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Sleep Science Webinar

Thank you for the interest in learning about the science of sleep.  We all can improve our sleep quality and duration.  But sleep is especially important for public safety personnel whose occupation requires them to make quick and accurate assessments and take action.

Below is the video of the webinar.  Thank you for the questions that stimulated discussion.  We weren't able to address every question but do hope that this webinar has started you on the path to improved sleep and better overall health. 

Some of the topics covered include:

  • Naps: good or bad, how long and when?
  • Melatonin and CBD
  • Snoring
  • How to improve sleep when flipping between night and day shifts
  • Food (which food to eat while on night shift?) and fasting (how does it impact sleep?)


Dr. Glenn Landry, PhD


“Thanks so much for taking the time to watch our Sleep Science Webinar. Sleep quality impacts every aspect of human health and performance. If you want to be elite at anything, you must first become an Elite Sleeper! Yet, in today’s 24/7 society, sleep is the first thing we sacrifice to meet the growing demands of work, family, and friends.

We aim to create a society of Elite Sleepers by: (1) changing the way we prioritize sleep; (2) delivering evidence based sleep science in a language everyone can understand and apply; and (3) providing the training and tools necessary to improve sleep health –without drugs.

Dr. Glenn Landry, PhD


The 3 key learning objectives from Dr. Landry's 15 minute presentation (slides available here):

1) Sleep can help combat COVID-19

  • healthy sleep improves immune response to the virus, decreasing risk of infection
  • healthy sleep improves immune response if you get infected, increasing recovery rate
  • healthy sleep in advance of vaccination improves its efficacy


2) Sleep builds resilience to stressors and trauma

  • healthy sleep promotes mental health and well-being
  • healthy sleep decreases emotional reactivity
  • healthy sleep improves decision making


3) How do I get better sleep?

  • strong circadian regulation promotes better sleep health
  • timing is everything
  • take the “circadian shift” out of shift work!


More information on Glenn's online training program and his coaching services can be found at Elite Sleep or by contacting him via email.


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Dr. Maia Love, MD


"I sincerely hope that you enjoyed the webinar on sleep. I like the quote: "A ruffled mind makes a ruffled pillow" from Charlotte Bronte, and hope this might inspire you to take care of your mind, and your sleep, for greater well being. Below are some key tips from my contribution to this webinar. Please note that the information below is for your wellness only, is provided from my capacity as a wellness consultant, and is not for treatment, and does not replace advice from a medical professional."

Wishing you the best, always - Dr. Maia Love

The 3 key learning objectives from Dr. Love's 15 minute presentation (slide available here):

1) The science of how deep sleep supports your brain to be healthier.

  • When you have a deeper sleep in the first third of the night, you allow time and space for little brain cells called astrocytes to clean the brain. This process has been linked scientifically to prevention of dementia.
  • In the early part of the evening when sleeping, blood flow to the brain decreases substantially, and this allows for the beautiful clear cerebrospinal fluid to pool in two little "lakes" in the centre of the brain. These little "lakes" are called the third and fourth ventricles, and scientific researchers believe that this process may allow for a further cleaning of the brain.
  • We now know that deep sleep also supports your learning and memory consolidation in the evening. You can improve deep sleep through several techniques - one of these is by heating the body through a reasonably hot shower or bath, or a sauna, in the early evening.
  • To expand your understanding of sleep, sign up for one of our wellness workshops on sleep, entitled Sleep for Success, or or take the online self directed mini-course Sleep for Success Mini-Course

2) Learn how the scientific benefits of specific mindfulness practices can increase sleep.

  • Mindfulness done in a specific and structured way can help to activate your relaxing part of your system. One way to "turn on" this relaxation system is by doing diaphragmatic breathing, which causes your vagus nerve to relax your nervous system.
  • Mindfulness has been shown to help reduce something called "cognitive arousal dysregulation". By settling the mind through the use of mindfulness, you can ease into a more restful sleep and have less thoughts running through your head as you try to fall asleep.
  • Mindfulness using a technique called yoga Nidra is being shown to improve sleep, even in people suffering with a disorder like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You might try yoga Nidra from a variety of resources, including the resources available at irest.org.
  • To develop a practice of mindfulness and relaxation techniques that you enjoy, sign up for one of our wellness workshops for mindfulness, entitled Master Stress

3) Review how changing sleep habits can improve your memory, mood, and concentration and reduce anxiety.

  • The brain likes consistency and regularity. By choosing to have a specific set of things that you do, in a specific order before you go to sleep, you can teach the brain to fall asleep with more ease when you are in bed, and in this way improve sleep for better concentration the next day.
  • Following a circadian rhythm causes pacing of neurochemicals and neurohormones in the body, which leads to a more stable mood. By keeping a specific circadian rhythm, ideally by falling asleep before 11 pm at night, you can be more resilient to stress, and this may help to reduce anxiety.
  • Alcohol significantly disrupts deep sleep. By avoiding alcohol, you can support a deeper sleep and thus better mood and less anxiety the next day.

Sleep Resources

Yoga Nidra


Feedback

We are always keen for feedback on your experience and to hear suggestions for future webinar topics, especially for public safety personnel.  Thank you in advance for participating in our survey.

To all of you whose occupation is keeping us safe and healthy, thank you for the dedication and service.