Dr. Ran (Richard) Liu has worked in neurology and sleep medicine at Oak Valley Health’s Markham Stouffville Hospital since July 2022.
Having trained at Harvard University with world leaders in sleep medicine, Dr. Liu is equipped to manage a range of conditions, including complex sleep apnea, circadian rhythm disorders, central hypersomnia, nocturnal movement disorders, and nocturnal epilepsy.
Dr. Liu believes sleep medicine should be personalized.
“I often see patients who have multiple sleep disorders,” says Dr. Liu. “These disorders often interact with each other, therefore they all need to be addressed. I also believe in educating patients about the reasoning behind sleep behaviour modification so that they better understand and implement the plan we set out for them.”
Dr. Liu shares his top two lifestyle changes for improved sleep
- Reduce exposure to light before bedtime. Light before bedtime can delay your circadian rhythm (your body’s natural internal clock) and fragment sleep. Some people are more sensitive to this than others. All wavelengths of light can alter circadian rhythm; however, blue wavelength – or blue light – activates special cells in the eye and is a strong driver. Therefore, reducing all light, with an emphasis on blue light, two to three hours before bedtime can help with your sleep. Most of our exposure to blue light comes from the sun, however, it is also emitted from computer and laptop screens, tablets, smartphones and TVs.
- Don’t spend too much time awake in the bedroom. If you constantly struggle to fall asleep, your brain will associate the bedroom and sleep with a negative feeling. If you’re having trouble sleeping, leave the bedroom and go to another living space and perform a pleasant but non-stimulating activity in dim light, then go back to your bedroom only when you are ready to fall asleep.
The Sleep Clinic
The Sleep Disorder Clinic offers a strong collaboration between expertise in respirology and neurology for superior care in sleep medicine.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can find Dr. Liu on Twitter @SleepyNeuroDoc, where he shares complex cases in sleep medicine for the purpose of medical education and knowledge exchange.
This article appeared in the January 2023 issue of The Link. To receive Oak Valley Health’s community newsletter, subscribe now.