Encompas has launched a monthly Mental Health Awareness and Communication Series. The Series alternates monthly between virtual Open Houses and a Speaker’s Series. The Speaker Series presentations will provide education on topics and solutions for healing and resilience and the Open Houses will focus on sharing Encompas program updates.
Speaker session featuring Anthony Mann, recorded March 24, 2021 at 12PM ET.
Speaker session featuring Françoise Mathieu, recorded April 28, 2021 at 10AM ET.
Speaker session featuring Dr. Rakesh Jetly, Carl Dalton, and Kaleigh Smith, recorded May 26, 2021 at 10AM ET.
Speaker session featuring Brian Knowler, recorded on June 23, 2021 at 10am ET.
Speaker session featuring Carobeth Zorzos, recorded on July 28, 2021 at 10am ET.
Speaker session featuring Julie Christiansen, recorded on Sept 22, 2021 at 10am ET.
Speaker session featuring Dan Bowers, recorded on Oct 27, 2021 at 10am ET.
Speaker session featuring Shaun Ouellette, recorded on Nov 24, 2021 at 10am ET.
Speaker session featuring Alyson Schafer, recorded on Jan 26, 2022 at 10am ET.
Speaker session featuring Emily Zufelt, recorded on Feb 23, 2022 at 10am ET.
Speaker session featuring Mary-Anne Bilodeau and Jacqueline Sbeyti from OPP Beyond the Blue, recorded on Mar 23, 2022 at 10am ET.
Q&A from the Session
Does the sleep count for good sleep if using medical help?
As I explained in our first session, drugs that impact the neurotransmitters systems involved in sleep will alter sleep architecture, which may not be healthy long term. We will discuss this further in our next session.
How does taking Gravol effect every night effect sleep cycles? What about Melatonin or Valerian? And Magnesium?
Stay tuned for our next talk for the impact of drugs/sleep aids on sleep architecture.
Will it help to have a nap between 1pm and 4pm before going to a 12-hour night shift?
Yes, absolutely, naps can be beneficial when properly timed. We will discuss the importance of naps in our final session.
So, after a 30 years of shift work and sleep deprived. Can this damage be reversed for Alzheimer’s issues?
As I mentioned in our first session, it would be irresponsible of me to say you need better sleep health if there wasn’t a way for you to achieve better sleep health. If you are chronically sleep deprived, we can help you improve your sleep health status… and the next two sessions will get you well on your way.
If we have worked shift work for under 10 years, but then change jobs and no longer have to work shift work anymore, is it possible to undo the damage?
It is possible to, with dedicated effort, improve sleep health and become an elite sleeper? Please see my answer to the previous question. The short answer is yes!what is the impact of blue light on sleep patterns (cell phone)? Blue light at night suppresses melatonin levels, which impairs sleep readiness and impairs cancer fightning mechanisms.
I wake up at 2:30 every night and it takes at least half an hour to fall back asleep. Is there a logical explanation for that?
Sleep changes as a normal course of aging, and what you are describing is part of that process. We will cover this topic in great detail in our next session. You will learn that these changes are normal, but they are not healthy, and they need not be inevitable.
So if we are all shift workers and I would suggest that some of us are more than others…..ie.actually working shifts as it is a required work schedule….how do we best protect ourselves?
Yes, indeed, the degree to which we are “shiftworkers” varies from person to person. The first session focused on why sleep matters. Our next session will explore the drivers of poor sleep and our final session will cover the strategies/tools you can employ to improve your sleep health. Stay tuned!
What can you do when you are on shift works?
Sorry to keep saying this, but we will cover this material in our final session.
So as long as we are awake for 16 hours and aim for an 8 hour sleep window, that time can be shifted to account for early risers, such as myself, or people who like to sleep in?
The short answer is yes. If your brain and body are ready for sleep at the time you’ve scheduled sleep, you will be able to get the sleep you need. We cover this aspect of sleep health in great detail in our final session.
My sleep schedule is typically from 8:00pm-4:00am and my Fitbit patterns are very similar to yours. I have read that a warm bath, hot tub, infrared sauna before bed can improve sleep by raising core temperature and inducing sleepiness. Is this true?
Yes, increasing your core body temperature can improve sleep readiness. We will learn more about this topic in our next two sessions.
