Sophie Bostock: "Sleeping for the Sleep Deprived: How to Make the Most of It" | Talks at Google
It's. Always very dangerous, advertising. A talk for people who are sleep-deprived because the odds of them turning up are somewhat lower than, those more energized members of the public but thank you very very much for making the efforts to turn up and, as Richard says, Mahe, job title is sleep. Evangelist, I'm, very fond, of that title because if I do come and do a talk it really takes the pressure off because. If while I'm talking you. Do sort of feel your. Eyelids, getting heavy now. It's, the time I will take it as a compliment but we, are recording today so if you could keep the snoring, to a minimum that would be excellent, um. So. I thought just to start off before. You have a quick nap I'm are you gonna get you to stand up and this, is very deliberate it means extra cating yourself from your laptop or phone for, a very short period of time it's going to be okay um, and. What I'd like you to do is when you see a statement, on the screen, which, is true, for you most, of the time I'd, like you to sit down okay, so. Firstly I rely, on an alarm clock to wake up sort, of mostly, I. Fall. Asleep within five minutes of getting into bed I. Use. Caffeine to keep me going through the day I. Can. Doze in long meetings, or talks I. Sleep. For longer at the weekends, to catch up and. There. Are few people standing, which is excellent the vast majority of you have come to the right place for you guys hopefully, you will still learn even more and, please, have a seat. It. May not surprise you to know that these are all. Indicators. Of, potential sleep. Deprivation, which. From the looks of things affects most, of the people in this room um, so, experts. Have kind of got together to come up with a consensus, of how much sleep we actually, need now, sleep is a biological, characteristic, there is a lot of natural variation, but, when they created loads, of studies together what they came up with is that seven hours, is the, recommended. Minimum. For. Optimal, health and functioning, now, most of us actually lie in a broader range between seven and nine hours but you can anchor, the scientific. Recommendation. On a minimum. Of seven, hours for most people. But. Most studies that, look around the world how much sleep people are getting this one's from the RAND Corporation I'd. Show that at least 40%. Of, the population in, developed, countries is short, of sleep so Japan here hitting the sleepless, ranks. Very highly, followed. By the US and even. In the UK at, least one in three of us are short of sleep but, what I tend to find when I come and speak to people about, sleep, in a corporate, setting is, that probably, the. Proportion, is considerably. Higher. And. This is pretty extraordinary. Because. You're. All really. Quite clever savvy, people. All. Of you and. You've. Probably heard an awful lot about why sleep is important, not just from me but from some other more, established sleeper Angeles so, we've got some phenomenal, of books and speakers, people who are going out and telling you just how important, sleep is so, if, I could get you to raise your hand if you have either read.
One Of these books or, perhaps watched, a talk perhaps of talks at Google, on the, topic of sleep and how important, sleep is in the last sort of three or four years. Okay. So once again quite, a lot of people in the room which means that if I was to spend the next thirty minutes telling. You about all. The things that could happen to you if you don't get enough sleep, some. Of these are going to be quite, familiar. Now. You could probably take any, single one of these and, go do you know what this. Is really important, to me, if. One. Of these is important, to you. You. Might want to make you get more sleep but all of them together collectively. Surely. The case for. Good sleep is, overwhelming. And. Yet. Time. And, time, again. We. Turn, up tie, it we turn up with enough sleep and really, what I want to spend the next half hour talking about is. Why not. Why, we sleep but, why we're. Not getting enough, sleep, and hopefully. By understanding, the, behavioral. Science and the neuroscience. Which is actually preventing a lot of us from getting enough sleep we. Can then kind of give, some recommendations which, will help you to get get better quality out of the time that you are sleeping so. In. Order to do this we need to go back in time, for. Many of you not so long for me about twenty-one years give or take to, when you, were a baby, when. You're a newborn. Thank you Richard for laughing. So. You know we, are born we, don't nobody teaches us to sleep we have an innate ability to. Sleep it's not a learned behavior it's something that is very natural driven, within us um. And when you're a newborn it's really pretty simple the, longer, you've been awake. Or the, more activity. That you've done the, greater the, pressure to, sleep so, remember that sleep pressure builds. Up the longer that you're awake and we still, have, this. Influence. Influencing. Our sleep as adults but as we get older it gets considerably. More complicated. So. Around about three. Months old our body, clocks starts, to kick in and I'll cover a bit more about those a little bit later but. The other thing that happens, as we get older is that, we be able to we're, able to, consciously. Override. Sleep. There's. Parents in the room will, know that this. Happens, with. Unfortunately. A lot, of frequency, and but, we're able to kind of kick in this conscious, override, switch which enables us to prevent sleep from occurring now, I'm very very, interested in why this could possibly be the case let's, face it from an evolutionary, perspective, if, sleep. Provides, all of those, values, all, of, those kind of brilliant. Protective. Influences, on our health and well-being, and why, can. We prevent. Sleep from