T.V. Before Bed Anyone?

Posted January 23, 2013 by 1st Class Sleep
Categories: Health

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TV at Night

How many of us end up falling asleep with the TV on? Technology has advanced faster and further in recent years, which brings us to one conclusion……technology is everywhere. Which leads to the question how does technology affect our health? This is a question we rarely ask ourselves. The smallest amount of ambient lighting can affect your sleep.  Poor sleep has also been considered a factor when it comes to a poor diet and obesity, and overall energy and mood. A new study done by the neuroscience department at The Ohio State University in Columbus suggests that soaking in the glow of your TV, smart phone or living room lights late into the night may put you at risk for depression and increase brain stimulation.
Apart from ruining your sleep, the research adds to growing evidence in both animals and people, that exposure to even dim lights at night can lead to all sorts of negative health consequences. Which includes breast cancer, sleep disorders and weight gain.

With even a small amount of ambient light at night, the body might release the wrong amount of melatonin, or melatonin might get produced at the wrong time, leading to any number of problems.

Neurologist Phyllis Zee, director of the Sleep Disorders Program at Northwestern University in Chicago explains “They’re all somehow related,” “and perhaps melatonin helps explain why there is this very strong relationship between depression, sleep, and circadian rhythms, as well as obesity and metabolism.”

Light affects so many biological systems,” she added. “Light is a very powerful drug for the brain.”

There are concerns for people falling asleep in front of the computer or TV, which may diminish your overall sleep time. In addition to lowering the actual number of hours spent sleeping, it also apparently diminishes the quality of the sleep. The flickering light from a TV inhibits relaxation.

TV relaxes us or so we think it does but it may be too stimulating for your mind to unwind. Watching TV takes even more brainpower, since it requires some interaction instead of unwinding. In order to relax, try shutting them down or off before you go to bed; it may help you sleep better in the long run.


Remember these points

  • Exposure to dim lights when it should be dark may contribute to depression.
  • Light exposure at the wrong times of day has been linked to all sorts of health problems.
  • To boost your mood, it might help to give yourself some solid hours of true darkness at night. (Dark Shades, curtains)



 To learn more about how television affects your sleep please follow the link:



Winter Blues = No Snooze

Posted December 26, 2012 by 1st Class Sleep
Categories: Health

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sad winter


We can certainly all see that winter is now among us. The cold has come and it’s here to stay for the next few months.  Its cold out and the days are shorter; by the time most of us are ready to leave work the outside world has become night. So it doesn’t seem unusual to have that sleepy feeling. Our circadian rhythm (internal sleep clock) reminds us when it’s time to sleep and wake. This can be affected during these short days. Remember, over sleeping doesn’t mean you won’t feel tired, In fact, when you sleep too much you can end up feeling even more tired.

It’s not abnormal to feel sleepy when the sky darkens. In fact, when we see less sunlight throughout the day our bodies prepare for sleep. In the winter, when the sun rises later, our bodies want to stay in bed longer.

So the question really is, how are some ways these shorter days affect our sleep?

House is too hot: Turning up the heat can certainly make you feel warmer; however it can affect your sleep negatively.  Warm temperatures can keep you up at night. When we sleep our bodies adjust to the room temperature.  Optimal temperatures for sleep range from 68 to 72 degrees.

House is too cold: Just like being too hot, a room being too cold can also disrupt your sleep. It’s important to keep the temperature just right. Not too cold and not too warm.

House is too dry: When you’re room is too dry it can be difficult to receive sleep comfortably.  Once you’re nose and mouth dry out the snoring tends to start. Your breathing affects how you sleep every night. So when it’s too dry you’re sleep pattern can be affected negatively.

Limited light throughout the day: As you all know, when we receive limited sunlight throughout the days our bodies tend to feel more tired. When it gets dark our circadian rhythm tells our bodies it’s time to sleep.  In the grand scheme of things this makes it so much harder to feel alert. By the time the day is half way over our bodies have adjusted and want to rest due to limited sunlight. It’s easier said than done; however waking up earlier to make the most of the sunlight can help you stay awake before it gets dark too early.

Heavy Meals: When it’s cold outside people turn to comfort foods. Our bodies crave heavy meals when it’s cold. It will certainly help keep your body warm but at the same time work against you when you’re trying to sleep.  When your body has to work harder to digest the food, it can keep you awake. Try to avoid heavy meals close to bed time; eating 4 to 5 hours before you bed  can help you fully digest without disrupting your sleep.

