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  • 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

  • What’s Your Mood Before Bedtime?

    Some people are able to look at the clock (or listen to their internal clock), know that it’s time for bed, move themselves through their nighttime rituals easily and without thinking about it, and drop off to sleep easily and naturally. Though that is certainly the way that things are supposed to work in a perfect world, there are plenty of people for whom that type of bedtime routine is nothing but a fantasy.

    If you are one of those who finds themselves lying awake at night, staring at the ceiling, the hands on the clock, the peacefully sleeping back of our bed partner and all the while stressing about all that needs to be done, that might go wrong or simply about the inability to fall asleep and get the rest you need, you are not alone. Bedtime is supposed to be a time for winding down, but all too often we find ourselves still feeling energized, enervated, and wound up when it’s time to sleep. Continue reading

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