occurring. For that you, kind of need to go back even. Further. So. Our conscious, brains evolved. Probably, I had about 200,000. Years ago give, or take, and. While our ancestors, were out on the savanna hunting. And gathering. That. Manual, override, switch was, really. Helpful so I mean if you went back to our hunter-gatherer days what type, of things, would, have kept. You awake at night would have made you kind of be. Able to. Stay. Awake at night what, are you trying to prevent from occurring you're staying awake and that's. What a setting. Getting. Eaten, absolutely. Predators. Anything, else. Weather. Could, be of Orville storms, we're not protected, by a lovely building like this back, in those days I, mean basically it was all about threats. To survival. We needed, to be able to stay awake, because. We were defending ourselves. It was absolutely. Protective. From an evolutionary perspective so. Our, brains. Evolved. To learn that. Not, sleeping. Means. That. We are under, threat. That's. Really important. So. Inside the brain, threats. Switch, on this, highly, honed response. To boost our survival, called the stress response you've probably come across this either called the stress response or, the fight-or-flight reflex. And. What happens is when, we sense something that we're afraid of this little. Red bit almond shake bit in the middle of the amygdala. Switches. On this cascade. Of reactions. So. It. Pushes. Adrenaline. Into the bloodstream we. Get the heart pumping faster, blood pressure raises our muscles, tense up over. Time we also produce the stress hormone cortisol, all, of these things are getting us raring, to go ready, to either fight, or flight. Very. Useful defensive. Or sports. The. Problem is these. Days sleep. Deprivation. May, not be due to a threat to, our survival. We've. All been there, just, one more episode. Just. One more drink just, ten minutes more on that presentation, it's, not gonna hurt it's only 15, 20 minutes, we. Deliberately. Keep, ourselves awake, past, the time that our bodies are telling, us that we're sleepy, not, realizing. That we are guilty of sleep, sabotage. So. Evolution. Is simply, not, ready for, Netflix, by. Deliberately. Keeping. Us awake, and making, ourselves overtired. We, kick-start.
This Stress response, we become hyper-vigilant, hyper, aroused. And it's much harder to get off to sleep and even if we do sleep we actually enter a light asleep, because there's part of our brain going I don't want to be eaten by a saber-toothed, tiger, so we miss out on some of that deep restorative. Sleep, to, make things even worse in, this survival, mode while. Our brain is busy, prioritizing. What's going on in the amygdala. It's switching, off turning, down the. Amount of energy. It sends, towards another part of our brain our. Prefrontal. Cortex. The bit, that, controls, our. Self. Regulatory, capacity, our. Logic, logical, thoughts our goal-directed, behavior. The. More short. Of sleep you are the. Less likely you, are to be able to stick to the goal that you meant to make to fall asleep it's, literally, a vicious, cycle. So. What. Can we do to, tackle sleep. Self-sabotage. The. Overtired, brain, well, it sounds very very, obvious if you are getting at least seven hours sleep a night hopefully, you're going to enter that state, less often but. I think what's key here is whether or not you're getting seven, hours or a little bit less make. It a routine. Reduce. The cognitive load, that, decision, making that says shall, I go to bed now or not if, you, know that at 11 p.m.. Without fail you. Are going to sleeeeep, Connor. Doesn't give you as many options it's. About sticking, to a plan making, a plan and sticking to a plan and then. In the time before bed obviously there, are going to be times that you have to stay up late you've got stuff to finish there's, a really, really good series, on. Whenever. You are ready, to switch off don't just get into bed and switch out the light your brain is still active you. Owe yourself, a period, of time to wind down now. In an ideal world this is quite a kind of routine that, you go through, maybe. It takes an hour on a typical night so you might declutter. Your room you might put your clothes out for the next day you might lock the doors in the house to make you sort of self feel secure, you might have a hot shower read a book whatever, you do if. You do it in the same order each night, when. You tune, into that routine, there's a pattern, recognition the. Body recognizes. That you are safe and secure and you're going to unwind for bet if. You repeat, that on enough days of the week when, it comes to being sleep-deprived. You can tap into a small part of that routine, and the brain kicks in it goes I know I'm safe I know I'm secure I can, relax wind. Down and be ready for bed. Finally. Develop. The skill of relaxation. So. Um I was at Yoga this morning developing, my skill of relaxation, and. The. Yoga, teacher said, you've. Got to put some effort in when, we were just sort of lying now on the ground breathing, - really, I mean certainly relaxation is just relaxation. Relaxation. Is. Actually, an effortful. Procedure, it's. Not just about lying, down worrying, about the presentation, that you've got to give in a few hours time it's, actually about focusing. Your attention. Focusing. Your attention on, the breath making. Sure that you are slowing. The breath down the. Technique, that you use, doesn't really matter whether it's mindfulness, meditation yoga. Any. Form, of relaxing. Activity. Progressive, muscle relaxation, all. Of, these things will help the mind to detach. The body to relax you're trying, to reset, that stress, response I. Front-loaded. Quite a lot of science there okay some of you fell asleep a little bit later on so we, will we'll move on to the, second reason that I believe that a, lot of us don't get enough, sleep and I, like to call this blissful.
