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  • Sleepwalking is No Laughing Matter

    Remember when you were a kid and you’d watch cartoons featuring characters walking in their sleep, arms outstretched in front of them and eyes closed as they would raid the refrigerator or narrowly avert falling off of cliffs? They all seemed pretty funny. They also did a serious disservice to our general understanding of what sleepwalking, or somnambulism, is.  According to Dr. Rafael Pelayo, a pediatric neurologist and sleep specialist at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic, the person who suffers from somnambulism is not actually asleep – instead they are in a dissociated arousal state. Dr. Pelayo says that it’s estimated that one out of ten people in the United States has sleepwalked at some point in their life, with most of the experiences coming during the pre-teen and teenaged years. Continue reading

  • Quick Steps to Improved Sleep

    Getting regular sleep is a goal for everybody – or at least it should be. Though there are millions of people who are struggling with insomnia, sleep disorders, and sleep deprivation, but there are many more who aren’t in dire need of help as much as they simply need an adjustment – the opportunity to resync their systems. Continue reading

  • The Negative Effects of Eating Before Bed

    Almost everyone gets the munchies before bed at some point. While eating a healthy, balanced snack can help you relax and sleep, overeating and eating certain foods before turning in can cause numerous problems. Learning more about these effects may prompt you to improve your habits. To avoid the need to eat during late-evening hours, aim for balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. For specified guidance, seek counsel from your doctor or dietitian.

    Heartburn

    Heartburn happens when acidic stomach contents rise back up into your esophagus after eating, causing a tight or burning sensation in your chest. Lying down after you eat can trigger these symptoms or make them worse. To avoid sleep disruptions associated with heartburn, Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, a sleep specialist with Mayo.Clinic.com, recommends avoiding highly spicy and garlic-flavored foods late in the day. Overeating or eating highly acidic or fatty foods, such as tomato sauce, orange juice or fried foods, can also contribute to heartburn -- particularly if you're prone to the condition.

     

    Continue reading

  • Paying for the Pleasures of Sleep

    High-tech mattresses, expensive luxury sheets, white-noise machines … it seems like when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, some people are willing to pay just about anything. And with the attention that the dangers of sleep deprivation and sleep disorders has been getting in the news these days, it’s no wonder. Lack of sleep has been blamed – and rightly so – for a number of tragic accidents, for lost productivity in the workplace, for increased potential for Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative brain diseases, for weight gain, and many more causes for serious concern. 

    Though a sleep specialist is likely to tell you that unless you have a sleep disorder, you just need to make sleep a higher priority, and that it isn’t necessary to spend money to get a good night’s sleep, it is worth looking at the ways that losing sleep is costing you, and what some of the options are that can enhance your chances for getting back to getting the rest you need. Continue reading

  • Effects of Eating on Sleep Deprivation

    There is plenty of research pointing to the fact that those who cheat themselves of sleep are also sabotaging their nutritional health: Lack of sleep can wreak havoc with your ability to choose foods that are healthy, to fight the cravings for high-fat, high sugar snacks, and even to recognize when you’re satiated. But not much is said about whether the process can be reversed. Can making smart food choices help you get a better night of sleep? Continue reading

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