Lack of movement/ less exercise:  Sleep and exercise go hand in had. The healthier you are the better you sleep and the better you sleep the healthier you’ll be.  Yes, it’s harder to want to exercise when it’s cold outside.  Whether it’s taking the stairs or taking a walk, movement is the key. The main problem is that we all tend to become lazy during winter, hibernation mode hits us. Unlike certain animals, we can’t afford to sleep all day.  So remember, the key is to keep moving throughout the day. By the time bedtime comes around, our bodies will be ready for sleep.

Too much sleep: Yes, staying in bed on cold wintry days is something we all long for. It sounds great, it feels great, but is it great? Sleep debt is something many are unaware of. It’s not possible to catch up on sleep over the weekends. We think we’re catching up by additional hours of sleep; however all it does is disrupt your sleep patterns for the upcoming week. The best way to avoid sleep debt is to have a set sleeping pattern.  Our circadian rhythm needs time to balance and adjust.


Remember, the cold season affects us all one way or another. Try to set a sleep schedule for yourself, maintaining  the same bedtime every day can help your quality of sleep.




For more info on how winter can affect your sleep follow the link below.




How Sleep Deprivation Affects You

Posted November 16, 2012 by 1st Class Sleep
Categories: Health

Tags: ,

No Sleep = Acne???

Posted October 12, 2012 by 1st Class Sleep
Categories: Health

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Acne, Acne, Acne, and we thought we’d be rid of the worst by the time we’re out of high school. Breaking out is something that happens too many, even as adults. One of the things that do in fact contribute to acne is the lack of sleep. After a period of sleep deprivation it’s common to wake up with oily skin. You may ask why does this happen? It happens because well……sleep does affect acne.

We all sleep; sleep is a necessity for everyone. Not everyone is the same; therefore many of us need different levels of sleep every night. 7 to 8 hours of sleep is an average of what we as adults should be receiving. This can be difficult for those who have additional responsibilities in life, finding those 7 to 8 hours can be difficult.

When one is sleep deprived, it’s a strong possibility for there to be an increase in insulin resistance. This pretty much means that there is a reduction in the use of glucose by your body. Ultimately this can lead health issues as well as acne.

Even with a small amount of sleep loss, an increase in inflammation can be experienced.

Do you remember the times when you may have told someone they looked tired? Or maybe you’re the one who looked tired. It’s pretty clear when someone is sleep deprived, it’s written all over the face. Sleep deprivation weakens the immune system which causes skin related issues and irritation. Rashes, acne, oily skin, etc…

Inflammation cause acne due to sleep deprivation

When you’re sleep deprived, acne is caused through inflammation. Studies show that the loss of sleep can indeed increase the pro-inflammatory cytokines (small cell signaling protein molecules that are secreted by numerous cells and are a category of signaling molecules used extensively in inter-cellular communication). So when the inflammation is increased the body worsens. The inflammation is a valid reason for breaking out.

Insulin Resistance is caused by sleep loss which leads to acne

Inflammation isn’t the only consequence of sleep loss. Insulin resistance is another serious consequence. This stipulation makes it very difficult for glucose to be taken in by the body. Studies have shown that a loss of sleep does result in impaired glucose tolerance. One night of sleep loss can induce insulin resistance and affect the metabolic regulation. So when glucose isn’t used by the cells, it ceases and brings in bacteria which can cause acne.

Sleep deprivation affects hormone flow which causes acne

This is because hormones regulate all of the bodies systems. Loss of sleep affects hormone flow which is what regulates the metabolism of glucose. This opens the door to other diseases as well as acne. Sleep deprivation directly affects the hormones that regulate appetite and induces hunger. So those who suffer from sleep loss can also struggle with eating disorders; which ultimately affects the skins conditions.

Stress and Fatigue causes acne

The loss of sleep affects the growth and stress hormones. Stress hormones affect the skin layers. If you’re stress or experiencing depression, it creates toxins throughout the body. Sleep is necessary for the body to rejuvenate and heal itself.

Having a set sleep pattern will make all the difference for you health. From your energy levels, to your mood, it affects everything from your metabolism to your skin. Sleep is crucial for the body to function at 100%.


Remember these points……

  • Inflammation cause acne due to sleep deprivation
  • Insulin Resistance is caused by sleep loss which leads to acne
  • Sleep deprivation affects hormone flow which causes acne
  • Loss of sleep, causes stress and fatigue which induces acne




If you feel like checking out more on Acne and Sleep follow the link…..


