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New drought emergency declared for Southern California

 December 15, 2022 at 4:29 PM PST

S1: A new drought emergency for Southern California.

S2: Well , it's really the diversification of water supplies , along with improving our efficiency that have prepared us to face drought.

S1: I'm Meg Perez with Jade Heineman. Maureen is off. This is KPBS midday edition. Heating up the cost of natural gas.

S3: People who watch that market are saying that it's probably going to be up another 20% or so and you're going to see that reflected in your bill.

S1: A San Diego Jewish leader responds to comments made by the artist known as Gay Hell. For college students who don't want to get scammed , looking for a place to live and the lounge that is the cat's meow. That's a hit on midday edition. San Diego County and the rest of Southern California are under a new drought emergency announced this week. The declaration comes from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California , which services 26 different agencies that provide water to 19 million people , including you and me. The emergency could trigger additional mandatory water restrictions in the new year. Jeff Stevenson is water resources manager with the San Diego County Water Authority and joins us now to discuss more about this. Jeff , welcome to mid-day.

S2: Thank you. Good morning.

S1: Let's begin with a reality check. Despite recent rain and snowfall , the drought continues.

S2: Back in the early 1990s , we were facing significant water cutbacks. So we began to prepare for future droughts. And we've done that in a number of ways that have really prepared us to get through situations like this where there are supply shortages in some areas , but not necessarily all areas.

S1:

S2: If you go back in time to around 1990 , 1991 , we got our water from two sources. It was from Metropolitan Water District and surface water supplies. Since then we've added desalinated seawater , recycled water , groundwater , more surface water storage capacity and other supplies so that we're not reliant on just one or two sources of supply.

S1: So , Jeff , would you say those investments have made us drought proof.

S2: For the San Diego region ? We always are looking out for droughts and preparing for droughts. And part of that and being drought proof is not only the supplies that we've developed , but also continuing water conservation and worry sufficiency. So it's really the diversification of water supplies , along with improving our efficiency that have prepared us to face droughts like the one we're facing now.

S1: So the drought emergency declaration comes from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

S2: That's the Bay Delta , which is a state water project in the Colorado River. So both of those water supply sources are having issues. So that would potentially impact up to 13% of our water supply here in San Diego. But we have backup supplies that we've developed over the last 30 years. An example would be what we call carryover storage , which is water that we have in a reservoir that allows you to carryover your supplies from year to year in case situations like this where Metropolitan has to cut their supplies to us. We have those backup supplies to use just in case.

S1:

S2: So we're a wholesaler. And then you and I buy our water from one of those 24 agencies. Each of those agencies have different rules and regulations in place. The one that everyone is really focusing on now is the irrigating of non-functional turf. And when I say non-functional turf , I mean turf that is not used grass that is not used for a purpose other than to look nice. And it's focused on commercial , industrial and institutional sites and facilities. So as of now , there is a prohibition in this from the state against watering those types of areas that have grass. If it's not being used , if it's just there for looks , they don't want you watering that because it's not really considered necessary at this point. So that's coming down from the state and in each of our member agencies has a different set of rules in place. So you'd have to look at each of those member agencies , each water agency , specific rules to see what's in play in your area.

S1: So Gloria Gray , who is the chair of the Metropolitan Water District's board , has said , quote , Some Southern Californians may have felt somewhat protected from these extreme conditions over the past few years. They shouldn't anymore. We are all affected , end quote.

S2: And what we're doing now , if member if Metropolitan were to go to allocations in the future , they've mentioned if we don't have rain this winter but can use continues to be dry , we may end up going to allocations that would be metropolitan. What that means to us is that part of that metropolitan supply is cut. In this case , that's where we would look to our carryover storage and continued water use , efficiency and conservation to get us through that period.

S1: So this is the fourth year in a row drought conditions in the state. And Governor Newsom has been calling for mandatory water cuts , as you mentioned.

S2: We reduced our per person water use by over 40%. So if you think about that , that's really a great increase in efficiency over time. And we continue to improve on that efficiency. In terms of the governor's request to reduce water use. Recently , we are showing signs of improving that month to month. And we had a very. Very good October in terms of reducing water use. And November is looking good as well.