Ignorance. So. A lot of you walked into the room knowing, that you want more sleep knowing, that you're not getting enough but. I suspect that. You, are under, estimating. Just. How harmful, the. Impact, is on your daily life why. Do I say this well. They've been a few studies looking, at the, impact, of a certain amount of sleep on both objective, performance and. Subjective. Performance, which I'll explain so, this particular study they, got some volunteers and they splitting them into four, groups the. First group no. Time in bed at all and I, had to try and maintain that for three days the, other groups four hours in bed six hours in bed eight hours in bed so. You know how much sleep you regularly, get you can kind of put yourself into, one of these groups whichever, is, closest, and during. The course of the, 14-day experiment, they've got people, to test their level of alertness, and the way that they did this is using something called the psychomotor, vigilance, task what. Happens you, sit looking, at a screen and some, numbers flash, on to it it's. Incredibly. Simple all you have to do is press a button when. You see the number occurring. So. You can make an error by not pressing the button or, by pressing the button when there is no number so. It's very much a very simple, test of alertness and concentration. So. This is what happened to the number of errors, that people made over, the 14, day experiment. So. First of all we see the group that got no time in that at all very, rapidly, increasing. Number of mistakes that they made the. Eight hours in bed group not, too much significant, change over time but, what you can see very, clearly is that there is this kind of dose response, relationship. The less sleep that you'll get, the more likely you are to make mistakes but, what's really, significant. Is that this builds, up, every. Night that, you are short of sleep. The. Effects of sleeplessness, accumulate. And this is what we call a sleep, debt, this, is something you can build up over, time. This. Kind, of makes sense but. What's really worrying is what happen when we ask people, how. Sleepy. They are so, this is subjective. Perception. Of your sleepiness, so. Again if you've got no sleep you know you're sleepy. But. The four hours, and six hours people they. Didn't report feeling any different to each other and what's. Worse is after, 10 days, they. Didn't really think that their level, of, impairment. Was any worse than it was after 3 or 4, they. Are telling, themselves like, many, of us do that. They've adapted. That. They're okay that, they're coping, but. The objective. Data tells a very different story, so, we, may well be under. Estimating, the impacts, of sleeplessness. Just. To make it just a teeny, bit harder. Um as. Many of you will know if you heard Matthew Walker's, talk sleep, is absolutely. Essential for learning, and memory as you, learn new stuff during the day hopefully. As you're sitting here picking up a few nuggets, of information your. Brain is actually expanding. With, the knowledge it's, like a sponge, can only suck up a certain, amount and sleep. Is the process. Which, returns. The, kind of really interesting emotionally. Resonant, memories, into, your long-term, memory and, it, also. Recharges. That short-term memory allowing, you to, learn new things, so. If. You're not sleeping terribly. Well and it's, having an impact on your performance. You. Might not remember it tomorrow you'll. Probably tell, yourself, that you're going to adapt all, over again and people can just get in this cycle where they're not actually. What it was like to sleep well they, just tell themselves that they're coping you've, got to kind of break this cycle and remember. What, it's like to, have a good night's sleep. So. How do we do that, well. First things first, um you've, got to repay that sleep, debt the, good news is you do not need to repay it our for our the. Body is very adaptable, it's very clever if you've had a really poor night's sleep the next night it will slip, into a deeper, sleep you'll have more of their the REM sleep which helps to recharge, your emotions, and memories so there is an adaptability, there, it's, just that if you're constantly short, of sleep you're. Not allowing the brain to recharge so. Repay, the sleep debt take your medication. Make. Sure that you've got several days when you can actually sleep for as long as you like and then you've got to work out what's your natural, sleep window so if you were to go to bed each night when, your eyelids start to get tired and wake, up without an alarm how.
