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UA Professor Engages Kids, Encourages Z’s

October 13th, 2015 Raquel Rothe
By Sydney Donaldson

UA College of Engineering
September 28, 2015
Janet Meiling Roveda in the College of Engineering has designed MySleep for maximum precision and security.

Janet Meiling Roveda in the College of Engineering has designed MySleep for maximum precision and security.
UA professors Michelle Perfect and Janet Roveda (fifth and sixth from left) with student researchers Imelda Murrieta, Estrella Ochoa, Sara Frye, Paloma Colacion and Daniel Shammas.

UA professors Michelle Perfect and Janet Roveda (fifth and sixth from left) with student researchers Imelda Murrieta, Estrella Ochoa, Sara Frye, Paloma Colacion and Daniel Shammas.

More and more information is at our fingertips, thanks to engineers and computer scientists who translate enormous amounts of complex data from portable and wearable devices into language that users can easily understand.

But what if the user is a fourth-grader?

Janet Meiling Roveda, a University of Arizona associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, is addressing that question as co-principal investigator of the “Z-Factor,” officially called the Sleep Education Program to Improve STEM Education in Elementary School.

More than 500 fourth- and fifth-grade students in the Catalina Foothills School District are expected to participate in Z-Factor over the next three years, the largest-ever national study of elementary school students’ sleep habits and STEM learning.

The study involves creating a curriculum that uses the topic of sleep to develop students’ skills and interests in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields. In the process, the program is expected to educate children and parents about sleep’s role in academic performance, perhaps encouraging more sleep in students’ routines.

“With this study, we’re trying to get kids engaged in STEM topics and rested enough to pursue them,” Roveda said.

Michelle Perfect, associate professor in the College of Education’s Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, is the lead investigator on the $1.2 million project funded by the National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers.

Secure Software Program

For the STEM-learning and sleep-monitoring parts of the study, Roveda has developed a Web-based software program called “MySleep,” which is highly encrypted and password-protected with secure algorithms built in.

“While most algorithms for research studies are nonlinear in complexity, our algorithms use high-speed linear encryption and secure data compression techniques that require users to compress and recover the data several times,” Roveda said. She developed the novel algorithms for Z-Factor with help from UA engineers Linda Powers and Wolfgang Fink, experts in designing large-scale biomedical research studies.

“With a study of this magnitude, especially one that involves the information of children, we want to make sure all information is secure,” Roveda said.

The software collects and analyzes thousands of gigabytes of data from activity monitors the children wear and converts the data into understandable and interesting content for students using the MySleep website.

The children will wear actigraphs — watch-like monitors that track hours of sleep, quality of sleep, restlessness and other factors — for multiple nights early in the study. At the end of the recording period, they will upload data from their monitors to tablets the district has purchased for the project. The data will be stored on a secure server.

When students enter their personal MySleep portals on the Internet — to which parents and teachers also have access — they will see avatars in their likenesses and caricatures of parents, teachers and friends. Colorful graphs will show students their sleep patterns, and planning charts will help them monitor daily activities.

Measuring Success

Students will design personal research projects based on data from their activity monitors. In the process, the students will learn about science and math and develop critical thinking and communication skills. They may even discover that a little more sleep can help them do better on a math quiz.

“Z-Factor is based on the premise that having students solve problems in real-world situations that are relevant to their daily lives can have a long-lasting positive impact on their interest in STEM and intention to pursue additional STEM courses and careers,” Roveda said.

Teachers will incorporate data from MySleep into their lessons on math, statistics, averages, probabilities and other subjects. Roveda and Perfect are developing the curriculum in collaboration with the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, a nonprofit science education organization.

“The work Janet is doing will help kids analyze their personal data in a developmentally appropriate way,” said Perfect, a licensed psychologist who has extensive experience working with young children and families. “By studying their own sleep data and using mobile technologies for personal data management, these elementary school students are on a real-world research frontier.”

As part of the project assessment, students in the Z-Factor study will take pre- and post-assessment tests developed by Biological Sciences Curriculum Study and selected by Perfect and other UA researchers to assess whether interest and skills in STEM topics have grown.

The Z-Factor team already is working to make the program more widely available, and members are planning to translate the MySleep content into Spanish and adapt the program to work efficiently with less costly sleep-tracking devices or only handwritten sleep diaries.

“We want this data-driven sleep research study and STEM curriculum to be accessible to every student in every school,” Roveda said.


