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Hey there and welcome to Life Noggin. I’m pretty lucky. As long as my animator doesn’t turn off his computer, I can stay up all night and never have to worry about sleeping when I wanna watch well…quite frankly way too many youtube videos. You humans aren’t so fortunate though. Some of you even tell me you have trouble getting to bed! So why can it be so hard to fall asleep? And what’s this whole fascination with sheep?
Well, to begin, you humans fall asleep by going from a state of being awake to unconscious sleep. We’re a little unclear on the exact process, but basically it starts when your winding down and your brain exhibits some alpha activity. You eventually enter stage 1 of sleep, where your brain waves slow down and theta-band activity is introduced, with some bursts of alpha activity still occuring. Later comes stage 2, where the alpha activity dies down. Then there are stages 3 and 4, characterized by delta waves. Finally, you enter the REM stage of sleep, where dreaming is often reported, so you can have awesome adventures with your favorite animation! You can spend the rest of the night cycling between different stages. But why can sleep be so difficult sometimes?
It might have something to do with what you’re eating. Drinks and food with caffeine can cause sleep disturbances, especially when you have them closer to bed time. Protein could also be the culprit. It’s an important nutrient for the body, but can be harder to break down and digest than other foods. That, along with it containing tyrosine, an amino acid that aids neurotransmitter production, may make it hard to get some rest if you have a bunch of protein before bed.so put down that protein shake dude. You really don’t need it. Just go to bed!
We all know that it can be harder for you humans to fall asleep if there is a bunch of loud noise going on, but some people say it might also be difficult if it’s too quiet. Having your thermostat set too high or low might also lead to some late night restlessness. And if you find it hard to get some Z’s, you might be a wolf! Well, probably not, but a recent study did find that people might have a harder time sleeping during a full moon. Their participants took around 5 minutes longer to fall asleep, had a 30% decrease in deep sleep, and slept around 20 less when there was a full moon. Maybe that’s why those lycanthropes are always angry. They’re just tired!
So if you do have trouble falling asleep, the National Sleep Foundation has some tips. They say to carve out about 30 minutes to wind down before you go to bed and try to disconnect from your electronics, but obviously, you know, finish this video first! Maybe try a breathing or relaxation exercise and do your best to wake up around the same time every day.
I’m pretty sure my research team is going to get a whole bunch of ads for a new bed after doing research for this video. So do you have any tips for falling asleep? Let me know in the comments below!
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