In this episode, we’re joined again by integrative psychiatrist Henry Emmons, MD. Dr. Emmons was our guest on our “Why Sleep and Stress Management Are Non-Negotiables” episode. He’s also the author of The Chemistry of Joy, The Chemistry of Calm, and Staying Sharp, and is a columnist for Experience Life. He’s here to revisit the topic of sleep and speak to why it’s so important during these stressful times.
Why is sleep especially important right now?
Sleep is a critical factor in our bodies and immune systems working at an optimal level. In addition to the viral pandemic, we’re also experiencing a fear pandemic, and fear and stress are both very tightly linked to sleep.
Dr. Emmons discusses the connection between sleep and the immune system, as well as the ways we’re at risk if we aren’t sleeping well enough to calm inflammation.
Right now, we’re more connected to our devices and more exposed to an influx of troubling news. Dr. Emmons offers some strategies for getting good sleep despite that.
Dr. Emmons dives into exactly what your body is doing when you’re asleep. He talks about the importance of different parts of your sleep cycle, the role of your hormones and circadian rhythm, and how deep, restorative sleep can benefit immunity and tame inflammation.
Many of us are having trouble falling and staying asleep due to the fear and worries we’re facing. Dr. Emmons discusses his thoughts on using prescription and natural sleep aids to help.
Dr. Emmons offers advice for staying calm so you can fall back asleep more easily if you wake in the middle of the night.
Do sleep aids compromise the quality of our sleep?
If you consume alcohol, the key to it not disrupting your sleep is the timing and amount.
Dr. Emmons has seen CBD have a calming effect on some of his patients, and in some cases, it may help you get better rest.
It’s normal to be stressed right now — there’s a real threat. But it does not have to turn into fear. Dr. Emmons discusses the distinction.
Dr. Emmons’s shares his suggestions for ways to make this out-of-norm feel more normal, including ways to use technology to feel less isolated.