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Show 1268: Learning How to Sleep

The old rules of sleep hygiene are too general to be helpful. Dr. Rafael Pelayo offers specific science-based suggestions on how to sleep.
Show 1268: Learning How to Sleep
Dr. Rafael Pelayo, author of How to Sleep
Photo copyright Christophe Testi
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Learning How to Sleep

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Are we in the midst of a Great Sleep Recession? Sleep deprivation is common and serious but not always appreciated. One of the tipoffs that people may not be getting adequate shut-eye is that they wake up tired, have difficulties paying attention and may frequently be in a bad mood. But can people really learn how to sleep?

Science to Help You Learn How to Sleep:

Our guest, Dr. Rafael Pelayo, says the old rules for sleep hygiene don’t really work because they are too general. The new sleep rules are based in sleep science to help people learn better, smarter sleep patterns for the long term. The most successful approaches are rooted in the biology of sleep and tailored to the individual insomniac’s life situation.

Paying attention to light exposure may seem arcane, but it can make a significant difference in figuring out how to sleep well. Recognizing that you can learn this like any skill is a good step. Sleep is an active process rather than a time when the brain “turns off.”

Snoring Is Never Normal:

Dr. Pelayo reminds us that snoring is never normal. If snoring is caused by obstructive sleep apnea, as it often is, the usual treatment is a CPAP machine. (CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure.) We discuss the national recall of one of the most popular models of this type of machine. Being able to adjust the technology to suit the individual is an important step towards improving sleep.

This Week’s Guest:

Rafael Pelayo, MD, is a clinical professor at Stanford University School of Medicine in the division of Sleep Medicine. Since 1993 he has been a part of the Stanford Sleep Medicine Clinic, the best-known sleep clinic in the world, and he divides his time between working with patients and teaching at the university. He has served on advisory boards and in leadership positions for the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the NIH, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the National Sleep Foundation, and the California Sleep Society. Dr. Pelayo is the author of How to Sleep: The New Science-Based Solutions for Sleeping Through the Night.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available Monday, August 16, 2021, after broadcast on August 14. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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