 71.6% more people with bed partners reported worse sleep with pets in the bed than those without bed partners.
- 32% more people without bed partners reported better sleep with pets in the bed than those without bed partners.
“For those without a steady bed partner, our results suggest that pets may provide a comforting effect,” Krainin notes. “I used to get exasperated trying to convince insomniacs to remove their pets from the bedroom. But with this new data, I’m going to, as they say, let sleeping dogs lie.”
Can Sleeping with Pets Improve Quality of Sleep?
Snoring is one of the most common complaints we hear from spouses and partners that live together. It can cause sleep problems not only for snorers, but for everyone around them as well. Fortunately, snoring is not a hopeless case. Here are steps you can take to handle a snoring partner:
1. Make Sure You Are Sleeping On A High Quality Mattress
You may be surprised to know that sleeping on a low quality mattress can actually be the cause of your partner’s snoring! If your mattress is old and sags in the middle, this will affect the position of your partner’s neck when they are asleep, blocking their airway in the throat. Once you’ve got a nice, high quality mattress, remember to raise your bed up by about four inches. Doing this will help keep throat tissues and the tongue from plugging up your partner’s airway, greatly reducing the chances of them snoring throughout the night.
2. A Weighty Issue
Unfortunately, snoring tends to be more prevalent in those who are overweight as they tend to have bulky throat tissue. If your snoring partner is above their ideal weight, this could be one of the reasons they are keeping you up at night. The good news, however, is that this is completely reversible. Encourage your partner to adopt a healthy eating and exercise plan in order to shed the excess kilos.
3. Stay Away From The Booze
Do you ever notice that your partner’s snoring gets even worse after a night out to the bar? This is because alcohol relaxes the muscles around the throat, making everything, well, floppier. The floppier muscles are around the airway, the greater the constriction for air to flow through. Avoiding alcohol in the evening or prior to bedtime can often lead to a much more peaceful night’s sleep for both you and your partner.
4. Where There Is Smoke, There Is Snoring
Smoking can cause or worsen a bad case of snoring. Cigarette smoke has the ability to swells the mucous membranes of the throat. In addition to this, it limits your oxygen intake to the lungs. If that is not bad enough, smoking can also cause blockages to form in the nose and throat. All of these are factors that can lead directly to snoring. If your partner is a smoker, encourage them to quit the habit, or purchase them nicotine patches as an alternative to smoking cigarettes.
5. Stay Well Hydrated
Many people are unaware to the fact that being dehydrated can actually cause one to snore at night. Secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier when you’re dehydrated, which can directly cause a person to snore more. Healthy women should guzzle down about 2.5 litres of total water (both from all drinks and food) a day; whilst men require about 4 litres of water a day.
Sleep Woes – How to Deal with a Snoring Partner
Should you take sleep aids on a flight? According to Aneesa Das, M.D., a sleep medicine specialist at the Ohio State University, you can skip medication if you’re only on a short trip (just stay awake instead), and reserve it for those overnight flights when you’re jumping across multiple time zones. Some pills are stronger than others, and some have side effects that may outweigh the extra sleep. Here’s what to know about three common medications.
Ambien—the most powerful option on this list and the only one that requires an Rx—works as asedative-hypnotic medication that slows your brain activity to make you feel very sleepy. Some users experience retroactive amnesia, which means you could wake up mid-flight, have a full conversation with the flight attendant, and have no memory of it when morning comes, Das says. Ambien can also lead to sleepwalking. But it’s not all bad. Zolpidem (the generic name for Ambien) has been shown to fight off jet lag, finds a study published in Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine.
The over-the-counter medication is easy to pick up at the drugstore. Diphenhydramine, the same antihistamine found in Benadryl, will likely put you to sleep, though you may pay the price once you land. “It makes us feel really groggy when we wake up, and it can make us feel really hungover,” Das says. The antihistamine may also leave you with a dry mouth. Still, Das says it’s okay to take so long as you’ve tolerated it in the past.
The hormone occurs naturally in the body, but taking an extra dose helps induce sleep and adjust your circadian clock. Start taking melatonin a few days before your trip, about four to six hours before your bedtime, so that you’re ready to hit the pillow 30 minutes to an hour earlier than normal, Das says. A review from U.K. researchers found melatonin decreases jet lag if you take it close to your target bedtime at your destination, especially if you’re traveling across five or more time zones. The researchers found doses of .5 and 5 milligrams were equally effective at preventing jet lag, though the larger (maximum) dose will help you fall asleep quicker and sleep better. Another plus? There are no major side effects to worry about. (Note: The FDA does regulate dietary supplements such as melatonin, but these regulations are less strict than those for prescription or over-the-counter medications; check with your doctor for an appropriate recommendation.)
If you decide to take sleep aids, make sure to follow the ground rules. First, give it a test run at home. “You want to know how your body tolerates it before you go,” Das says. Then, once you’re settled into your seat, pass on booze and don’t pop the medicine until the flight attendants have gone over safety instructions.
