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  • 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

  • Suicide Linked to Lack of Sleep

    A new study published in an online supplement to the journal Sleep has determined that there is a higher likelihood of suicide in the hours between midnight and 4:00 a.m. then at any other time of day or night. The first-of-its-kind data analysis negates previous understands of when suicide was happening in proportion to the number of people actually awake, and gives a much more realistic accounting of some possible causes and mechanisms of these fatal incidents. Continue reading

  • New Study Finds Sleep Deprivation as Damaging to Students as Drug Abuse

    A study published in the most recent edition of the journal Sleep asserts that when it comes to grades, sleep deprivation can be just as damaging as binging on alcohol or marijuana.

    According to the results of a study conducted at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, you can predict how successful a student will be in a class and whether they end up dropping it based simply on how much sleep they are getting. The researchers analyzed data that had been collected during the 2009 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment, which involved over 43,000 participants. They found that even when they controlled for such factors as race, gender, health problems and work hours, sleep was the number one predictor for whether a student would drop a class.  Continue reading

  • Can Insomnia Kill?

    We all know that sleep is crucial to our quality of life, and even that lack of sleep can have serious health implications and lead to a higher risk of serious conditions, including obesity, cardiovascular problems, diabetes and stroke. But can lack of sleep actually kill you?

    To get to the heart of the question, let’s take a look at the most basic sleep disorder, insomnia. Insomnia is a condition that afflicts millions of Americans – somewhere between 10% and 30% of us will likely experience insomnia at some point in our lives. Though we may think of any period of sleeplessness as insomnia, the condition is actually strictly defined as when all three of the following conditions are present:  Continue reading

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