Much Sleep, is that, and. Some of you go why'd I do that at the weekend then it's 10 or 11 hours I can't have 10 or 11 hours and that's. Because, you're repaying, some of your missing sleep debt from the week you've got to give yourself a chance definitely, I would recommend a vacation, always recommend and, once, you have your, sleep window. First. Thing to do is set a routine. Week, time set, your time. That you can get ups of 90% of the time within an hour or so and, once, you've started adapting, that we'll talk in the next bit about the body clock and how helpful that can be but, can, you, find. A time where your body wakes up naturally so you're not constantly, reliant. On an alarm that's, a good indicator, to you that you're getting enough, sleep, and. If. You can't get that seven hours all in, one block at night do, not be afraid to nap I know that Google's. Renowned, for having invested, in napping, pods you've got some really great environments. In the work space where you can actually go, and take a power nap now. A power nap is so called as many of you will know because. Roughly. Around about 20. To, five minutes, will, get you into a deep enough sleep to, restore, your cognitive, functions, give you a your, mood a but a boost, in. Terms of sort of happiness and well-being but. It's not long enough to drift, into deep, sleep, typically. After about 45 minutes or so you get into deep sleep and if you wake up from deep sleep you are, properly, out of it you're you've got this thing called sleep inertia and, it can take you a full hour to wake up again so if you're gonna nap my advice would be as. We'll see in a moment do it in the circadian, low after lunch and keep, it to 15 to 20 minutes. Okay. So. That's, this, will ignorant about, lack of sleep why else are we, not sleeping. Enough. You. Heard it here first you've, heard of the obesogenic environment, now. I would like to propose to you the sleepless, genic environment, which, maybe doesn't rattle off the tongue quite so well but I'm sure, you can imagine what. I'm talking, about. So. Back on the savanna as hunter-gatherers, before. We had watches and phones we used to rely on the Sun to tell, us what time of day it was and we, evolved. Our level of activity, to be guided, very, much by the Sun so our, alertness, follows. This sort of pattern as we wake up in the morning our letting, this sort of boost, right. Up until about midday after. Lunch we have this circadian, low sometimes between about 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. where our energy, levels, dip. That's, just innate within us then. We pick up as it's time to go home from work and as it starts to get dark our energy. Levels start to dip and that's, when naturally. We feel more, sleepy. But. The remarkable, thing about this pattern is that even, if you take light, sunlight. Away. This. Pattern, persists. So. If you were to take any cell, from your body and put it in a petri dish and put it in a cupboard with all the things that it needed it would, actually, operate. A 24-hour. Rhythm, the same thing would happen to you if you went and lived in a cave underground, for, two months, you. Might not think this is a good idea but a French guy actually went and did it and he, was able to show that his circadian. Rhythm. Persisted. Even in the absence of light now, in fact his circadian rhythm ended up being about 24, and a half hours, so after, a couple of months he was out of sync with the external, environment. But. It was through exposure, to light that, he was able to then as he returned, to the outside world bring his body clock back on track so. We have literally. Trillions, of, these body clocks all around, our body trying. To operate on a 24-hour, rhythm, some, of them more, active during the night so growth hormone for example gets produced during the night it's really strong time, for growth and repair and where. Else obviously our kind of conscious functions, are switched off at night we produce less urine, our body pressure.
Blood Pressure goes down for, example. So. In orders for the for, the body to work most efficiently we. Want all of our body clocks to work in tune and you will know if you've ever had jetlag, what happens when your body clock starts to be out of sync with each other and with. The external, environment, so. Light. Is. An incredibly. Powerful, driver. For, coordinating. Our body clocks all together making us work efficiently, and. Darkness. Conversely. Is. What. Enables the body to produce melatonin. The, hormone, that signals to, the body that it's time to sleep. So. We have this alerting. Function, which. Sort of gets stronger and stronger as the light gets brighter and drops, away at night, and. Then. I mentioned earlier, as babies. We have this sleep pressure that builds up the longer that we've been awake so, gradually, as adults both, of these two, drivers, work. To, control, our level of alertness at one, time or another now. Interestingly, for, this sleep pressure, there, is a way to block, that any. Any ideas, what will block your sleep pressure. Caffeine. Absolutely. So what's actually happening, there is a sleep pressure buildup is that you have this waste, product, from activity, called adenosine, that just builds up in the brain and makes you feel drowsy and, caffeine. Basically. Muscles. In and masks. The, adenosine, receptors, so, you, don't actually feel that, same level of drowsiness at the same time it's upping your stress hormones, making, you feel nice, and jittery, and alert, but. When the caffeine, degrades. The. Adenosine is still there it. Hasn't gone anywhere and so, you can get this wave, of tiredness, this, caffeine, crash from, all the adenosine that's been building up but, you've been masking its effects you didn't realize, how, tired you, really were. So. The, environment, that most of us now work in this is not the Savannah, this. Might well be YouTube or, Google or, any pretty, much any office around, the world. What. Can you see here that might interfere with our your body clock or your sleep drive. Light. Lots of light lots of Technology, so, it, turns out that the brilliant. Designers. Of laptops. Phones they, typically, like to use the same wavelength. Of light blue, light which. Mirrors, the midday, Sun. The. Strongest. Alerting, signal, that you can get and. You've. Also got sort of caffeine you've also got people grazing. Through the day one. Of the things the body clock likes is routine, it likes to know the times where you can actually sit and rest and digest a, meal it is, going to deep our your, stress, response system, because, you're forcing it to kind of properly, stop, rest and digest.
