Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Hi I'm dr Jeffrey Iliff a sleep researcher.

  • Today we're going to be answering your questions on twitter.

  • This is this is sleep support at caddy warm pus s it's five AM I can't sleep.

  • I'm eating summer sausage.

  • What is time?

  • What our circadian rhythms?

  • Well I don't know why you're eating summer sausage at five a.m. What our circadian rhythms?

  • I can answer that circadian rhythm is the drive in your body that n trains all of its functions too.

  • The 24 hour light cycle.

  • So there's a part of your brain called the super charismatic nucleus.

  • That's the master pacemaker for the circadian rhythm.

  • And what it does is it cues off of the light dark cycle.

  • So sunrise and sunset to get your brain and actually the rest of your body ready to rest at night and ready to act during the day.

  • At R.

  • G.

  • Will underscore asks why do we take naps and wake up more tired?

  • Oh that's a good question.

  • Because there's good napping and there's bad napping when you wake up after a nap and you feel like you just got hit by a truck it's because what has happened is you started to build what's called sleep inertia.

  • So once you start sleeping after you get past a certain point your brain gets into the mode that thinks oh we're doing this for the next day hours and if you interrupted after it's gotten past that point it's sort of a rude awakening and that's why you feel super groggy after a long nap.

  • That's why when you nap you should actually nap.

  • Either a very short nap maybe 20 or 30 minutes or 90 minutes.

  • So sending an alarm for a 90 minute nap.

  • A 90 minute nap is enough time for you to go through an entire sleep cycle.

  • So going through shallow sleep to deep sleep.

  • Up to rem but only once.

  • Not long enough for you to build a lot of sleep inertia.

  • But enough time for you to actually get some of the benefits of sleeping at pump cast book joke says everybody talking about their weird covid dreams and I'm over here like L.

  • O.

  • L.

  • What is rem sleep.

  • These are actually E.

  • G.

  • Caps that measure your what's going on inside your brain so that we can see not just whether you're asleep but what stages of sleep you happen to be in.

  • So rapid eye movement.

  • Sleep is the face of sleep connected with dreams.

  • It has a couple of weird features to it.

  • So in one of the things is if we record the electrical activity happening in your brain it actually looks a lot like an awake brain.

  • In fact one of the only ways that we can tell that you're in rem sleep and not awake is one of these electrodes here actually connects to the muscles on your face and so we can actually detect the tension or the absence of tension in your face muscles.

  • And that's how we know you're in rem sleep not just laying there awake So do during rem sleep.

  • What's happening is your brain is working to consolidate the memories that you form through the course of the day, helping to harden those memories into your long term memory, things that are powerful things that are fearful things that are scary things that create anxiety.

  • All of those things are the substance of our dreams.

  • That's part of the way that you encode dreams is with fear and pain and emotion.

  • So it's probably no wonder that we're all having the same weird covid dream at rusty copias.

  • How will your brain get rid of waste?

  • It isn't sent back into the body to be processed by the organs.

  • How does your sleep play a role in it?

  • This is a really interesting question.

  • It's actually the subject that my lab studies.

  • So your brain is very different from the rest of the body in the way that it manages the waist.

  • So the brain sits in a pool of water called cerebral spinal fluid and that water helps to cushion the brain from blows that happened, it actually helps the brain which has the kind the consistency of room temperature, butter, it helps it to not, you know, slouch under its own weight.

  • During the daytime, the spaces between the brain cells which are like the pores of this sponge are actually pretty small and pretty narrow.

  • So as a result the water that's outside, the brain sort of sits on the outside.

  • But when you go to sleep, the situation completely changes and the spaces between the brain cells open up, allowing the water that's on the outside of the brain to act wash into and through the spaces between the brain cells collecting up the waste that's accumulated through the course of the waking day.

  • And so then this waste laden fluid like ammonia that's produced, washes out of the brain out into the fluid around the brain and then those lymphatic vessels surrounding the brain collected up and eventually dump it back into the blood.

  • It's like brainwashing but without being in an occult at K.

  • B.

  • Rab ham.

