SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — If you are not sleeping through the night, sleep experts say join the club.
“You are not alone,” said scientist Tara Youngblood who is known as the “sleep geek.” An expert on sleep habits, Youngblood is CEO of Chili Technology, a company that makes restorative sleep products. She has overcome her own battles against crippling sleep deficit.
Youngblood said a lack of light and lower temperature are key.
“As a physicist, temperature is an easy way for us to help our sleep,” Youngblood said. “On a normal night your body will actually try to cool down by two degrees which doesn’t sound like a lot, but your core body, dropping two degrees is pretty significant and it needs every little bit.”
Experts in psychology are also chiming in with this bit of advice: avoid “doom scrolling,” which is the terrible habit of scrolling through a constant stream of social media that is downright depressing.
“There’s research to indicate social media use an hour or half-hour before bed can impact the disturbance of your sleep through the entire night,” said Candice Biernesser, a University of Pittsburgh professor.
Medical science is pretty clear that lack of sleep can cause major physical problems.
“Health problems, compromised immune system, anxiety, accidents and your immune system is impaired,” said Dr. Charles Duffy of St. Charles Hospital.
As for booze? Dr. Duffy said it doesn’t help you snooze in the long run.
“Alcohol will fragment your sleep,” he said. “You get inferior quality of sleep. You may fall asleep quicker, but it is not the same quality.”
Whether it’s exercise or yoga or meditation, deep breathing, the experts said establishing a routine is key.
“It is really hard to find good habits, you know, I really go back to tiny habits, anchored to things you’re already doing, so if you brush your teeth at night, take a breath, express gratitude,” said Youngblood. “Those small moments make big impacts on our stress meter inside of us.”
Youngblood has more advice about getting sleep in the COVID era here on her web site.