Hey Insomniacs: This Will Put You to Sleep

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Sleep solutions

Sleep retreats are a glorious thing

Now this is our kind of detox. Sleep retreats are the new frontier of relaxation tourism, encouraging people to not just bank some Zs but also to establish daily habits around sleep that contribute to healthier lives. There’s also a growing market for sleep-related wearables and apps that can help you track your sleep quality and cycles. Check out Sleep Cycle, for instance, which analyzes your sleep and wakes you at the optimal time.

Welcome to sleep yoga

We get it: Napping isn’t for everyone. But you can combine a workout (sort of) and a nap by doing yoga nidra aka restorative or sleep yoga. It’s a type of guided-meditation-meets-deep-relaxation that some practitioners claim is as restful as several hours of sleep. That’s still unproven, but it’ll certainly relax you if you give it over 30 minutes a day. 

The sleep whisperer

Based on a system of extensive data analysis and personalized service plans, Ingrid Prueher, a former Wall Street analyst turned certified sleep coach, teaches a range of clients — from famous athletes to sleepless babies — how to adopt healthy sleep patterns. Prueher has also unveiled the Good Night Buddy, an alarm clock designed to teach children good sleep habits, and the first of what she says will be a line of sleep aid products.


Figures and findings

Can 16 more minutes of sleep change your life?

It’s not just the number of hours spent in bed, it’s also the soundness of sleep that determines the benefits of a good night’s rest. According to a recent study, getting just 16 minutes less sleep than normal can negatively affect work performance. On the flip side, sound sleepers may be better able to handle the ups and downs of a typical workday because they can more easily stay focused.

Why men sleep better than women

It turns out sex hormones affect more than how we look. In recent years, researchers have awakened to the possibility that they might even influence how we sleep. A McGill University study suggests that differences in male and female biological clocks — which respond to sex hormones — might explain differences in sleep. The researchers found that women’s biological clocks ran about two hours ahead of men’s, and so insomnia was likely to strike women more often.

An exploding head?

For some, the journey to sleep is anything but peaceful. Nearly 30% of respondents in a sleep study say they’ve experienced a frightful-sounding condition known as exploding head syndrome, characterized by loud bangs or bright flashes just as they’re about to fall asleep. Fortunately, their heads don’t actually explode. Unfortunately, there is no cure, nor much clarity regarding a cause.


Innovative technologies

New ways to stop snoring

Snoring can be a major reason why people want to sleep alone! But the tech world is coming to the rescue with a variety of newfangled anti-snoring devices, including one inserted into the nose to unblock a snorer’s airways. A separate device consists of a sensor-pillow combo that, when it detects snoring, repositions the snorer’s head to facilitate easier breathing.

A shocking cure for insomnia

Insomniacs are often willing to try just about anything to get some shut-eye. So why not so-called electroceuticals, which are electrostimulation devices that have long been prescribed for pain management? The FDA is on board with many of these devices, which send electric pulses through your nervous system at bedtime. But the sleep therapy community is largely still unsure whether they actually relieve insomnia.

The first-ever sleep app?

You could call the Psycho-Phone, a 1920s invention, the first sleep app. Or you could just call it a phonograph that played messages while users slept. It promised listeners to improve their mood, productivity and even their bodily functions. Though it’s largely been lost to time, the Psycho-Phone is evidence that we’ve long sought self-improvement through sleep.


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Immodest proposals

There should be paid nap time

Inadequate sleep is bad for your health and work performance. But workplaces, aside from fancy-schmancy startups with sleep pods, haven’t really taken employee napping rights into account. So OZY has a radical but sensible proposal: Pay employees for time taken off to sleep, as it’ll ultimately bring financial benefit, given the positive effects on worker happiness, loyalty and efficiency.

Time for a sleep divorce?

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you love sharing a bed. In fact, 46% of respondents to a survey said that, despite being in a relationship, they’d like to sleep alone at least part of the time. According to sleep scientists, this number has been rising. One reason is due to increasing use of various hi-tech devices and electronic screens in the bedroom. Another reason is that people are now marrying later in life, after having firmly established an independent sleep routine.


Community Corner

What strategies have you tried when insomnia strikes and what has worked?

Share your thoughts with us at OzyCommunity@Ozy.com.

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