Alternative To Sleeping Aids & Why Your Phone’s Night Time Mode Doesn’t Work

There was so much fascinating research reported this week that I almost had too many studies to tell you about! After a lot of work, I narrowed it down to three that I think you will learn something really useful from, right now.

Acupuncture Out Performs Sleeping Pills

The first was a study looking at the effects of acupuncture on your sleep.

Researchers looked at acupuncture and compared it to Lunesta (a prescription sleeping pill, generic name is Zopiclone) and showed that acupuncture outperformed Lunesta with a 92.9% effective rate, while Lunesta came in at only 67.9%!

A separate study conducted by Yuexiu District Second Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers finds acupuncture more effective than a benzodiazepine, estazolam (Brand name ProSom). The drug is a hypnotic agent taken for sleep disorders. Acupuncture achieved a total effective rate of 92.5% and estazolam only achieved a 67.5% total effective rate.

Learn more about this study and which acupuncture points were used here.

Combine acupuncture and my Better Sleep Course for a one, two combination that will put you to sleep and keep you sleeping well through the night.

The iPad’s Night Shift Mode Fails To Stop Melatonin Suppression – Big Fail For Sleepers

The iPhone is back in the Sleep Research News! As many of you may remember, I wrote a blog a while back about blue light from phones and how it affects sleep. Apple came out with a software solution called Night Shift, which was an update for the iPhone IOS. Guess what? It was a total FAIL!

Sleep Review reports that a study from the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute investigated the effectiveness of Night Shift for lessening the impacts of nighttime iPad use on melatonin suppression. The study is published by the peer-reviewed journal Lighting Research & Technology.

In the study, Mariana Figueiro, PhD, and a team of LRC researchers recruited 12 young adults to view iPads between 11 pm and 1 am on four separate nights under four experimental conditions. Results showed that all three lighting interventions significantly suppressed melatonin over the two hours of each study night. More importantly, there was no significant difference between the effectiveness of the two Night Shift settings. The study’s main takeaway is that changing screen color alone is insufficient for limiting the impact of portable electronic devices on melatonin levels in the evening, and that screen brightness should also be reduced.

And, you should always wear blue light blocking glasses if you are going to use any light emitting device in bed at night.

Here’s What To Do To Not Be A Drowsy Drive (And Why)

Finally, new data looking at the real statistics behind drowsy driving and they are pretty scary! New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found the percentage of crashes involving drowsiness to be nearly 8 times higher than federal estimates indicate.

In the study, researchers examined video of drivers’ faces in the 3 minutes leading up to a crash. Using a scientific measure linking the percentage of time a person’s eyes are closed to their level of drowsiness, the researchers determined that 9.5% of all crashes and 10.8% of crashes resulting in significant property damage involved drowsiness. Federal estimates indicate drowsiness is a factor in only 1% to 2% of crashes.

AAA recommends that drivers:

  • Travel at times of the day when they are normally awake
  • Avoid heavy foods
  • Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment

For longer trips, drivers should:

  • Schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles
  • Travel with an alert passenger and take turns driving
  • Do not underestimate the power of a quick nap. Pulling into a rest stop and taking a quick catnap—at least 20 minutes and no more than 30 minutes of sleep—can help to keep you alert on the road.

“To help drivers determine if their medications may cause drowsiness, AAA and the AAA Foundation developed Roadwise Rx, a free and confidential online tool that generates personalized feedback about how the interactions between prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal supplements can affect safety behind the wheel.” I have been playing with it and it looks very cool.

My most popular FB post:  Understanding L-theanine – Sleep better at night, feel relaxed, and alert during the day.

My most popular Twitter post: Weight Loss and Sleep: Is There a Connection? 

Alright, that’s it for this week, I’ll be back next week with more interesting sleep news!

Sweet Dreams!

Michael Breus, Ph.D

The Sleep Doctor

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Michael Breus, Ph.D - The Sleep Doctor is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and one of only 168 psychologists to pass the Sleep Medical Specialty Board without going to medical school. Dr. Breus is a sought after lecturer and his knowledge is shared daily in major national media worldwide including Today, Dr. Oz, Oprah, and for fourteen years as the sleep expert on WebMD. Dr. Breus is the bestselling author of The Power of When, The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan and Good Night!

10 thoughts on “Alternative To Sleeping Aids & Why Your Phone’s Night Time Mode Doesn’t Work

  1. Re acupuncture for sleep:
    Could the points possibly be made available in a visual diagram for those of us who don’t know what they are by their official names? I’d like to try them in acupressure on myself.

    From the related article link, these are the points:
    Baihui GV20 (Hundred Meetings)
    Xinshu BL15 (Heart Shu)
    Neiguan PC6 (Inner Pass)
    Shenmen HT7 (Spirit Gate)
    Zusanli ST36 (Leg Three Miles)

    Re night shift mode:
    Do you have any comments on the effectiveness of Windows 10 night light setting and how far on the scale it needs to be adjusted?

    Thank you.

    1. Rosie, you can take a look at the article that I referenced, there is some information there or speak with a licensed acupuncturist and tell them about the study. The study on night modes was only done on the iPhone so I can’t answer conclusively about Windows 10 at this point. Stay tuned, I’m sure there is more testing coming out soon!

  2. I went to order this, and got through it only to default to Website not found”..can you check to see if it went through for Sarah Bilder. Also, as I read through this, it appears that you have to do accupunture in conjunction with this? I have never had acupuncture work for anything, so I am a bit leary

    1. Hey Sarah, your order was processed, if you didn’t get an email with instructions for how to get your sleep course, just go to the website and you can send me an email there and I’ll be sure someone gets it to you again right away. Be sure to check your spam folder, sometimes they go there.

  3. Hi
    Acupuncture. Numbers sound great, but I can’t be running to acupuncturist daily, even weekly is hard (and expensive). What do you suggest?
    I currently take ambien, clonozapan , Horizant and some herbals-5htp etc. I mix it up during the week, so not to get addicted to one.
    I have RLS and PLM.

  4. According to the first reading of sleep types that I saw on your site, I am a Bear. I seem to be out of sync with the rest of the world as I peak in the afternoon. I need to figure out how to blend my schedule to function better and get to sleep, stay asleep and not end up being awake for two or three hours in the middle of the night. I’d like more information on Bears. I don’t know how to do Facebook. I take three – up to four Ropinirole (Requip) 0.25mg. tabs for Restless Legs and Melatonin 10 mg. at 9:30 PM. Then at bedtime about 10:30 PM, I take two Trazodone 50mg hcl tabs. I usually can get to sleep fairly soon unless I have issues bothering me. I do believe in keeping hydrated, thus I have to get up two to four times a night. I try to drink fluids earlier in the day rather than in the evening, but taking pills does mean drinking a glass of water with them. I am on a diuretic. I don’t know what to do when I can’t get back to sleep after getting up at four or five in the early morning. Does your book cover that aspect?

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