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  • Sleep and Age

    As we age, the amount of sleep that we need and the amount that we get changes a great deal. Newborns require far more sleep each day than young children do, and then adolescents need less sleep than they did as children or they will as adults. Though the amount of sleep that we get as adults is relatively regular, once we start to show the signs of old age our sleep abilities usually change again. This change happens to both men and women but is more pronounced in men, and can be a source of extreme frustration. This may be why so many seniors rely on sleep aids in order to get a good night’s sleep. Continue reading

  • Anxiety and Lack of Sleep

    We all know the feeling of not being able to get to sleep because we’re worked up or nervous about something that is going on in our lives. We stress about work, or a presentation that we have to make, or about a test that we have to take the next day. But when that feeling is more than just a temporary occurrence related to a specific event and it is causing chronic sleep problems, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are much more than the everyday case of nerves that we get before asking somebody out on a date. When anxiety reaches into being a psychological disease it is pervasive and can take away much of life’s everyday pleasure. Continue reading

  • Depression and Sleep

    Insomnia that lasts for an extended period is the symptom of another, more serious problem, and in many cases, problems getting to sleep, staying asleep, or sleeping long enough are related to psychological problems. It is often difficult for people who are suffering from insomnia, or who have a loved one going through it, to remember that insomnia is less a condition in and of itself than a symptom of another problem. In the case of depression, insomnia is such a pervasive symptom that it is actually rare to make a diagnosis without sleeplessness being present. In fact, about half of all patients who have a sleep problem serious enough to send them to a sleep lab have an underlying, often undiagnosed depression. Continue reading

  • Night Terrors, Tooth Grinding and other Sleep Disruptions

    In addition to the familiar sleep problem of insomnia, many people find that their good night’s sleep can be disrupted by a variety of oddities and pathologies that rob them, or their sleep partners, of the rest that they need. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common things that can go wrong while we’re sleeping.

     Night Terrors

    Like sleep walking, night terrors occur when we are in a state of partial arousal following a period of deep sleep. They are most commonly experienced by children, and have a tendency to run in families though when children get them they are not indicative of any kind of psychological malady; in the rare instances that adults have night terrors they may be associated with one of several mood disorders, including anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder. Continue reading

  • Sleepwalking

    Sleepwalking is another example of a sleep behavior that has been made humorous in television shows and situation comedies, but is often no laughing matter.  Sleepwalking can happen to both children and adults – in fact, it is far more common in children  - but when it happens in adulthood the risk of injury and danger is far greater.

    The official medical word for sleepwalking is somnambulism. Most people have done it at least once, but usually during childhood; approximately fifteen percent of children have chronic episodes of sleepwalking. In most cases, children sleepwalk between the ages of four and twelve, though they can start as soon as they are able to crawl, and ten is the most likely age for it to occur. By the time children reach adulthood they grow out of sleepwalking – in fact only one adult out of every two hundred will ever sleepwalk. Continue reading

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