Posted Tuesday, January 12, 2010
From a certain perspective, sleep is rather odd. We spend so much time trying to be productive and active. At the same time, we spend a third of our lives in bed, eyes closed, getting what looks like nothing accomplished, and that's if we're lucky. There are those who aren't so lucky, people who deal with sleep disorders--insomnia, apnea, restless legs, and night terrors--would give up almost anything for a good night's sleep. Tuesday morning at 9:00, join host Dan Moulthrop for a science cafe about sleep and sleeplessness.
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My friends make fun of me, but I don’t like to have caffeine after 12 noon, because I am convinced it will affect my sleep. How long does caffeine stay in the system?
I read recently that there is a urine test to diagnose sleep apnea. Any thoughts?
What is the effect of food has on sleep disorders?
For example caffeine, eating before going to bed, or eating too much at night?
I am a bit concerned about that your guests are so quick to doll out parenting advice. Most humans around the world share sleep with their children and have for thousands of years. Putting a child in a separate room away from parents is a relatively new method used by more developed/wealthier cultures. The fact that infants have different sleeping patterns is one of the reason that many experts recommend parents share sleep/sleep in close proximity to their babies. There are studies that show that it helps to regulate the breathing of infants. A parent can actually achieve more sleep by being able to comfort their child without getting up and going down the hall.
One solution to getting a good night’s sleep overlooked by most couples is separate bedrooms. During the workweek, both partners can avoid interrupted sleep caused by the other’s movement in bed, snoring and other breathing noises, sleeptalking, getting up to use the bathroom, the increase in room temperature caused by the increase in humidity from two persons breathing in a room, and different sleep cycles (when one of them sleeps better when he or she goes to bed and gets up earlier than the other).
This is an important solution, especially if one often fights falling asleep at work, in classes, studying, or at red traffic lights.
Women think more about the intimacy missed, but, hey, when you’re asleep you don’t even know the person is next to you or not. Getting good sleep is a health issue that affects your whole day everyday and is more important than the fleeting feeling of security or romantic notion of having someone to sleep with--when you don’t even know they’re there because you’re asleep.
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