Trying to improve your sleep? Look no further.

Certified sleep specialist and neurologist offers tips for a better night’s sleep

By Molly Gluck

Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

Having trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. Sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes. Furthermore, one in three US adults regularly report getting less than the recommended amount of sleep.

A good night’s sleep is critical to our overall health and well-being, but maintaining healthy sleeping habits can seem impossible — especially during a pandemic, when our routines and lifestyles have been turned upside-down. Sleep specialist and neurologist Dr. Sanford Auerbach took to Reddit to share effective tips and strategies to improve sleep, and answer other sleep-related questions.

Whether you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, or are curious about the link between sleep and well-being, check out the top ten takeaways from his discussion below.

1) It’s common for people to wake up throughout the night.

Dr. Auerbach shares healthy and effective tips for falling back asleep if you wake up in the middle of the night.

2) Sleep and emotional state are linked.

Our mood can determine our sleep.

3) It’s important to judge the quality of your sleep by how you feel during the day.

If external changes don’t result in a better night’s sleep, Dr. Auerbach recommends trying behavioral techniques.

Photo by felipe @plqml lima on Unsplash

4) In general, we tend to go through 3–4 cycles of sleep per night.

REM, nonREM, and slow wave sleep, explained.

5) Our body has a clock that determines our ideal sleep time — and this can shift.

Dr. Auerbach discusses jet lag and other changes to our sleep schedule — and how to get back on track.

6) Quarantining impacts our sleep patterns.

From schedule disruption to lack of exercise, Dr. Auerbach highlights many factors that contribute to sleep struggles during quarantine.

7) There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to sleep aids.

Dr. Auerbach weighs in on melatonin, NyQuil, and other sleep aids.

8) Many students and adults tend to run on the sleep deprived side.

Ultimately, sleep need is based on the total hours of sleep necessary to function at an optimal level.

Photo by Alex Bierwagen on Unsplash

9) Sleep paralysis can be aggravated by stress or sleep deprivation.

Dr. Auerbach explains how sleep paralysis occurs and how to treat it.

10) It is helpful to build in downtime and limit screen time before going to bed.

Dr. Auerbach sets us up for success for a good night’s sleep.

Sleep tight!

For additional commentary by Boston University experts, follow us on Twitter at @BUexperts. Follow Sanford Auerbach on Twitter at @SanfordAuerbach and the Boston University School of Medicine at @BUMedicine.

Cutting-edge research and commentary out of Boston University, home to Nobel laureates, Pulitzer winners and Guggenheim Scholars. Find an expert: bu.edu/experts

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