Regal Sleep Solutions Sleep Centre

Helping you understand the science of sleep!

Why You Should Consider Starting Your Day Without Caffeine

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If your day doesn’t start without coffee, we get it—it’s a cultural mainstay and a near-lifelong habit for many, if not most, Australians. There’s nothing wrong with drinking a moderate amount of coffee, but there’s a good biological reason you may want to hold off a little longer than you’re used to before drinking your first cup.

A number of important biological processes, like alertness, metabolism, and muscle tone, are governed by your circadian rhythm—a 24-hour cycle that’s regulated by external and internal signals. In the morning, your body makes a lot of a hormone called cortisol. You may associate cortisol with stress, which it’s involved in, but another one of its important functions is helping you feel alert when you wake up. Cortisol levels typically peak between 8-9am, 12-1pm, and 5:30-6:30pm.

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Five Cool Facts About The Way Animals Sleep

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All animals sleep, but they do so in drastically different ways. From sleeping with only half their brains to sleeping while flying, check out these 10 surprising (and surprisingly adorable) facts about the way animals get their rest.

Otters hold each other while they sleep

Cutest fact first: Otters like to sleep in the water to avoid predators. When they do, to avoid drifting away, they anchor their bodies to something with their tales or hold hands with other otters . Think about that when you need to smile.

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Bacteria and Your Circadian Rhythm: How Your Microbiome Influences Your Internal Clock

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Your body is composed of about 30 trillion human cells and 39 trillion bacterial cells. That’s right. On a cellular level, you are mostly made up of bacteria. No wonder there’s been a recent surge in probiotic yogurt advertisements!

The human microbiome, or collection of microbes that live inside the human body, has been at the forefront of scientific research for the past few decades. Studies are steadily revealing the crucial role of microbes in human health, from digestion and immunity to psychological well-being. One of the latest developments in the field is that our gut microbiome may directly influence our circadian rhythm.

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5 Tips For Sound Sleep In The Great Outdoors

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Here in Australia, we’re blessed with access to gorgeous natural wonders most people can only dream about. Whether you like the rainforest, beach, or mountains, there’s really something here for everybody. And what better way to enjoy it than to take the family out on a camping trip?

Unfortunately, otherwise great holidays can be spoilt by chilly, itchy nights of bad sleep. If you’ve experienced this, you know that poorly rested people do not make for great holiday companions.

Until we figure out a way to make Regal mattresses easily portable, you can rely on these five simple tips to sleep soundly in the bush.

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How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) May Help Cure Your Chronic Insomnia

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Many people worry about getting diagnosed with a sleep disorder because they don’t want to become reliant on medication. While medication is necessary in certain cases, there is a popular, effective alternative for chronic sleep conditions called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

CBT was originally developed to treat depression (coincidentally, one of the most common psychiatric conditions to appear alongside insomnia), but it’s since been co-opted to treat a wide range of mental disorders, from obsessive compulsive disorder to substance abuse. Best of all? It has a successful track record, even in comparison to medication-based treatments.

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5 Reasons To Set A Curfew For Your Smartphone

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In our ultra-connected world, a smartphone is the first and the last thing many people see every day. Staying connected with our networks is extremely tempting, and you can safely bet that every app and social network you use is designed to be as addictive as possible, but there are good reasons to put away your smartphone well before bedtime.

Respect your circadian rhythm

The light emitted by your LED screen confuses sensitive light-detecting cells in your eyes into signalling to your brain that it’s daytime. The series of biochemical reactions triggered by this signal is bad news for quality sleep. Any exposure to electronic light before bed hampers your body’s ability to wind down.

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Should You Share A Bed With Your Pet?

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You and your four-legged best friend do everything together. You play, go for walks, cuddle when you’re sad, and if you’re like more than 75% of pet owners, even share the bed at night. But is it safe to share your sleeping space with your pet, or should you train your dog or cat to sleep on their own?

The answer depends on your health and that of your furry friend. Generally, the risk of catching a serious disease from your pet via bed-sharing is very low, provided that your pet is healthy and receives regular veterinary care, including screening for fleas and parasites. If you’re pregnant, have a compromised immune system, or are undergoing chemotherapy, you’re much more vulnerable to illness and would likely be better off keeping your bed a pet-free zone. The same goes for if you have allergies, asthma, or sleep apnea.

