In this podcast, Ruth Marion, Editor of The Sleep Forum and Allan O’Bryan, Executive Director of The Sleep Society speak with guest speaker, Dr. Mark Aloia,
O’Bryan explains to our listeners that “world sleep society is a non-profit, membership based organization representing sleep researchers and clinicians around the world focusing on awareness and education. Our leadership is volunteers looking to promote sleep worldwide. We use World Sleep Day as opportunity for our membership reach out to the public and highlight the importance of sleep.”
O'Bryan reminds our listeners that "World Sleep Day is designed to raise awareness of sleep as a human privilege that is often compromised by the habits of modern life."
When asked how we can change our behavior so we can optimize our sleep time, Aloia responds "it comes down to importance and confidence. Importance only does not always do it." He compares sleep to diet and exercise. Although we know it is good for us, that is not always enough to make us do it.
One of the challenges that Aloia talks about is how new the field of sleep is and how different it is from other human behaviors. For example with exercise and diet, we know the changes we need to make and we know that the results will be delayed. When it comes to sleep, we expect immediate results and we make assumptions. If we did something the night before and slept well, we assume it will work again.
In the Philips survey results, which can be found at www.philips.com/worldsleepday, it talks about identifying factors that contribute to sleep problems. Of the 13,000 people surveyed, stress was a big contributor. Other factors leading to sleep problems was work hours and constant connectivity. Some people make their sleep even worse by trying to deal with the stress by using alcohol or electronics.
Aloia talks about the products and services provided by Philips and how the new approach to sleep is consumer based. Aloia reminds listeners that Philips sold the first CPAP over 40 years ago and continues to create products to assist with solving sleep problems. "At Philips we have created an ecosystem that can deal with 80% of the problems people have with sleep but they cannot expect it to be immediate," Aloia says.
First, we need to help people identify what their problem is. Many people monitor their sleep but don't fully understand what their problems are. Philips supports many clinically validated sleep solutions that they offer to the general consumer.
At the National Jewish Foundation, Aloia conducts clinical research relative to sleep apnea and cpap use. Health psychology education does not work alone. You need to determine motivators and remind people of those motivators throughout the process. Aloia says, "If you are in the business of healthcare you are in the business of behavior change. We can develop the best treatments in the world but if they are not used they are not effective."
Aloia talks about the five pillars that help create behavior change as "personal and meaningful, sense of urgency, need to build confidence with reachable goals, build a social support system and support someone's ability to make their own choice and take ownership."
Three suggestions that Aloia has for better sleep hygiene for adults include: 1. Encourage people not to make decisions on how you slept based on one night.
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