Chat GPT vs Neuroscientist?!
If you're curious about the science behind sleep and how it affects our health and wellbeing, then this video is for you.
Hi there. I'm Dr. Chelsea Roshe. I'm a neuroscientist and sleep expert at Westford. Today I'll be asking chat G P t sleep questions and checking its answers for accuracy. We asked chat G P T. What is the average sleep time for adults in the US Chat G P T responded with, according to the National Sleep Foundation, adults in the US need seven to nine hours of sleep.
Most adults get an average of seven hours of sleep, but some may need more or some may need less. This answer is mostly correct, but not completely. So yes, decades of clinical research have shown that in order to maintain health, adults do in fact need at least seven to nine hours of sleep. Anything over or under can cause health issues.
The only problem I see with this answer is it's saying that seven is the average. Really is too low. The amount of sleep that you specifically need is gonna be highly dependent on your personal genetics. Some people need seven hours, which is short, and some people need nine hours. Most people are gonna fall in between.
This is because it takes a certain amount of time to cycle through all of our sleep stages and accomplish all of those biological functions, those restorative functions that occur during sleep. For the general population, seven hours is probably not gonna. Now there are a subset of individuals who can get away with seven hours, but most are gonna fall more towards that eight hour mark, which is worse, only getting six hours of sleep per night or shift work.
It answered. Sleeping six hours a night or shift work can both have negative impacts on. Chronic lack of sleep from sleeping six hours a night can lead to physical and mental health problems while shift work disrupts the natural circadian rhythm, causing sleep deprivation and increased risk for health issues.
This is correct. Each is problematic for kind of its own reason. So adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per. To maintain health, the amount of sleep that you need is highly dependent on your genetics, so you may only need seven. Most adults are gonna need closer to eight, and some adults are gonna be longer sleepers and need closer to nine to maintain health.
We know from decades of clinical research that getting six hours of sleep or less is highly correlated with developing long-term chronic health conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and uh, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and. So chronically undercutting your sleep is very detrimental to your health shift work's a little bit different.
Um, so shift work means that you're working unnatural hours. So, uh, people who work shifts might work in overnight shift, or if they work in something like healthcare or if they work for an airline, their working hours might change Frequent. Now this is a problem because we have a little spot in our brain, uh, called our circadian rhythm, and that's our 24 hour biological Glock that tells us exactly when we should be awake and exactly when we should be sleeping.
The large majority of the population has a circadian rhythm that tells them. You need to be awake during daytime hours, and you need to be asleep during nighttime hours. So when we switch that around, uh, from working shifts, it really confuses our circadian rhythm and it throws it off, and it can make it difficult to get good quality sleep at night.
Which sleep stage is the most important for the brain? The answer it gave was the most important stage of sleep for the brain is rapid eye movement. R e m. This is when the brain is highly active. Dreams occur, and memory consolidation happens leading to better learning and memory problem skills. So, Straight away.
I have a few issues with this answer. Humans have four distinct sleep stages. We have three non-REM stages, so that's light sleep, uh, kind of a medium sleep, and then a deep slow weight sleep, and then we have REM stage on its own. The problem with this answer is, Every single one of those stages is absolutely essential for maintaining health.
If we miss out on enough time in one of those stages, then we're gonna feel it the next day. With that said, REM is very important for maintaining health because chat g p T is correct. It is essential. For taking short-term memories in the brain and moving them into long-term memory storage. This is very important for things like memorization and learning, so when you don't get enough REM sleep, you might find that it's harder for you to.
To learn and take tests and just go about your daily life. We also know that REM sleep is very important for emotional processing, so it helps to maintain the areas of the brain that are responsible for our emotions, and this is important for our mental health. However, arguably the more important stage is going to be stage three deep or slow wave sleep.
This is the stage where the majority of. Restorative functions happen that keep the body alive and healthy. So without stage three deep sleep, your body and brain are gonna. Deteriorate fairly rapidly. Just to give you some examples of what stage three deep sleep actually does for the body. Um, so one of the main things it does is it restores, uh, cells and tissues in dna so it fixes any damage.
Um, another thing it does is it releases hormones. So there's certain hormones that get released primarily at night. It helps strengthen our immune system. It keeps our brain happy and healthy. So while REM sleep is very important, we need every sleep stage. And I would argue that deep sleep stage three is just as important as REM sleep.