June 11th, 2015 Raquel Rothe

From Mayo Clinic

Sleepwalking — also known as somnambulism — involves getting up and walking around while in a state of sleep. More common in children than adults, sleepwalking is usually outgrown by the teen years. Isolated incidents of sleepwalking often don’t signal any serious problems or require treatment. However, recurrent sleepwalking may suggest an underlying sleep disorder.

Sleepwalking is less common in adults and has a higher chance of being confused with or coexisting with other sleep disorders as well as medical and mental health conditions.

If anyone in your household sleepwalks, it’s important to protect him or her from sleepwalking-related injuries.


Sleepwalking is classified as a parasomnia — an undesirable behavior or experience during sleep. Sleepwalking is a disorder of arousal, meaning it occurs during slow wave sleep, the deepest stage of dreamless (non-rapid eye movement, or NREM) sleep. Another NREM disorder is sleep terrors, which can occur together with sleepwalking.

Sleepwalking usually occurs early in the night — often one to two hours after falling asleep. It’s unlikely to occur during naps. A sleepwalking episode can occur rarely or often, and an episode generally lasts several minutes, but can last longer.

Someone who is sleepwalking may:

  • Get out of bed and walk around
  • Sit up in bed and open his or her eyes
  • Have a glazed, glassy-eyed expression
  • Do routine activities, such as getting dressed, talking or making a snack
  • Not respond or communicate with others
  • Be difficult to wake up during an episode
  • Be disoriented or confused for a short time after being awakened
  • Quickly return to sleep
  • Not remember the episode in the morning
  • Sometimes have problems functioning during the day because of disturbed sleep
  • Have sleep terrors in addition to sleepwalking

Rarely, a person who is sleepwalking will:

  • Leave the house
  • Drive a car
  • Engage in unusual behavior, such as urinating in a closet
  • Engage in sexual activity without awareness
  • Get injured, for example, by falling down the stairs or jumping out a window
  • Become violent during the confused period after awakening or, occasionally, during the event

When to see a doctor

Occasional episodes of sleepwalking aren’t usually a cause for concern. You can simply mention the sleepwalking at a routine physical or well-child exam. However, consult your doctor if the sleepwalking episodes:

  • Occur often — for example, more than one to two times a week
  • Lead to dangerous behavior or injury to the person who sleepwalks (which may occur, for example, after leaving the house) or to others
  • Cause significant sleep disruption to household members or embarrassment to the person who sleepwalks
  • Start for the first time in an adult
  • Continue into your child’s teen years


Many factors can contribute to sleepwalking, including:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety, such as separation anxiety in children
  • Fever
  • Sleep schedule disruptions
  • Some medications and substances, such as short-acting hypnotics, sedatives or combinations of different drugs prescribed for psychiatric illnesses, as well as alcohol

Sometimes sleepwalking can by triggered by underlying conditions that interfere with sleep, such as:

  • Sleep-disordered breathing — a group of disorders characterized by abnormal breathing patterns during sleep (for example, obstructive sleep apnea)
  • Narcolepsy
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Migraines
  • Medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, head injury or stroke
  • Travel

Risk factors

Factors that may increase the risk of sleepwalking include:

  • Genetics. Sleepwalking appears to run in families. It’s more common if you have one parent who has a history of sleepwalking, and much more common if both parents have a history of the disorder.
  • Age. Sleepwalking occurs more often in children than adults, and onset in adulthood is more likely related to other health conditions.


Sleepwalking itself isn’t necessarily a concern, but sleepwalkers can:

  • Easily hurt themselves — especially if they walk near furniture or stairs, wander outdoors, drive a car or eat something inappropriate during a sleepwalking episode
  • Experience prolonged sleep disruption, which can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and possible school or behavior issues
  • Be embarrassed or experience problems with social relationships
  • Disturb others’ sleep
  • Injure someone who is close by during the period of brief confusion immediately after waking or occasionally during the event

Preparing for your appointment

If you have concerns about safety or underlying conditions, you may want to see your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist.

What you can do

Here’s some information to help you prepare for your appointment.

  • Keep a sleep diary for two weeks before the appointment to help your doctor understand what’s causing the sleepwalking. In the morning, record as much as you know of bedtime rituals, quality of sleep, and so on. At the end of the day, record behaviors that may affect sleep, such as sleep schedule disruptions, caffeine intake and any medications taken.
  • Make a list of any symptoms experienced, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment.
  • Make a list of key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or other supplements currently being taken, and the dosages.
  • Bring a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember what the doctor says.
  • Prepare questions to ask your doctor to help you make the most of your time together.

Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing the symptoms or condition?
  • What are other possible causes?
  • What kinds of tests are needed?
  • Is the condition likely temporary or chronic?
  • What’s the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you’re suggesting?
  • Are there any restrictions that need to be followed?
  • Is referral to a specialist needed?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don’t hesitate to ask other questions that occur to you.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:

  • When did you begin experiencing or noticing symptoms?
  • Have you or your child had sleep problems in the past?
  • Does anyone else in your family have sleep problems?
  • What problems have you noticed related to the sleepwalking, such as awakening in unusual locations of the house?

Tests and diagnosis

Unless you live alone and are completely unaware of your sleepwalking, chances are you’ll make the diagnosis of sleepwalking for yourself. If your child sleepwalks, you’ll know it.

Your doctor may do a physical or psychological exam to identify any conditions that may be confused with sleepwalking, such as nighttime seizures, other sleep disorders or panic attacks. In some cases, a sleep study in an overnight sleep lab may be recommended.

Sleep studies

To participate in a sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, you’ll likely spend the night in a sleep lab. A technologist places sensors on your scalp, temples, chest and legs using a mild adhesive, such as glue or tape. The sensors are connected by wires to a computer. A small clip is placed on your finger or ear to monitor the level of oxygen in your blood.

Polysomnography records your brain waves, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements during the study. Technologists monitor you throughout the night while you sleep.

Your doctor will review the information to determine whether you have any sleep disorders.

Treatments and drugs

Treatment for occasional sleepwalking usually isn’t necessary. In children who sleepwalk, it typically goes away by the teen years.

If you notice your child or anyone else in your household sleepwalking, gently lead him or her back to bed. It’s not dangerous to the sleepwalker to be awakened, but it can be disruptive — the person may become confused and disoriented, and possibly agitated.

Treatment may be needed if there are negative consequences for the sleepwalking, such as risk of injury or embarrassment, or if there’s distress for others.

Treatment may include:

  • Treating the underlying condition, if the sleepwalking is associated with sleep deprivation or an underlying sleep disturbance, medical condition or a mental health disorder
  • A change of medication, if it’s thought that the sleepwalking results from a drug
  • Anticipatory awakenings ― waking the sleepwalker about 15 minutes before the person usually sleepwalks, then staying awake for five minutes before falling asleep again
  • Medication, such as benzodiazepines or certain antidepressants, if the sleepwalking leads to the potential for injury, is disruptive to family members, or results in embarrassment or sleep disruption for the person who sleepwalks
  • Learning self-hypnosis

Lifestyle and home remedies

If sleepwalking is a problem for you or your child, try these suggestions.

  • Make the environment safe for sleepwalking. If sleepwalking has led to injuries or has the potential to do so, consider some of these precautions to prevent injury: Close and lock all windows and exterior doors at night. You might even lock interior doors or place alarms or bells on the doors. Block doorways or stairways with a gate, and move electrical cords or other objects that pose a tripping hazard. Sleep in a ground floor bedroom, if possible. Place any sharp or fragile objects out of reach, and lock up all weapons. If your child sleepwalks, don’t let him or her sleep in a bunk bed.
  • Get more sleep. Fatigue can contribute to sleepwalking. If you’re sleep deprived, try an earlier bedtime, a more regular sleep schedule or a short nap, especially for toddlers.
  • Establish a regular, relaxing routine before bedtime. Do quiet, calming activities before bed, such as reading books, doing puzzles or soaking in a warm bath. Meditation or relaxation exercises may help, too.
  • Put stress in its place. Identify the issues that cause stress, and brainstorm possible ways to handle the stress. Talk about what’s bothering you. Or if your child seems anxious or stressed, talk with him or her about any concerns.
  • Look for a pattern. For several nights, note ― or have another person in your home note ― how many minutes after bedtime a sleepwalking episode occurs. If the timing is fairly consistent, this information is useful in planning anticipatory awakenings.

Try to be positive. However disruptive, sleepwalking usually isn’t a serious condition — and it usually goes away on its own.

Updated: 2014-07-31

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How Often Should a Baby Feed at Night?

