Sleep Resources

If you see this page, thanks for listening to the “S is for Sleep” episode on the Bright Insights Podcast!

As promised, here are some resources that explain some of the factors that affect sleep. These are legit, peer-reviewed resources.

First, understand that your brain has 4 different sleep cycles. Good sleep is not just a matter of closing your eyes and waking up a few hours later. There is a natural circadian rhythm of being awake when the sun is up/getting sleepy when the sun goes down; and your body’s sleep-wake homeostasis system that determine how well you sleep. Anything you do to interrupt that, whether it’s working off-shift/different time zones, or ingesting chemicals that throw off the homeostasis, will deprive you of much-needed rest.

In the episode, I focused on a few elements, but namely caffeine and alcohol ingestion. Click the links in bold to read the peer-reviewed research.

How Caffeine Affects Sleep Cycles. This article featured Dr. Rachel Markwald, my friend that I mentioned in the episode. Too much caffeine at the wrong time interrupts your body’s natural melatonin cycle. You can potentially never reach a deep sleep state. Caffeine hits almost immediately but starts to wear off after three to five hours.

How Alcohol can disrupt the cycles . Alcohol will get you to sleep faster than normal, but it will also disturb the REM deep sleep cycle.

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