Ep. 011 – Sleep: Establish a Routine

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Good morning and welcome to Episode 011 of the Train Your Brain Podcast with Dr. Michael Trayford. Every Monday we produce a 30-minute episode which constitutes a full-length show. And Tuesday through Sunday we produce episodes with five-minute tips. In fact, every episode of the Train Your Brain Podcast features a tip, so you get tips that are designed to enhance your brain’s function 365 days a year!

In Episode 011, Dr. Trayford reminds us of the importance of having a consistent sleep routine. Our brain craves predictable rhythms. We see this rhythm in nature all the time. The Earth’s rotation and its revolution around the sun are perfect examples of manifestations of natural routines. So, follow nature’s lead and schedule times to wake up and go to bed — and stick to those times! Your brain will love it!

If you have any concerns regarding the information and applications discussed in this podcast, please consult your physician and a doctor who is experienced in functional neurology. Michael Trayford DC, DACNB is available for consultation by calling (828) 708-5274. Thanks for listening.

We’ve talking about a sleep habit.

With sleep, establishing a routine is critical. Sleep-wake cycles are for the brain, what your transmission is for your car so to speak. That might not be the best analogy, but we need to understand sleep-wake cycles, appreciate them and respect them.

Most people this day and age are not doing that. They’re going to bed simply whenever they crash or whenever their kids allow them to crash or whenever they get done with their work. And they’re waking up, not on their own accord, but they’re waking up due to these loud alarm clocks blaring at them or somebody else waking them up or the dog jumping on the bed kind of thing.

So sleep routines are critically important for brain function. So what does that mean. Essentially just setting a time to go to bed and a time to wake up and it can happen. I have two kids and two dogs and things are not easy. I tell ya. I tell people all the time. Put a tent over the top and charge admission and welcome to the circus.

And I mean that in the best way possible. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it does impact your sleep. No doubt about it.

What we’ve done and what we decided was important for us as a family was to establish sleep habits for everybody. Our kids to this day and most people are going to gasp when they hear it.

Eleven years old and seven years old are kids are in bed at eight-o’clock every single night. It can happen. And they do their sports, they do their gymnastics and their lacrosse and they do all kinds of other things.

Even the dogs have their own routine. They go to bed at a very particular time and they get up at a very particular time. So essentially our kids go to bed at eight-o’clock every single night, the dogs go to bed when we go to bed, which is between nine and ten-o’clock and we all wake up roughly about six or seven in the morning.

So we’re all plenty of sleep. There’s no magic number, but we’re all getting plenty of sleep. Occasionally we’ll wake up a little bit early or go to bed a little bit later, but for the most part those times are set in stone.

And that is so important for proper brain function for you and for the animals. A lot of dogs and other animals tend to scratch on a door at night to want to go outside. What does that do? It disrupts everybody’s sleep cycle.

So unless there are some health challenges where a dog or a person might need to get up and use the bathroom at a certain time. For the most part sleep habits are critical.

Even with those challenges, people can get around them and utilize the facilities allow other people to go through their normal sleep cycle. We need to get a good solid two to three deep sleep cycles per night and we can’t do that if we’re simply getting three or four hours of sleep a night.

So establishing routines is the first place to start when it comes to sleep and we will expand on those a little bit more in sleep habits as the podcasts move on throughout the year. Did you have any questions Jason?

Jason: I just wonder if there’s a… I mean I know that the traditional thinking has been that you need eight hours right? But it seems like for me Dr. Trayford that I feel the best and the most energized if I get six exactly.

You have to listen to your body for some people it’s six for some people it’s eight, for some people it might be ten. They’re actually showing that anything over eight hours of sleep per night will decrease your longevity. People will sooner if they sleep longer.

Sleep science changes all the time. So it’s really about what’s best for you and your body and what makes you feel the most rested. I know people that meditate quite regularly and they require only four or five hours a night, because they’re getting that deep state training while they’re meditating during the day. So that takes the need for some of the sleep at night away.

It is different for each individual, and we’ll explore it more as time goes on.

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