You. Graze you don't have those same intervals, through the day the. Sleeper. So genetic environmental. So. What, can you do if you are out of sync with your body clock I know. I've already mentioned, having, a routine but this really, is incredibly. Important, to help your body if, your. Routine, is haphazard. So. Sometimes, you go to bed at 11:00. Sometimes, one your. Body doesn't, know when, to produce melatonin. So. It just doesn't it just kind of holds, back, whereas. If you have a regular routine, your. Body can anticipate, what's, going to happen it can help you or make you feel tired at the same times each day are. We've mentioned lights um one. Of the best things is just to go outside I'm, sorry, that I'm keeping you inside this lunchtime, hopefully, we'll finish a little bit early and you can go out and soup, up a lot of like nice a natural. Sunlight to, keep you going um, caffeine. Obviously, I've said masks, your sleep drive so, I'm, not saying don't use it it can also be really, good for alertness, but. Use it strategically. Be. Aware that the. Half-life of caffeine, is six, hours, so. Six, hours later you've still got half of the kind of virulence, half of the power of that cup of coffee in your bloodstream the. Recommendation, in this country is it shouldn't have more than 400 milligrams. Of caffeine in a day that's. About two, or three cups, of filter coffee or. Two. Starbucks, I think, so. Just be really aware of how much you're having and if you need pepping up, try. Sunlight, or try other natural. Energizer's. So, exercise. Actually, tends. To kick-start the body clock social. Interaction. Stop. And have a chat it's really, it, really gets your body clock going makes you feel naturally, alert. Okay. Finally. The, final reason, that I think a lot of us really can't sleep, and. That's. Insomnia, so. Most. Of those other reasons there's at least a, voluntary. Element, we are making choices, which are depriving, us of sleep but. For some of you in the room I am sure you're, sitting there going I've tried all this and I still can't sleep. Insomnia. Is a condition, where you can't get off to, sleep, you can't stay asleep or you wake up feeling unrefreshed. For, at least three, nights a week or more for, three months or more so very much a chronic, condition, and, what. Tends to happen is that just. Like many of us there's some sort of stress that temporarily. Stops. You sleeping. But. This lack of sleep, actually, becomes a source, of stress, and anxiety. Often. People with insomnia even, going into their own bedroom, they start to feel anxious so. What do you do if you're trying to, cope with a lot of stress and anxiety there's. Usually some, sort of behavioral, compensation. Some, of us it's alcohol we need to relax and, actually alcohol yeah, it does make us relaxed in the short term, unfortunately. It totally, messes, with your natural sleep, architecture you. Don't get the same level of restorative. Sleep so you wake up feeling unrefreshed. Also, messes with your memory so. It's, it. Makes people think that they're coping but, actually makes, the sleep worse and so then, they start to believe that they'll never sleep again these very unhelpful, thoughts on, cognitions, defeatism, around, sleep very. Often insomnia, increases. The risk of anxiety, depression as, well as another number. Of other stress-related, illnesses. So. You get into this state of chronic. Physical. And mental, hyper, arousal. If, you put someone with insomnia into a brain scanner what, you'll see is that their brain is more, active not. Just during the day but, also at night. So. You've. Got to be able to redress. The balance I. Mentioned, earlier this fight-or-flight. Stress. Response. So. We have two arms of this thing called the autonomic nervous system, which controls, all of our unconscious. Functions. Like breathing and, our heart rate and our digestion, and in, insomnia, you've kind of got you overloading. This fight-or-flight stress, response.
And What you want to do is wake, up this parasympathetic. Converse. Action, of the body for rest and digest. So. What can you do. Basically. You've, got a tackle, both the. Thoughts associated. With. Insomnia. The unhelpful. Sleep thoughts and also the behaviors, that are making it persist, so. There's, a couple of quick. Techniques I can give you a, cognitive. Technique putting, the day to rest this, is very, very simple it's, free, and it. Involves, a piece of paper and a pen so, when. You are doing that wind. Down routine, before bed protect, 5 or 10 minutes sit. Down with, a piece of paper and, your pencil and write. Down what's, worrying you just what's on your mind what you're thinking about that you need to do tomorrow. Make. Sure that you commit it to paper and. Put it next, to your bed so, that, if you are lying there trying to get to sleep but these thoughts keep popping into your mind you can just tell yourself it's on the page it, will still be there tomorrow you, do not need to think about it now it. Almost sounds, too simple to. Be effective, but, one trial family even this simple intervention, alone, could, increase, significantly. People's. Ability, to fall asleep, but. There are behavioral techniques as well so all of the things that I've already mentioned plus. Some extras, so. Um there's. One called the quarter, hour rule if you. Are in bed unable to, sleep for. More than 15, minutes. Get. Up get. Out of your room go somewhere, else until. You feel your, eyelids heavy, and starting. To close, what. You want to do is break, any sort of negative connection. Between yourself. And your bedroom, and being unable to sleep, your. Bedroom, should be this haven, for sleep and intimacy. That's, allowed. And. Everything. That I've been talking about today all the tips all the science is actually part of a, toolkit. That we call CBT. Cognitive, behavioral. Therapy, for, insomnia and it's actually the recommended, first-line treatment, for insomnia. So. Tackling, the negative, thoughts and negative. Behaviors, there, is a little bit of a problem with CBT for insomnia in that very few people are actually trained to deliver it at the moment if. You can get it on the NHS, it tends to be a very, long waiting list and and, it was this that actually inspired, the. Company that I work, for, so. A professor, of sleep medicine called Colin SP have been a clinical psychologist for thirty years seeing, patients helping, them with CBT for insomnia and knowing, that he couldn't possibly help, all the people that needed help so he. Actually worked with a format insomnia, patients called, Peter Haynes to, create an online digital, version. Of CBT. For insomnia so. Essentially, it automates, all of the functions that a therapists, would, go through with you and teaches, you the tools and techniques to sleep better and. So if you find your way to sleep, you you'll. Be able to do a very quick online sleep, test this takes less, than two minutes to fill in and, it gives you a sleep, score between naught and 10 if you, have 10 out of 10 congratulations. If you do not hopefully. There's more we can do to help you so. You can sign up for a few, of evidence-based, sleep guys that you get by email but, the main thrust, of the program, is actually a weekly, session with, the prof your animated, sleep, expert, hello. There Sophie I, am. The prof and, I'm here to do everything I can to help you sleep better now. You might be thinking why. Should I trust you to tell me what to do well. Everything. We do here at sleep wheel is rooted, firmly in scientific. Evidence, so. You meet the prof each week and he teaches you tools and techniques and you use a sleep diary to track your progress and, the nice thing about being mobile is that obviously, at. Any, day or night you can be helped to know what you should be doing to optimize, your sleep and, the. Prof mentioned. Evidence, and I just wanted to make you aware of one study that you may or may not be aware of this is a few years ago back.
