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  • New Guidelines Approve Portable Monitor Use

    As more and more physicians and patients are becoming aware of the existence and dangers of obstructive sleep apnea, the number of sleep studies being ordered is on the rise. Though these studies have traditionally been conducted in stand alone sleep laboratories or specialized labs within hospital settings, many patients have objected to being required to sleep away from home in an unfamiliar setting with strangers observing them, and insurance companies have objected to the expense that these studies represent. Portable sleep monitors have been available but many have questioned their usefulness and accuracy.  But the American College of Physicians has issued new guidelines indicating that the portable sleep monitors are an adequate substitute for the more elaborate laboratory testing, and are acceptable for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. Continue reading

  • Make the Most of your Morning

    Everybody knows that the best way to wake up feeling good in the morning is to make sure that you get a great night’s sleep the night before. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the way that things work out. Whether you are generally a night owl who stays up far too late at night habitually or a person who normally gets to bed at a reasonable hour but you stayed up too late to chat with a friend or finish that book that you just couldn’t put down, here are some tips for making the most of a sleepy-eyed morning. Continue reading

  • Pillow Talk

    Though there is a wealth of information available to consumers about when and how to go about purchasing a new mattress, little is said about that other important sleep tool – the pillow. We all may love our pillows, and children can be seen toting them through airports and on car rides across the country, but few of us realize that experts say that we should be replacing them as frequently as every six months. Who knew? According to Robert Oexman, DC, director of the Sleep to Live Institute, though we may be attached to our pillows and associate them with comfort, we should never hold on to them for more than a year or two maximum. Though they don’t break down or lose their usefulness in the way that mattresses can after a period of years, they simply can absorb all sorts of germs and dirt. “People talk about how nasty a mattress gets,” Oexman says, but when it comes to a pillow, “it’s just not something you want to be around longer than six months.” Continue reading

  • Miami Schools Consider Changing Teen School Schedules

    The city of Miami and the Miami-Dade public school system has been paying careful attention to the most recent data on the impact of sleep deprivation on high schoolers’ ability to learn, and as a result they may be changing their classroom hours. If they decide to pursue the course of action, the school district will become one of the pioneering few that have decided to allow science to trump tradition in determining when morning classes begin.

    The change may come as early as this September, and that’s not a moment too soon for students who are currently waking up as early as 5:00 a.m. in order to arrive at school on time for a 7:20 a.m. start.  The school district has only just begun investigating the possibility, and as a result rather than making a widely applied overhaul they may select just a few of their high schools to engage in a pilot program. The delay – or slow rollout – is not a result of anybody questioning the science behind the change … there is overwhelming evidence showing that the teen brain needs more sleep than the existing schedule allows for. The problem is with the impact that the change makes on a number of other areas of school life. Continue reading

  • Sleep Technology Continues to Appeal

    It was news when a sleep-tracking kit called Sense raised over $100,000 on Kickstarter within thirty days of being listed on the crowdfunding platform, but now that the product has been out there for a bit longer, it has reached the level of phenomena. Sense has raised over $1.3 million dollars in investments and preorders for its 22-year old inventor, and shows no signs of stopping. In fact, some say that it will reach over $4 million dollars in funding before it reaches the end of its run.

    The Sense is a sleep monitoring device that has the ability to provide its user with a score of their previous night’s sleep and to wake them up at the optimal point in their sleep cycle. It also distinguishes itself from other sleep monitoring devices that are currently on the market by the fact that it includes a particularly attractive orb that does its monitoring. The actual sensor is attached to the sleeper’s pillow, and the device is completed with a mobile phone app.  Though it isn’t due to be available until November of this year, those who are pre-ordering through Kickstarter are able to purchase it at a discounted price of just $129. Continue reading

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