Is It Safe to Take Sleep Aids During Long Haul Flights?
Even if you don’t think you have a sleep problem, your night-time habits might be reducing your quality of life more than you think, experts say.
Research has shown a clear link between technology use before bed and compromised sleep that affects our health and well being.
While effects can vary from person to person, it may be as subtle as your thinking not being as sharp as it could be, your energy a bit sluggish, your vigilance a bit down, your mood a bit less stable.
Poor sleep has also been linked with an increased risk of developing anxiety, depression, weight gain, reduced immunity, and some studies have found there’s a relationship between sleep deprivation and high blood pressure or heart disease.
How technology use affects sleep
Technology use in the evenings may make it harder to drop off to sleep and can also reduce the quality of sleep and make you feel sleepier the next day.
Using a screen for 1.5 hours or more seems to be when problems start, although not everyone is affected the same way.
The impacts on sleep are related to both the stimulating effects of interacting with a device and the effects of light from the screen.
Passive activities like reading an e-book or watching a movie are thought to be less disruptive than interactive ones like playing a video game, making posts, or messaging.
Reducing the impact of screens on sleep
The Sleep Health Foundation recommends that you follow these steps:
- Dim the screen on devices as much as possible at night
- Reverse the setting on e-readers so that the type is white on a black background, rather than the other way round.
- Consider using a free software program for PCs and laptops called f.lux which decreases the amount of blue light from screens.
- Try the different apps, screen protectors and in some cases, inbuilt night settings that reduce blue light on phone screens.
- Try to restrict technology use, especially the most stimulating kind, to earlier in the evening.
Read the full article:
Electronics and Sleep – Are Your Tech Habits Ruining Your Sleep?
Ariana Huffington, author of “The Sleep Revolution” and The Huffington Post editor-in-chief tells Business Insider the 8 common sleep mistakes people do that contribute to a bad night’s sleep.
Skipping your workout
Studies have shown that morning and afternoon workouts can increase a person’s quality and amount of sleep at night. One study found that exercise adds around 45 minutes of extra sleep.
“Staying active won’t cure sleep complaints,” Rodyney Dishman, a researcher at the University of Georgia told Huffington for her book, “but it will reduce the odds of them.”
Eating a late-night meal
“If we have a big meal and then go straight to bed, our sleep is not going to be as restorative because our digestive system is occupied digesting, instead of everything being able to slow down and recharge for the next day,” Huffington tells Business Insider.
Eating earlier in the day can also help mitigate acid reflux, which often keeps people up at night and is exacerbated by sleeping on a full stomach.
Not unwinding before bed
“When stress rises and becomes cumulative during the day, it’s much harder to fall asleep at night because it’s harder to slow down and quiet our brains,” Huffington says.
One way to unwind, referred to as the “mind dump,” involves writing down all the things you need to do the next day before bed. This could help empty your mind and tell your brain it no longer needs to run through your to-do list for the rest of the night.
Scanning your smartphone in bed
The LED screens of our smartphones give off what is called blue light, which studies have shown can damage vision and suppress production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle.
“For me, the key is to every night before I’m going to go to sleep, thirty minutes before, turn off all of my devices and gently escort them out of my bedroom,” Huffington says.
Working in bed
The light given off by your laptop can also prevent your brain from releasing melatonin, and working in bed likely means you’re not giving yourself enough time to unwind before sleep.
Drinking alcohol too close to bedtime
According to the National Institutes of Health, drinking alcohol just before bedtime decreases the amount of time you spend in REM sleep — a deep and restorative phase of sleep.
Drinking coffee in the afternoon or evening
It may be tempting to reach for another cup of coffee as your energy wanes at work, but it may make you more tired in the long run.
“The risks of caffeine use in terms of sleep disturbance are underestimated by both the general population and physicians,” the study authors write.
Sleeping in on weekends
Sleeping late on the weekends resets your body clock to a different cycle, and it’s reset again when you go back to waking up early during the workweek.
Start to avoid these sleep mistakes and look forward to a better sleep.
8 Common Sleep Mistakes People Make
If you’re the average American adult, you don’t sleep for the recommended eight hours a night or 56 hours a week or 2,920 hours a year. Consequently, this issue of sleep loss has become a serious public health concern in the US. Not only does insufficient sleep reduce our productivity, it also increases the risk for many serious diseases and health problems like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
In an effort to spread awareness about insufficient sleep, Van Winkles has created a Sleep Debt Clock which is designed to track America’s sleep debt since January 1, 2016 and shows how far behind we are on our sleep.
“As you can see, it features a running tab of sleep debt accrued every second by Americans between the ages of five and 85. It also also breaks down debt share by age group and for those in the military. Consider it our version of the Doomsday Clock. We hope it grabs your attention and gets you thinking about sleep. ”
Let’s all help paying back sleep debt by striving for quality sleep.
