Recent Research Finds That We Need to Attend to More Than Just the Duration of Sleep

The Wall Street Journal published “A Good Night’s Sleep Is Tied to Interruptions, Not Just Hours” on 12-1-15. This is a fairly long and detailed article that reviews recent research and also some general recommendations for sleep hygiene.  The study compared people who slept for the same during, but one group had interrupted sleep and the other was allowed “continuous” sleep, and that found that interrupted sleep can cause mood and focusing problems. These findings support an emerging body of research that finds that we need to attend to not just the duration of sleep but also the quality of the sleep for the people who consult us.

The article includes some interesting information about “the electrical quality of sleep” (how powerful the brain waves are during sleep, particularly during the REM stage) and a brief summary of advice from sleep experts about how to promote good quality sleep- including avoiding too much alcohol and caffeine and getting exercise, even at a moderate level, that is not too close to bedtime.

Being knowledgeable about basic sleep issues and resources for helping people with sleep problems can help expand your practice marketing options, such as by reaching out to PCP offices and offering behavioral assistance with patients with sleep problems.

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