In 2014 we. Started speaking, to Google about sleepy oh and they said well you. Have got a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. And that's interesting but will it work for. Google because, we different. So. We did we. Did another trial with. 270. Googlers, we, randomized, them into two groups either, using, sleepy Oh or just carrying them on with whatever they were doing at the time followed. Them up after eight weeks and then. The. Group had used sleepy oh we're able to continue, to use if they wanted to and the second group got access and, we measured things like to sleep quality and well-being, I'm just going to show you one, piece, of data which, is on well-being and. So here you can see Group one significant. Uplift in well-being and this was things like I'm satisfied with my overall well-being I'm, able to detach, from work during, non-work, hours I'm able, to cope effectively with, work-related stress and I feel that my workload is manageable. The. Improvements were maintained three months later and the second group saw very similar improvements, to the first and this just mirrors what we've now seen in eight randomized, control trials and over 6,000, people CBT. For insomnia, works. And. If. You want to read more the fascinating. Paper that, you can find um. Since. Then actually. An awful, lot of Googlers have been using the program over five and a half thousand, have met the prof and on. Average they're. Getting, two, and a half extra, hours sleep each week and they're, reporting less stress and less anxiety, so. You. Could try it I don't know might be might be helpful. So. Just to sum up I haven't. Written a book I. Tried, to come up with some memorable acronym, and I'm not sure that I've succeeded, but, I was thinking harness, the power of sleep. So. P is for, planning ahead prioritizing. That seven, oh it's. For getting outdoors, as much as possible, w. Is protecting. That wind, down routine, whether you have 30 minutes or 60 minutes make. That, time work, for you in unwinding. For sleep e is. For energizing, you still want to energize, your body during the day but do it as naturally, as you can and think, about limiting, your caffeine switching, out caffeine for decaf where it makes sense, and. Finally, our I've. Said this a lot of times today routine, routine routine. That's, really, gonna help your body clock and set reminders on, your phone, remind. Other people in your family that actually you're going to try this and commit to it because it will be better for all of you. That's. It. Hey. Thanks, for the speech and. Racing and, I. Have, a question regarding, sleeping. Off lights, nature, and light versus. Sleeping, in the darkness, because I personally have a problem like of light so. I wake up at 6:00 if the, lights natural. Light is there at 6:00 or the, same with every, day time so what. Is the suggestion is there kind of a rule or something. So, are you thinking when it gets lights in the mornings. It's disturbing your sleep you don't want to get up at 6:00 yeah. Yeah that's like for example if, my routine is 7. To 8 hours and, it starts, it's midnight, or an 11 it doesn't, work if the Sun rises it's 5:00 absolutely. And if, you didn't have to go to work and you were able to live on the Savannah quite happily you wouldn't mind and you would rise naturally, withdrawn, and, that we find your body clock would adjust through through the year but, yes we all have other commitments so, if you actually want to sleep for longer very. Easy, make. Sure that you have blackout. Blinds you know really, try and interfere, actually, with that morning sunshine if that's not what you want sometimes. People say yes but my partner, wants, the Sun what do I do um there's, a very simple intervention, called, a sleep mask a soft. I know it's. Very very cheap very very simple, um often, if, you one for a night or two you're odd I don't know about this but actually most people who stick to it for three or four nights like ah actually. This really makes a difference and one of the advantages of wearing sleep mask is if you go traveling, it's, something you can take with you anywhere and, if you're developing a napping habit because actually, you're unable, to get enough sleep during the night having. A, sleep, mask sort of with you it kind of creates a little cocoon, effect that can be quite helpful so. Yeah if light is disturbing, you. Yeah. Thanks a lot so can you speak a bit about using. Some medications, melatonin. Because. I know for instance in the yes you can buy it like. In, any pharmacy but here you. Can't really you need to get prescription, so is there kind of consensus, about it or yeah.
