By Dan Cohen, MD
If you’re over 45, you’re probably not sleeping as well as you once did. You may have even grown accustomed to the brain fog that muddles your thinking. You’re not the only one feeling drowsy. The CDC says more than a third of American adults are sleep deprived on a regular basis. The answer may be com-bining tried-and-true sleep basics with new sleep technology.
Sleeping fewer than six hours on a regular basis is a health con-cern. Decades of research, involving millions of people, show that chronic sleep deprivation is associated with increased risks of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia.”
Our sleep cycles get messed up as we age Delta, or slow wave sleep stage, is associated with deep, restorative sleep.
Delta sleep occurs mainly in the first half of the night, enabling you to sleep the rest of the night.
Delta sleep is more important than the other sleep stages of sleep regarding physical health. It is when the body secretes human growth hormone. Delta sleep enables the body and brain to recover from daytime activities, relieves stress and can have a dramatic impact on overall health. It is also associated with performing better on memory tasks the next day.
But Delta sleep can be very elusive. People in their 20s spend about 20 to 25% of their sleep time in Delta sleep. By your mid- to late-40s, you’ve lost 60 to 70% of your Delta sleep. By the time you reach 70, you’ve lost 80 to 90%.
New technology called Soltec SES helps to eventually restore Delta sleep, which until now has been unheard of.
Five better-sleep strategies that really work
You’ve probably seen many articles on sleep hygiene. As the neurologist who pioneered the sleep technology used in sleep labs across the country, I want to improve on their advice. To really sleep better, and help restore your Delta sleep, here are my suggestions:
• Add an hour to your bedtime. We all need time to fall asleep. If you want to sleep 7-½ hours, plan to be in bed for 8-½ hours. Because your actual time will vary, it’s important to track it so you’ll know more precisely how much time you need to add to your bedtime routine.
• Go to sleep at the same time every night. Earlier is better the maximize Delta sleep. Respect your body’s natural circadian rhythm by going to sleep when your body tells you it’s tired. It helps to get ready for bed ahead of time. If you wait until you’re tired to go into the brightly lit bathroom to brush your teeth, you’ll be wide awake.
• If you wake up in the middle of the night, pay attention to you body. If you get up, or start thinking about things that cause you stress, your odds of falling back asleep reduce dramatically. In-stead, focus on feeling and relaxing your muscles.
• Use new smart technology to improve your sleep quality in rea time. Soltec SES is the smartest sleep wearable ever invented because it works to substantially improve your sleep, rather than just telling you about it. In real time, it determines what sleep stage you’re moving into. It tells the second part of the closed-loop feedback system, which is placed beneath your bed, what protocol to use to facilitate that sleep stage. You’ll sleep longer and deeper the entire night. And if you wake up at 2 a.m., it will help you get back to sleep.
Although this is a tremendous accomplishment, your results won’t happen overnight. It’s taken decades for your sleep to diminish to this level. It will take a while to restore it. There is typically about a two- to six-week gradual adaptation period for your sleep to change substantially.
- Use all that extra energy! Now that you’re getting more Delta sleep and more sleep in general, you’ll have more energy during the day. Get up and move! A lot of us get to a certain age and don’t do the exercises that improve fitness and build muscle. But we need to move if we want to maintain our quality of life. Besides, regular exercise is associated with better sleep.
By using these tips, I am sleeping better now than I have in de-cades. There are more insights on how to rejuvenate your sleep at www.SoltecHealth.com.