H Charles Jelinek Jr DDS - December 2019

The Sleep of Your Dreams


A key function of deep NREM sleep, which predominates early in the night, is to do the work of weeding out and removing unnecessary neural connections. In contrast, the dreaming stage of REM sleep, which prevails later in the night, plays a roll in strengthening those necessary connections. As you sleep, the amount of time you spend in REM sleep increases. You have most of your dreams during REM sleep. Researchers have linked REM sleep with your ability to effectively process emotions and handle traumatic events. Others suggest that REM sleep can influence your response time during frightening situations. There are even tenuous links between poor REM sleep and chronic brain disorders and conditions, such as depression and dementia. ( Note: No causation link between these conditions and REM sleep has been definitively found, but the possible link is worth noting.)

It’s difficult to nail down what makes REM sleep so powerful because researchers are just scratching the surface of what it offers, but they know one thing for sure: The more REM sleep you get, the better you’ll feel the next day. You could sleep for 15 hours, but if you never reach REM sleep, you will wake up exhausted. For those with sleep apnea, it can be near impossible to reach REM sleep due to the inability to fall into a deep, long sleep. With sleep apnea, your body struggles to get the air it needs, which causes your brain to panic and force your body awake to get the air it needs. This cycle continues throughout the night, and instead of lulling you into a deep sleep, your body hovers in the light sleep stages. Achieve restful sleep with help from Dr. Jelinek. Schedule a consultation by calling 703-584-5996, or visit NorthernVirginiaDental.com to learn more.

Wherever you went in your sleep last night, the time you spent in dreamland may have been the most influential part of your night. In the first half of the night, the vast majority of your 90-minute cycles are consumed by deep non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and very little rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. But as you transition into the second half of the night, the seesaw balance shifts, with most of the time dominated by REM sleep and very little, if any, deep NREM sleep.

Bacon-Wrapped Chestnuts “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” is an iconic image of Christmas, but we’re willing to bet most people reading this have never eaten a chestnut. Change that this year with this awesome paleo-friendly appetizer.



1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 8-oz cans water chestnuts

1 lb sliced bacon, quartered

Tamari (wheat-free soy sauce), but can substitute with coconut aminos


4. Drain tamari, roll each chestnut in coconut sugar, wrap with bacon, and spear on toothpick. 5. Place chestnuts on prepared rack. Bake for 30–35 minutes. 6. Plate and serve.

1. Heat an oven to 400 F. 2. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet lined with parchment and set aside. 3. Drain liquid from canned water chestnuts, add tamari to cover, and let soak for 15 minutes in the cans.

Solution on Pg. 4

Inspired by “Paleo Happy Hour” by Kelly Milton


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