Sleep Deprivation Epidemic (01:45)
Over 40% of the Irish population sleeps less than six hours a night, increasing chances of weight gain, depression and heart attacks. In this documentary, Dr. Pixie McKenna will explore sleep disorder causes and solutions.
Forty Hour Awake Study (03:44)
Dublin College University looks at the effects of sleep deprivation on four healthy volunteers. They will measure stress, immune response, brain function, blood pressure, and heart rate. Fiona and Will suffer long-term sleep deprivation from their twin babies.
Sleep and Brain Function (03:40)
One sleepless night affects memory, attention, and perception. Volunteers undergo cognitive testing while staying awake for forty hours. They include Jenni, a translator and Rua, a magician. Learn about physiological processes that only occur during sleep.
Sleep Apnea (02:42)
Patricia stops breathing while sleeping, depriving her brain of oxygen. She has trouble staying awake during the day. Approximately 10% of adults suffer the condition; she undergoes a diagnostic sleep test.
Long-term Sleep Deprivation Risks (03:32)
Stress activation is associated with heart disease, diabetes, and lowered immunity. Mairead suffers insomnia, which affects one third of Irish people. Learning and memory are linked to sleep. Volunteers undergo a baseline psychomotor vigilance test before staying awake for 40 hours.
Circadian Rhythm (03:21)
As night approaches, the brain's clock builds pressure to sleep. Melatonin is linked to light and dark. Volunteers struggle to stay awake between three and five in the morning. Early morning radio host Shay Burn is often sleep deprived.
Graveyard Shift (02:44)
Over 250,000 people in Ireland work outside business hours. Dublin cab drivers adhere to a regular schedule, take vitamin D supplements, and go to sleep before sunrise. Child sleep consultant Lucy Wolfe advises Fiona on her twins' sleep and meal schedule.
Sleeping Aids (04:22)
Volunteers have 25% decreased cognition and experience irritability after staying awake for 24 hours. Alcohol and sleeping pills are sedatives, do not mimic melatonin, have side effects, and can contribute to insomnia. Cognitive behavioral therapy is more effective.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia has a 75% success rate. Mairead hopes to address her insomnia and dependence on sleeping pills. Her therapist recommends going to bed later and only when sleepy.
Treating Sleep Apnea (04:02)
Patients experience decreased oxygen levels while asleep. Continuous positive airway pressure machines keep their throat open. Following her sleep study, Patricia's daytime sleepiness symptoms suggest narcolepsy.
Identifying Sleep Deprivation (02:09)
Micro sleeps occur when the brain shuts down but the eyes remain open. Volunteers awake for 34 hours struggle to drive in a simulation; reaction times are 22% longer. Learn about behaviors indicating inadequate sleep.
Understanding Sleep States (02:18)
Sleep-wake cycle timing is key to solving many sleep problems. Fiona has adjusted her twins' nap and meal schedule to decrease night waking. Learn about REM and non-REM sleep.
Thomas was known as a "sleepy" child and suffers cataplexy when amused. He receives medication that enables him to function. Scientists believe patients lack a neurotransmitter regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
Addressing Sleep Disorders (04:45)
Fiona has shifted her twins' nap schedule and their sleep has improved. Shay's blood pressure increases after a sleepless night. CBTI is helping Mairead sleep through the night; methods include decreasing blue light and adhering to a consistent waking time.
Sleep Deprivation and Impaired Function (05:06)
Volunteers succeed in staying awake for 40 hours. They experience slower reaction times, impaired reflexes, elevated white blood cell and cortisol levels, and decreased arterial dilation. McKenna recommends waking at a consistent time and ceasing blue light use before bed.
Credits: Awake: The Secrets of Sleep (01:17)
Credits: Awake: The Secrets of Sleep
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