Catalyst: July 21

Answer: No!

Question: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Next week ABC1’s Catalyst has a special edition examining the effects of sleep deprivation.

Is it safe and indeed beneficial to co-sleep with babies? Why teenagers stay up late; breaking the vicious cycle of pain and lack of sleep. Are we getting enough sleep and what are the consequences if we’re not?

Sleeping with baby
By sleeping next to its mother, the infant receives protection, warmth, emotional reassurance, and breast milk – in just the forms and quantities that nature intended.

In Western societies the practice of mothers, fathers and infants sleeping together came to be thought of as strange, unhealthy and dangerous. Western parents are taught that “co-sleeping” will make the infant too dependent on them, or risk accidental suffocation.

However Baby sleep Expert Dr James Mckenna says that the common practice of mothers and infants sleeping apart from one another in western societies, is a ‘‘mismatch’’ between cultural norms and infant biology. Maryanne Demasi explores current attitudes to sleeping with baby and the uncomfortable subject of ‘controlled comforting’ a crying baby.

Teen Sleep
It has been found by a number of research projects around the world that teenagers experience a delay in their sleep phase timing in comparison to adults and younger children. If you struggle to get your teen out of bed in the mornings and off the computer at night, it’s not necessarily your fault or theirs for that matter. They naturally want to go to sleep, and wake up, later.

What we do know however, is that teenagers generally don’t get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep can lead to obesity, vulnerability on the roads, bad memory & poor grades, as well as mood disorders and potentially more severe mental health issues. Graham Phillips reports on the biological changes that make teenagers night owls.

Age and Sleep
It’s generally assumed that poor sleep comes naturally with old age but is this actually the case? Many older Australians sleep well even though, as a consequence of aging, their sleep time becomes shorter, lighter & more often disrupted by brief awakenings.

However, many older people don’t get such a good’s night sleep due to conditions that cause chronic pain. One of the positive treatments for sleep disrupted by pain is cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT. Tanya Ha reports on fragmented sleep intensifying pain

It airs at 8pm Thursday July 21st on ABC1. Set your alarm.


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