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  • Sleep – The Elusive Essential

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called sleep deprivation a health epidemic, and there are countless articles written by experts decrying the national tendency to place work, social life, and even video games and movie-watching ahead of sleep as a priority. Though that is certainly happening in a large number of American households, there are also plenty of homes where people who are unable to get to sleep would gladly trade places with those people who are actually making the conscious not to.  Continue reading

  • Preschool Sleep Ed Program Shown to be Effective

    Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that an innovative sleep education program targeting preschoolers extended the children’s nightly sleep by thirty minutes.

    The study, which was recently published in the journal Sleep, was instituted through the Head Start program, and included a single 45-minute educational program aimed at parents and supplemented by two weeks of in-class programming aimed at children. The study, which involved exposing the kids to a program titled Sweet Dreamzzz, involved 152 children. The program’s success was measured through diaries that the parents were asked to keep, tracking their children’s sleep. Continue reading

  • Over Fifty? New Study Shows Sleep is More Important than Ever

    It is a fact of live for many in the over-fifty set that with age comes difficulty in sleeping. There are a number of reasons for this. For some, it’s simply a matter of sleep not being high enough on our to-do list, with job, family and social responsibilities taking precedence no matter how many articles we read on the importance of getting our rest. For others it’s a matter of health. Many women over the age of fifty struggle with hot flashes and other hormonal side effects of menopause and its aftermath, while both sexes can struggle with chronic pain that makes sleep difficult. Add to this long list the fact that the risk of obstructive sleep apnea disorder becomes greater as we age and it seems like everything is working against us. Continue reading

  • Sleep Goals and How to Achieve Them

    We all know that getting the right amount of sleep is important. It helps us to think more clearly, allows our bodies to do the important work of repairing muscle and tissue, and prevents us from a variety of serious health conditions. Unfortunately, far too many of us put ourselves into impossible situations when it comes to getting the rest that we need. In some cases the problem is inescapable – think having to get up in the middle of the night to feed or calm a crying infant. In other cases the problem is created by a clear choice that we’ve made, prioritizing work or our social schedules over the deep, uninterrupted sleep that we need. In still other situations though, our inability to get to sleep may be due to unconscious decisions that we’ve made during the day. These can range from what we’ve had to eat or drink to the way we’ve decorated our homes. To help overcome some of these fixable problems, here are tips for how to get better sleep. Continue reading

  • Sleep Medication and Memory

    According to a recent survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, there are more than nine million American adults who rely on prescription sleeping aids to help them get the rest that they need. That is an enormous number that represents approximately four percent of the population, so it is incumbent upon sleep researchers and scientists to make sure that they have a good understanding of the impact that these drugs may be having.  There have been a number of concerns voiced about the potential side effects of these powerful hypnotics, including an FDA safety alert that was issued in 2013 warning of excessive morning drowsiness that was a risk with taking the standard dosage of drugs containing zolpidem, particularly for women. Since Zolpidem is found in some of the most popular sleep medications on the market, including Ambien, Ambien CR and Elduar, this raised immediate concerns for many patients and physicians alike, and another recent alert suggested that initial dosing should be adjusted on a number of sleep medications in order to minimize this impact. Continue reading

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