Houston Area Pediatric Specialists

Independent pediatric specialists aim to serve our community. We want to share news and analysis regarding our specialties and our practices.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Superheroes and Their Sleep Disorders

A funny, but interesting article exploring the mundane problems facing all us 9 to 5 superheroes. Dr. Susarla

Superheroes and Their Sleep Disorders

The new Iron Man 3 trailer premiered Tuesday in theaters around the world. In it, the armored superhero quietly introduces viewers to the evil new threat he will be facing this summer.
"I'm Tony Stark. I build neat stuff. I got a great girl, and I occasionally save the world. So why can't I sleep?"
From the haggard look on Tony's face, it looks like all of the late nights perfecting newer versions of his suits, dealing with the issues that go along with dating your secretary, and stress from chafing that none of us could imagine has finally caught up to Iron Man.
With an estimated 50-70 million Americans dealing with sleep disorders of one kind or another, it is inevitable that superheroes and supervillains would most likely be suffering from them, too. Having worked with many professional athletes, I thought I would apply that experience in an effort to help several characters who clearly have sleep issues.
Detective Comics, Volume 1 #587: Published June 1988, Cover artist: Norm Breyfogle

Holy night owls! The Caped Crusader is a classic example of an individual with delayed sleep-phase disorder. These nocturnal folks have difficulty winding down in the evening and clearly prefer staying up late. Conversely, they often have extreme trouble waking up in the morning. This can create difficulties at work as tardy arrivals tend to add up. Bruce Wayne clearly has these tendencies, working long hours in his cave or staying out fighting crime. While technically employed at Wayne Enterprises, he seems to have no qualms about sleeping in. With no wife or kids in the house, there really seems to be no set schedule for waking. Unfortunately, his butler Alfred seems all too happy to enable his delayed schedule.
So what if you sleep like Batman? Consider setting a hard-and-fast wakeup time for yourself in the morning. Instead of Bat Cave lighting in the morning, consider investing in a light box to help your brain understand it is morning. Ten minutes of bright light upon awakening will help inhibit secretion of melatonin, a sleep-promoting chemical. This will not only facilitate wakefulness, but also help aid in an earlier bedtime. Remember, no computers or bright lights in bed. They can be stimulating. Finally, if someone is shining a bright light into the sky to get your attention at night, consider room-darkening shades.

No comments:

Post a Comment