What about going to bed early, and getting up early? Specifically, I wake at 5am to workout, and try to get to bed by 9. Can this affect sleep quality as well?
Changing your sleep schedule will definitely alter sleep readiness and disrupt sleep architecture.
Can you get too much sleep?
Great question! For adults, sleeping more than 9 hours and still feeling the need for more sleep is an indicator of poor health. We will cover this topic in greater detail next session.
Does reading before sleep help clear the head?
Reading before bed can be part of a healthy bedtime routine, but only if we properly manage exposure to blue light in the couple hours before bed. We cover this topic in our final session.
Speaker session featuring Dr. Glenn J. Landry, Sleep Expert, recorded on May 25, 2022 at 1:00pm ET.
Q&A from the Session
Do nightmares typically occur while in that REM sleep? Thus, is that a by-product of processing trauma?
Yes, to both questions.
Thoughts on white noise apps or machines?
They can be helpful, but this depends on the individual and the sleeping environment.
How many hours before sleep should we stop any eating?
I recommend at least 4-5 hours before bedtime.
What’s a good neutral temperature?
20 degrees, 21 degrees?
This varies for each person, but somewhere between 20-21 degrees is a good starting point.
What causes the initial waking up after someone has slept for some time? Napping does not throw off our circadian rhythms?
Brief bouts of wakefulness are a natural/normal component of sleep architecture, often as part of transitioning from REM sleep to non-REM sleep; if our brain and body are ready for sleep at the time we’ve scheduled our sleep, we can fall back to sleep easily. Naps that are properly scheduled during our afternoon lull are a key component of our circadian rhythm.
Is there such a thing as too much sleep? Is that a problem?
It’s not so much that too much sleep is a problem, but rather, sleep durations longer than 9 hours indicate there is a something outside the norm that’s driving an increased need for sleep… it could be illness, fatigue, sleep apnea, or something else.
Is taking a melatonin supplement beneficial?
For most people, taking melatonin before bedtime phase advances their circadian rhythms (i.e., it can help them fall asleep earlier, but it will also cause them to wake-up earlier the next morning). If sustaining sleep through the night is difficult for you, taking melatonin is not the solution.
Is sleeping with a fan detrimental? or is white noise a better option?Where do they sell white noise machines?
Fans can be helpful, both to regulate temperature and as a white noise generator; but results will vary for everyone. Creating a sleep friendly environment isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. You have to figure out what works best for you.
How does serious tinnitus affect or sleep pattern? ie Deep sleep and REM
I am not an expert in the tinnitus literature, but it makes sense that tinnitus would impact sleep staging such as one’s capacity to sustain Deep sleep and REM.
Any thoughts on daylight simulating lamps to wake you up in the a.m. if you sleep in a dark room?
Simulating sunrise using artificial light can be an effective way to signal the beginning of day, yes.
Speaker session featuring Dr. Glenn J. Landry, Sleep Expert, recorded on June 22, 2022 at 1:00pm ET.
Q&A from the Session
If homeostasis is our sleep need, why is it important for us to extend our sleep even when our sleep need is at 0? Is it due to the REM cycle? Have our brains not finished processing the day, thus the need to extend our sleep?
This is such an important question! The brain is like an engine that produces exhaust. Homeostatic sleep need builds as a function of prior wakefulness, so the longer we’ve sustained wakefulness, the greater our need for sleep. Sleep literally washes away the days waste. But that’s only half the story. In the 2nd half of the sleep window, we use that well-washed brain to process our day, identify what was important/critical for future success, consolidate learning and memory, build resilience to stressors and trauma, and boost creativity.
How would one suffering from PTSD keep sleeping without medication?
Individual sleep coaching, targeting improved circadian regulation and sleep readiness, should be included as part of team-based care to address PTSD. The role of sleep coaching is promote sleep health status, to maximize efficacy of other treatment modalities available to health care practitioners.
Speaker session featuring Karen Skinulus, RP, recorded on September 28, 2022 at 10:00am ET.
Speaker session featuring Lee Matthieu, a retired OPP Communications Operator, recorded on October 26, 2022 at 10:00am ET.
Speaker session featuring Marc Rainford, Former Toronto Police Service Officer, recorded on November 23, 2022 at 10:00am ET.
Q&A Speaker Session Featuring Laura Kloosterman, Executive Director of Badge of Life Canada, recorded on January 25th, 2023.