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  • Concerns Raised Over Teen “Junk Sleep”

    Sleep experts have coined a new phrase to describe a worrying trend among teens – the term is “junk sleep”, and it specifically refers to the fact that young people are not only not getting enough sleep, but that they sleep they are getting is of poor quality because of the presence of a bevy of electronic devices.

    According to a recent study by the Sleep Council, nearly one third of young people between the ages of 12 and 16 years old indicated that they are only getting between four and seven hours of sleep per night. This would be worrying in adults, but is of special concern for this age group, which health experts have indicated need almost nine hours of sleep per night in order to get the proper rest and opportunity for growth. The study included a poll of nearly 1,000 teens, and it revealed that in almost every case, their bedroom sleeping environment included computers, televisions, cell phones and musical devices. Continue reading

  • This Is Your Brain Without Sleep

    We’ve all witnessed the classic toddler meltdown in the supermarket or at the mall. Experienced parents lock eyes and nod, murmuring, “Somebody needs a nap.” Yet that automatic recognition of the impact lack of sleep has on a small child is all too frequently lacking in adults who are experiencing the same kind of need. Not only do we as grownups have a peculiar tendency to take pride in the amount of sleep that we cheat ourselves of, but we also refuse to acknowledge the fact that it has an affect on the way that we perform, react or feel. But now a study conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of California at Berkeley has made it extremely clear that sleep deprivation has a massive effect on the way that the brain reacts to stimuli, and it’s not a change for the better. Continue reading

  • Unraveling the Mysteries of Sleepwalking

    The image of sleepwalking has often been somewhat comedic. Whether your familiarity with the issue comes from childhood episodes and tales that your parents told of you walking into the room muttering nonsense and clutching a pillow, or from nonsensical cartoon scenes in which sleepwalkers make their way through a scene with their arms outstretched, helping themselves to food in the refrigerator and getting into all sorts of hijinks, the truth is that there is a lot more to it, and for those who suffer from the sleeping disorder there is nothing to laugh about. Continue reading

  • App Reveals World’s Sleep Habits

    The use of various fitness and sleep apps continues to grow more popular around the world, and there is no end in sight. From downloads on our Android and iPhone devices to separate fitness bands and monitors that have become part of our nightly routines, we seem universally obsessed with quantify everything about our lives, from the calories that we consume and the number of steps that we take to the length of time that we spend in each sleep cycle and what time we wake up in the morning. Despite the fact that we all think of ourselves as extremely tech savvy, few people stop to realize that the information that is being collected and provided back to us is also accessible to the owners and operators of the applications and devices themselves. But it’s true. With the advent of sleep sensor apps, “He knows when you’ve been sleeping” is no longer just the realm of Santa Claus. We’re not saying that the app developers are using the information for nefarious purposes … we’re just sayin’. Continue reading

  • Want to Avoid a Spring Cold? Get Your ZZZZs on!

    You know all those old wives’ tales and remedies that center around the common cold? Things like ‘If you don’t dress warmly, you’ll catch a cold,’ or ‘If you don’t wear socks you’ll catch a cold,’ or my personal favorite from my grandmother — ‘If you don’t get enough sleep you’re going to get run down and catch a cold.’ As it turns out, that last one is absolutely true. Sorry for making fun of you, Grandma. Continue reading

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