Paying Back Sleep Debt – Discover How Much Sleep America Loses Every Second
Sleep and the Brain – When you sleep, you might think your body is inactive. But in reality, your body is actually working harder to repair and recover itself.
Here are 5 ways that sleep helps our brains stay healthy and balanced:
Sleep orders and strengthens our memories
Sleep helps the brain file the day’s activities away. As we sleep, the brain fast-forwards through the patterns of brain activity that occurred during the day. This replay not only organizes memories, but also strengthens the microscopic connections between nerve cells in the hippocampus, the brain’s own filing system.
Sleep may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia
Lack of sleep, or sleeping less than five hours a night, can lead to a build-up of beta-amyloid, a toxic protein that forms harmful plaques in the brain of those with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. Getting a good seven hours of sleep a night can reduce the risk that these plaques accumulate in our brains.
Sleep makes the brain stronger
There’s a reason we feel more clear-headed after a good night’s sleep: we are. Sleep boosts alertness, replenishing the neurotransmitters that organize the neural networks in our brains. These networks are essential not only for memory, but also for learning, mental performance and problem solving.
Sleep gives the brain time to detox
Sleep helps restore the brain by flushing out toxins (including harmful proteins) that build up during waking hours. Our brains have a drainage system based on the movement of clear cerebrospinal fluid through channels surrounding the blood vessels. The process, has been named the brain’s glymphaticsystem by researchers.
Sleep enables our brains to perceive pleasure
The link between sleep and pleasure has to do with stress. The more stressed we are, the less we sleep; the less we sleep, the more stressed we get. The result is lowered levels of DHEA, the “life is good” hormone. Without sufficient DHEA, it’s harder for us to experience happiness. It doesn’t just seem as if we’re in a bad mood. Chemically, we are.
Read the full article:
Sleep and the Brain – The Healing Power of Sleep
Scientists have uncovered a number of surprising ways that genes might affect your sleep. Here are five:
“Short-sleepers” can get by on just 4 to 6 hours a night
In 2009, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco discovered a gene mutation that allows some people to feel refreshed on much less sleep than the normal population.
The gene is heritable and rare. So for the rest of us, a minimum of 7.5 hours it is.
There’s a gene linked to both seasonal depression and poor sleep
A two-for-one special that no one wants: Two rare variants of the PERIOD3 (PER3) gene are linked to both Seasonal Affective Disorder – depression related to change in the seasons and poor sleeping patterns.
DNA may be why sleep and metabolism are associated
In 2013, scientists identified a “gene region” that’s linked with longer sleep, better glucose metabolism and a lower likelihood of ADHD. The region is located near a gene called PAX8, which helps regulate thyroid hormone levels. The thyroid can impact sleep cycles: People with inadequate thyroid hormones often sleep excessively, and people with too much of it can be hyperactive.
An overactive gene is linked to severe insomnia
The gene known as neuromedin U (Nmu) has been called “nature’s stimulant” for its apparent role in wakefulness and, by extension, insomnia. A new study,published this month in the journal Neuron, showed that zebrafish with over-expressed Nmu became more active both day and night and displayed a “profound form of insomnia.”
Being a “morning person” could be part of your DNA
Scientists recently isolated 15 areas in the human genome that are associated with the tendency toward “morningness,” or a preference for rising early. They also found that morning people were less likely to suffer from insomnia or depression, and had lower average BMIs than so-called “night owls.”
Genetics of Sleep – How Your Genes Can Affect Your Sleep Behavior
According to a talk by Russell Foster, neuroscientist and professor of circadian neuroscience at Oxford University in England, we’ve been brushing our teeth wrong. Instead of relying on light, it may be more beneficial for our sleep habits if we brush in the dark.
‘Often people will turn their lights down at night which helps to get the body ready for sleep, but then they will go and brush their teeth and turn their bathroom light on. That is very disrupting. I often think someone should invent a bathroom mirror light which has a different setting for night-time.’ said Russell Foster, neuroscientist and professor of circadian neuroscience at Oxford University in England.
Out of sync
Whilst your body and mind may be perfectly relaxed and ready for bed, when you step into the brightly lit bathroom to spend a few minutes brushing your teeth, you effectively reset your body’s sleep cycle and send it “wake up” signals. This happens because at night, in response to falling light levels, the pineal gland in your brain starts producing melatonin – the ‘drowsy hormone’ – which helps to ease us into sleep each night. But flipping on that bright bathroom light sends your circadian rhythm spiralling into confusion all over again, and your melatonin back into storage for another time.
While brushing your teeth in complete darkness may sound impractical and unappealing, it’s worth considering the advice of the scientists. If a total blackout is impractical try swapping your current lightbulbs for lower-wattage bulbs, or even a night light. A few minutes in a dark, or more dimly-lit bathroom might might help you improve the quality of your precious shut-eye, and maybe even your wider health concerns.