What is the best treatment for insomnia? It answered The best treatment for insomnia varies from person to person, but some common and effective options include cognitive behavioral therapy, good sleep habits, and medications such as melatonin are prescription. It's important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best plan for you.
Yes. Generally speaking, chat g p t is correct, but it it, this was a very broad answer that wasn't. Super specific, so I'm gonna expand on this a little bit. So the way we treat individuals with insomnia is highly dependent on what is causing their insomnia in the first place. First, we have to pinpoint why is this person having insomnia, how severe it is, what type of insomnia is, and how long they've had it.
Things that commonly cause insomnia. Very, quite significantly, um, from stress, mental health, neurological conditions, um, various diseases, infections, chronic pain, your age, your lifestyle, your sleep habits. So we first have to pin those things down and then we can go from there. Uh, yes. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is accident.
Assuming that we cannot find a medical reason for your insomnia. Other sleep disorders like sleep apnea, can often mimic insomnia. So it's really important that we rule out that there's another underlying cause. To your insomnia in the first place. What are the symptoms of sleep apnea? A sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that affects the way you breathe at night.
So people with sleep apnea have long pauses in their breathing while they're sleeping, which can affect their oxygen levels. And over time, this can cause issues with intense daytime sleepiness and functioning, and it can also lead to a variety of health issues down. What was the answer? Chat G P T gave.
It said sleep apnea and symptoms include loud snoring, choking and gasping during sleep, fatigue and sleepiness during the day. Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Morning headache, irritability, and memory and concentration problems. Consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
This is all correct. Um, the only thing I will say is that you don't necessarily have to snore to have sleep apnea. I'm also gonna add some lesser known signs and symptoms. Sleep apnea here because there's a lot of things that people don't realize are often directly correlated to sleep apnea. So this would be hypertension, which is high blood pressure.
So sleep apnea puts a lot of strain on the cardiovascular system, and over time that can lead to your, uh, blood pressure being elevated. Uh, the development. Chronic health issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer can all be associated with sleep apnea. Unexpected weight gain especially is associated with sleep apnea because sleep apnea affects.
Uh, your metabolism and it also affects your ability to lose and maintain weight of immune function. You might find that you're more prone to infections, like colds or the flu, increased nighttime urination. So sleep apnea affects the way that the kidneys function and filter urine. Our kidneys are supposed to slow urine filtration down while we're asleep, but people with sleep apnea, that doesn't happen.
So they find themselves getting. Frequently to use the bathroom. Sleep apnea can cause sexual dysfunction, so a low libido or erectile dysfunction in men. It can affect fertility issues for both men and women. Not a lot of people know this, but children can also have sleep apnea. Lots of hidden signs and symptoms.
So if you have any of these, Speak to your doctor. We asked chat, G p T. Whether naps are good or bad for you. It responded with naps can be beneficial when taken at the right time and for the right duration. Napping can help refresh and re-energize the mind, improve mood, and boost productivity. However, oversleeping or taking naps too close to bedtime can disrupt nighttime sleep and impact overall sleep quality.
This is absolutely correct. Naps can be very beneficial, especially if didn't sleep very well the night before. Maybe you've been sleep deprived for a few days, maybe you're not feeling well. However, I'm gonna expand on this a little bit and talk to you. How to nap, which is something that Chat, G p t failed to mention.
I recommend going about it in two different ways. So first, if you're feeling drowsy, um, you're feeling a little bit sleep deprived, but you don't have a lot of time, take a 20 to 30 minute cat nap. This will allow your brain to at least enter stage one light sleep, which. Helps to make you feel more refreshed and alert even though you didn't cycle through all four sleep stages.
Now, if you're especially sleep deprived and you're really struggling, you should focus on taking a 90 minute nap. 90 minutes is the approximate time it takes for most people to. Uh, cycle through stage one through four. The goal is to make sure you don't wake up during deep sleep, because that can make you feel pretty awful when you wake up throughout the day.
Our brain keeps tab on how much sleep we need versus how much sleep we've had, and what we want to avoid with naps is to, you know, cut into our sleep debt so much that it's hard to fall asleep at night when we're actually ready to go to bed. Chat. G p t said lack of. Disrupts brain function and impairs memory, cognitive processing, mood regulation, and overall alertness.
Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of developing conditions such as depression, anxiety, and Alzheimer's. Correct. All of this is correct. Sleep plays a huge role in maintaining the health of the brain. So sleep is essential for maintaining the health of our communicating cells in the brain.
Those are called neurons. So we need sleep to not only make sure those cells. Stay healthy, but make sure that they're functioning properly. So not getting enough sleep, uh, places you at risk for things like neurodegenerative disorders, like Alzheimer's disease, dementia, Parkinson's disease, um, mental health disorders, poor memory, poor learning, poor attention, um, poor mood, you name it.
Which age group is the most sleep deprived in the United States? This is the answer we receiv. According to studies young adults age 18 to 25 are the most sleep deprived group in the us. With many factors such as technology use, work demands, and social activities affecting their sleep, they often fall short of the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
This is mostly true. Uh, young adults do tend to get less sleep on average than older adults, even though young adults and older adults need the same amount of sleep. However, I would argue that the most sleep deprived group in the United States is actually gonna be teenagers, and teenagers actually need more sleep on average than adults.
So not only are they packing their day full of activities, but they somehow need to fit in enough sleep. Which could be nine hours or more of sleep per night. A lot of people don't know this about teenagers, but most teenagers have a delayed circadian rhythm, our biological clock. For most adults, it's gonna kick in from anywhere from like 10:00 PM to midnight.
Whereas teenagers, that's going to be delayed so they won't actually feel sleepy until much later. So one or two o'clock in the morning. Sometimes all of those things combined means that the majority of teens are simply not getting enough. Sleep at night. One percentage of the population snores. It answered.
Approximately 50% of people snore at some point in their lives, but snoring frequency varies from occasional to daily. Chronic snoring can indicate a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, which affects an estimated 24% of men and 9%. So this is mostly correct, so somebody who doesn't necessarily snore every night is going to be somewhere in the percentage of 45 to 50% of individuals, whereas chronic snoring, so these are people who snore every single night and their snoring might be quite intense or labored is going to be around 25% of, in.
Snoring, especially those chronic snoring sufferers is often um, correlated to sleep disorders like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that occurs when we stop breathing periodically throughout the night. It's very unhealthy for us and it's very disruptive to our sleep. However, snoring alone without sleep apnea is also extremely disruptive.
So if you are a snorer, you should talk to your doctor. Why do people need to sleep? It answered. Sleep is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. It helps our bodies restore and repair. Improves memory and cognitive function, regulates mood and hormone levels, and provides energy for the next day.
A lack of sleep can lead to various health problems. This is a very simple but true answer. It doesn't go into the hard specifics of why we need to sleep, so I'm gonna do that instead. There are many, many things that happened during. That either don't happen while we're awake or don't happen very efficiently while we're awake.
It's like a body tuneup every single night when you're sleeping. Another thing sleep does is that we release certain hormones. Uh, the main one that comes to mind is called human growth hormone. Uh, immune system strengthening is also another function that. Accomplished during sleep. Uh, conversely, when we're sick, when we have an infection, the activity of the immune system ramps up.
So sleep helps us fight off those infections better. Sleep is also very important for maintaining the brain. A lot of functions that occur during sleep are specifically targeting, uh, maintaining the brain and making sure that it functions. Interestingly, one of the, uh, functions we found, About not too long ago is that our brain uses energy.
It releases a lot of toxic waste, and those can build up in the brain and cause health issues. So when we sleep, all that waste gets flushed out of our brain like a sewer system. So it can't damage our very sensitive brain cells, our neurons. Sleep maintains and repairs the neurons of our brain. Those are the cells that communicate in our brain and are responsible for things like your cognition, your consciousness, and communicating from the brain to body.
The brain and neurons are kind of like a computer during the day. If our computer's been on all day long and we've got a bunch of programs open, the memory of our computer's gonna get chewed up, and by the end of the day, our computer's not gonna work very. So what's the best thing to do? Well, you reboot your computer to start fresh, and that's exactly what sleep is doing in our brain.
It's essentially repairing and rebooting those neurons so that they can function. More efficiently when you wake up in the morning. Sleep is also very important for consolidating short-term information in our brain to long-term information in our brain. Sleep is important. If you don't sleep, none of those functions happen and you will have health issues in the long run.
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