May 27th, 2015 Raquel Rothe

By: Brandon Peters, MD (Sleep Expert)

If you have a young baby, you might wonder: When can my sleep get back to normal?! As part of this, you may want to learn how often your baby should be feeding at night. Learn about weaning in the first 6 months of life, how you can minimize awakenings to eat in the night, and at what age those feedings should go away entirely.

First, each baby is different. Don’t try to force something to happen that may not be right for your child.

  • If more than 8 ounces of fluid are consumed overnight, it may be necessary to redistribute this intake to the daytime. This should occur gradually.

Another way to assess whether the feedings are needed is to pay attention to the number of diaper changes that occur. Most babies who are older than 3 months do not need to be changed at night. If the diapers are frequently soaked at night, this can be a sign of excessive fluid intake. A well-hydrated baby will urinate the extra fluid. Older children with bedwetting may experience this due to other reasons.

It is possible to gradually reduce the frequency and volume of feedings at night. Your child will learn to consume the needed fluid during the daytime and sleep soundly through the night. Adults don’t typically drink or eat during the night. Similarly, most babies beyond the age of 3 months shouldn’t either.

If you are concerned about your child’s need for feedings at night, or if you have difficulty weaning these nighttime feedings, speak with your pediatrician to obtain further guidance.


Ferber, R. “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems.” Simon & Schuster, The Fireside Edition, 2006.

It’s Time to Pay Attention to Sleep, the New Health Frontier

April 29th, 2015 Raquel Rothe

April 9, 2014

Woman asleep in bedGetty Images

Your doctor could soon be prescribing crucial shuteye as treatment for everything from obesity to ADHD to mental health as experts say carving out time for sleep is just as important as diet and exercise

After being diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in 2011, Lynn Mitchell, 68, was averaging about an hour of solid sleep a night. Stressed about her treatments, she was paying for it in hours of lost sleep.

The brain cancer was already affecting her mobility—Mitchell was often dizzy and would lose her balance—but the lack of sleep was exacerbating things. Even walking became increasingly difficult. Exhausted in the mornings, she was practically incoherent. When her doctors recommend she see a sleep therapist, Mitchell was relieved at how benign it sounded in comparison to the chemotherapy she had undergone and the gene therapy trial she was undergoing, which had side effects like nausea and fatigue.

For about nine weeks, Mitchell worked with the sleep therapist to adjust her sleep habits. She got under the covers only when she was extremely tired. She quit watching TV in bed. She stopped drinking caffeinated coffee in the evening. She also learned breathing exercises to relax and help her drift off. It was all quite simple and common sense, and, most importantly, noninvasive and didn’t require popping any pills.

“It’s common knowledge that sleep is needed for day to day function,” says Dr. David Rapoport, director of the Sleep Medicine Program at NYU School of Medicine. “What isn’t common knowledge is that it really matters—it’s not just cosmetic.” Rapoport has long seen people seek sleep therapy because they’re chronically tired or suffering from insomnia, but an increasing number of patients are being referred to his center for common diseases, disorders, and mental health.

Researchers have known for some time that sleep is critical for weight maintenance and hormone balance. And too little sleep is linked to everything from diabetes to heart disease to depression. Recently, the research on sleep has been overwhelming, with mounting evidence that it plays a role in nearly every aspect of health. Beyond chronic illnesses, a child’s behavioral problems at school could be rooted in mild sleep apnea. And studies have shown children with ADHD are more likely to get insufficient sleep. A recent study published in the journal SLEEP found a link between older men with poor sleep quality and cognitive decline. Another study out this week shows sleep is essential in early childhood for development, learning, and the formation and retention ofmemories. Dr. Allan Rechtschaffen, a pioneer of sleep research at the University of Chicago, once said, “If sleep does not serve an absolutely vital function, then it is the biggest mistake the evolutionary process ever made.”

But to many of us, sleep is easily sacrificed, especially since lack of it isn’t seen as life threatening. Over time, sleep deprivation can have serious consequences, but we mostly sacrifice a night of sleep here and there, and always say that we’ll “catch up.” Luckily, it is possible to make up for sleep debt (though it can take a very long time), but most Americans are still chronically sleep deprived.