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5 Health Conditions That Can Disrupt Sleep

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Insomnia is often linked to other health problems, whether physical, emotional, lifestyle-related or a combination. In fact, sleep troubles appear with other health problems so often that clinicians presented with insomnia often screen for underlying disorders and treat them at the same time. Here are 5 health conditions that can interfere with sleep.

Psychiatric disorders

Mental health disorders, especially anxiety and depression, are among the most common health problems to appear alongside insomnia. Some studies suggest that nearly half of all people with insomnia also have a psychiatric diagnosis. In addition to anxiety and depression, phobias, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia often present with insomnia.

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Meditation And Sleep: How It Can Help And Where To Draw The Line

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Few health practices have received as much attention as meditation in recent years. It’s been hailed as a panacea for ills as diverse as addiction, depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, an insomnia. Indeed, the scientific research on meditation is largely positive, and there are good reasons to consider practicing it. However, as with any health craze, enthusiasts tend to jump the gun. Some advocates of meditation claim that it can actually replace a large portion of the time you need to sleep. It’s at this point that well-meaning advice can become dangerous.

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Five Popular Folk Remedies For Insomnia And Whether Or Not They Work

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When you feel like you need an extra hand getting to sleep, but don’t want to rely on sleeping pills, you may turn to a popular folk remedy for help. There’s no denying the efficacy of the good old placebo effect, and indeed, a favourite family remedy that you trust may actually help you relax and fall asleep faster. That said, it’s worth knowing which remedies have garnered some approval from the scientific community. Read on for five popular folk remedies and whether or not they’ve been proven to work.

A warm glass of milk before bed

The jury is still out on this one. Consider this: On one hand, milk is rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that works as a precursor to melatonin, which is an important sleep-inducing hormone. However, the amount of tryptophan in a single glass of milk is probably too low for you to actually feel the effects. However, the positive psychological associations you might have with milk may do the trick. It won’t do any harm, so if it makes you feel better, drink up!

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Your Circadian Rhythm: Understanding Your Body’s Internal Clock

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Technology is intimately linked with the personal and professional lives of so many, making it hard to remember how new some of the world’s most widespread innovations really are. The first personal computers came out in 1975, the first mobile phone in 1973, and electric light has been on the scene for fewer than 150 years. With this technology comes access to artificial light at all hours—a factor sleep scientists say we are not well-adapted to.

For the vast majority of our evolution, human activity was at the mercy of sunrise and sunset, and our bodies, just like everything else in nature, are set up to work in harmony with this cycle. This biological clock, governed largely by light, is known as our circadian rhythm. It’s also partially mediated by an internal clock, the mechanisms of which are the subject of ongoing research.

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10 Feel-Good Songs To Start Your Day

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There are a few things you should do every morning to set yourself up for a good day: Drink water, stretch, expose your eyes to natural light, and groove to your favourite uplifting music. If your morning playlist is looking a little stale, try this mix of classic tunes.

"It's a beautiful day, sky falls, you feel like, it’s a beautiful day, don’t let it get away…"

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How Sleep Affects Your Immune System & Vaccine Response

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Popular wisdom says that a sound sleep can protect you from getting sick, and there’s a ton of scientific evidence to support this claim. There’s a physiological reason you’re inclined to sleep more when you’re sick: the health of your immune system rests (pun intended) on the duration and quality of your sleep. This is true to such an extreme degree that, according to a few landmark studies, the effectiveness of certain vaccines suffers if you don’t sleep enough after getting them.

Response to both the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines seems to be negatively influenced by sleep deprivation. In one study, getting fewer than six hours of sleep made people more than ten times more likely to be unprotected after the standard hepatitis B vaccine than people who slept seven hours or more.

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Five Ways to Make Healthy Sleep a Family Habit

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The secret to family bliss? Make sure everyone gets enough sleep.

Okay, that may be a slight oversimplification, but it’s not that far a stretch when you consider the psychological side of getting proper sleep. Better rested people are physically and mentally healthier, less likely to get into arguments, and overall more agreeable and less stressed out. Here are five ways to make quality sleep a part of your family routine.

