2009/10/14

Sleep seminar

While falling asleep during a seminar may not be all that rare (I do that some of the time and see people do it all the time), listening to a seminar about the science of sleep is definitely a first for me. Having good sleep during the night is difficult for me most of the time for as far back as I can remember, so when I saw the seminar announcement entitled "Sense & Nonsense to Improve Sleep", my interest is piqued and I can't wait to know what Dr. Richard R. Bootzin have to say about the subject. Here are the things that I learned today:

1. Sleep problems in toddlers and teenagers are good predictors for other problems (depression, substance abuse, etc) 10+ years down the road. Presumably, the same logic applies to adults.
2. Having <6 or >9 hours of sleep per day is not good; 7-8 hours would be the optimal for most people.
3. The use of bright light (in conjunction with darkness) is one of the most effective ways to influence circadian rhythm.
4. The stories about those crazy cyclists who participate in the Race Across America are absolutely fascinating. The hallucinations about aliens and such when one is under tremendous physical/mental stress and sleep deprivation can make very funny stories.
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