So That's an interesting one melatonin, is a natural hormone as we saw it, definitely, signals, to the body that it's time for sleep but, what it doesn't do is override your stress response so, it's not a very powerful hormone, in. Terms of tackling insomnia, so the effects of using melatonin. On insomnia, a pretty. Much not they're, not strong what. Melatonin can be very helpful for is if your body clock is out of sync with the environment because it's really something that influences your, body clock more than anything. So. If you're jet-lagged, actually, very very helpful, for, adjusting. Over time, there. Are some, questions, about melatonin, just like most other natural, hormones if you are taking, it does, it mean that your body is actually going to produce less and, I, think that's a, potential. Concern, that, I'm not, sure that that research, has been done long, term to, work out whether actually, taking artificial, melatonin may in some way disrupt, your natural, patterns so, I'm, with, most of these things I wouldn't, take, something artificial. For, a long time it'd be much better to sort your habits out but if you have a short term, stress. Like lots. Of travel, and jetlag I think very very helpful perhaps. I. Am. I'm just wondering, thank you for the talk I'm, just wondering what if you under the quantification, and measurement, of other sleeps, and all the watches we have etc. And second, question is any tips for taking power naps because sometimes it's very difficult for me to fall asleep after. I'm awake yes. Okay, so the first question about. Measurement. So. The. Only way to know exactly. What's going on during the brain when. In, the brain during sleep is, to measure, the electrical, impulses, so that an electroencephalogram. Which will actually tell you the different stages of sleep and. I didn't show it in the presentation, we tend to have it around about sort of three. Main stages of sleep and then a REM, rapid, eye movement, sleep so. Stage, one very light sleep very, easily get woken up few. People dipping in stage one now, and. Then stage two is a kind of true sleep where your body temperature, starts to go down blood pressure starts to go down but, stage three is where it's very very hard to wake you up and you've got growth hormone being produced and then you come back through these cycles of REM sleep dream, sleep which is so important, for memory, consolidation and. Emotional. Balance so basically. We sleep in these five or six sleep cycles. Most. Of the trackers. That you where they. Used to just rely on movement and it so happens that during, REM sleep your body is actually paralyzed. So. You, we, think you know so that you can't act out your dreams so, they use an algorithm based, on your movement to kind of predict, are okay, there was a period of not moving that must be the end of a sleep cycle. That's. Not a very good way of estimating, whether or not somebody is awake, or asleep because we can all live, very still, and not be asleep and the, newer New Age kind, of trackers, which use, heart. Rate variability or, pulse rate those.
Seem To be better but they've been relatively, little published. Validation, to show that they are as good as a, polysomnogram. We go into the lab and have lots of things measured but I did see a small study recently which. Was using one of the Fitbit, kind of New Age which actually showed pretty good sort of specificity, and sensitivity. To sleep what. You probably don't want to do is compare your sleep to somebody else's, sleep using those trackers I think, it's okay to use it as a guide, for you. But. Then you've got to ask why, am I using it the. Best measure of whether, or not you, are getting good, quality sleep it's. How you feel, during the day and. Your. Track I can't really help you with that. The. Second question was about naps and tips, for naps um so a lot of us will have this very strong, body, clock and. Actually, we won't have a very strong lull after lunch and. It's quite hard for, us to nap if you don't feel sleepy don't nap that's one thing. It. Is something to. Adapt. As a habit. Your. Body clock learns so, if you keep trying and, protecting. Your 20 minutes after lunch when you think you are probably. In. Need a reboost. Even. If you're just sitting quietly maybe, you're meditating, it's probably still gonna have a restorative, effect because, you'll probably still be able to up your parasympathetic. Nervous system, your rest or digest, and start, to feel physically, refreshed, even, if you haven't done all of the memory kind of recharging. In the brain so I think it's still worth having. A break even if it's not on that. Okay. I have a quick question um so. First. Of all thank you for coming to Google this is really great I've really enjoyed it so thank you for that um quick. Question about like winding down so for instance I have the problem of waking up really early so I try to go to bed early but because I'm always on like very switched on in the morning I'll wake up like five o'clock right and then, I can't get back to sleep until let's say 6:30, a reasonable, time to get up so, I'm wondering any tactics, for continuing.
