The Science Of Sleep

The Science Of Sleep

The Science of Sleep in Santa Clara CA

As some of you may know, my team and I recently went to a chiropractic seminar together.  If you don’t know, it’s a 3-day long convention of all things natural health and science related (Ironically, it was held in Las Vegas, where they are more known for excess and debauchery).  Picture conference rooms full of lecturers and attendees eager to soak up knowledge like sponges, with 30 min breaks every hour to see what new products are available to the natural healing arts… and smokers and drinkers right outside the convention halls not knowing what they are missing!

Needless to say, team Element Chiropractic Wellness learned a lot!   One of the biggest shockers to me where I learned a lot was on the subject of sleep.  One of the reasons this caught my eye on the schedule of classes was because I get questions regarding sleep all the time in practice.

Here are the facts that shocked me about sleep that I learned at the Parker Chiropractic Seminar.

Importance of Sleep in Santa Clara CA

  1. Most sleep deprivation studies are based on 6 hours. This means that according to science, 6 hours is already considered sleep deprived!!
    1. Single all-nighter can reduce reaction time by 300%
    2. Two weeks of 6 hours of sleep reduces reaction time to the same as consuming 4 beers
    3. Alters hormones that control appetite- leading to weight gain
    4. Increase inflammation and compromise immunity
  2. Sleeping more one night won’t negate a night of sleep deprivation. Consistency is the key with sleep!
  3. The circadian rhythm is extremely sensitive. Even laying in bed for prolonged hours without falling asleep can affect your body’s circadian rhythm (it’s natural sleep cycle).  It is also very sensitive to all light, especially blue light from electronics, but not exclusively!
  4. There is a muscle memory that is affiliated with sleep! Sleep studies with athletes show that increased sleep improves performance in the following ways:
    1. Reduced injury rate- study showed that sleep hours was the strongest predictor of injuries even more than hours of practice
    2. Increase accuracy and faster sprint – 9% improvement freethrows, 9.2% improvement in 3 point shots for Stanford University basketball, similar results with tennis, swimmers, baseball pitchers
    3. 5% improvement in handicap for skilled golfers
  5. 28 of commonly prescribed sleep medications increase sleep by less than 15 minutes
  6. Older adults with insomnia drink 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day for 2 weeks found 84 more minutes of sleep time each night compared to placebo drink.
  7. Waking up in the middle of sleep is actually normal. With a normal sleep cycle waking up 2-3 times in the middle of the night is normal.  The DURATION of time awake throughout night is a different story.

Simple habits that you can start to sleep better

  1. Limit time in bed (not sleep time)
  2. Keep SAME bedtime and wake time 7 days a week
  3. Eliminate all light
  4. Bedroom temperature 65-68 degrees F
  5. Eliminate noise, or use white noise

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, and there are so many more aspects to sleep than just those things.  For example, even though it was only one study with a limited group in a specific age group, the tart cherry juice is a promising aid as well to help gain sleep.  Also, if you have severe insomnia, it’s important to seek professional sleep specialists.

However, I think this is a great start!  Most people who ask me about sleep improvements often focus on things like mattresses, pillows, and other sleep ergonomics.  That can absolutely be a factor as well, but maybe it’s not just the things we own, but the habits we need to change to give us that extra rest and ease.

For more information call our team at Element Chiropractic Wellness in Santa Clara today!


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Element Chiropractic Wellness
68 Harold Avenue #101
Santa Clara, CA 95050
(408) 246-1738