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  • Dreaming and Pregnancy

    Pregnant women have been found to experience many more dreams than do women who are not pregnant, and this is particularly interesting when you consider the fact that overall, pregnant women tend to get much less sleep. Pregnancy makes women tired but also introduces a great deal of stress and discomfort, particularly during the third trimester when the body’s burden exacts a toll and it is difficult to find a comfortable position in which to sleep. The baby’s kicking can actually wake the mother from a sound sleep, which becomes increasingly rare due to worries about the upcoming responsibility they are facing. Continue reading

  • Over the Counter and Natural Sleeping Remedies

    The need for sleep – and the frustration over not being able to get it – have been with us for a long time… probably back to caveman days.  With hundreds of drugs and remedies available it is important to understand how each type works so that we can make an informed decision.

     Over the Counter Sleeping Aids

    Sleeping pills of all types are known as “hypnotics,” and some work better than others for different types of sleep problems. The drugs that are available without a prescription are known as over the counter, or OTC drugs.  They are generally thought of as being safe, and that is why they can be easily purchased at your local drug store or supermarket.  The most popular of these are antihistamines, though a couple of mild painkillers are also sometimes used. Continue reading

  • Making Dreams Meaningful

    Much has been made of studying dreams and trying to interpret them, or find a scientific explanation for them.  In the early 1900s Freud tried to use dreams to explain the working of the unconscious mind. He believed that dreams were manifestations of sexual longings that were censored when we were conscious, and he authored interpretations of dreams that followed along those lines.

    More recently sleep scientists discovered the connection between rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and dreaming, making dreams much less of a random event and much more measurable and physiological. These scientists evaluated the physical changes that went on during REM sleep and determined that they were simply electrical impulses and chemical reactions without any type of meaning.  Still others viewed dreaming as a sort of reboot that the brain needed in order to restore itself each night.  Continue reading

  • Illnesses that Impact Sleep

    When you are not feeling well, regardless of what your condition is, it is often difficult to get the sleep you need. Something as ordinary and benign as the common cold may keep us up at night with a dripping nose or cough; allergies can do the same. Other physical conditions may not physically interfere with our sleep but may still have an effect on the quality of our rest as we lay awake and worry. Still other illnesses have sleep disruption as a symptom. Treating the condition may help with getting a good night sleep, which is important because getting adequate rest is an integral part of our overall health.  Continue reading

  • Sleep Disorders Involving the Legs

    There are a couple of syndromes involving the legs that can have a negative impact on your ability to sleep, your partner’s ability to sleep, and the quality of the sleep that you get. They are restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder. Restless leg syndrome is a problem that its sufferers are all too aware of, while periodic limb movement disorder is generally known because of the extreme daytime exhaustion of those who have it, or reports from their sleeping partners. Both can cause insomnia or sleep deprivation. Continue reading

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