  • 21 asks, have you ever wondered what your brain actually looks like when you sleep?

  • Like?

  • I wonder if my neurons are really just beating the snot out of each other and my dreams are the real reason I'm losing brain cells.

  • I don't think dreams of the reason you're losing brain cells.

  • You can actually see your brain when it's sleeping.

  • You can see it by M.

  • R.

  • I.

  • Sometimes you can see it during neurosurgical procedures.

  • The thing about the brain that's really striking is the way that it pulsates.

  • So the brain is just this big pulsating mass of tissue and blood.

  • So you see it pulsating with the heart rate and you see it pulsating and swelling with the respiratory cycle.

  • And there's actually these even low frequency oscillations that happen as blood vessels in the brain dilate and contract.

  • Those pulsations are actually part of the process driving the clearance of waste into and out of the brain at FX Mish asks, does anyone that can lucid dream having any tips on how to do it?

  • So lucid dreaming?

  • Think the movie inception is being aware of the fact that you're dreaming when you are, so that you can control what's happening around you.

  • It's a little fringy but there's actually a little bit of research on the subject.

  • So there's some data that suggests that you can use transcranial electrical stimulation.

  • So stimulating your brain with electricity at certain frequencies can increase the likelihood that a person who normally can't lose a dream actually can be able to.

  • There's also some approaches in sleeping itself that seems to increase people's ability to lose a dream.

  • You set an alarm for five hours after you go to sleep and then wake up right after you wake up, you think to yourself, I'm going to be dreaming.

  • I want to wake up during my dream, repeat that to yourself again and again and again as you go back to sleep, your chances of being able to know that you're in a dream when you go back into sleep actually increase between 100% to 1000%.

  • So it may be either through stimulation or maybe through some cognitive tricks.

  • You can actually increase your chances of being able to lucid dream caramel cookie asks.

  • So it's like sleepwalking a real thing.

  • Yes, sleepwalking is a real thing.

  • So sleepwalking is more common in kids and in adolescence it tends to disappear as people move through adolescence into adulthood.

  • The interesting thing about sleep sleepwalking is that your brain is asleep and yet you can accomplish very complicated task.

  • So when you're sleeping, your brain is supposed to be a little bit disconnected from your awareness.

  • It's supposed to be disconnected from how your body moves.

  • Sometimes those connections they can get opened or they can get closed at the wrong time.

  • So you see things like sleep talking or sleep moaning.

  • You see people who have something called rem sleep behavior disorder, which is where you actually act out the things that are happening in your dreams, sometimes even violently, sometimes injuring your bed partner.

  • So there's a bunch of different types of things, some of them interesting, some of them a little scary that can happen when the processes governing sleep and your body become misaligned.

  • At swank farm asks, how many types of sleep do we have?

  • You actually see that your brain is doing a couple of distinct things through the course of the night.

  • One set of that is called rem sleep or rapid eye movement, sleep and that's the part of sleep that's most associated with with dreaming.

  • There's also non rem sleep non rem sleep sort of breaks into three different categories.

  • There's N one and two and N.

  • Three and one is the shallowest type of sleep.

  • So that's maybe the 1st 10 minutes after you've first fall asleep.

  • And that's the time when you're sort of most awake.

  • It's easy to sort of pop back up away and to sleep is sort of the mid layer on your way to deep sleep.

  • During that phase you're a little deeper in and your body starts to actually do some funny things.

  • So that's when sometimes people will twitch and move a little bit during into sleep.

  • The deepest sleep is called N.

  • Three sleep or slow wave sleep.

  • And during that time if we record what's happening in your brain, your brain is actually oscillating between states where everything on and everything is off.

  • And it's doing those oscillations about one every second.

  • Those are called slow oscillations.

  • That slow wave sleep is the deepest part of sleep and then you'll come back up into rem sleep where you'll typically do dreaming.

  • One of those cycles is about 90 minutes or so.

  • During the course of the night you go through several of those cycles maybe three or five of them later on in the night.

  • There's less slow wave sleep and more rem which is one of the reasons why maybe we remember the dreams that we're having late in the night.

  • Better at miniature asks what is sleep apnea.

