Want to ask your own question about sleep? You can write it here anonymously. During the upcoming weeks of the program, look out for answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Q: What activities should be avoided before going to sleep at night?
A: Here is a top 5 list:
- Heavy meals
- Drinking more than 2 units of alcohol or any caffeine at night
- Bright light exposure (including computer screens)
- Vigorous exercise
- Activities that might cause stress or might trigger recurring thoughts
Q: How can painkillers affect sleep?
A: Pain can be a real sleep disruptor and taking pain killers can be an effective method to improve sleep when pain is keeping you awake. Some painkillers contain caffeine, and we know that is not good for sleep. It also has been shown that some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can disrupt sleep and might cause more frequent and longer awakenings.
Q: What are the effects when sleep phases are too short (light, deep, REM)?
A: The body and brain normally compensate for a lack of a certain stage in the next night. Light sleep is considered baseline sleep, and there is no clear picture if you can lack light sleep. If you lack deep sleep, you don’t feel well-rested the next day, mostly physically but also cognitively. If you’re short on REM sleep, it might take you a bit longer to solve some issues; you tend to be less creative and your emotional response and judgements might be a bit impaired.