A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that those who worked close to windows slept better and longer than those who didn’t. Dr. Eric Dyken, a sleep expert, says this has to do with our bodies' circadian rhythms.
“If you’re in a darker room, you’re sleepier, melatonin seems to increase, and your whole day as such can be screwed up, your daytime and your nighttime. But if you’re wide awake during the day, with […] the early afternoon brightness of the sun, that decreases sleepiness tendency gets you good and going for the day, and then by the time it’s night, you’re ready to sack out.”
Common wisdom tells us nightmares have a psychological cause, but Dyken says biological needs can also be at the root of nightmares.
“We also know that here are certain sleep disorders, like destructive sleep apnea, that are worse during REM or dreaming sleep. And some people will scream and yell because they get low oxygen during the dream, they’ll construct a horrific nightmare so that they wake up. The body protects itself. And they’ll complain of nightmares and you miss the primary problem."
On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer discusses night nightmares, sleepwalking and the latest research in sleep science with Dyken.