What You Need to Know About Sleep
Do you repeatedly wake up at night or feel not rested when you wake up? Do you have difficulty falling asleep when you go to bed? Do you wake up too early and cannot fall back asleep? You may experience excessive daytime sleepiness. You may have a difficult time functioning. You may be prone to accidents. Not getting enough sleep is linked to many chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines short sleep duration for adults as getting less than 7 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. 1 in 3 adults do not get enough sleep. About 70
million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. You are not alone.
There are many factors that may contribute to your sleep pattern. You may want to have an evaluation with a professional sleep healthcare provider. There are many things you can do to improve your sleep pattern.
In this blog we want to demonstrate to you the link between the fight or flight stress response and poor sleep outcome. Stress has a negative impact on sleep. Stress activates the sympathetic fight or flight response. Many studies have measured heart rate and Heart Rate Variability during the various stages of sleep. People with sleep problems have higher heart rates and lower HRV during sleep versus people who do not experience sleep problems. This may be due to higher activity in the sympathetic (stress) nervous system in people with sleep problems. Your goal should be to relax and sleep well.
A study published in 2011 compared 58 people who suffer from primary insomnia verses 46 people who did not have sleep issues. People who did not have sleep issues had relaxing heart rates as they were falling asleep. Their heart rates slowed down and their HRV increased, indicating the dominance of the parasympathetic (calming) nervous system. On the other hand, people suffering from insomnia maintained a higher heart rate and lower HRV while trying to fall asleep, indicating a stronger dominance of the sympathetic (stress) nervous system.
HRV Biofeedback has been shown to improve the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Many studies provide data that HRV biofeedback breathing training improved the quality of sleep.
Use the ichoiceRelax HRV biofeedback breathing coach for guided breathing to achieve your Personal Best Relaxation Breathing Rate where you are most calm and your parasympathetic (calm) nervous system is directing you to fall asleep.
Before you begin your breathing exercises, you may want to do the Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercises, found in the Guided section of our app to relieve stress and anxiety and to notice the tension in your muscles and release it. Finally, listen to the guided meditations to gently transition you to a comfortable sleeping stage.