  • I would have asked google but I prefer a more simple answer.

  • Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing several times through the course of the night.

  • So it can actually be a physical obstruction to your airway that keeps you from sleeping regardless of the cause.

  • The results bad.

  • Your brain is incredibly active.

  • So the neurons in your brain are firing trillions and trillions of times a second.

  • And all of that activity takes a huge amount of oxygen and glucose and energy to keep it going.

  • And every time you stop breathing during the night, you're depriving your brain for just a little while of the energy that it needs and of the oxygen that it needs.

  • And it isn't until your brain is screaming for more oxygen that you actually gasp yourself away.

  • And as you add that up over the course of many nights, over weeks and months and years, the added stress that that puts on not just your brain, but actually your whole body can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, like heart attacks and strokes, diabetes.

  • The good news is that sleep apnea much of it is actually pretty treatable with an approach called CPAP, which is basically just a mask that goes over your face and it uses a little pump to sort of force air in and out and the forcing that air in and out of out of your lungs to keep your airway open and keep you from stopping breathing during the night.

  • The bad news is many more of us actually have sleep apnea than know it, what does it look like?

  • How do I know if I have sleep apnea?

  • Well, common symptoms include heavy snoring, waking up gasping.

  • If that sounds like you might be worth getting checked out with your physician Thalia.

  • Clara asks what causes insomnia because I literally cannot go to sleep at a decent time, no matter how tired I am upside down, smiley upside down, smiley upside down, smiley well, insomnia is pretty common, so it's not being able to either go to sleep or it's not being able to stay asleep once you are asleep.

  • Their genetic causes of insomnia sleep apnea can cause insomnia, but frequently it's the stress in our lives that can cause either acute insomnia, which is insomnia, that just happens every so aw or chronic insomnia, that happens all the time.

  • So things that are important for sleep hygiene include going to sleep at the same time every day and waking up at the same time every day so that your body can n train to a certain rhythm that can become predictable.

  • It's staying off the screens for an hour before you go to bed.

  • It's sleeping in a cool dark room where that isn't also your office so that you can kind of sort of focus in on the process of either having sex or going to sleep, which is really the only two things you should be doing in your bedroom at mass.

  • Hello asks what cause of sleep paralysis had it twice last night?

  • Scream emoji, that sounds like kind of a rough night sleep paralysis is when you're laying in bed, you're sort of coming out of sleep.

  • Sometimes it's when you're going into sleep, you're aware of your environment around you, you perceive what's happening, but you can't move the rest of your body, you're sort of paralyzed and sometimes it can be accompanied by visual or auditory hallucinations or feelings of fear or terror or even feelings of suffocate.

  • So it can be completely terrifying.

  • Your body has a couple of disconnect switches that it throws so that all the activity happening in your brain while you're dreaming or during your rem sleep doesn't cause you to act out your actions in the world around you and sleep paralysis.

  • Those disconnect switches seem to get a little jumbled up so that the switch that disconnects you from awareness of your of your environment sort of gets opened.

  • So you become aware even while the switch disconnecting you from your body is still closed.

  • If we do an e study in people who are having sleep paralysis episodes, we actually seem that they still seem to be in rem sleep.

  • So even though while you're aware of what's around you, your brain is still dreaming and your body still thinks you're asleep.

  • It's just that you're stuck feeling awake at ya tu sabes, who asks, how do sleeping pills work?

  • It depends a little bit on the sleeping pills that you're talking about.

  • So let's start with the simpler ones.

  • So a lot of people take melatonin to help them sleep with melatonin is actually naturally occurring molecule in your body that is part of how the body induces drowsiness.

  • It's actually a part of the circadian sleep drive to help sort of prime the brain to get ready to sleep.

  • Other commonly used sleep medications include drugs called sedative hypnotics, like Ambien, which is a commonly used one and also benzodiazepines, which are sort of anti anxiety medications that can be used sometimes to help with sleep.

  • Those drugs are very powerful drugs, they're available only by prescription.

  • They have the potential for forming addiction and for habit forming.

  • So they need to be used under the supervision of a physician.