S1:

S2: We have on our website , which is Water Smart , stored a number of programs and rebates that will help people who are looking for ways to use less. And if you've already done a lot , maybe take a look at the website and see if there's a new program or new offering that might help you find a way to save just a little bit more.

S1:

S2: So if you have turf in your yard , you want to take it out. You can get a financial incentive to do that. In some places , it's over $4 per square foot to remove that turf. When you think about where water is used here in San Diego , indoor efficiency is very good. It's very high. So outdoor , that's the next opportunity to save water. So if you're looking for programs , ways to reduce water , use the landscape. Taking out turf that you don't use is a good way to save water. And there are many programs and ideas as well , classes you can take to come up with ideas to help you remove the turf and put in something that looks much better than turf that's colorful , requires less maintenance and requires much less water.

S1:

S2: It would be up to each of those agencies to decide how they want to reduce their water use. The good thing , though , is that we have the carryover storage available and it would be up to our board of directors to decide how and when to use that carryover storage to make up for any shortages in water coming from Metropolitan.

S1:

S2: We had rain earlier this week. You can really turn your irrigation system off for at least several weeks , if not longer. You can go out and check the soil and see if it's still moist. Leave your irrigation system off for the winter when you don't need that water. That allows us to keep that water in storage for later use and saves water at your home or business.

S1: I've been speaking with Jeff Stevenson , water resources manager with the San Diego County Water Authority. Jeff , thank you for joining us.

S2: Thank you.

S4: The San Diego winds. It might be time to put on a sweater. Natural gas bills will see a sharp increase for the month of December and an even sharper one in January. San Diego Gas and Electric estimates the average gas bill for customers this month will be roughly $80. That figure could jump another 19% in January. Joining me now with more is KPBS environment reporter Erik Anderson.

S3:

S4: You know , layers is key. Right now , I feel like. So first things first.

S3: It's typical during the course of the year when demand for gas goes up. As the weather gets colder around the country , the price also goes up. So that figures into it a little bit. But that's not the only thing. San Diego Gas and Electric , you might remember back in October , asked for a rate increase for their gas delivery charges. So that takes effect in January and that's going to boost the price of gas in San Diego. And also , there are some geopolitical issues at play. The war in Ukraine has had an impact on gas. Europe needs extra gas. So there are exports going to Europe that might normally be staying in this country. And that means the supply here is a little bit tighter and there's not as much gas stored up , even regionally. It's not stored up , so there's not a whole lot of extra gas to fall back on. That also pushes the price up.

S4: And natural gas prices are causing these kinds of increases all across the country , not just in San Diego.

S3: Yeah , And it's just at the time when it gets cold and you want to use the gas , right ? Exactly.

S2:

S4: I mean , is it typical to see these kinds of increases later in the year ? Sure.

S3: But there are a couple of things happening here in San Diego that are a little bit different. You may remember back to last year. Last year was kind of utility sticker shock for a lot of folks. We had a 25% increase in the delivery charges for gas last year , added on top of the , you know , the rising typical season , rising prices of the commodity itself. And then this year , we're also getting another another bump in that delivery charge. In addition to prices increasing for that commodity , the thing you have to understand about natural gas. It is a commodity. It's traded on a futures market. So at the end of every month , the last couple of days of the month , the traders kind of set the prices for the whole next month. Now , the price in in at the end of December is going to be higher than the price was at the end of November. And , you know , people who watch that market are saying that it's probably going to be up another 20% or so and you're going to see that reflected in your bill.

S4:

S3: And just to give you an idea , I know therms are not something you think about regularly , but in a typical month , the San Diego customer who has a gas hookup at their house will use 23 therms of gas during a typical month. That's to , you know , run their hot water heater and whatever washing they do at home that requires hot water , heat. Those kinds of things are in play in the wintertime. You might add a furnace to that and that creates quite a bit of load. The average usage in December jumps to about 31 therms. So that's , you know , a third more. And then in January , which is typically the month where people use the most because it's the coldest , the average usage goes to about 45 therms. So it's almost twice as much as you would use in a regular month.

S4: Yeah , there was a lot of frustration from customers last year , as you kind of mentioned , who felt blindsided by these increases.

