Regal Sleep Solutions Sleep Centre

Helping you understand the science of sleep!

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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How Depression & Sleep Deprivation Reinforce One Another

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Mental health is intricately linked to sleep. We’ve written before about anxiety disorders and how often they coexist with insomnia. This week, we’re shifting the focus to depression, the second most common mental illness in Australia after anxiety.

Depression and insomnia seem to have a reciprocal relationship. In other words, in one of the most unfair vicious cycles in existence, depression negatively affects sleep, and poor sleep, in turn, contributes to depression.

Sleep disturbances, including insomnia (and in some cases, sleeping too much) are among the most common symptoms of major depression. For the uninitiated, depression is not the same as feeling sad once in a while. Sufferers of depression may feel sad, hopeless, and empty with or without the presence of an obvious trigger. In a major depressive episode, these symptoms can be prolonged, debilitating, and even life-threatening. Depression is stubbornly resistant to good circumstances and encouraging words from well-meaning friends. Major depressive episodes typically require medical intervention to improve.

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Why You Shouldn’t Put Much Stock in Dream "Dictionaries"

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A quick Google of dream dictionaries will generate hundreds of thousands of results of pages that claim to decode the secrets of your subconscious, or even your future, by interpreting symbols in your dreams. Many dream "dictionaries" cover symbols as general as death and as specific as unicycles, each with an accompanying explanation of their significance. (In case you were wondering, dreaming about unicycles supposedly means that "you are in total control of a situation and are exercising authority in both personal and business matters," courtesy of Dream Moods).

Dream interpretation has a rich history in cultures ancient and modern, so it’s no wonder that it’s still with us today. The ancient Egyptians and Babylonians believed that dreams were a vehicle for communicating with supernatural powers. Aristotle wrote that dreams could be used to predict illness. Placing spiritual significance in dreams has strong religious roots—in the Bible, Joseph and Daniel have dreams that are messages from God. Closer to the modern day, dream interpretation is a major component of psychoanalytic therapy, championed by the legendary psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.

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What Is An Anxiety Disorder & How Can It Affect Your Sleep?

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It’s 3AM, and while it seems like the rest of the world is sound asleep, you’re in bed with your eyes wide open. Your heart is pounding, you feel dizzy and nauseous, and no matter how much you tell yourself to calm down, you can’t shake the sense that something bad is about to happen. You can’t remember the last time you had a peaceful night of sleep, and unrelenting feelings of anxiety and fear are starting to interfere with your ability to live a normal life.

If this sounds familiar, you may be one of the 14% of people in Australia who live with an anxiety disorder. They are by far the most common mental disorders in the country, beating out depression and substance abuse. A number of distinct conditions fall under the anxiety disorder umbrella, like panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety, but what they have in common are feelings of stress and fear that seriously affect your ability to function. Unfortunately, they coexist with insomnia so often that it’s one of their defining symptoms.

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5 Cool Facts About Lucid Dreaming

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Though they are seriously exaggerated in the media (we’re looking at you, Inception), anyone who’s had a lucid dream will tell you that there’s nothing quite like it. A dream is considered lucid if you know that you’re dreaming, and you may also have a degree of control over the dream environment and/or your actions within it.

Some aficionados credit lucid dreaming with benefits like increased self-control in their waking life or an improvement in depressive symptoms. The supposed benefits are best taken with a grain of salt, given that there’s not nearly enough research to confirm them, but it doesn’t take a scientist to know that lucid dreaming can, if nothing else, be just plain fun. Read on for five cool facts about this unique state of consciousness.

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What Causes Snoring & When Do You Need To See The Doctor?

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Imagine (or recall, depending on your situation) being in the middle of a pleasant dream, only to be jarred awake by the throaty rumble of your partner’s snoring. This is the reality for countless couples across Australia, and aside from its tendency to cause relationship disturbance, snoring can be a signal of underlying health problems. But since many people think it’s a benign condition, they’re unlikely to see their doctor about it. Here’s what causes snoring and when you should seek medical intervention.

When you sleep, your throat narrows and your tongue falls backward. The walls of your throat vibrate as your breathe in and out, and for certain people—often those who are overweight, and mostly men, though snoring affects every population group to some degree—the vibrations are loud enough to wake up a sleeping partner. Generally, the narrower the opening in your upper airway, the louder the vibration.

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5 Beautiful, Relaxing Soundtracks To Fall Asleep To

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Last week, we wrote about the well-documented benefits of listening to music while you sleep. In case you missed it, the takeaway is that music has been show decrease the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and improve the quality of your rest. However, not all types of music have this effect. As you might expect, fast, loud, stimulating tunes are unlikely to help you get to sleep.

Here’s a list of beautiful music . Some of these tunes were specifically produced as sleep aids, while others naturally happen to fit the criteria.

 

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Is Listening To Music While You Sleep A Good Idea?

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If you love music, you already know that it can enlighten, inspire, energize, and shake you out of a bad mood. But did you know that it can also help you sleep? Plenty of people use music to help themselves get a good night’s rest, and there’s a great deal of research to back up this popular practice.

During sleep, though you’re not consciously aware of it, you’re actually listening to what’s around you. When you think about it, this makes a lot of evolutionary sense—with your eyes shut, it’s the only way your body can become aware of threats in your environment. While this can be somewhat of an annoyance for light sleepers, it has a wonderful upshot: you can actually intervene on the quality of your sleep with carefully chosen tunes.

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4 Ways To Sleep Better On A Plane

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In the past, we’ve written about how to how to stay ahead of jet lag. An important component of that effort is actually getting to sleep on a plane, and since it’s impossible to carry on your Regal mattress (sorry, we’re working on it), you probably need some help. Sleeping well on a plane is especially important on long-haul flights. Otherwise, you may find yourself a day behind on your sleep by the time you get to your destination! Here are our best tips for getting to sleep in the air.
 
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