To Sleep right if you've gotten let's say six hours but you wake up because you're kind of wired how. Do you actually get, yourself for another hour into. Sleep mode I'm sure there's a lot of people probably in the room who I didn't the answer that one and what interested me there. Is that you've said you, know I wake up so early in the morning so I try, and go to bed earlier at night and that. Kind of your mistake, you're, waking up exactly, as you say because you're a bit sort of Wyatt you are kind of in this vigilant, sort of state so. There's a lot in terms of the relaxation. Techniques, and learning, to detach, from all, this excitement, exciting, stuff going on your life but. There's also something, in increasing. Your sleep pressure so. One of the things that we do in CBT, is to use a technique called sleep, restriction. Which, sounds very counterintuitive. But. It actually involves pushing your bedtime, back, so. If you normally go to bed at 10:00, say but you're waking up at five o'clock in the morning despite the fact that you wanted to sleep in till till 7:00, you know maybe in that time you're only getting six hours sleep so by, tracking, your sleep over a couple of weeks using a sleep diary the. Advice would be okay, try. And go to bed at one o'clock in the morning. Set. Your alarm for 7:00 or whenever, your your desired wake-up time is, you're, gonna get incredibly. Tired trying, to keep yourself awake, but. You will build up a stronger sleep pressure and you'll start to sleep through, the night and, then as you've started to speak through the night you can increase your sleep window the, other way to do it is a slightly kind of softer approach rather, than going straight in, for one o'clock in the morning you could just compress, a little bit and keep, compressing if, it's not sort of working for you but, those that sleep restriction idea, gets introduced, in week three of the CPA program it's, probably, the single most powerful, technique. In CBT, for, helping people reset, that sort of wakefulness. Early, in the morning issue so, definitely, give that a go. I'll. Sneak in a question from someone who's not in the room we, have a Dory today, so. The question is do, alarms, based on the sleep cycle depresses, lights work. So. I think that relates to the cracking, question, unless. Your. Brain. Is is cued, into a lab. It's very difficult to know what stage, of sleep you're in I. Haven't. Seen a lot of convincing. Evidence, but, that's probably because a lot hasn't been published, if it works for you I see, you, and a lot of this kind of sleep science, it's very individual, if there's something you, find reassuring. So for example chamomile, tea some, people swear by the, actual evidence, from scientific, trials, is pretty equivocal. Probably. Doesn't really, do very much but, there's a very strong, placebo, effect anything, that makes you feel like you are sleeping well it's. Probably a good idea for, you personally even, if the science is a bit kind of shaky. Hi. What. Do you recommend for winding, down at night, the. Other question is if I want to go to bed at 11:00 is it a bad idea to go to the gym like between 9:00 and 10:00 in the evening okay. I'll take I'll take the gym one um first. It. Used to be thought the advice used to be not, to exercise late, at night and the reason being because it increases, your body temperature. It really gets gets the body going and there. Was some evidence that absolutely, if your body is too hot you, cannot sleep so one of the things I didn't mention is to cool your, room so an ideal, but um room. Temperature is 18 degrees supposedly, with air circulating. If possible, so. That's.
Subsequent. To that the advice is actually some people are really quite effective at cooling down like mentally. And physically after they've been to the gym so I would. Have thought that if you're doing something highly aerobic, it's gonna take you at least an hour if not 90 minutes to properly calm down after that so you want to allow enough time for that but. This, is about being, a scientist of yourself, and kind of experimenting. You, know if you push that exercise time a little bit forward does it make your sleep better and so on because it will be different, for different people and in terms of the wine down routine, um. You. Can ask parents, what they do for their kids and everyone's probably got a slightly different pattern, but. They get into a pattern and that's what's important, that's what gets reassuring. It doesn't matter if you have a bath or a shower or, you read or you meditate, I know that Google's, got some really good resources on how you've got headspace, is available, if, you want to learn mindfulness meditation just. Reading, a book that, is not you know energizing. Sort of alert, light-filled. Experience. Watching. TV so long as you're far enough away that you're not getting overstimulated, by the content, I definitely, wouldn't do that right before bed but, as part of an hour-long wine down routine that might be fine, it is just about psychological, and, physical kind of detachment, from the day. Yes. I want to ask you about noise. In the morning we talked about light in the morning, like. Earplugs I you, know maybe it's not good to use them every, night I'm wondering about other ways can you train yourself to not, be sensitive noise or noise generators, or what is just good question. Some. People definitely find, white, noise machines, very useful, this, doesn't have to be something. Very expensive, it could be a fan, I think Wayne Rooney swore by like he couldn't, sleep without and always the washing machine or something like that there.
Are Certain noises which will block out other sounds so, a fan, and summer can be quite good. An, artificial. Noise, machine, absolutely. Fine there isn't any evidence that, so long as it's not too loud that that's going to disrupt your sleep I also, don't, think there are any issues with using earplugs, long term. Provided. That they're you know good quality but. I wouldn't I wouldn't worry about using, earplugs as a negative I think actually it's quite sensible. And. For one more question, oh wow, thank you, like. To make it go on so, during a week I rarely. Get enough sleep and then we, can I do sleep longer is that sufficient. I mean you talked about the, brain self-repairing. Yeah. So, here's the thing is. Better to sleep them not to sleep so great that you're making an effort to catch up on sleep at the weekend but for every, night of short sleep you, are feeling those effects, on your, Tuesday your Wednesday or Thursday on your Friday you are building up that sleep debt so by Friday afternoon I hope you're not operating heavy machinery but, you, know it's, not ideal if you can find even, just an extra half an hour during, the week what you're actually find is that you, have more weekend, you've got more of a life because you don't have to worry about catching up on your sleep the. Other thing is that come Monday morning, you're effectively, giving yourself jetlag if you, have a different, pattern during, the week to the weekend and there is some, research. Evidence that come out suggesting, that this, sort of pattern we do call it social, jetlag can. Increase, risks of high blood pressure of weight gain it's it's, putting more pressure on your, body than, is necessary so. If. You can find more a balance great. You.