S3: They didn't say anything about it last time and people noticed it when they opened up their bills , which is kind of like the worst time. So they're trying to just kind of give people a heads up a warning. They're saying , look , there are things you can do to keep your gas usage lower so you won't be as affected as you might be. You can , you know , cork your windows and weather strip around drafty doors. You can keep your furnace clean , change the filters , make sure it's working efficiently. Wash clothes in cold water is a big thing that uses a lot of of gas energy to heat that water and then wash the clothes in that. So if you can wash it in cold water , that's a big savings there. And people can also lower the water heater thermostat in their house if they have a gas water heater. So there are some things that you can do to kind of blunt the increase. But the fact of the matter is , is that the cost of the commodity and the cost of delivering that commodity is going up and San Diego residents are going to pay for it.

S4: And we've been experiencing colder than. Usual weather across the entire state.

S3: Like I said , the price for January's natural gas , the actual commodity , the actual cost to buy a therm of natural gas in in San Diego will be set at the end of December. So if we have a nice cold run all the way through December , those prices are going to go up pretty sharply for the month of January , and then they'll reset again at the end of January. What we should hope for , I think , is really good sweaters , really good scarves , maybe some gloves in there and hope that the sun comes out and warms everything up. Exactly.

S4: Exactly. An extra blanket or two and layers may go a long way. I've been speaking with KPBS environmental reporter Erik Anderson. Erik , thanks for talking with us.

S3: My pleasure.

S4: You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Margie Perez. Study after study shows an alarming increase in hate crimes and racist incidents in California , targeting a variety of groups , including Jews. Worries about rising anti-Semitism have gotten more attention recently after the bigoted comments of an artist who now goes by the name Gay. So how is California's Jewish community reacting ? The California report saw Gonzalo. I spoke with Heidi Gantt , work president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of San Diego , who didn't mince words about what she's hearing and seeing in her community.

S2: The Jewish community is anxious. We are on alert , and it is different than I have seen it in my lifetime. It is pervasive. And when you combine anti-Semitism with extremist violence , you've got a really frightening situation. We're concerned. We're anxious. People are worried about where they put their kids in preschool. Is it safe or can they send their kids to particular colleges ? You know , can they walk into their synagogue on the high holidays or are they a target ? These are things people are talking about regularly in the Jewish community. So when it comes to the safety and.

S3: Security of Jewish institutions in your part of California , like synagogues , Jewish schools and community centers.

S2: What's happening now ? So in San Diego , we are finding that every Jewish institution has to increase their budget for security. It takes away from other things they're doing , and they have to apply for nonprofit security grants. They have to harden their targets by putting bulletproof film in cameras , armed guards. So what this federation in particular is doing is we are investing more than $1,000,000 over the next few years.

S4: To help.

S2: With all of this by providing a community security director. This is a person who is going to help every Jewish institution with trainings , with assessments , with security planning and with incident reporting and threat assessments. Right. We need to gather information. We also have to have an emergency plan when things do happen. So we know what's happening throughout the county. We also had a community security institute with nine synagogues who improved their security plans and were funding their target hardening. So there's a huge investment necessary. It's sad. I'd much rather be spending that money on other things to strengthen and and , you know , grow Jewish life and community. But it is necessary if we want people to participate.

S3: And I imagine if we had spoken three , four or five years ago , yes , security at sites of Jewish life would still be an issue , but nothing like it is now.

S2: It's nothing like it is now. It's the visual change , Right. Walking into synagogues , you're going to see armed guards. You're going to see fencing. This is a thing that every parent checks when they send their kids to a Jewish space. It is it is very perimeter fencing and cameras , etc.. And the challenge we have is balancing that with the Jewish value of welcoming , welcoming the stranger. And we need to have spit safe spaces , but they also need to be welcoming. And this is something that every Jewish organization is grappling with right now. But it is a very significant change. It's a change financially. It's a change in how these organizations structure. It's a change in what leaders need to think about all the time. It's it's very different than it was five years ago.

S4: That was the California report. Saul Gonzalez talking with Heidi Gan work , president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of San Diego.

S1: Housing in San Diego County is notoriously expensive and out of reach for so many people struggling to make rent every month. This is especially challenging for college students who sometimes fall victim to online scams or dishonest landlords when trying to find an affordable place to live. There is a solution to the problem that comes with security and peace of mind for those desperately seeking a legitimate place to rent. Room Chaser is an online platform. It was created by Christine O'Leary , who had her own housing problems before coming up with the idea for room Chaser. She joins us now. Christine , welcome to Midday Edition.

S2: Hi there. Thank you for having me.

S1: You were not only a college student in need of housing , but you had immigrated from France in tow , five , which added to the difficulty. Tell us your story.

S2: I found that actually a job as a living many as an old pair first in San Diego. And I liked it so much that I decided to come back with a student visa to study civil engineering. But as I was so I think I did two years of college here in San Diego , and it became really hard financially to pay for tuition. So I started helping students who were not in San Diego yet , especially French students and French. I think I said that. Yes , we said that. So I started helping French students find school and housing and get a student visa to come study in San Diego.

S1: And so that was really the beginning for the online platform room chaser dot com.

S2: Getting a school was also easy , but finding housing and decent roommates , which was just really , really hard. Craigslist made it very hard to find stable people , stable roommates and good landlords. So , yeah , so here is how it works. It's it it looks like an Airbnb for student housing. You can enter the date. You want to get to San Diego and you're going to get a list listings of rooms that are available for rent in San Diego. You can also see who the roommates are going to be at each place. You can see the roommate profile , you can see the price of the room , you can see reviews about the room. And so all of those people , the roommates are screened and vetted , the places we know them , they have reviews , they are legitimate. So so this is a great platform to avoid getting scammed.

S1:

S2: But what actually happened is that anybody , any student who does not live in San Diego is living maybe on the East Coast , Chicago , anywhere outside of San Diego is having the same problem as international students. It's just hard to find housing when you're not in town. And when you do get in town , if you wait until you get in town to find housing , it's just too late. All the good deals are gone. You just have the worst of the worst left for rent. So thanks to our room , Fraser , people all over the world can actually rent a room all online. It's safe and secure , and they can connect with roommates as well.

S1: You mentioned getting scammed.

S2: It's a big problem. A lot of students don't see that they've been scammed. But every year we do have students who come to us after being scammed. I was just talking to a dad of a UCSD student like a couple of weeks ago. He got scammed and they live in San Francisco. So ? So the scamming problem is huge. Scammers are very smart online , and when students are just desperate to find a place , it can be very easy to get scammed.

S1: You have endorsements from San Diego State , USDA , Alliant International University , just to name a few organizations.

S2: That student eventually went back home because they couldn't find housing. So making sure for all those programs , accepting students from all over the world , it's very important that they offer safe and secure housing. Otherwise , the students are going to go back home and have a bad experience studying in the United States.

S1: The bottom line is San Diego is one of the most expensive rental markets in the country.

S2: It's all included in the pricing that we offer on room. Fraser. It's very similar to on campus housing. You're going to have a package which does include utilities , roommate matching analysis. So the way we save students money by sharing , like when you share a place , it drops the price. So that's one way to save money and also just not having to pay multiple application fees. On room Fraser , you paid once when you approved and that's it. And I will also say that providing stability just saves people money because they don't have to move out every three months because roommates , because the landlords , it's stable , it saves money.

S1: Christine In your experience , what makes a good renter and a roommate candidate ? Good.

S2: That's a great question. We always think about that. So so cleaning is probably the number one reason why we may have a conflict between roommates and landlords. Also , I appreciate people who who maintain their place. So having good cleaning habits is definitely very important. Number two , communication skills , conflict resolution skills. Those are very important. One , sharing a place together is not easy , just like living with a partner , living with parents and siblings. Things are going to come up. Having the communication skills to go through those conflict in a healthy way is is awesome is really a great , great , great skill.

S1:

S2: So we try to reach out to all the landlords we can find on Craigslist , Zillow , and we explain them why we do. And some of them do believe in what we do and give us a shot. And that's that's how it goes.

S1:

S2: So those were for students who didn't know each other from all over the place , like Hamilton was from Kentucky and I was from France , Arena was from Lithuania , and they came all together and became best friends within a week. Their place was clean. They had a chart in the fridge , like to share clothes. And so that was a beautiful success story for Frazer , especially that I believe and I and Perrin were like staying in a hotel until they found us. So that definitely makes me super happy when stories like that happen. I believe that we have another story of for me , for college students , for 18 year old girls. So if the college doesn't offer any kind of on campus housing , so our college students oftentimes do not know where to get housing when they find us. We very often are able to match them with other college students like them. And at 18 year olds , it is reassuring to the students and to the parents to know that they're be staying together with students who are just like them.

S1: Here we are at the end of the year in the holiday season. Someone looking for housing right now.

S2: In January , we are going to have lots more rooms open for spring semester , spring quarter. So we can definitely help them. You can go check the website right now and enter your dates to see what's open. We actually also help interns and recent graduates who are relocating for a first job of first where Work experience.

S1: Room Chaser is only available in San Diego County right now. What are your plans for the future ? Correct.

S2: So as of now , we only offer our rooms in San Diego. We are planning to expand to Orange County and Los Angeles for the fall 2023 and more afterwards , hopefully.

S1: I've been speaking with Kristine O'Leary founder of Room Chaser dot com with a Z. Christine , thank you for joining us.

S2: Thank you for having me on. And.

S1: You're probably familiar with traditional animal shelters where pets wait for a forever home. But KPBS reporter John Carroll found a cat rescue in La Hoya. That's nothing like the usual.

S5: On Torrey Pines Road in La Hoya. Close to the end where it meets Gerard , you find a lounge for people and cats. A place where felines destined for euthanasia are rescued. A lounge where love between people and cats blossoms.

S6: I worked with other shelters , rescues , veterinary hospitals and wanted to just do things differently.

S5: That's the founder and executive director of the Cat Lounge and Rescue , Renee Shamu. She's a practicing attorney. That's her 9 to 5 job. But as much as Shamu loves the law , her passion for cats compelled her to get involved in rescuing them and matching them up with people. She started in her apartment.

S6: And it was successful. But that's such a small scale. So I knew I needed something. So that's where the Cat Lounge came from.

S2: And yeah , this is it now.

S5: The building that is now the Cat Lounge and Rescue had been vacant for some time , so it was affordable. It opened in 2019. About a year ago , Shamu obtained the space next door. A wall was knocked down and a nursery was born. It is light and airy. Kittens are kept with their sisters and brothers in separate compartments.

S6: You don't want to swap or intermingle litters because one might have diseases and the other one doesn't.

S5: The compartments have clear walls. Shamu , along with her staff and volunteers , aren't fans of cages. Anyone who works at a shelter will tell you the kittens get adopted out much faster than their older counterparts.

S2: Never had cats before , so it's clear there'll be new.

S5: While we were recording this story , Rebecca Powell and her husband Kane , came in to browse. But after a few minutes , love was in the air and a new chapter of human feline relations was about to begin.

S2: The two kittens. And I was like , Oh my gosh , this is great. And they liked me , I think. And so I guess they had to come home with me.

S5: Over on the lounge side , the adult cats spend their days welcoming visitors , no doubt hoping for that right one. But it's not a bad place to wait. There are lots of toys and cat trees. Even a catwalk hangs from the ceiling. There is plenty to do. The Cat Lounge Rescue and Adoption Center is nonprofit. They survive on donations and on admission. There is a fee of $20 for adults , ten for kids and seniors. Shamu says most visitors don't end up adopting. She says a lot of people just like spending time here.

S6: We have Wi-Fi , so if you want to bring your laptop and do work , I don't know how much work you'll get done.

S5: For those who adopt , the cost of admission is subtracted from the adoption fee , which ranges between 95 and $300 , depending on the cat's age. But once you're a cat parent , the cat lounge doesn't abandon you.

S6: Once they do go home , we call after a few days to see how things are going. We are always a resource for our adopters and I think that's one of the best things about adopting from a rescue is you have our knowledge and our care behind it.

S5: That knowledge and care has had a pretty remarkable outcome. A chalkboard in the corner of the lounge spells it out. Once the pandemic hit , they shop from 223 adoptions in 2019 to nearly 1700 the following year. The total to date is 4573. Cats. Connections made. Homes found. Lives saved. John Carroll , KPBS News.

S1: For more information about the Cat Lounge and Rescue , we have a link in our Web story at KPBS dot org.

S4: You're listening to KPBS Midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Margie Perez. The search for a good night's sleep can be elusive to many of us , including myself. According to the CDC , some 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep loss. But the stress and obligations of everyday life make getting enough sleep a common problem today. Here to help us better understand sleep and how it impacts our overall health is Dr. Derek Lowy , clinical psychologist and sleep medicine specialist with Scripps and director of the Insomnia Program at the Scripps Clinic Viterbi Family Sleep Center. And welcome to Midday Edition.

S2: Thank you very much. It's great to be with you.

S4: So sleep is something that we all do naturally , of course.

S2: I mean , sleep is all something. Something we all do. And it's something that we need to do. And yet it can be such a difficult struggle for many people. And I think part of the reason for that is that sleep can be easily affected by many things. Right. I mean , stress can throw off a night's sleep being ill. Common cold symptoms can throw off a night's sleep. Your neighbors dog barking can affect your sleep. So in a way , sleep is very vulnerable to disruption. And if it occurs on a regular basis over time , you can develop chronic insomnia , chronic difficulty sleeping. The good news in that , though , is not only is sleep vulnerable in many ways , it's also remarkably resilient. And in a way , it kind of has to be because sleep is a survival behavior. And so I'm always trying to reassure my patients with that insomnia that , you know , even though sleep is not going well , your sleep system is resilient. And our job is to find a way to help bolster your natural sleep ability.

S4:

S2: And a few key points there would include maintaining a fairly regular sleep wake schedule , regular bedtime , regular morning wake up time , at least on weekdays. For people who are working , weekends can be a little bit different because we might stay up a bit later and sleep in , which is fine. But if you're maintaining your regular sleep schedule , let's say five days a week , you're probably doing a good job of keeping your sleep , wake rhythm or circadian rhythm running on time. Another thing that's helpful also is in the morning when you get up , make sure you access a lot of bright light. Open up the window coverings. Bring in lots of light into the room. If you have time to be outside at all , do that light entering the eyes in the morning. At the same time , every day is an anchoring effect on your sleep wake rhythm. And so a consistent morning wake up time with morning light. And even better , a little bit of exercise is a great way to keep your sleep clock running on time. And then there are some other obvious things , too. You know , we don't want to be doing anything too problematic for sleep late before bedtime , for example. As we all know , caffeine is a stimulant , and caffeine late in the day for some , can cause difficulty with falling asleep at bedtime. I'm often asked about exercise too close to bedtime. I feel like the best time to workout is in the morning. The second best time is any other time except too close to bedtime if it's a cardio workout because you might be getting yourself too pumped up too close to bedtime.

S4:

S2: We just don't feel great the next day. We're kind of dragging. We're sluggish , fatigued , low energy. Maybe our thinking isn't quite there or focus or concentration is is less than ideal. Sometimes we can get a little bit irritable , you know ? So the short term consequences are pretty obvious. I think where it becomes more problematic is with chronic sleep difficulty over time. By chronic insomnia , technically we mean difficulty sleeping most nights of the week for at least three months. But the problem with chronic insomnia is now you're having a negative effect on your immune system and other systems that maintain long term mental and physical health. And so there we we are concerned about issues related to metabolic syndrome or weight gain. We're worried about memory effects long term. There's new studies coming out showing that inadequate sleep can can impair our memory long term , do also induce increased risk for other issues , cardiac issues , for example , if you are not getting enough sleep on a consistent basis , you're not functioning well during the day. You could be at risk in risky situations such as driving , for example. So there are a lot of consequences , both short term , mid-range and long term , of not getting adequate sleep.

S4: In recent years over , the counter treatments have become increasingly popular , such as melatonin and THC supplements.

S2: So for someone who , let's say , has is having sleep problems but has not taken a prescription sleep medication. A great way to start is with melatonin. It's gentle. It's not habit forming has minimal side effects. The key , though , is the type of melatonin. There's long acting and short acting. Short acting is good for falling asleep. Long acting is better for maintaining sleep. So that's an important point. As far as THC is concerned , this is a relatively new thing for us , right ? Because we've only had two legalization of cannabis products for the last couple of years or so , and there isn't really good research on the impact of these products on sleep per say. There's a lot of anecdotal evidence. I was working on a chapter for this topic last year , and what I found was that if you look at THC , it can have a direct benefit on sleep depending on the strain and the dosage. CBD not so much. CBD is good more for pain and anxiety , but if pain and or anxiety are in the way of sleeping at night , CBD could be beneficial.

S4: And of course there are always new products or technologies saying they can improve sleep. Everything from smartwatches to weighted blankets.

S2: I try to be very careful about what I recommend or don't. I mean , we're supposed to practice evidence based medicine and unfortunately , a lot of these products didn't. There isn't a lot of data studies to back up their benefit or their effectiveness. So I think the general rule is try and see usually the only downside is the out of pocket costs. Rarely , though , are there any adverse results of using these things. Weighted blankets can be helpful for sleep. Certainly for anxious patients at night , there's a variety of sleep apps out there as well. I think those are great. The reason being that it's very difficult lying in bed , in the dark , in the quiet when you can't sleep because your mind tends to go places and we tend to ruminate or we're anxious or we're stressing you better to do less things like that. And the hyperactive mind can definitely interfere with getting into sleep. I think having something to redirect your attention toward like an app guided meditation , a podcast , even not this interview , though I don't think people think about sleep when they're trying to sleep , but something audio to redirect attention away from your internal thoughts , which could be helpful.

S4: How much does American culture impact sleep ? You'll find any number of Internet gurus who say sleep when you're dead , work hard , play hard , and you know , we'll claim that they sleep only 4 hours a night to be a highly functioning and productive individual.

S2: I think that's working with a false economy. I think the thinking that sleep is is a waste of time is a bad long term strategy. There are countless studies that have talked about the long term effects of chronic sleep deprivation or sleep deprivation , while one's what you're saying is different than insomnia for insomnia. These people give themselves ample time at night to get the sleep they need , but they can't. In this case , people artificially deprive themselves of sleep by working , you know , burning the candle at both ends , staying up late , getting up early , trying to be more productive. I think they're at the greatest risk of all for all these sleep disorders that are lead to lack of sleep in terms of short and long term health because the body wants more sleep opportunity. But you're not honoring that.

S4:

S2: Now , you've got to consider that that's the average of the normal knee , the normal range. There are normal sleepers out there who get by with five or 6 hours of sleep without any complaints. I have patients in the insomnia clinic who can't function on less than 9 hours of sleep. So there's a certain amount of relativism to this. But on average , most people should be getting about 7 to 8 hours most nights of the week. As far as napping is concerned , if you're really having a hard time falling asleep at bedtime , you should avoid the nap to save your sleep drive for nighttime. However , we do have a circadian dip in the afternoon , the post-lunch dip. And I think that's nature's invitation to us to take a little siesta in the afternoon. And if we use it consciously , maybe the power nap is 20 , 30 minutes. That should not significantly detract from our nighttime sleep. However , like I said , if you do a problem falling asleep at bedtime , you probably should avoid it. Hmm.

S4: And I'm curious , what's your sleep routine like ? What works for.

S2: You ? I'm pretty consistent. I go to bed , you know , ten , ten , 30 , impulsive , pretty quickly. I wake up a few times at night. My alarm goes off around 630. You know , I feel fortunate in that regard. My patients often ask me. I sleep. And if I say I sleep well , I feel like I can't relate to them. And if I sleep , if I say I don't sleep well , the you you can't fix yourself. How can you fix me ? So it's kind of a no win question. But I'm fortunate. I think I sleep pretty good to grow.

S4: This is good. All right. Well , thank you so much for your insight. I've been speaking with Dr. Derek Lowy , a clinical psychologist and sleep medicine specialist with scripts and director of the Insomnia Program at the Scripps Clinic Viterbi Family Sleep Center. Dr. Lowy , thank you so much for joining us.

S2: Oh , you're welcome. My pleasure.

San Diego County and the rest of Southern California are under a new drought emergency announced this week. Local waters officials are encouraging conservation but say our local water supply is stable. Then, natural gas bills will see a sharp increase for the month of December, and an even sharper one in January. San Diego Gas and Electric estimates the average gas bill for customers this month will be roughly $80. Plus, worries about rising anti-semitism have gotten more attention recently after the bigoted comments of an artist, who now goes by the name "Ye.”. So how is San Diego's Jewish community reacting? Also, a new online service helps college students connect with potential roommates. Plus, reporter John Carroll takes us to the Cat Lounge in La Jolla, a place for felines and people to come together. Finally, the search for a good night’s sleep can be elusive to many of us. We talk about sleep and how it impacts our overall health with Dr. Derek Loewy, director of the insomnia program at the Scripps Clinic Viterbi Family Sleep Center.