Deep Sleep Is Key For Everyone

deepsleepA decent night’s sleep (defined as about eight hours for a 30-year-old woman) – particularly the deep-sleep or slow-wave stage – is crucial to maintain the immune and cardiovascular systems and for the growth and repair of bones and tissue. Here’s what you can do to get more rest:

New Moms

“We’re asking women to do a night shift at home,” says Dr. Peter Munt, director of the Sleep Laboratory in Kingston, Ont., “and then we’re saying, ‘Oh, by the way, go to work during the day and do your job.’ It doesn’t make sense.”

An afternoon or early-evening nap is a great energy booster for women forced out of bed to feed hungry babies or soothe frightened children. Or, try getting to bed a little earlier in the evening to anticipate interruptions. Says Dr. Munt, “You need to get sleep whenever and however you can.”

Menopausal and Premenopausal Women

As estrogen levels start to dip in your 40s and 50s, insomnia can start to plague as many as two …

Surprising Sleep Disorder Numbers Haunt America

sleepdisOver 50 million Americans “suffer from sleep disorders, including insomnia, excessive drowsiness, and restless movement during sleep. According to many practitioners of alternative medicine, these disorders often are related to nutritional or behavioral factors, and may be remedied by addressing the various causes and symptoms underlying the condition,” suggests Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide (1993).

So what’s the big deal about sleep?

Well, sleep is a restoring process that recharges us — physiologically and psychologically. As a critical part of the daily human cycle, sleep (quantity and quality) determines our health.

The quantity and quality of sleep vary from person to person, but how well and how long one sleeps is ultimately the result of varying physical and psychological influences, says the Guide.

“Not only can stress, illness, and anxiety contribute to sleep disorders, but so can external circumstances, such as a noisy sleeping room, as well as disturbed biological rhythms, such as those occurring due to night-shift work and jet lag,” says John Zimmerman, Ph.D., Laboratory Director …

Daytime Sleepiness Can Kill

daytimesleepJanuary 4, Reno Gazette Journal, Reno, NV: Hug High Student Killed in Crash… “Tria Cornejo and Nito Ramirez were best friends …. Arizona authorities are trying to determine whether Ramirez, 17, a Hug High football player, will be prosecuted for losing control of his classmate’s car. Cornejo, a 19-year-old Hug senior, died when the car left the highway at the Nevada-Arizona border near Bullhead City, Arizona.

“Cornejo was asleep while Ramirez was driving. Police say Ramirez became drowsy and fell asleep behind the wheel … He is believed to have lost control of the car and crashed….”

Snoozing and cruising don’t mix. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 200,000 crashes are related to driving while drowsy. A large percentage of highway crashes involve driver fatigue.

Sleepiness and sleep deprivation are major concerns, especially for teens. Sleepiness not only can mean dozing off in class and missing an important point for the next test, but it also can mean dozing off behind the wheel and causing loss …

Reasons to Buy an Anti-Snoring Mouthpiece

anitsonoringMy father in law used to snore, it was horrible. It wasn’t mild snoring either, you could hear him regardless of where you were in the house. Ultimately it contributed to my mother in law moving into her own room in the basement. He was prescribed a CPAP machine, something horrible that is strapped to your face and makes you look like you are going into outer space. However, the worst part about a CPAP machine is it FORCES air in and out of your lungs, like a ventilator. Essentially, it does your breathing for you. For those of you who haven’t tried one, it is incredibly upsetting and can make some people feel anxious. Breathing is a natural occurrence, it is something we don’t even think about doing. By using a CPAP machine, your natural breathing is interrupted, and continues to be during your entire night’s sleep. Of course you can get used to it, but that doesn’t even take into consideration the bulkiness of the mask on your face, how it affects you overall bedroom sexiness and more.