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Pregnancy & Sleep

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Pregnancy is a roller-coaster ride of change for most women, and sleep during this exciting but challenging stage of life is no exception. Hormonal changes, a growing abdomen, acid reflux, and hourly runs to the toilet are among the challenges you may face when you’re expecting. If you’re pregnant or want to know how to best support your pregnant partner, read on for how sleep typically progresses through the trimesters.

During the first trimester, it’s very likely that you’ll feel sleepy during the day. That’s because a high amount of a hormone called progesterone, often called the "hormone of pregnancy," is surging through your body. Oddly enough, this hormone makes you sleepy through the day but compounds the problem by disturbing sleep at night. You may also find it difficult to get comfortable at night, thanks to tenderness in your breasts, morning sickness, and a constant need to urinate.

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Five Unusual Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Nightmares

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Nightmares run the gamut from classic, like being naked in public, to obscure, like battling a terrifying pterodactyl inside a walnut shell (and you just know it’s a walnut shell somehow). What they have in common are that virtually everybody has them once in a while, and they can be just as unsettling as real-life horrors. Here are five weird facts you may not know about nightmares.

You can be diagnosed with "Nightmare Disorder"

Try not to let this one keep you up at night—nightmare disorder, or "sleep anxiety disorder," is a clinically diagnosable condition characterized by frequent, persistent nightmares that disrupt sleep. People with this condition can have nightmares so often that they may develop a fear of sleep, and can even have impaired functioning during the day. Depending on severity, treatment for nightmare disorder include relaxation-oriented therapies, medication, and...

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Night Owls & Larks: Is There Really Such A Thing As A Morning Person?

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If you’ve lived much of your life quietly amazed at people who can function before noon and fall asleep before midnight, you may belong to a relatively small category of people known as "night owls," or "evening-types" in the scientific literature.

Night owls tend to naturally stay up late into the night, sleep in, and feel most alert and energetic in the afternoon and evening. Larks, on the other hand, like to go to bed in the early evening, get up early, and feel most alert in the morning. If you think you finally have a scientific excuse for sleeping in, you may be right, but not so fast—keep in mind most people are neither owls nor larks, but somewhere in between.

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5 Relaxing Scents To Help Soothe You To Sleep

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Aromatic essential oils have been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments. Though solid research on their effectiveness is limited, and we would never recommend aromatherapy in place of doctor-approved remedies for a serious medical concern, anecdotal evidence abounds. Many people swear that particular scents make it easier for them to relax, focus, lessen pain, and so on. The following five scents are reputed to promote relaxation and help put you to sleep. Try putting a few drops of essential oil on your pillow or aromatizing your room with an oil diffuser.

Please note that if you’re pregnant, have asthma, or suffer from severe allergies, you should consult your healthcare professional before trying aromatherapy.

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Sleep Deprivation Is A Terrible School Bully

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An alarming statistic has been making the rounds in the news lately—approximately 70% of Australian teens are chronically sleep-deprived, largely thanks to the ubiquity of digital devices. If you’re a parent, you probably already know how hard it is to unglue the eyes of your youngster from their smartphone, but you may not be fully aware of how much it’s affecting their sleep, and by extension, educational outcomes.

The relationship between sleep and learning has been extensively studied, and studies have repeatedly shown that our ability to learn and store new information suffers after just one night of poor sleep—let alone chronic sleep deprivation. If your child isn’t performing well in school, sleep deprivation is one of the major things you should rule out, and given the above statistic, there’s a fair chance it’s playing its part.

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5 Ways People Woke Up On Time Before Alarm Clocks

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We take for granted that getting up on time for a morning meeting is as simple as clicking around on a smartphone (leaving aside the actual process of getting out of bed). Have you ever wondered how people woke up on time for work before alarm clocks? Read on for five clever ways people managed their mornings throughout history.

Water Clocks

Water clocks are among the oldest devices people used to measure time, alongside hourglasses and sundials. They work by measuring the steady flow of water into a vessel. The ancient Greeks developed an advanced version of the water clock known called a "clepsydra," versions of which worked as alarms by ringing bells or gongs when the water reached a certain level.

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