Which is better for a teen who can’t get the recommended amount of rest: just 6.5 hours of sleep at night, or 5 hours at night plus a nap in the afternoon?
These different sleep schedules may have dissimilar effects on cognition and glucose levels, say researchers.
The handful of studies that have examined split sleep schedules with normal total sleep duration in working-age adults found that both schedules yield comparable brain performance. However, no study has looked at the impact of such schedules on brain function and glucose levels together, especially when total sleep is shorter than optimal. The latter is important because of links between short sleep and diabetes risk.
The researchers measured cognitive performance and glucose levels in students ages 15 to 19 during two simulated school weeks with short sleep on school days and recovery sleep on weekends. On school days, these students received either continuous sleep of 6.5 hours at night or split sleep (night sleep of 5 hours plus a 1.5-hour afternoon nap).
“We undertook this study after students who were advised on good sleep habits asked if they could split up their sleep across the day and night, instead of having a main sleep period at night,” says Michael Chee, director of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, a professor in the neuroscience and behavioral disorders program at Duke-NUS Medical School, and one of the study’s senior authors.
“We found that compared to being able to sleep 9 hours a night, having only 6.5 hours to sleep in 24 hours degrades performance and mood. Interestingly, under conditions of sleep restriction, students in the split sleep group exhibited better alertness, vigilance, working memory, and mood than their counterparts who slept 6.5 hours continuously.
“This finding is remarkable as the measured total sleep duration over 24 hours was actually less in the former group,” Chee adds.
However, for glucose tolerance, the continuous schedule appeared to be better. “While 6.5 hours of night sleep did not affect glucose levels, the split sleep group demonstrated a greater increase in 2 of 3 blood glucose levels to the standardized glucose load in both simulated school weeks,” notes Joshua Gooley, associate professor in the neuroscience and behavioral disorders program, principal investigator at the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, and the senior coauthor of the study.
Although further studies are necessary to see if this finding translates to a higher risk of diabetes later in life, the current findings indicate that beyond sleep duration, different sleep schedules can affect different facets of health and function in directions that are not immediately clear.
The findings appear in the journal SLEEP.
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Brand: Richard Ferber
Does your child have difficulty falling asleep? Wake in the middle of the night? Suffer sleep terrors, sleepwalking, or nighttime fears? Have difficulty waking for school or staying awake in class? Snore, wet the bed, or head bang?
In the first major revision of his bestselling, groundbreaking classic since it was published, Dr. Richard Ferber, the nation’s foremost authority on children’s sleep problems, delivers safe, sound ideas for helping your child fall and stay asleep at night and perform well during the day.
Incorporating new research, Dr. Ferber provides important basic information that all parents should know regarding the nature of sleep and the development of normal sleep and body rhythms throughout childhood. He discusses the causes of most sleep problems from birth to adolescence and recommends an array of proven solutions for each so that parents can choose the strategy that works best for them. Topics covered in detail include: Bedtime difficulties and nighttime wakings, effective strategies for naps, sleep schedule abnormalities, a balanced look at co-sleeping, new insights into the nature of sleep terrors and sleepwalking, problems in setting limits, and sleep apnea, narcolepsy, bed-wetting, and head banging.
Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems offers priceless advice and concrete help for a whole new generation of anxious, frustrated, and overtired parents.
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Brand: Random House
No wonder pediatricians across the country are praising him and thousands of Los Angeles parents, from working moms to superstars like Madonna and Pierce Brosnan, have turned to him to learn the secrets for making babies happy.
Never again will parents have to stand by helpless and frazzled while their poor baby cries and cries. Dr. Karp has found there IS a remedy for colic. “I share with parents techniques known only to the most gifted baby soothers throughout history …and I explain exactly how they work.”
In a innovative and thought-provoking reevaluation of early infancy, Dr. Karp blends modern science and ancient wisdom to prove that newborns are not fully ready for the world when they are born. Through his research and experience, he has developed four basic principles that are crucial for understanding babies as well as improving their sleep and soothing their senses:
The Missing Fourth Trimester: as odd as it may sound, one of the main reasons babies cry is because they are born three months too soon.
The Calming Reflex: the automatic reset switch to stop crying of any baby in the first few months of life.
The 5 “S’s”: the simple steps (swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and sucking) that trigger the calming reflex. For centuries, parents have tried these methods only to fail because, as with a knee reflex, the calming reflex only works when it is triggered in precisely the right way. Unlike other books that merely list these techniques Dr. Karp teaches parents exactly how to do them, to guide cranky infants to calm and easy babies to serenity in minutes…and help them sleep longer too.
The Cuddle Cure: the perfect mix the 5 “S’s” that can soothe even the most colicky of infants.
In the book, Dr. Karp also explains:
* What is colic?
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* Can babies be spoiled?
* When should a parent of a crying baby call the doctor?
* How can a parent get their baby to sleep a few hours longer?
Even the most loving moms and dads sometimes feel pushed to the breaking point by their infant’s persistent cries. Coming to the rescue, however, Dr. Karp places in the hands of parents, grandparents, and all childcare givers the tools they need to be able to calm their babies almost as easily as…turning off a light.