A Guide To The Best Sleep Blogs On The Web
There’s simply nothing more important to our health, wellbeing and relationships than how we sleep. And this means that cyberspace is packed full of news, views, science, help and oddstuff concerning beds and sleeping.
Most news websites will have their own health and wellbeing sections – and sleep-related university studies often make for pretty cool news stories. But here’s a couple of news sites which devote a good amount of time and research into their stories.
CNN is probably best known for its 24-hour news channel but its online site has a health- section called The Chart which conntains its own dedicated sleep subsection.
The site is extremely user-friendly and, typically for CNN, errs on the side of pop-science rather than getting caught up in deep theories.
Recent blogs have included “sleep drunkenness” – a phenomenon which affects 15% of us and involves taking a long time to wake up, during which we are confused but still act out strange things; research for new parents; and whether a full moon really does affect your sleep patterns.
The Huffington Post has a broad range of news and features sections but they’ve a regular link-up with Stanford University’s sleep sciences department, which means they can tap into the very latest research.
Recent posts include a case study about a teenager who was finding it difficult to sleep and how to make sure your kids have enough sleep to excel at school; does poor sleep lead to dementia?; can sleep help cure neurological diseases; and research into a blood test for narcolepsy.
It pays to be pretty careful when looking for medical help on the internet – you’re as likely to find some charlatan trying to sell you little blue pills as a real doctor dispensing useful advice. But there are some great sites out there devoted to sleep.
We’ve all either been a frazzled parent or watched friends, neighbours or relatives turn into frazzled parents just because baby won’t sleep. Kim West brands herself as The Sleep Lady and offers a series of video blogs on how to help your child sleep and a few pointers on what's good and bad in the world of children and sleep.
Recent posts have included the problem of toddlers getting out of bed at night; whether it’s ok to let your baby fall asleep in a car seat or pushchair; and eight tips to get your kid back into the right sleep pattern for school after a holiday. Kim posts her video blogs as a response to viewers’ emails, so there’s also the chance to get your own specific problem sorted out.
The National Sleep Foundation has a great resource for advice surrounding most sleep-related matters. The website is a great place to start if you want to know about the science behind sleep but it’s most valuable asset is its easy-to-use tools and tips section, which includes articles on healthy eating, pregnancy, shift work, relaxation techniques and how to learn to sleep during the day. There’s also pretty cool quiz section.
It may be a little off-topic, but this website devoted to helping people who suffer from back problems has a great blog on sleep with articles devoted to power-napping at work; tips to buying a new mattress; snacks, supplements and scents to help you sleep; and unconventional ways to get to sleep and stay asleep if you have back pain. And since we’re all likely to either suffer from back pain or know someone who does, it’s a pretty good place to start looking for a solution.
Dr Michael Breus is a psychotherapist who specialises in sleep disorders and has a long-running blog which tackles everything from circadian clocks to whether your dog is stealing your sleep. He even weighs in to some pretty cool debates such as whether it would make sense to start school later in the day to help children learn. His language is often more approachable than some of the websites out there which are meant to be news sites but he does manage to get some pretty good science over loud and clear too.
This blog is full of useful and up-to-date information for people who suffer from sleep apnoea and snoring – and that’s a fair few of us. It gets pretty heavy on the deep science (it’s tied in with a British NHS Trust) but tackles very important topics and has a great comments board where sufferers can give feedback on a number of patients’ case studies.
You’ve pretty much seen it all when bed bugs get their own blog! But this pest exterminator website has a particularly interesting blog based on ridding the world of these peskiest of biting critters and bedbugger is devoted to naming and shaming places where these infestations turn up – most notably the New York subway. Bedbugger takes a little sideways glance at the world and even has a tongue-in-cheek film about how to live in harmony with the creepy-crawlies.
This is definitely keeping the best until last. And, yes, it may not help you buy a great bed or learn to sleep better, but it should certainly give you a giggle. Karen Slavick-Lennard has been keeping a regular blog-journal of her partner Adam’s midnight ramblings since 2009. And now she shares the advertising account executive’s bizarre sleep-talking utterances with a few million online followers. Highlights over the years have included “Vampire penguins? Zombie guinea pigs? We’re done for… done for” and “Oompa loompas don’t sing in heaven. They tidy up the clouds.” The blog has been a little quiet over the past year since the couple had a baby, but the archives are a hilarious place to spend a spare half-hour.