Thankfully for us, there are countless devices on the market today that can help with snoring. After careful time, consideration and testing I have come to the conclusion that the very best method to reduce or eliminate snoring is through the use of an anti-snoring mouthpiece. I know it sounds weird, and not really something you would like to attempt to sleep with in your mouth, but hear me out.
When you fall asleep, all of the muscles and tissues in your mouth, throat and jaw relax. As you breathe, the air that passes through your throat causes these areas to vibrate. It is different for everyone. The result is the sound you hear.
There are two types of anti-snoring devices available. You will have to determine the right one for you. It may take some trial and error, but I am certain you will discover what will work best for you. The first type is a Mandibular Advancement Device or (MAD) and the second is a Tongue Retaining Device or (TRD). The MAD works by keeping your jaw upwards, instead of allowing gravity to pull it backwards while you sleep. The second does exactly what it says, it holds your tongue in place so it doesn’t fall backwards into your throat, blocking your airway.

I found some great snoring mouthpiece advice and anti snoring device reviews here.

Either device is very Read more »

What Is Stealing Your Sleep??

stealingyslI shouldn’t have been surprised the Friday I rearended another SUV on the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. My husband was away, and I never sleep soundly when I’m alone. Deadlines had kept me at the computer until after midnight, and a hot flash awakened me at 3:00 A.M. I was fine as I drove to an early-morning meeting. But later, behind schedule, I couldn’t stop for my usual latte with an extra shot of espresso. That’s when I got stuck in traffic and fell asleep at the wheel. The last thing I remember before the airbag exploded in my face was turning off the opera CD that was making me drowsy. Luckily, the accident was just a fender bender, but it could have been deadly.

Sleep-deprived people are hardly uncommon. Sixty three percent of Americans don’t get the seven to eight hours of rest that experts say we need each night. That often leads to daytime sleepiness, which affects concentration, the ability to make decisions, motivation, and memory. As your …

Sleep Patterns Make Steep Changes During Your Life

sleeppartnerParents lose an enormous amount of sleep during the first year of a newborn’s life — up to 350 hours each, by Dement’s calculation. The challenge has given birth to an industry of how-to books. One of the best known is Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Dr. Richard Ferber of the Children’s Hospital in Boston, which has sold about one million copies. But Ferber’s tough- love methods — basically, leaving a baby to cry alone for longer periods to instil proper sleep habits — have come under attack. Anthropologist James McKenna, who teaches at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and runs a mother-baby behavioral sleep laboratory there, insists babies fare better in their parents’ bed — a no-no in Ferber’s book. “Parents are told if they want their child to be independent and sleep through the night, they should give him a separate room,” says McKenna. “But biological evolution expects babies to be physically in contact with adults and be breast-fed through the night.”

McKenna’s proselytizing has …

Coffee, Workaholism Are Leading Sleep Problem Causes

sleeppcThe explosion of java joints across the country may be attributable to more than clever marketers enticing consumers to pay big bucks for froth and foam. It may be a matter of survival. While Canadians consumed 225 million pounds–14 billion cups–of coffee in 1995, they downed 250 million pounds in 1998, an increase of one billion cups of the heart-accelerating, eyelid-propping high-test, according to the Toronto-based Coffee Association of Canada. The caffeine addiction, experts say, points to a society of incessance and a nation of workaholics.

Just how sleep-deprived North Americans have become is quantified in a study released March 28 by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) in Washington, D.C. Although experts recommend adults sleep at least eight hours a night, the poll found that, on average, adults sleep less than seven hours during the workweek and a full 45% say they sleep less in order to accomplish more. This leads to sleepiness in the workplace: one in five employees report making occasional or frequent work errors due to sleepiness, …

How Serious Fatigue Can Affect Child Development

sefcacdTired kids=cranky kids. That’s obvious. But research shows that fatigue can hurt children in lots of other ways too. Here, Kathleen Powers talks to Will Wilkoff, M.D., about how parents can tell if a child needs more rest-and what to do to help.

“Your child,” says Dr. Wilkoff, of Brunswick, Maine, “has two personalities: one that’s well rested and one that’s not.” In the waiting room of his pediatric practice, Dr. Wilkoff says he’s seeing more and more of the tired side (along with parents who want him to make their real child return).

The author of two parenting books and a graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Wilkoff says he was motivated to write his latest, Is My Child Overtired? (Simon & Schuster), to address a national sleep shortage. “Since Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb,” he says, “we’ve been extending our waking hours further and further beyond their healthy limits.” Indeed, the National Sleep Foundation reports that Americans get 20 percent less sleep than they did a century …