While diet and exercise have been a part of public health messaging for decades, doctors and health advocates are now beginning to argue that getting quality sleep may be just as important for overall health. “Sleep is probably easier to change than diet or exercise,” says Dr. Michael Grandner, a sleep researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. “It may also give you more of an immediate reward if it helps you get through your day.” Sleep experts claim that it is one of the top three, and sometimes the most, important lifestyle adjustments one can make, in addition to diet and exercise. And while there’s more evidence linking diet and exercise as influential health factors, sleep is probably more important in terms of brain and hormonal function, Grandner says. “Among a small group of [sleep researchers], it’s always been said that [eating, exercise, and sleep] are the three pillars of health,” says Dr. Rapoport.

In our increasingly professional and digital lives, where there are now more things than ever competing for the hours in our day, carving out time for sleep is not only increasingly difficult, but also more necessary. Using technology before bed stimulates us and interferes with our sleep, yet 95% of Americans use some type of electronics like a computer, TV, or cell phone at least a few nights a week within the hour before we go to bed, according to a 2011 National Sleep Foundation survey. “Many doctors, lawyers, and executives stay up late and get up early and burn the candle at both ends,” says Dr. Richard Lang, chair of Preventative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. “Making sure they pay attention to sleep in the same way they pay attention to diet and exercise is crucial.”

To some, sleep has become a powerful antidote to mental health. Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, advocates that sleep is the secret to success, happiness, and peak performance. After passing out a few years ago from exhaustion and cracking a cheekbone against her desk, Huffington has become something of a sleep evangelist. In a 2010 TEDWomen conference, Huffington said, “The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep.” Research linking high-quality sleep with better mental health is growing; a 2013 study found that treating depressed patients for insomnia can double their likelihood of overcoming the disorder.

While 70% of physicians agree that inadequate sleep is a major health problem, only 43% counsel their patients on the benefits of adequate sleep. But there’s growing pressure on primary care physicians to address, and even prescribe, sleep during routine check-ups. In a recent study published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, the researchers concluded that health professionals should prescribe sleep to prevent and treat metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes. And overlooking sleep as a major health issue can also have deadly consequences. It was recently reported that the operator of the Metro-North train that derailed in New York last year, killing four people and injuring more than 70, had an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea.

Sleep therapies can range from simply learning new lifestyle behaviors to promote sleep, to figuring out how to position oneself in bed. More drastic measures involve surgery to open up an airway passage for people suffering from disorders like sleep apnea. Sleeping pills can be prescribed too, to get much needed rest, but sleep therapists tend to favor other approaches because of possible dependencies developing.

A large part of reaping the benefits of sleep is knowing when you’re not getting the right amount. According to a 2013 Gallup survey, 40% of Americans get less than the recommended seven to eight hours a night. While the typical person still logs about 6.8 hours of sleep per night, that’s a drop from the 7.9 Americans were getting in the 1940s.

When it comes to adequate sleep, it’s much more personalized than previously thought. Some people feel great on five hours of rest, while others need ten. The best way to determine if you’re getting the right amount, doctors say, is to find out how many hours of sleep you need to be able to wake up without an alarm and feel rested, refreshed, and energetic throughout the day.

Since reforming her sleep habits, Mitchell has been clocking up to seven hours of shuteye a night for the past two months. “I’m alert in the morning, my balance is better, and I feel peppier,” says Mitchell. Getting enough sleep has helped her better deal with her cancers, and its symptoms. The best news is that she recently found out that her brain tumor is shrinking, and there are fewer cancerous spots on her lungs.

Even smartphone screens impact kids’ sleep, study finds

February 26th, 2015 Raquel Rothe

Meghan Holohan

Jan. 5, 2015 at 2:44 AM ET

For tweens who got a tablet or smartphone for the holidays, their new bedtime routine may involve Netflix helping them doze off. But don’t think that’s better than watching TV before bed. A new study finds that even small-screen devices interrupt children’s sleep.

Experts have known that a flickering TV in the bedroom cuts into children’s sleep time. A researcher at the University of California, Berkeley wondered if small screens, such as those found on tablets and smartphones, influenced children’s sleep, too.

“Much less is known about new forms of media, like smartphones,” says Jennifer Falbe, lead author of the study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics. “[They] have the potential to impact sleep, perhaps to a greater degree than traditional media.”

Falbe studied results from the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration, where 2,048 fourth-and seventh-grade students answered questions about their sleep and TV, smartphone, and tablet habits.

What the new research found:

  • Children who dozed off near a small screen said they slept 20.6 minutes less than their peers who snoozed away from electronic devices.
  • More importantly, children attached to small screens complained of interrupted sleep, something that even those who watched loads of TV or slept with a TV in the room did not admit to feeling.
  • Those who were lulled to sleep by a TV admitted to 18 fewer minutes a sleep.
  • Children who spent a lot of time during the day watching TV or videos or playing videogames also reported sleeping less.

