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Health Tip: Find a Fun Alarm Clock

Posted 6 Sep 2016 by

-- If you have a tough time getting out of bed in the morning, a fun alarm clock that eases the transition into your day may help. Try these suggestions from the National Sleep Foundation: Look for an alarm clock that's functional, not just pretty. Make sure the buttons are easy to find when you're groggy first thing in the morning. Skip alarm clocks that emit bright blue light that can interfere with sleep. Opt for one that uses softer amber, orange or red to help you sleep more soundly. Choose an alarm clock that wakes you with a sound that you enjoy, whether that's the news, your favorite music or nature sounds. Consider one that gradually increases the volume to gently rouse you. Look for fun features that make sure you won't oversleep. Some alarm clocks have a light that turns on slowly at the time you should wake. Others vibrate the bed to help wake you. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Nightmares, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Drowsiness, Hypersomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Jet Lag

Brain Relies on Two Timekeepers for Sleep

Posted 12 Aug 2016 by

FRIDAY, Aug. 12, 2016 – Both an internal "clock" and an internal "hourglass" affect how different parts of your brain respond to sleep deprivation, a new study shows. The Belgian researchers said these findings could eventually aid in the understanding of sleep disorders, and help folks who work night shifts or those with jet lag. The study involved 33 healthy young people who volunteered to stay awake for 42 hours and have their mental sharpness tracked along the way. Sleep scientists from the University of Liege used MRI scans to chart the volunteers' brain activity as they performed tests of attention and reaction time. Not surprisingly, their performances dulled as their sleep deprivation worsened. But the brain scans revealed a complicated interaction between two basic biological processes: the body's central "circadian rhythm," which pushes people to be awake and active during ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Nightmares, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Night Terrors, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Sleep Paralysis, Drowsiness, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Cataplexy, Insomnia - Stimulant-Associated, Hypersomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, Alcohol-Induced Sleep Disorder, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Jet Lag

Could Slight Brain Zap During Sleep Boost Memory?

Posted 28 Jul 2016 by

THURSDAY, July 28, 2016 – Stimulating a targeted area of the brain with small doses of weak electricity while you sleep may enhance your ability to remember what you learned the night before, new research finds. The new procedure is called transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS). "We work with the brain, that's really unique about what we do. We listen in to brain activity and can boost what the brain already wants to do," said the study's senior author, Flavio Frohlich. He's an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Neuroscience Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. While you sleep your brain is not idle, but is actively storing things you learned during the day for later use. Stimulating the brain enhances what the brain is already doing naturally, Frohlich said. During sleep, electrical brain activity oscillates, and can be seen as waves on an ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Jet Lag, Head Imaging, Alcohol-Induced Sleep Disorder

Dodge the Jet Lag, Enjoy Your Trip

Posted 14 Jul 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2016 – People crossing time zones may assume jet lag is something they have to endure – like airport delays and lost luggage. But there are several ways travelers can prepare for and minimize jet lag's troubling effects, a sleep specialist says. First, flying from west to east, such as from the United States to Europe, will result in worse jet lag than the reverse trip, explained David Earnest, who studies circadian rhythms at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. "You will always be hit harder by jet lag when making a four- to six-hour time jump eastbound," Earnest said in a university news release. "This is because our body clocks are trying to advance to an earlier time, which is not as easy as adjusting to a later time gap," he said. Earnest provided the following recommendations on how to ease jet lag: Catch the red eye. Sleeping through an ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Jet Lag

Health Tip: Sleep Soundly Away From Home

Posted 1 Jul 2016 by

-- It may be difficult to get a good night's sleep when you're away from home. The National Sleep Foundation has suggestions to help make it easier: Pack your own pillow. Bring a white noise machine and a pair of ear plugs that block noise of at least 65 decibels. Invest in a sleep mask to make sure bright light doesn't keep you awake. Maintain the same bed and wake schedule as you do at home. Don't overeat or drink too much alcohol. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Jet Lag

Health Tip: Plan Ahead to Minimize Jet Lag

Posted 27 Jun 2016 by

-- While it's difficult to adjust to a new time zone, a little prep work can make the transition easier. The American Academy of Family Physicians advises: Make sure you are well rested before leaving. Avoid drinking alcohol. Stick to well-balanced, healthy meals, and avoid overeating. Get regular exercise. If you use medication to help you sleep, use it for as short a period as possible. Go to sleep and wake up based on the new time zone as quickly as possible. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Jet Lag

Time Zone Changes Give Edge to Athletes From West

Posted 17 Jun 2016 by

FRIDAY, June 17, 2016 – Traveling across several time zones can be draining for anyone. So, how do professional athletes manage to turn around and compete in games after traveling from one coast to another? Apparently, not always that well, a new study says. And that's especially true when teams are traveling from an earlier time zone to a later one. When professional sports teams in North America travel west to east, they have a higher winning percentage than those traveling east to west, researchers said. The study authors looked at five years of regular season games for the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League. They compared game outcomes and the direction of travel for all the teams. The results showed an advantage for teams in all three leagues traveling west to east, but the winning effect was most significant in the NBA. ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Jet Lag

Health Tip: Sleep Well During Travel

Posted 9 May 2016 by

-- Traveling for work or pleasure shouldn't involve sleepless nights. While on the road, the National Sleep Foundation suggests you pack: A non-backlit E-reader to help you read, relax and wind down. An eye mask to help block out light. A comfortable pair of earplugs. Or use a pair of noise-canceling headphones. A C-shaped neck pillow made of memory foam to support your head and neck. A travel-sized white noise machine. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Jet Lag

