Clock Your Sleep: Adults

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In the city that supposedly never sleeps, it’s not nightlife that’s preventing people from getting their Z’s: It’s more work. (Martin Novak/Shutterstock)

For all of you in your 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's, you won't be surprised to learn that work emails are keeping many up past their bedtimes. Dr. Carl Bazil, professor of neurology and director of the Division of Epilepsy and Sleep at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, explains that even though work emails aren't usually emergencies, your brain thinks they are so you remain wide awake. Russell Sanna, executive director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has some ideas about how your company could implement better sleep health policies to help. Can you imagine email-free weekends? Hear the discussion about the pressures of being a grown-up and how your sleep is affected.



Dr. Carl Bazil and Russell Sanna

Comments [20]


I tried valerian which had too much of an effect on me; taking 1/2 capsule made me too groggy. I had a good experience with Calms Forte for a little while; I think I developed a tolerance and stopped. Same with chamomile tea (and I avoid drinking any liquid near bedtime as I'll just need to get up to go to the bathroom). 1/2 or even 1/4 benadryl helps me feel a bit drowsy at bedtime.

May. 10 2014 12:54 PM
Lise from NYC

I acknowledge that I have not read all the comments nor listened to each sleep-related program but I have yet to hear anyone mention or suggest herbal remedies or homeopathics like Calmes Forte instead of the use of traditional medicines.

Apr. 24 2014 01:06 AM
Rich K from Union City

Thanks Brian - I had 20 minutes to grab a quick z, and THIS segment comes on. Nap time blown.

Apr. 23 2014 11:32 AM
John A

Need sleep? Turn off that freaking Freakononics ad.
"Honk-Honk-Honk!!! Yeoooo!"

Apr. 23 2014 11:30 AM
The Truth from Becky

@BARB - I certainly hope your kid graduated with honors...

Apr. 23 2014 11:27 AM
The Truth from Becky

Not true for me, I slept much lighter as a younger person, I sleep so deeply now 10 plus years later, that it is scary!

Apr. 23 2014 11:25 AM
Adrienne from New York

A well-timed 20-minute nap can be a lifesaver. What do the experts say about the virtues --or pitfalls -- of napping (timing, length, etc.)?

Apr. 23 2014 11:24 AM


Korporate™ bottom line driving the worker to an early, dysfunctional grave.

Dog Bless the great United States of Amerika®!

Apr. 23 2014 11:22 AM
sean from Brooklyn

I highly suggest the reading 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by Jonathan Crary. It's an essay that takes into account the social and individual issues that sleep takes in our contemporary moment of continuous labour on a global level.

Apr. 23 2014 11:22 AM

PLEASE -- what is that ap that filters noises??????????

Apr. 23 2014 11:20 AM
rachel from NYC

Thanks to ambien, I now get a full 7 hours a night.

I don't have insomnia, it was the muscle jerking that would wake me up several times through the night.

Apr. 23 2014 11:19 AM
B from Manhattan

I stopped drinking caffeine and noticed a huge difference in my ability to fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and sleep...more deeply (?) -- I'm dreaming more! I encourage people to give it a try!

Apr. 23 2014 11:18 AM
Elaine from Baltimore

I'm totally anxious now. I've been running for decades (!) on 5-6 hours sleep, sometimes less! Can we re-gain our health back if we change?

Apr. 23 2014 11:16 AM
Maggie from Brooklyn

I'm so stressed out about finding a job that I actually sleep MORE as an escape, which doesn't feel good either. Though it's probably better than being sleep deprived.

Apr. 23 2014 11:14 AM
Francis from Pa

In order to get more sleep and to improve your life in many ways, TURN OFF YOUR TVs.

Apr. 23 2014 11:14 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

This is a good segment to have followed the shrinking of the middle class. The fact that companies rarely hire administrative assistants to handle the mounds of correspondence a lot of office workers & others now handle themselves is part of the problem. Ideally, no one should be reading and writing emails after business hours, and another job could be created if companies weren't so greedy with profits. Two people would then get good sleep, and someone else would have a job!

Apr. 23 2014 11:14 AM
JR from NYC

I love the idea of setting the alarm to go to sleep instead of waking up. I'm one who needs that.

Apr. 23 2014 11:14 AM
Barb from NYC

As a Jr. partner at a Manhattan law firm, I was told that billing 10 hours per day (which requires working 12 hours or so) was insufficient, so I started billing 12 hours per day (required working 14 or so hours per day). On top of that, in 8 years I pulled more all-nighters than I can count, because of deadlines.

All this while raising a child alone and trying to have a loving relationship, running a household, and maybe a little social life.

I had to take Ambien every night to get to sleep at a certain time because I only had 5.5 or 6 hours and I HAD TO sleep during the hours I had. I was so stressed out it would take hours to wind down enough to sleep if I didn't take the drug.

I knew it wasn't healthy, but I kept the job so I could save enough to put my kid through college.

All this ruined my health and now I'm disabled and unable to work. A cautionary tale, from before the age of smart phones.

Apr. 23 2014 11:08 AM

I know when I'm sleeping enough (for me, it's about 8.5 hours) when I consistently wake up just a few minutes before my alarm (at 6:30am). I learned early on that in order to maximize my sleep time, when I'm awake, I'm up and start my day. No lying in bed, no lazing about, no hitting snooze. Therefore I set my alarm to get as much sleep as I possibly can.

Apr. 23 2014 11:06 AM
oscar from ny

..for those who have trouble sleeping researches say that one week of camping without electronics, resets your biological body clock

Apr. 23 2014 08:47 AM

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