The study didn’t look at why small screens impact sleep, but Falbe says a few factors play a role.

“While any type of light can suppress melatonin release, blue light emitted from electronics has a stronger impact on melatonin release,” she says. “Content can be engaging and emotionally arousing.”

While children may treat tablets and smartphones like another appendage, experts say there are ways to stop them from migrating to the bedroom.

“[Smart phones and tablets] are robbing the kid of the nightly routine of how to go to bed and get to sleep,” says Michele Borba, a parenting expert and TODAY Parents contributor.

She believes children need to learn how to fall asleep without help from electronics and recommends that phones and tablets are worked into the nighttime routine. Children will soon know that they can’t use electronics a half hour before bed.

Parenting expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa takes it one step further: parents should keep all chargers in their bedrooms and tell their children they must “park” their devices in their rooms. The ping of a text will no longer cause a child to spring from bed to check a phone or tablet.

“Kids genuinely believe … communication is actually that urgent,” says Gilboa. “Every one of those messages feels impossible to ignore.”


6 Reasons to Love to Sleep-by SleepTracker

February 24th, 2015 Raquel Rothe

6 Reasons to Love to Sleep

love pillows

Songs romanticize it; fairytales reference it. Sometimes we even dream about it. It’s sleep and many of us can’t (or don’t) get enough of it.

Why is sleep so wonderful? Everyone has their own reason for valuing their beauty rest, but like love, it all comes down to how it makes use feel. Here are six reasons to love sleep:

  1. It can help you lose weight
    Studies have suggested links between sleep and weight, which means that more sleep means that you could actually gain less weight.
  2. It’s beauty’s ally
    Beauty sleep isn’t a myth! Recent research shows there’s a link between getting a good night’s rest and physical appearance.
  3. It helps support your immune system
    Lack of sleep can help make us more prone to catching illnesses, including the flu.
  4. It makes you happier
    Studies show that lack of sleep has a powerful impact on mood.
  5. It can help manage stress
    Running short on sleep can hinder focus, causing concentration and effectiveness to suffer and energy levels to decline. All of which diminishes our overall performance which can, in turn, lead to stress.
  6. It’s good for your brain
    Research suggests that both quantity and quality of sleep have an impact memory and learning.

Love your sleep, but feel like you can never get enough? Visit our website to learn more about SleepTracker, a revolutionary portable sleep monitor that wakes you up feeling refreshed and energized!

TED talks sleep by Jeff Iliff

February 3rd, 2015 Raquel Rothe

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Winter, sleep and your circadian rhythms

January 19th, 2015 Raquel Rothe
American Academy of Sleep Medicine  |  Nov 13, 2014
Unlike animals, humans do not need to hibernate during the winter. It may feel like you need more sleep during the winter months because the days get shorter. However, your actual sleep need does not increase.

It is normal for sleep habits and activity cycles to change a bit as the seasons change, according to Dr. Emerson M. Wickwire, Sleep Medicine Program Director at Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Associates in Columbia, Md., assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. If you experience excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue or a noticeable change in your mood, irritability or ability to think or remember clearly, then you should talk to a board-certified sleep physician.

“The biggest mistake that people make when it comes to sleeping in winter is ignoring their body’s natural rhythm. Even if you’re tempted to stay in bed or on the couch all day long, unless you are sick it’s a good idea to get up and move around.”

Staying in bed or on the couch all day long when you’re not sick may throw off your circadian rhythms. The visual cues of light and darkness “set” this internal clock keeping it synchronized to a 24-hour cycle.

A number of sleep disorders that are linked to misaligned circadian rhythms including insomniajet lag andshift work disorder. Abnormal circadian rhythms have also been blamed for depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder, which is more common in the winter.


  • Increase exposure to light
  • increase or maintain physical activity
  • Use a humidifier or nasal rinse to keep your airway passages from drying out
  • Make sure that your bedroom is not too warm or too cold

Sleepless in America-National Geographic Trailer

December 12th, 2014 Raquel Rothe


A MUST watch for EVERYONE!

Sleepless in America-Men & Women’s sleep is out of sync

December 2nd, 2014 Raquel Rothe


Great link to watch this video from CBS News