Nightmares or Night Terrors?

Posted October 1, 2012 by 1st Class Sleep
Categories: Health

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Night Terrors….what are they?

I’d like to clarify one main point, nightmares and night terrors are two different things. In fact, they are very different. On a basic level, nightmares are dreams that a person can vividly remember when they awake. Night terrors, also known as sleep terrors or pavor nocturnus, are not “dreams”. Night terrors are a frightening sleep disorder in which a person becomes terrified during sleep, then has no recollection of the event after they fully awake. Night terrors happen during deep non-REM sleep. Unlike nightmares (which occur during REM sleep), a night terror is not technically a dream, but more like a sudden reaction of fear that happens during the transition from one sleep phase to another.

When a night-terror episode occurs, the person will partially wake up screaming, moaning, or gasping for air. Most of the time, the subject cannot be completely awoken, nor comforted. It’s difficult to wake up someone during an episode, and if left alone, most will simply settle back to sleep without waking. The person usually has no recollection of the episode whatsoever.

Symptoms of Night Terrors

You can usually tell if a person is having a night terror by the yelling and screaming. Needless to say, it’s no fun for the significant other having to deal with the disorder. Other symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Fast Breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • A look of fear or panic
  • Large pupils
  • Confusion

Who are most likely to get Night Terrors?

These Night terrors are most common in younger children from the ages 2 through 6 years old, but it can occur at any age. They affect about three percent of children. Episodes usually occur during the first couple hours of sleep, and persist for a couple of weeks. Then, they seem to fade away. The good news is that most children will outgrow night terrors. The number of episodes usually decreases after age 10.

However, this does not mean that everyone will outgrow night terrors. Unfortunately as I had mentioned before, adults can experience this problem, too. Although not as prevalent in adults, many older people complain of night terrors when sleeping on their backs.

What Causes Night Terrors?

One cannot definitively say what causes night terrors. In children, emotional stress, high fever, or lack of sleep seem to cause it. Also, evidence has shown that night terrors can be hereditary.

In adults, stress and lack of sleep seem to be triggers, as well as emotional tension and the use of alcohol.

What should be done During a Night Terror?

As difficult as this may be (practically impossible if you ask me), do not wake up the person having a night terror. Try not to intervene. Let the person scream it out. Unless the person is in danger, do not restrain him or her. If you do try to hold the person, this may make the episode worse.

How Can Night Terrors be treated?

As mentioned before, most children will outgrow night terrors. But in the mean time, night terrors are mostly treated by:

  • Gentleness and comfort
  • Disposal of anything nearby that can potentially be harmful
  • Avoidance of loud movements or voices that might frighten the person further

Although usually unnecessary, in some cases doctors may advise other treatment options, such as counseling or psychotherapy.

Light the Night Charity

Posted September 17, 2012 by 1st Class Sleep
Categories: Events, Health

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Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual fundraising walk to pay tribute and bring hope to people battling cancer. Hundreds of thousands of participants raise funds for lifesaving research and patient services. If you’re able to make even the smallest donation please show your support and follow the link. Type in Karleigh Cunningham in the search bar.
Thank you for your support!!!

Upcoming REMedy 9/29/12

Posted September 14, 2012 by 1st Class Sleep
Categories: Events, Health

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  1st Class  REMEDY is a division of 1st Class Sleep Diagnostics Inc.





 Serotonin-Plus Weight Loss Program

w/ Robert Posner, M.D.


Saturday, September 29th , 2012

10 AM – 12 PM


6128 Brandon Ave. Suite 208

Springfield, VA 22150

REMedy is a program developed by 1st Class Sleep to give patients and sleep enthusiasts a resource for their sleep therapy needs. Each session is a professionally guided discussion where attendees are encouraged to ask questions, trade stories, and share experiences. Included with every session are complimentary:

  • MACHINE CALIBRATION CHECKS (If you have one, please bring your machine!)


Our mission atREMedy is to cultivate a community of those interested in sleep medicine. Whether you’re currently undergoing sleep therapy, know someone that is, or just want to learn more about the topic, we’re here to help. The program is entirely free and is our way of giving back to the sleep health community. 

If you would like to RSVP a seat at our next session, please contact Jon or Karleigh at

 (703) 385-9222 or simply e-mail us at: remedy@sleep1stclass.com

We look forward to seeing you there!

*** SEATING IS LIMITED ***                                                             Sponsored by: