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  • Myths that cause you to lose sleep

    If you’re trying to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep then you’re not alone. With more and more studies being published every day about how important it is to get high quality rest, people are turning in earlier and turning to high-tech devices to give them a leg up. But sometimes adding new behaviors isn’t as important as doing away with old ones, or getting your head straight on mistaken beliefs that you’ve been carrying around with you. In the interest of helping you get a better night’s sleep, here are several sleep myths that you need to be on the right side of.

    You Can Make Up for Lost Sleep

    How many times have you told yourself that it doesn’t matter that you stayed up late every night this week because you’ll make up for it on the weekend? The idea sounds great in theory, and there’s no doubt that it feels great to sleep in an extra hour or two on Saturday or Sunday (or both), but the truth is that if you’ve shorted yourself more than an hour or two of sleep, then you’re simply not likely to be able to make up for your sleep debt. Not only that, before you ever get to the weekend you’re likely going to be seeing the impact of your sleep deprivation. Though your extra sleep on the weekend may make you feel a bit more refreshed, it will not be enough to restore your attention, memory and cognitive performance to where it should be. Continue reading

  • Sleep Science Raises Awareness of Exploding Head Syndrome

    Sleep scientists from Washington State University are calling attention to a rare and little-understood sleep disorder with a particularly frightening name. Exploding head syndrome sounds a lot worse than it is. Though the experience is certainly unpleasant for those who are experiencing it, at least it is not quite as bad as the visual image that the condition evokes. Exploding head syndrome is characterized by experiencing extremely loud and sudden noises during the onset of sleep.

    It is not known how many people actually experience this sleep disorder, as there is not a great deal of research on the topic. The study gathered and reviewed all of the existing literature on the topic in order to raise awareness of the phenomenon. Their research yielded a clearer picture of exactly what those who suffer from the condition experience. Symptoms include very loud and disruptive noises being heard. Patients have described the sounds as being similar to the sound of firecrackers going off, slamming doors, explosions, and even gunshots. They may experience the sounds in either one ear or both ear and the sounds are sometimes accompanied by bright flashes of light. Continue reading

  • Sleeping with Pets

    If you are an animal lover who thinks that the more pets in your room and in your bed, the merrier, then we have some bad news for you.  A number of studies conducted over the last several years have shown that sleeping with pets is particularly bad for you because it robs you of the good night’s sleep that you need.

    A recent survey that was presented at SLEEP 2014, the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, showed that thirty percent of those who acknowledged sleeping with their pets also admitted to being woken up at least one time each night by their animals, and 63 percent said that they have overall poor sleep quality. Five percent indicated that once their pet has woken them up in the middle of the night they find they have a hard time falling back to sleep.  Continue reading

  • Back Problems? Buy a Better Mattress!

    There is no question that the mattress that you’re sleeping on can be either an advantage or a disadvantage if you are suffering from back pain. Different mattresses provide different levels and types of support, and though mattress comfort is a matter of personal preference, it is also something that can be guided by research and real data. There is a great deal of information available on selecting the right type of mattress for your specific type of pain, as well as on sleep positions that may be helping or hurting.

    It is also important to keep in mind that your ability to sleep comfortably may be impacted by factors other than your mattress, including any medications that you may be taking, any personal habits such as napping or the use of electronic devices that may be interrupting your ability to sleep, the use of caffeine, alcohol or tobacco, stress, and a variety of sleep disorders. If you are considering purchasing a new mattress, be sure that you have addressed all of these issues before you make a big investment that you think a new mattress will solve. Though the purchase of the right kind of new mattress can provide tremendous relief of pain you may be experiencing, it is also important to seek medical attention to determine whether you have a physical problem that needs treatment from a physician.  Switching mattresses may provide more comfort and an alleviation of pain, but it is not a cure.  Continue reading

  • Researchers Learn that Sleep Drunkenness is Common

    Scientists have long been aware of a sleep disorder known as confusional arousal, a condition that causes sleepers to awaken feeling disoriented, confused, and uncertain as to where they are. Also known as “sleep drunkenness”, it had been thought that the incidence of these episodes were relatively rare, but new research has revealed that it is happening to more people than sleep scientists had realized, and may be impacted as many as one out of every fifteen adults in the United States. Continue reading

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