Health Tip: Selecting a Sleep Mask

Posted 3 May 2016 by

-- Bright light can interrupt sleep quickly, so many people use a sleep mask. The National Sleep Foundation suggests how to choose the right one: Consider whether you need a sleep mask that provides total blackout, or one that provides darker conditions in a room that's already fairly dark. Look for a mask that fits across the bridge of the nose. Invest in a quality mask with a nose flap to help block more light and provide a better fit. Opt for a mask with cavities that alleviate pressure around your eyes. Find the right fabric that feels comfortable, is easy to wash and doesn't trigger allergies. Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Sleep Disorders, Klonopin, Insomnia, Clonazepam, Ativan, Ambien, Valium, Fatigue, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, BuSpar, Diazepam, Benadryl, Melatonin, Zolpidem, Hydroxyzine, Buspirone, Temazepam, Nightmares

While Travelers Sleep, Brain Patrols for Danger

Posted 21 Apr 2016 by

THURSDAY, April 21, 2016 – When you sleep in a new place, a part of your brain remains alert for potential threats, a new study finds. The findings might help explain why many people sleep poorly on their first night in a hotel, a sleep laboratory or other new location. "In Japan they say, 'if you change your pillow, you can't sleep,' " study corresponding author Yuka Sasaki, research associate professor of cognitive linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University in Rhode Island, said in a university news release. "You don't sleep very well in a new place. We all know about it." The researchers measured brain activity in 35 people over two nights of slumber in a sleep lab, a week apart. Among all the participants on the first night, one particular network in the brain's left hemisphere showed greater activity than in the right hemisphere during a deep sleep phase called ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Nightmares, Insomnia - Stimulant-Associated, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Jet Lag

Poor Sleep May Not Add to Cholesterol Problems, Study Finds

Posted 3 Mar 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, March 2, 2016 – Sleepless nights don't appear to be linked to an increase in cholesterol levels, a new study indicates. The exception seems to be people who take sleeping pills to treat insomnia, the researchers said. There has been speculation about a possible link between insomnia and heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol, because sleep apnea – another type of sleep disorder – has been linked to heart disease. From the large U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the researchers behind the new study reviewed data on more than 19,000 people. They looked at information from 2005 to 2008. In people over age 20, the researchers found 11 percent had elevated levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol. Twenty-two percent had low levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. Just over 16 percent had high levels of triglycerides, another unhealthy blood fat, the study ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, High Cholesterol, Sleep Apnea, Hypertriglyceridemia, Drowsiness, Hypersomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, Jet Lag

Sufficient Sleep, Exercise Linked to Lower Stroke Risk

Posted 19 Feb 2016 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016 – People who regularly exercise and get a full night's sleep may have a relatively lower risk of suffering a stroke, a large study suggests. Researchers found that among almost 300,000 U.S. adults, those who routinely slept seven to eight hours a night were 25 percent less likely to have a stroke, compared to people who got either less or more sleep. The highest stroke risk was seen among "long sleepers," who spent at least eight hours in bed each night. But short sleepers – those who slept less than seven hours each night – also showed an elevated risk. However, the findings don't prove that sufficient sleep can actually prevent strokes, only that there's a link between getting the right amount of sleep and stroke risk. Still, the researchers said the findings do highlight the potential importance of sleep in stroke risk – something that has not gotten much ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Jet Lag

A Third of U.S. Adults Don't Get Regular, Refreshing Sleep: CDC

Posted 18 Feb 2016 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016 – One of every three Americans doesn't get enough sleep on a regular basis, a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. About 35 percent of U.S. adults are sleeping less than seven hours a night, increasing their risk of a wide variety of health problems, CDC researchers reported on Feb. 18 in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Getting less than seven hours of sleep a night has been associated with increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress and death, the study authors said. "People have to recognize that sleep is just as important as what they're eating and how much they're exercising," said Dr. Shalini Paruthi, co-director of the Sleep Medicine and Research Center at St. Luke's Hospital in St. Louis. "It's one of the pillars of good health." ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Drowsiness, Hypersomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Jet Lag

Sleepless Nights May Fuel Daytime Facebook Binges: Study

Posted 17 Feb 2016 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2016 – Lack of sleep may be the reason you spend so much time on Facebook during the day, new research suggest. The study authors tracked 76 university undergrads for seven days and found that too little sleep was linked to more frequent online activities such as browsing Facebook. "When you get less sleep, you're more prone to distraction," lead researcher Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, said in a university news release. "If you're being distracted, what do you do? You go to Facebook. It's lightweight, it's easy and you're tired." "There have been lots of studies on how information technology affects sleep. We did the opposite: We looked at how sleep duration influences IT usage," Mark said. The study found a direct link between long-term lack of sleep, a decline in mood and increased Facebook browsing. It also found ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Sleep Apnea, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Jet Lag

Short Flashes of Light May Treat Jet Lag

Posted 9 Feb 2016 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 – Researchers are working on a faster light-based therapy to prevent jet lag. Currently, light-based jet lag prevention involves exposure to bright lights for hours at a time during the day to help the body clock adjust to a new time zone in small steps before going on a trip, the researchers explained. But, exposure to short flashes of light – similar to camera flashes – while people are sleeping appears to be a fast and efficient way of preventing jet lag, the Stanford University researchers found. "This could be a new way of adjusting much more quickly to time changes than other methods in use today," study senior author Jamie Zeitzer, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., said in a university news release. Conducting light therapy at night tricks the body clock into adjusting to a different wake/sleep ... Read more

Related support groups: Jet Lag

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